A hoard of Steve Jobs videos are resurfacing as part of the Macintosh 30th anniversary, but one particular piece of footage is catching everyone’s eye: the first public demo of the Mac in 1984.
Time reporter Harry McCracken was lucky enough to locate a Boston-area videographer who still had the original tape in storage.
They had their techies convert the now-obsolete U-matic format into something today’s computers can read, and now the 1/2-hour film is available online for watching.
Usually these tapes are of poor quality, but McCracken says, “Fortunately for posterity, the production values on the video version of the meeting are quite good — far better than what Apple managed for the shareholder meeting.”
He explains that “Apple sprung for multiple cameras, one of which was manned by the BCS’s [videographer Glenn] Koenig. Moments with subpar camera work in the Cupertino video, such as when Jobs pulls the Mac out of its bag and boots it up, are nicely shot in this one.”
The footage is actually a rough cut of the version which the Computer History Museum is holding on to for preservation.
Some moments have been reconstructed, such as the slides Jobs shows and the moment when he shows a blurry slide of the IBM PC, something that created a bit of controversy in the attending crowd.
“Let’s be fair,” Jobs said, showing the blurred IBM computer.
According to McCracken, “the blurring is a recreation of what really happened.”
“To this day, [BCS co-founder Jonathan] Rotenberg isn’t sure whether it was a prank on Apple’s part or a bona-fide technical glitch,” he adds.
Without further ado, we invite you to watch Apple’s First Public Demo of the Mac in 1984 and remember what a great visionary Steve Jobs was. The iconic 1984 TV ad is also in there.