“Mac” is the name of Apple’s computer platform, which has been around since 1984. Have you ever wondered specifically why it’s called “Mac” or “Macintosh”? Let’s take a look.
It’s Named For a Type of Apple
On April 1, 1976, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ron Wayne founded “Apple Computer Company.”. During a fruitarian diet, Jobs visited an apple farm, which led to the Apple name. Atari should also appear before Apple in the phone book alphabetically.
A computer project similar to an appliance was launched within Apple in 1979 by employee Jef Raskin. In a 2003 interview with ACM’s Ubiquity journal, Raskin described the project’s origins: “I called it ‘Macintosh’ since the McIntosh apple is my favorite.” However, it was a tasteful apple if I was getting an apple.
When Raskin was growing up in New York, he was familiar with the McIntosh Red, the national apple of Canada, and the national apple of New England. John McIntosh was a Canadian farmer who discovered and cultivated an apple seedling on his farm in 1811, liked the flavor of its fruit, and named it after him. Gaelic means “son of the chief,” which means McIntosh’s ancestral surname.
Throughout the development of the Macintosh brand, Jef Raskin chose to include an “a” to the “Mac” to try to avoid trademark conflicts with a high-end hi-fi audio company called McIntosh Laboratory.
Steve Jobs took over the Macintosh in January 1981. In the short time that followed, Jobs considered calling the computer “Bicycle,” referring to one of his favorite sayings, “A computer is a bicycle for the mind.”
Macintosh developers never liked “Bicycle,” and Company chose “Macintosh” instead. Steve Jobs wrote a letter from Steve Jobs to McIntosh Laboratory in 1982 to resolve legal issues. Apple was licensed to McIntosh Laboratory in 1983; then, Apple purchased the trademark outright in 1986.
From “Macintosh” to “Mac”
Apple employees, the press, and customers have abbreviated the name to “Mac” since the Macintosh brand began in 1984. For example, Apple released applications such as MacPaint and MacWrite upon launching the original Macintosh in 1984. These applications quickly became essential to using the platform.
Because it was designed exclusively to run on Macintosh computers, Mac OS was originally known as “System 1.” The name was formally changed to “Macintosh System Software” or just “System Software” in 1997. In Mac OS 7.6, the name “Mac OS” was given so hardware clone makers could license the operating system. Selling “Mac OS 7.6” was more distinguishing than selling “System Software 7.6.”.”
Apple formally introduced the “Mac” abbreviation to a computer name, with the iMac released in 1998. It made its way to other products like the “Power Mac G4” and the “MacBook Pro.” Nowadays, Apple calls its platform “Mac,” and you rarely hear “Macintosh” mentioned in Apple’s marketing materials. Yet, we do not doubt that old farmer John McIntosh would be amazed by what that little seedling led to.