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The Mac at 40

Posted on Thursday, January 25th, 2024

Dave!This is the post I was planning to write yesterday on the occasion of the Macintosh's 40th anniversary. But after hat happened, I'm having to write it today.

The first compputer not programmed with punchcards that I ever used was an Apple ][ at school. But the first computer I owned at home was an Atari 800. My parents went for the big ticket version instead off the cheaper Atari 400, which meant I had glorious full-sized physical keys instead of an impossible-to-type-on membrane keyboard. From there I migrated to the Atari 1040 ST, and later the Atari TT.

It was at this point that I got a scanner, which I wanted so I could scan my drawings into my computer. It was huge and very, very expensive. And it didn't work directly with an Atari, but required kludgy drivers to operate. Badly.

Included with the scanner was a copy of Photoshop.

Which ran on Macintosh only.

Frustrated with the limitations and lack of software for the Atari, I saved up for a Mac, at last. It was the cheapest model I could get, a Mac Performa 600 (a poor man's Mac Quadra, which was the model I coveted). I bought it at Sears on credit. The very next month, it was discontinued, and I could have gotten a more powerful machine for the same money (or saved a chunk on my now-outdated model), but thems the breaks...

The Apple Macintosh Performa 600

My memory of what came after is hazy. I believe my next Mac was actually a Mac clone by Power computing. Then there was a Mac G3 tower of some kind that I bought and ended up selling... a Power Mac G4 Cube (which remains my favorite Mac design ever, even though it wasn't all that powerful)... a number of MacBook laptops (culminating with my MacBook Pro M2 Max I'm using now)... a few iMacs (culminating with my iMac M1 desktop that I have now)... not to mention the legion of Macs that I've had at work (culminating in the Mac Studio M1 Ultra).

And eventually, just to satisfy the completist in me, I ended up buying one of the original models from the early years of the Mac, a Macintosh 512K. Not sure if it still works, as it's been over a decade since I turned it on, but it's still collecting dust in my garage.

We won't mention the various other Apple products that have accompanied my Macs over the years. QuickTake cameras, a Newton Message Pad, all kinds of iPods, iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, and such. I'm a certified Apple Whore through and through who bleeds in six colors.

So, yeah, that's a brief history of the Mac and Me. A computer that, despite my growing hatred of Apple, is still my favorite kind of computer to use.

At least for now.

I'm still waiting for computer implants to come along.

Maybe in another 4o years.

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Categories: Apple Stuff 2024Click To It: Permalink


  1. martymankins says:

    I had an Atari 800. Loved it. Wish I would have kept it. My first Mac was the Mac 512k (Fat Mac) with external floppy. I also owned a Power Computing Mac clone (I still have that one running OS 9 but it’s been at least 5 years since I last turned it on). Various other models over the years to what I used now – iMac 27-inch 5K 2017 and a MacBook Air M1.

    I have had a few Macs I really hated, with the Mac mini 2014 model at the top of that list.

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