Watch Steve Jobs compare the Mac to the invention of the telephone in this video not seen since 1984
(Head to 37:40 in the video to see the telphone comparison)
Harry McCracken tracked down this video from the launch of the Macintosh that hasn’t been seen since 1984. It turns out there was a second ‘launch demo’ a week after the original launch at the shareholder meeting and the videographer forgot he had the video of that (woops!) in his garage. The audience this time wasn’t wasn’t Apple shareholders but actually members of the Boston Computer Society and the general public, which made for a different type of presentation. The quality and tone of the video is often much different than the one given a week earlier at the Flint Center on the De Anza College campus near Apple’s then HQ.
Over at YouTube, you can watch the Cupertino presentation, along with a sort of a rough draft held as part of an Apple sales meeting in Hawaii in the fall of 1983. As for the BCS version, all 90 minutes of it are there in the video at the top of this post, available for the first time in their entirety since they were shot on January 30, 1984.
The Cupertino and Boston demos may have been based in part on the same script, but the audience, atmosphere and bonus materials were different. In Cupertino, Jobs spoke before investors, towards the end of a meeting which also included dreary matters such as an analysis of Apple’s cash flow.
What’s particularly interesting to me and not part of any other videos I’ve seen was Jobs’ comparison of the Mac (and eventually by extension GUI interfaces) to the invention of the telephone. Fast forward the video above to about 37:40 to see it. As McCracken puts it, the Mac wasn’t necessarily competing with IBM machines but competing with no computer at all. This metaphor is striking in hindsight.
The video also has a Q&A with the original Mac team which is also pretty interesting if you are into that kind of thing.
McCracken has much more on the video here which is definitely worth a read.
The transcript of the Telephone/Telegraph bit pasted below: