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A Special Look Back: Steve Jobs and the Mac in 1984

February 24, 2023
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Today marks what would have been the 68th birthday of Steve Jobs, the brilliant and visionary co-founder who changed the world with the introduction of Apple and its products. To mark the occasion, the Steve Jobs Archive has released a special photograph showing Jobs closely examining a person using the recently released Macintosh in a store window in New Orleans in 1984.

The tale behind this snapshot has been shared by Leslie Berlin, the founding Executive Director of the Steve Jobs archive. Back in 1984, Jobs had been invited to a software conference in the city of New Orleans. That night, he and his friend Jean Pigozzi, a “serious amateur photographer”, made their way down O’Keefe Avenue searching for dinner when they happened upon a scene in the window of a store.

Jobs was so enthralled by what was being shown that he stopped dead in his tracks to take in the scene. What was it that held his attention so closely? It was none other than the newly released Macintosh, which had only been launched to the public a mere month prior. As Jobs looked on, Berlin suggests that he had no notion at the time of what would become of the Macintosh. All the inventor knew in that moment was that someone was using something of his own creation.

It’s no secret that the Macintosh would eventually help revolutionize the computing industry. Unfortunately, the product itself struggled to generate significant sales for Apple. It was only months afterwards, in 1985, that Jobs would be fired from the company. For the next 11 years of his life, Jobs would help establish both Pixar and NeXT, paving the way for his eventual return to Apple.

At this time, the company was on the brink of bankruptcy – something Jobs himself brought to a complete turnaround, leading Apple to become the most valuable company in the world while still alive. Berlin claims that at the moment the picture was taken, Jobs had no clue what the future held, the only thing that was certain was the fact that someone was actually using the product he had poured himself into.

And so, on Jobs’ 68th birthday, we get to take a look back to a moment in time where he stands in its purest form, simply observing with admiration a single user of his invention nearly 40 years ago.

In celebration of Steve Jobs’ birthday, the Steve Jobs Archive project has been created to showcase the life and work of the great innovator. This project follows the journey of Jobs, from the launch of the Macintosh in 1984 all the way to the present day. Offering a ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse into the life of the tech giant, this archive is the perfect way to honour Jobs’ legendary life.

The Steve Jobs Archive project also has a newsletter that interested readers can subscribe to. Why not take the time to find out more about Jobs and the amazing things that he achieved in his lifetime?

Steve Jobs was an amazing individual, who continues to have a lasting impact on the world today. Through his work, he made technology accessible and convenient to all – a gift that will live on with his memory. Let’s take a day to honor the legacy of Steve Jobs, and celebrate the innovative genius he was and still is.

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