The most celebrated part of that original Mac was its software
interface, which brimmed with new ideas, despite the lazy
conventional wisdom that it merely imitated work done at
Xerox’s PARC lab. But at the moment, I’m most fascinated by
its industrial design. That petite all-in-one beige case, created
by Jerry Manock and Terry Oyama, was unlike anything anyone had
seen until then — at least outside of a kitchen. [...]
But if all the first Mac inspires is nostalgia, we’ve lost sight
of how daring it was. Unlike Apple’s first blockbuster PC, the
Apple II, it had a built-in display but no integrated
keyboard. It also sacrificed most of the Apple II’s defining
features, such as its dazzling color graphics and expansion slots.
In retrospect, it’s among the gutsiest gambits Apple ever made.
Imagine the company introducing a new smartphone that has
virtually nothing in common with the iPhone. You can’t — or at
least it strains my imagination.
Turns out it was the best concept for a computer anyone has ever devised.