It was 1995, and I was heading off to college. We had never owned in a computer. In fact, my parents just told me they had bought one.
I was told that the dorms would be wired for computers, and this was the time when personal computers were really coming down in price. My dad brought home a printout from a computer store at the mall of a machine they could build. It was 133 MHz Pentium, as I recall. I can’t remember what else, but it was like $1,400.
I’ve always been uncomfortable with my parents spending money, and they were already footing part of the bill for college, so I said no thanks. I figured I could use the new 24 hour computer lab on campus.
A few weeks later Dad mentioned his boss from work was selling his old computer. This guy always had the next best thing to play with, so the machine was probably worth looking at. I went over to check it out.
At this time I was not really aware of Apple or the Mac. Sure, I knew what they were and had used them at school, but up that point I had a greater memory of the Commodore 64 I had in grade school. There was an Apple IIe in junior high with the truly great Oregon Trail, but that was about it.
I saw that the computer for sale was a Mac Plus. I’m not sure what the going price for this was in 1995, but it originally sold for $2,600.
It had 1 MB RAM and came with a 20 MB external hard drive, an ImageWriter printer, and a bunch of software.
I so much liked the ease of using the word processor on the Macs at school (Classics), and the MacWrite program worked close enough. I took the Mac, and it cost the old man $400 bucks. It seems like a good deal for the time.
The Mac served me well the first year – until I ended up screwing it up when I trashed the Finder, because I didn’t know any better .
I remember writing a physics paper on black holes and using MacDraw to do the diagrams for the report. I got at least a 96 on it.
What kept me using the Mac was its ease of use and its ability to simply work. Coming from a nontechnical background, the Mac helped it all make sense.
I am now helping to integrate teachers with new MacBooks the state is providing to all high school teachers.
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