Apple Computer revolutionized the personal computer business with the introduction of the Macintosh in early 1984. Macintosh not only refers to the model of the computer but also the operating system called the Mac OS. Macs were the first computers to feature a graphical user interface (GUI) that utilizes windows, icons, and a mouse, thereby making it easy for most anyone to use a computer. Rather than having to learn a complex set of commands to type, a user can point to a selection on a menu and click a mouse button. Moreover, the GUI is embedded into the operating system, so all Mac applications have a similar appearance. Once a user becomes familiar with one application, he or she will be familiar with other applications. In fact, it's been acknowledged that the success of the Macintosh GUI began a new age of graphics-based applications and operating systems. (Indeed, the Windows 95 version looked more like a Mac than Windows 3.0 because it copied many features from the Mac.)
There are now many different Macintosh models, with varying degrees of speed and power (and color combinations), based on the PowerPC microprocessor. People may ask you what kind of computer you have and, as a newbie, you can say "a Mac" or "a PC." (Even though a Mac is a PC, people generally use the term PC to refer to PC-compatible computers, such as IBM, Dell, Sony, and HP.) It used to be that you'd answer "a Mac" or "an IBM" because those were essentially the only two computers that individuals owned (see: IBM-compatible). The Macintosh has a large and loyal following of users, and it is the preference of graphic designers. Like the Internet, the Mac literally transformed computing culture.