Weekend Watching: 1985 “Computer Chronicles” discusses the all-new Macintosh

Chris Burns - Mar 29, 2013
Weekend Watching: 1985 “Computer Chronicles” discusses the all-new Macintosh

Back when Apple’s first Macintosh computer was introduced, there was an explosion of interest from not just geeks and nerds, but “the rest of us” too – that’s what this television program explores. What you’re about to see is an episode of the legendary Computer Chronicles, a show here dug up from the archives by Wired for your enjoyment. This episode goes by the name “MACINTOSH”, was directed by NICHOLS, and is program number 210, and is approximately 29:03 in length – there’s even a countdown beeper before it begins!

Obviously when there’s a program this old all about computers, even when it’s all “retro” and funny because of it, there’s some level of understanding you must have so far as how excited everyone seems about now-ancient tools and features. What’s particularly interesting about this video is how simple the presenters make each of the terms included in the still relatively new concept of visual computing.

What you’re going to learn is how the Apple Macintosh computer made working with a computer at home – or at school, or in the office – a reality for those that otherwise would never have considered using a computer. While the difference between working only with lines of code and working with pictures and renderings of objects wasn’t brand new at the time, the solidification of that kind of thinking was certainly taking place.

You’ll find that the Macintosh they’re working with here in the program was launched with two applications – one for typing (MacWrite), the other for drawing with your mouse (MacPaint). By the time this program had been filmed, as they say “the number of Mac products has skyrocketed, and now numbers in the hundreds.”


So consider this your mission for this weekend – see if you or one of your friends or family members would like to learn how computers work at their most basic. The talks here are applicable even to our most advanced systems – see how they make the magic happen now! And make sure you grab your healthy helping of Easter ham or otherwise non-denominational feast with the future on your mind!

BONUS: Save a collection of episodes lost to time for whatever reason, there’s a massive amount of episodes of Computer Chronicles up in the Internet Archive for your perusal now as well. More computer knowledge from the 1980s than you’ll know what to do with!

Have a peek at a few more “Weekend Watching” posts below to see how they ring your bell!

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