Steve Jobs’ First Macintosh Public Demonstration Video Comes Out After 30 Years; Jobs Compares Mac With Telephone

steve jobs macintosh public demonstration video
Steve Jobs’ first Macintosh public demonstration video comes out after a period of 30 years. The video shot in January 1984 shows young Jobs demonstrating the Mac at the monthly general meeting of the Boston Computer Society.

The first Mac demonstration was given by Steve at a shareholders meeting at the Flint Center in Cupertino, California. A week after that demonstration, Jobs demonstrated the Mac at the monthly general meeting of the Boston Computer Society, the actual first public demo of the machine.

The 90 minute demonstration video has gone unseen since its happening. Harry McCracken of Time recently managed to track the tape down.

The tape used an obsolete U-matric format for storing videos. With the help of a local Boston-area videographer, McCracken was able to digitize the video and make it available online.

As presented here, the video — which is a rough cut of the version which the Computer History Museum will preserve — has a few moments which have been reconstructed. The slides which Jobs shows are the same ones he presented in Boston, but they’re borrowed from the video of the Cupertino event. And when Jobs shows a blurry slide of the IBM PC — provoking mirth from the audience and prompting him to say “Let’s be fair” — the blurring is a recreation of what really happened. (To this day, [BCS co-founder Jonathan] Rotenberg isn’t sure whether it was a prank on Apple’s part or a bona-fide technical glitch.), McCracken writes in his Time article

The 90-minute un-aired video had several differences from the aired one. Near the end, Steve Jobs, along with Bill Atkinson, Steve Capps, Owen Densmore, Andy Hertzfeld, Bruce Horn, Rony Sebok, Burrell Smith, Randy Wigginton and even Steve Wozniak took the stage for an interesting question answer session.

At around 37:40 in the video, Steve makes a remark about Mac being just like a telephone.

Within ten years there were over 200,000 telephones on desks in America. It(Mac) performed the same basic function, but radical ease of use. And in addition to just letting you type in the words or click in the words, it let you sing. It let you intone your sentences to really get your meaning across.

This unseen artifact is actually an important peice of history for Apple. Computer History Museum will launch an edited version of the video soon.

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Anup Kayastha

Anup Kayastha is founder and chief editor of AllTimeMac — loves travelling. Tech enthusiasts and professional blogger.

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