Today is a big day in the history of computing. Apple's Macintosh debuted on January 24, 1984 to a world of applause. The Macintosh introduced an entirely new era of graphical computing for an eager generation.
I've tried to keep up with the news throughout the day. My Twitter timeline has been bombarded with 30th Anniversary tweets. Some of my favourite writers have written about their first Mac and the revolutionary impact it had on their lives.
But I've had a disheartening disconnect from these stories throughout the day. Despite the fact that I am typing this on a MacBook Pro, I can't relate to a life-changing experience with my first Mac. My first Mac didn't introduce a newfound tech hobby or a massively improved workflow. Those major innovations came before I started using computers for my work or my studies. I'm too young to relate to the celebration going on today.
So what started this hobby, then? Simple: the iPad.
There will be millions of computer users over the next decade who will find pleasure in the technological world as a result of the iPad. For many users, the iPad is the quintessential computing device; thin, portable and extremely simple to operate, the iPad represents much the same revolutionary impact as the original Macintosh. Many children today are introduced to computers via the iPad. Although I have surpassed my childhood, I will be able to better relate to this younger generation in the future — we will be the first generation who fully experienced the iPad Revolution.
For some, the Mac was the pushing of the snowball down the hill, if you will. Those great writers on my Twitter feed can all hearken back to a specific day or a specific purchase that created their technological fantasies. The Mac literally changed the world in 1984. It created an intense passion for hardware and software appropriately rolled into a humane formula. My favourite online writers and journalists were all lucky enough to experience this rush of passion in the '80s and '90s.
But the iPad also changed the world in 2010. The iPad has — and, more importantly, will continue to — inspire people to embrace technology and use it to improve the world around them. I won't be surprised if we experience the same kind of exuberant celebration in 2040. When that day rolls around, at least I'll be able to celebrate along with the rest of my Twitter feed.
For now, I'll rest assured knowing the Mac has its day to shine. I just wonder how much longer it will be shining.