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Inventive idea of the day: looking back at the Mac

Posting in Technology
 
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Every day, amid the flurry of product launches and announcements about the next big thing, a few items make us sit up, turn to our cubicle neighbor and say 'hey, this is kinda cool.'

In this daily series we'll highlight one inventive idea, business plan, approach to design, architecture or city planning. Sometimes they'll be wow items and other times they'll be a small effort that if implemented on a national, regional or even worldwide scale could make a big difference. 

Today, in recognition of the 30th anniversary of the original Mac, we're going to take a look back at this computing revolution. 

As Apple notes in its timeline, the original Macintosh wasn't just a computer; it was a "declaration that the power of the computer now belonged to everyone."

Many of the Mac features that we don't give a second thought to today were revolutionary three decades ago because they made the computer an intuitive type of experience. The trash can icon, the folders that looked like file folders and the ability to move things around the screen with a click of the mouse, were totally new.  

Apple has dedicated a page on its website to the 30-year anniversary, including an interactive timetable showing how consumers used their first Mac every year from 1984 to 2013. For instance, the Mac was primarily used for education and teaching from 1984 through 1995, when Internet and email and graphic design started to take over. See the comparison between 1984 and 2013 below. Keep in mind this data is based on user feedback.

 
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And in 2013, Internet and email dominate. 

 
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— By on January 24, 2014, 3:26 PM PST

Kirsten Korosec

Contributing Editor

Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure