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The Macintosh Project's development started in late 1979, and was originally intended to be a low-end portable 8-bit computer. Starting in 1981, the Macintosh (and the Lisa, which was being developed at the same time) became influenced by the design of Xerox's Alto and Star. The prototype Macintosh was revamped into a 16/32 bit system, its OS was originally created on the Apple II, ported onto the Lisa for further development and incorporated code from the Apple ///'s OS. It was completed in late 1983, and shipped in 1984.
The Macintosh is not backwards compatible with the Apple II, except for the Apple II Card add-on for Macs in the early 90's until about '95.
The Mac OS, retroactively called "Classic" since OSX's release, lasted longer than originally intended. It was meant to have a successor in the mid 90's (first Copland, then Taligent), but ultimately lasted until the end of 2001, with OSX supporting it until 2006.
The early Mac-tans were a second branch the the Apple Family that would later become the House of Mac. Before the OS Wars, the Classic Mac-tans were posh fashionistas and artisans; more like their older sister and predecessor Lisa-tan, and sharply contrasting with the rugged and down-to-earth Apple II-tan. The OS Wars were devastating to them, and they had to change their ways in order to survive, and find a new successor since their bloodline couldn't be sustained much longer. They found a successor in NeXTSTEP-tan and her descendants, the Mac OSX-tans.
Nowadays, they are still artists and writers who love fashion, but are a lot more resourceful and humble than they were before. When not assisting the OSX-tans, they like to take part in the retrocomputing scene.
They are half-relatives to the Pre-Macintosh line through Apple ///'s SOS. They don't have blood relation to the A/UX, NeXTSTEP and the Mac OSX line, but share strong cultural ties with them.
While mainly out of the limelight due to obsolescence, they do their best to help their OSX stepsisters, and arrange social events at the Mac House.