January 24, 1984
On the morning that he and his teammates completed the software for the Macintosh,
Andy Hertzfeld had gone home exhausted and expected to stay in bed for at least a day.
But that afternoon, after only six hours of sleep, he drove back to the office.
He wanted to check in to see if there had been any problems, and most of his colleagues had done the same.
They were lounging around, dazed but excited, when Jobs walked in.
"Hey, pick yourselves up off the floor, you're not done yet!" he announced. "We need a demo for the intro!"
His plan was to dramatically unveil the Macintosh in front of a large audience
and have it show off some of its features to the inspirational theme from Chariots of Fire.
"It needs to be done by the weekend, to be ready for the rehearsals," he added.
They all groaned, Hertzfeld recalled, "but as we talked we realized that it would be fun to cook up something impressive."
The launch event was scheduled for the Apple annual stockholders' meeting on January 24-- eight days away--at the Flint Auditorium of De Anza Community College.
The television ad and the frenzy of press preview stories were the first two components
in what would become the Steve Jobs playbook for making the introduction of a new product seem like an epochal moment in world history.
The third component was the public unveiling of the product itself, amid fanfare and flourishes,
in front of an audience of adoring faithful mixed with journalists who were primed to be swept up in the excitement.
Hertzfeld pulled off the remarkable feat of writing a music player in two days so that the computer could play the Chariots of Fire theme.
But when Jobs heard it, he judged it lousy, so they decided to use a recording instead.
At the same time, Jobs was thrilled with a speech generator that turned text into spoken words with a charming electronic accent,
and he decided to make it part of the demo.
"I want the Macintosh to be the first computer to introduce itself!" he insisted.