Reflecting on Steve Jobs’ abrupt departure from the CEO position at Apple yesterday, our elder siblings at Consumer Reports reminisced about iconic products of the Jobs era. They reached back into the archives and found the January 1985 review of the original Macintosh: “Is this the computer you already know how to use?” asked the headline. Maybe. While the operating system then seemed like “a dazzling display of technical wizardry,” they deemed the Atari 800XL a better choice for writing long(ish) documents.
The Mac’s drawback, you see, was its limited memory:
After you’ve loaded the Macwrite program and its operating system, there’s only enough room left in the computer’s memory for about 8 1/2 single-spaced typewritten pages. By contrast, you could type some 12 pages in the inexpensive Atari 800XL.
While the original Mac only had 128 KB of memory, the PDF download below of the review is 3.2 MB.
1985 Apple Macintosh Review: “The easiest computer we’ve ever seen” [Consumer Reports Electronics]
The Apple Macintosh: Is this the computer you already know how to use? [Consumer Reports] (PDF)