[SIGCIS-Members] First instructional videos for Macintosh?

Melanie Swalwell melanie.swalwell at flinders.edu.au
Tue Sep 9 18:13:42 PDT 2014

Hi Luisa, Michael, et al.

Throwing my 2 cents in – there are some nice local Apple ads for “business computers” that have recently been posted to youtube by Nga Taonga Sound & Vision (new name for the New Zealand Film Archive).  The humour is very local -- complete with sheepdog references -- but they both convey the ‘gee whiz’ factor.  Both date from 1984.  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLivba1MW4WrVAB98gWczDbTyatDQ3fLYP

I also wanted to respond to Michael’s point on the question of needs/uses for a micro in the home prior to this time, which I’d echo. The question of use and what one would use a computer for was a recurrent question.  I have published on these discourses in the Australian context (“Questions of Microcomputers’ Usefulness in 1980s Australia”), if anyone’s interested.  The role of games is decisive, though I would also say that there was a strong homebrew game (and other software) writing movement, at least in this part of the world, so gaming on a micro was distinct from something like an Atari VCS.


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From: members-bounces at sigcis.org [mailto:members-bounces at sigcis.org] On Behalf Of Michael Newman
Sent: Wednesday, 10 September 2014 1:08 AM
To: Luisa Emmi Beck
Cc: members at sigcis.org
Subject: Re: [SIGCIS-Members] First instructional videos for Macintosh?

Hi Luisa, in my research on home computers from the 1970s I haven't found that the idea of personal computing was always represented as something new and incredible. Computers were familiar to people (many of whom had a negative impression of them as instruments of institutional control) and it wasn't clear what needs a home computer would satisfy. One persistent question in articles about home computers in magazines like Esquire was: what are you actually going to do with it? A frequent answer was that you would use a computer to learn how to use a computer. Probably the most common use for many people who bought a computer for the home was playing games, which wasn't so different from using something like an Atari VCS. In advertisements for home computers on TV, you will find some of that "new and incredible" tone -- they're selling a product, after all, though what they're selling is as much a platform for games as it is a computer for programming or other more "productive" uses. The "Atari brings the computer age home" campaign would offer some nice examples of this, and some (in poor quality) are on YouTube.

michael z. newman zigzigger<http://zigzigger.blogspot.com/> | @mznewman<http://twitter.com/mznewman>
assoc prof, journalism, advertising, & media studies, uw-milwaukee

On Mon, Sep 8, 2014 at 10:28 PM, Luisa Emmi Beck <emmi.beck at gmail.com<mailto:emmi.beck at gmail.com>> wrote:
Hi SIGCIS members,

I'm working on a radio story about the history of personal computing.

I would like to find instructional videos for the first Macintosh or other personal computers. The goal is to give listeners a sense for how new and incredible the idea of personal computing was in the 1970s. ​Does anyone on this list know of where I could find such videos? I haven't been able to find anything on YouTube but I'm hoping to be able to track down a few instructional videos (or at least the audio portion of the videos).


(510) 856.7475<tel:%28510%29%20856.7475>

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