My Mac Memories

Celebrating the 40th birthday of the Apple Macintosh

Pax Ahimsa Gethen
5 min readJan 23, 2024

This Wednesday, January 24 marks the 40th anniversary of the release of Apple’s Macintosh computer. The product launch was preceded by a memorable Orwellian commercial directed by Ridley Scott, which aired during Super Bowl XVIII.

Theatrics aside, I have always been a Mac fan. I wanted to get one for my freshman year at Northwestern University in 1988, but they were too expensive compared with PCs for me to justify the cost to my parents, who were already stretched thin paying for my tuition, room and board. So I did all of my college assignments on a Zenith Eazy-PC running MS-DOS, while coveting the graphic interface of the Macs in the school computer labs.

Four years later, most Macs were still out of my family’s price range, but I convinced them to split the cost of a Mac Classic II with me as a college graduation present. While I would have rather had a larger monitor with a color screen, I was still happy to get this compact little computer, which I brought with me out to California for grad school at UC Berkeley.