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An inside look at the original Macintosh (photos)

Twenty-seven years ago this week, Apple unveiled its 128K wonder that changed personal computing.

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Topic: Apple
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1 of 17 Andy Smith/ZDNet

It was 27 years ago when Apple unveiled its revolutionary Macintosh computer. Some of its firsts included: introducing a Graphical User Interface to the mainstream user, a mouse, 3.5 floppy drive, cut and paste, and much more. David Morgenstern has a rundown of what is inside.

Plus, if you think you know the Mac, take our quiz.

Macintosh's specs included:

Processor: Motorola 68000 @ 8MHz

64K ROM            

128K RAM                   

Video:  512x384 1-bit black-and-white

3.5-infch floppy drive - 400MB

Power: 60 watts

Above is the original Macintosh complete with keyboard, mouse, and extra 3.5-inch external floppy drive.

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2 of 17 Andy Smith/ZDNet

Macintosh was introduced to the public during Super Bowl XVIII on Jan. 22, 1984 in an ad created by TV ad and movie director Ridley Scott - best known at the time for Blade Runner and Alien.

Note: The name in the commercial is Macintosh not the Macintosh.

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The biggest impact of the Macintosh was the introduction of its Graphical User Interface (GUI or gooey) which featured a mouse and cursor over the typed commands generally in use. GUI was developed at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in the 70s. Legend says it intrigued Steve Jobs enough that he bought some Xerox stock in order to visit PARC in 1979.

Apple's GUI was first used on its Lisa computer in 1983 but its price tag - as high as $9,995 - doomed the system. It took the Macintosh to make people realize that this was the way to go.

You can still buy a refurbished Macintosh mouse for $49.99.

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This is what the desktop looked like. Software for Macintosh was virtually non-existant since the interface was completely different and almost all software at the time were text and command driven applicatons. Most software developers weren't willing to completely rewrite their applications. When it first went on sale, Macintosh came with free versions of MacWrite and MacPaint.

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For system errors or crashes, Macintosh displayed a bomb with a description of what might be the problem and sometimes an option to restart.

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The sad Mac icon indicated an unsuccessful system startup due to a severe hardware or software problem . The hexadecimal codes indicated the type of problem. 

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Another example what you'd see on Macintosh's 9-inch screen.

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The motherboard of Macintosh.

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Here is one of the first magazine ads for the Mac. Remember for technology, magazines were the most popular form of communication at the time.

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Steve Jobs and Macintosh helped launch Macworld and later Macworld.com which was a sister site to ZDNet.

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The creators of Macintosh.

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Autographs of the developers of Macintosh could be found inside the cover.

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Although Steve Jobs promised that Macintosh would last 10 years, it was well on its way to becoming obsolete within 9 months with the introduction of Macintosh 512K in Sept. 10, 1984. This prompted a name change in the original unit from "Macintosh" to "Macintosh 128K".

It was discontinued Oct. 1, 1985.

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Here is the original case. You can tell it's orginal as the name is simply Macintosh.

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This is Macintosh was one of the later ones made.

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The manual for Macintosh.

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Here's what the original box looked like.

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