…that the Macintosh first shipped. From the original Apple press release:
Users tell Macintosh what to do simply by moving a “mouse”–a small pointing device–to select among functions listed in menus and represented by pictorial symbols on the screen. Users are no longer forced to memorize the numerous and confusing keyboard commands of conventional computers. The result is radical ease of use and a significant reduction in learning time. In effect, the Macintosh is a desk-top appliance offering users increased utility and creativity with simplicity.
“We believe that Lisa Technology represents the future direction of all personal computers,” said Steven P. Jobs, Chairman of the Board of Apple.
I was the manager of The Computer Store in McLean, VA at that point. We were a small store but we sold a lot of Apple IIs, ///s, and we did a pretty good business in Lisas, too — mostly selling to defense contractors who ran LisaProject.
Many of us had been to Apple’s offices in Columbia, MD, in December of 1983 to get trained on the Mac. We were held outside the classroom until the instructors were ready for us; when we were finally let in all we could see of the new machines were a bunch of lumps hidden under sheets; once we were all seated and the staff was convinced we couldn’t contain our curiosity/excitement/anticipation for one second longer they unveiled the ‘miniature Lisas’ with a great flourish in a wonderful ‘ta-da’ moment. Jobs was into knock-your-socks-off staging even then.
Each store got exactly one Mac on the morning of the 24th; not even ‘one to show and one to go’ as we used to say. The machines themselves were on allocation from Apple and all we could do was take orders for delivery some weeks hence. Full deposit required, of course –this was retail after all. (The cynic in me still wonders if the allocation was real or contrived. )
Our Mac arrived via UPS about 9:45, just a few minutes before we were supposed to open. The box was assembled inside out so that the great Mac logo couldn’t be seen – presumably somebody thought a few machines would grow legs and walk away while in transit.
We popped the box open and set up the machine so it was the first thing you saw when you came in the door. By 10 we were up and running with MacWrite and MacDraw (one at a time – no multitasking in those days) on that tiny 9″ monitor and the litttle squarish mouse. About 10 after 10 a woman walked in, sat down next to me and asked if that was the Mac she’d heard about. “It’s so cute,” she said. Then she wrote us a check for the full retail ($2495), plus an external floppy drive ($495), plus an ImageWriter dot matrix printer (also $495), plus Microsoft MultiPlan (the spreadsheet that wasn’t shipping yet), plus a box of floppy disks (10 for $49.95!), plus a carrying case, plus anything else I could think of to offer her. $3600 or so later she became #1 on our waiting list. She was very patient while she waited for her machine and was genuinely happy when I called her a couple of weeks later to tell her it was finally here. I wonder if she still uses Macs?