for me, the magic was to creates a working program in assembly languages,
it was common during Dos era,
dwindling in x86 windows era,
almost disapears in current 64-bit OS.
"what ###### is that", its the common response when I tried to preach about assembly to 64-bit masses.
Ah assembly.... I remember in comp sci when people took assembly they thought it was "an out dated dead language"..... yeah the closest thing to machine code is dead.... wish people would realize what complining and linking is actually doing... and that assembly can get you stuff done much faster then some of the predesigned libraries and functions... hence why we have __asm in C++ and similar things in some other languages...
And remember the Mac's tagline? "The Computer for the rest of us" ? It wasn't the techies among us who the Mac was trying to wow...the iPad and such devices today are only a logical extension of that. And certainly today, techies are not who the market caters to anymore. Which doesn't mean that there aren't exciting areas and diy projects to work on, play and tinker with for hobbyists, but it simply isn't the mainstream anymore, which imo is actually a very good thing. And in the end, someone still has to program all those wonderful new easy to use devices.
yeah but it was something new and different... it had a GUI based OS which was not common, hence the wow factor..... wow != dumbing down, it means something new that hasn't been widely done before..... iPhone wasn't a "wow" because smart phones existed before it.... iPad wasn't a wow, because honestly it was just a bigger iPhone.... iPod wasn't a wow, because there was hundreds of MP3 players before it.....
iMac Mini was kinda a wow because it was so small and compressed.... Touch screens where kinda a wow factor because average users couldn't afford them or have a use for them until recently... Bluray should of been a wow but the internet ruined that.... because there was no high def high fidelity storage method... internet still can't match 1:1 blu-ray quality streaming.... TiVo was a wow because DVR was a new idea