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Andrew Haglund

The Mac Turns 40

I saw several lovely posts celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Mac today. The 30th gave us the wonderful Mac Font and somehow feels like yesterday. A lot has changed in the world and my life since then, but one thing has been a constant:

I’ve always felt at home with the Mac.

I have a scattering of memories with the Mac throughout my life. I recall playing with vintage Macs in the school library in kindergarten or first-grade (circa 1996). I was blown away by the iMac G4 and it’s the reason I went into design. It showed how products can delight. I spent countless hours after school using my grandma’s iMac G5 to do homework play games.

But it wasn’t until I had my own Mac that I fell in love. After a couple summers working for the high school alumni newsletter (produced with G3, G4, and G5 Power Macs) I saved up and bought a 12” iBook G4. Bonus: it came with a silver iPod mini. I curated a music collection and customized every aspect of it with Candybar. After running through multiple (and expensive) power cables and batteries, I made a massive jump to a white Intel MacBook.

I used the hell out of that Mac. I learned Illustrator, Final Cut Pro, Garageband, Photoshop, and so many other tools that let me explore being creative. It was my portal to the internet and chatting with friends on Adium. It’s where I amassed an astounding amount of legally obtained music and movies that shaped my taste.

The Mac fits my brain in a way where I can create and work effortlessly. It’s always had a flourishing community of developers building utilities to extend platform. The flexibility and openness of the Mac is what makes it so special.1 From PowerPC to Intel then Intel to Apple Silicon I’ve seen huge leaps in what Mac are capable of. The Mac Goes On and I’ve enjoyed witnessing the evolution from Tiger to Sonoma.

Here’s to 40 more.

  1. I want this post to celebrate what I love about the Mac. These points on openness and flexibility highlight my, and governments around the world, frustrations with iOS, iPadOS, and (soon to be) visionOS. These systems are closed off and I think it does a lot more harm than good. ↩︎