I’ve been a Mac user since 1990. This month marks the 20th anniversary of the Macintosh, so I figured I may as well make an accounting of all the Macs I’ve owned.
The first was one of those boxy little Macs with the tiny screen — they called it the Macintosh SE. It had a 20-megabyte hard drive, five megs of RAM, and a black and white screen. I think I paid $800 for it, secondhand. It also came with one of the earliest porn apps, “Macplaymate,” which allowed the user to help a digital girl disrobe and do sexy things. Fun for about a week. First addition I bought was an external hard drive … $400 for 100 megs.
The second was a Mac IIsi — my first Mac with color monitor. I paid $2,500 for it in 1990, plus the trade-in of my old Mac SE. The IIsi had 5 megs of RAM, upgradeable to 17, which cost $800 or so. One of my first additions was a CD-ROM drive. The IIsi was a sturdy little beast, but slow, underpowered and lacking in upgrade potential. Didn’t take long for me to have visions of new digital sugarplums.
In the early 1990s, Apple came out with its Power PC line, based on a more powerful processor. I, of course, had to have one. I bought a Power Macintosh 7500 in 1995 for about $2,500. It came with a CD-ROM drive built in and had room for a lot more RAM, by the standards of the day. I think I may have had a whopping 96 megs of it. Back then it was a big deal to have a 1-gigabyte hard drive. Ah, the good old days. I built my first Web site on this machine.
In the fall of 1998 I had the upgrade itch again, so I bought one of the G3 Minitowers. It cost about $3,000. This one had room for tons of RAM (I eventually maxed it out 768 megs when RAM got dirt cheap after tech bubble popped.) My third Mac was the first one that really felt fast and powerful. It also was my last Mac with a floppy drive. We were still using it around our house up until this month, when we donated it to Melissa’s brother.
Two years ago, Melissa had some money burning a hole in her pocket so she bought me a Quicksilver G4 for Christmas. She splurged on the flat-panel Apple Studio Display and an Ipod, which had just come on the market back then. The G4 is super fast and super powerful, though I suspect Apple has done what it feared most: built me a computer I may never have to replace.
Finally, my most recent Mac is a G4 iBook laptop. It’s a handy little ditty for surfing the Web and blogging from the living room couch, and the wireless access is way cool. It’s fast and powerful for a laptop; boots up in a jiffy even running OSX. Battery life is 3-4 hours … passable but not wonderful.
Overall I’ve had wonderful experience with Macs. For a dark stretch in the mid-90s I had to recommend people buy PCs because Apple was so inept. But these days there’s not much of a price to be paid for owning a Mac, and you get great equipment built stylishly that works well.