Behind The Scenes: Saving the 1984 Steve Jobs Mac Demo Video


Last weekend, Harry McCracken from TIME posted an exclusive never-before-seen video of Steve Jobs demoing the 1984 Macintosh at a Boston Computer Society event, on January 30, 1984.

The video of Jobs demoing the Mac in 1984, which was on a now-obsolete tape format called U-matic, was saved by Glenn Koenig, the BCS’s videographer. Glenn has share a few pictures of the setup he used to extract the video from its fragile tape and into a format everyone can enjoy.

In the picture below, Glenn shows off the U-matic tape, which Sony began developing in the late 1960s for consumers, though it turned out it was more popular in education and corporate use.


Glenn used an industrial-strength U-matic VCR for the video transfer, which he purchased on eBay for $249 and spent another $180 to get it serviced. The Mac Pro, which you can see in the photo below the VCR, was used to digitize the video coming off the U-matic tape. An iMac was then used to edit the video.

Umatic_VCR iMac_uMactic

Thanks to Glenn we can now enjoy the original video of Jobs demoing the Macintosh in 1984 to the Boston Computer Society.

[via TIME Tech]


  • Archie

    Dear fiends, I am about to amaze you. I am going to amaze you with a story of a man. This wasn’t just any man. He was man who took an analog video….and what did he do with it? You’re not going to believe it, friends. This man…he digitized it. It’s a process that has only been carried out 500 million previous times. And now, now my friends, I’m here to tell you the story, this amazing newsworthy story…about the man, the man who took a video from analog and converted it to digital. (GONG)

  • Billybob

    Horrible attempt at humour, not funny at all. If you’re going to troll try to say something clever at least, something like Archie’s mom slept over at my house last night and makes an amazing scrambled eggs.

  • WatDah

    No way… You mean someone was actually allowed to go behind the scenes with Mr. Koenig, and he actually let us know the secret of how he took an old video from 1984, and digitized it so that people of this era can keep reposting it on the web? Mind. Blown.

  • Already been said 🙂

  • WatDah

    Can’t say enough =)

  • Canolli

    Archie. Archie. Archie … It’s not the process. It’s the content that makes this newsworthy. Pay attention. There’s gonna be a quiz …

  • Tim

    Actually it’s ridiculous sometimes how far Apple fans (I own an iphone), will go to describe the lore of the company and its history. Like the original poster attempted to convey, all the dude did was convert a video. This isn’t exciting or anything that people should care about, but because Apple fanaticism is what it is, we’re reading articles about some guy performing a menial task in the clog of something noteworthy (the content of the video).