Celebrating 20 Years of the Mac The year was 1984, and a 17-pound cube was about to change the world. Sporting a mouse and a smiley face, Apple's Macintosh was the first computer for the common man. From beige box to Bondi blue fashion accessory: We look at the 20-year history of the Macintosh.

Celebrating 20 Years of the Mac

Line Revolutionized Computer Design, Ease of Use

Celebrating 20 Years of the Mac

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The original Apple Macintosh old-computers.com hide caption

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Ridley Scott's 1984 commercial Courtesy of Apple hide caption

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Courtesy of Apple

As fans watched the 1984 Super Bowl, a stark commercial directed by Ridley Scott appeared on the screen. In the spot, a female athlete smashes a large screen projecting the image of an autocratic Big Brother. With that 45-second advertisement, Apple Computer introduced the Macintosh, a line that would come to revolutionize computer design and functionality.

Over the years, the small beige box has undergone numerous transformations (think Bondi blue, ruby and sage.) Macintosh design has influenced everything from paper-clip holders to vacuums. NPR's Neal Conan and guests look at the 20-year history of the Macintosh and discuss how a 17-pound cube, a mouse and a smiley face changed the face of computing.


Video: Introducing the Apple Macintosh

Watch video Apple's 1984 Super Bowl spot

Jef Raskin, creator of the Macintosh and author of multiple books, including The Humane Interface: New Directions for Designing Interactive Systems

Steven Levy, senior editor and columnist for Newsweek magazine and author of Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer That Changed Everything

Lance Ulanoff, executive editor and columnist for the online version of PC Magazine