My Sappy Mac Story

All these 30th Anniversay Macintosh posts made me heart-wrenchingly nostalgic. I dug up some terrible thing I wrote 12 years ago and reworked it to be slightly less embarrassing.

The first Mac I ever used was my mother’s computer. It was a Mac Plus that my grandfather gave her in 1992 after we moved to Florida. It had a very loud, 20 MB, SCSI hard drive. My mother had specifically told us that the computer was for work only, not for playing games. Yeah, right.

My favorite game was Stunt Copter. I loved to drop the stunt guy on the horse – an early warning sign of my sadistic streak. Video game violence, etc.

My mother used that computer faithfully for a few years, but it was underpowered when she got it. We frequently spent time at Kinko’s so she could use their less-outdated IIci’s and IIsi’s. In 1993 she bought a Quadra 605 when it first came out. Again, this was a business computer, not a toy. One year we got a SupraExpress 33.6 modem and AOL 2.5. That is when I realized how incredibly slow it was compared to my friends’ computers. The Quadra 605 and I had a love/hate relationship.

When my mom bought a Compaq in 1998, she gave me the 605. I customized and upgraded that thing as much as I could (mostly just system extensions the decreased performance, and another 4 megs of RAM since the PPC upgrade card had been discontinued). Unfortunately, the monitor died, and it was replaced with an old PC monitor with a giant adapter.

I used that Quadra 605 all the way up until 1999, when I accidentally killed it by turning the computer around. The monitor adapter sticking out the back hit the wall and cracked the motherboard.

My school got rid of a LC II, so I picked it up. It couldn’t really do anything, but it was nice to have it around.

My mom’s office’s art department was getting rid of their computers, so my mom managed to get me one of them. It was a Performa 637CD. It was the first Mac I ever owned with a CD-ROM – a major failing of the Quadra my mom had selected.

I upgraded the Performa to OS 8 and maxed out the RAM. (68 MB). It had Photoshop 3 on it, so I was pretty happy. I gave it to my sister for Christmas and purchased a used Performa 6115CD for my younger brother. I was a pretty good Mac zealo– I mean, enthusiast. I also purchased an antiquated Quadra 700, and a used Performa 6360 for myself. I knew I couldn’t get a hot, new Mac, but I still wanted a Mac. In a time when Jobs was remaking the Mac, I was buying up the discarded, pre-Jobs machines.

In 1999, the school yearbook teacher switched over to using Quark XPress for the yearbook and bought three new 450 MHz G4s. She needed some guidance, though, so I became the “Technical Editor”. I also had to network the following: three G4s, two 7200/120s, six 5500/225s, a HP LaserJet 4MP, and a StyleWriter II (the same kind I used at home). We still passed Zip disks around to transfer most things.

I went off to college, and I had to build my own PC with Windows 2000, etc. because my major was something you could not use a Mac for.

I regret telling my mom to sell all the misfit Macs that I had accumulated – but only at times like this. I have no practical place to store those things, and even if I did, I would almost never turn it on. I did keep all the system disks though.

I spent most of the 2000’s wishing I had a Mac. MacWorld Keynotes were still a big deal and I’d pretty much want whatever was announced. After I graduated I kept inventing reasons why I couldn’t buy one. It wasn’t practical. Then, after my supposedly powerful PC laptop started having serious performance issues after only one year, I decided to go back to the Mac. I spent $2500 on a brand-new, 15” MacBook Pro (2007 edition).

When it came time to replace the 15” MBP with a newer model, I made sure to hold on to my old one. It’s a little easier to store than Performas, Quadras, and CRTs.

2014-01-24 09:46:27

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