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Watching Steve Job’s launch of the Macintosh computer, makes me recall what a game-changer the Mac was. Up to that point, computers used MS-DOS or CP/M and were character-based machines. The Macintosh introduced the graphics desktop and the mouse, and forced Microsoft to develop Windows. Here’s Steve Jobs introducing the Macintosh. Listen to the gasps and cheers from the audience. This was something truly new.

The TV ad that Apple ran in 1984 was also a game-changer. It showed zoned-out people, presumably IBM customers, sitting staring at a screen, until a woman burst in and smashed the screen.

It is remarkable how much has changed in these 30 years. Now, Apple, instead of breaking barriers, creates them. They’ve created their own crystal prison that keeps their users zombified and staring at the iPhone or iPad screen. There is no room for new creativity beyond playing with photos or videos. They strictly control what apps can run on the iDevices, and what those apps can do.

More controlling, in my opinion, is the fact there is no scripting language or language compilers. Unlike the Macintosh, and most other computers, one cannot create new apps on the device. One cannot choose to have the device do new things.

In many ways, Apple has become that voice droning on in 1984, stifling creativity.

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