Just unearthed: Steve Jobs’ first public demo of Mac

This is not the video we published this past Friday. That one was about five minutes long. This one is Steve Jobs presenting to a much more technical audience, the Boston Computer Society.

The video is about an hour and thirty six minutes long. It includes Steve talking about the Mac technology, then doing his “pull the Mac out of the bag” demo. But there’s so much more. There’s the 1984 commercial, along with a series of other commercials that ran at the time. There’s a slide show showing the Mac culture and marketing plans. There’s Steve pitching low cost networking, printing, compatibility with mainframes, file servers, and even Unix compatibility. Fascinating.

The story of how the presentation and this video came to be is also fascinating. Follow the headline link to read all about it.

This presentation, at Apple’s annual shareholder meeting on January 24, is the stuff of tech-history legend. What’s not so well remembered: Jobs did it all twice, in less than a week. Six days after unveiling the Mac at the Flint Center on the De Anza College campus near the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., he performed his show all over again at the monthly general meeting of the Boston Computer Society. His host, Jonathan Rotenberg, was a 20-year-old student at Brown University who’d co-founded the BCS in 1977 at the age of 13.

Over at YouTube, you can watch the Cupertino presentation, along with a sort of a rough draft held as part of an Apple sales meeting in Hawaii in the fall of 1983. As for the BCS version, all 90 minutes of it are there in the video at the top of this post, available for the first time in their entirety since they were shot on January 30, 1984.

The Cupertino and Boston demos may have been based in part on the same script, but the audience, atmosphere and bonus materials were different. In Cupertino, Jobs spoke before investors, towards the end of a meeting which also included dreary matters such as an analysis of Apple’s cash flow. In Boston, he presented to the kind of people who Apple hoped would buy Macs. You didn’t even have to pay the BCS’s $24 annual membership fee to get in, which meant that the meeting was the closest thing the computer had to a launch event intended for the general public.

Here’s the video. Big thanks to Cristofer Cruz for his help with the embed code.