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When the Apple Macintosh personal computer was released in 1984, it was serious business, making its debut in an expensive television commercial directed by movie great Ridley Scott that aired during Super Bowl XVIII.
But the first two people in Britain to buy one of the desktops were far from serious. Those buyers were Douglas Adams, the author beloved for his Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series of humorous sci-fi novels, and fellow multi-talented Brit Stephen Fry, renowned for his comedic acting turns in Jeeves and Wooster and Blackadder.
At one point, Adams confessed that he couldn't get enough of the computer, saying "I adore my family of however many Macintoshes it is that I've recklessly accumulated over the years." For his part, Fry lamented giving away his original Macintosh, telling the BBC that "I wish I still had it. I remember giving it away in 1986 to a primary school in a village in Norfolk."
All about Apple:
- The Macintosh was a hit with many other people, of course. Within the first few months of sales, 70,000 units of the original Macintosh were sold.
- The Apple Lisa was the first attempt at selling a Macintosh computer, but the price tag of nearly $10,000 USD kept buyers away.
- The first portable Macintosh was introduced in 1989; it weighed 16 pounds (7.3 kg) and cost $6,500 USD.