Macs Are Where I Want to Be

As a child of the 1970s (albeit by only two months), I grew up when computing was at its ripest. I started my computing venture with the likes of a Commodore 64 and Acorn 3010.

I bought an old 486 from my employer when I first started work, and it was my first step into the Windows world. A colleague built me a Pentium 133 machine (which at the time was top of the range), and it went through many upgrades until I sold it to buy a laptop for portability.

It wasn’t until 2000 that I entered the Mac world at work. After years of owning a PC, I knew there had to be something different. Progressing through each version of Windows, I knew there had to be a better alternative. I had been a keen observer of Macs for a while, but they were way out of my price range.

I began my professional career on an old Performa 5200CD/LC in a publishing house. A year later I blagged a free Beige G3 333 MHz tower running OS 9. I then upgraded to an iMac G3, slot loading 450 MHz model packed with 384 MB of RAM running OS X. I had this for a few years, until the call of a G4 became too much and I bought my first eMac, a 1 GHz G4 and my first brand new Mac.

From the heady days of OS 9 on the Beige G3 through to the fantastic OS X 10.5 “Leopard”, I know Macs are amazing and where I want to be. Compared to Windows, the simplicity and cleanness is amazing.

I needed a laptop and bought an old PowerBook G3 Lombard, which of all my computers is the one I miss the most. I upgraded to a G4 PowerBook, which I sold for a Clamshell G3 iBook. After only days of using it, I sold it and bought an old PowerBook G3 WallStreet, but it didn’t cut it, so I sold it and left the laptop market in favour of a smartphone/PDA – my Nokia E61.

I recently picked up another PowerBook G3 Lombard to restore, and it has gone very well.

I sold my G4 eMac and moved straight to a 1.83 GHz Core Duo Intel iMac (skipping the G5), which I have today.

I have had over 15 Macs in such a short time, ranging from iMac G3s, eMacs, Power Mac G3s and G4s, PowerBook G3s and G4s, iBook G3s, LC IIs, Classic II, SE/30, and even a Newton 2000.

I have used every version of both Windows and the Mac OS since the early 90s and versed myself well in them. I have strayed even further from the confines of Microsoft by delving into the weird world of Linux.

I have ripped open every computer I’ve owned (except my Intel iMac – I am so tempted). Most Macs aren’t supposed to be “user serviceable” according to Apple, but that doesn’t stop me. From building a PC from scratch, replacing hard drives and optical drives in iBooks, fitting new hard drives in eMacs, or logic board replacements in iMacs – to name but a few – I have developed a wealth of knowledge.

I’ve never been content with just using a computer; I have to know how everything works and how to fix it in both software and hardware terms, whether it be installing an operating system (Mac, Windows, or Linux), setting up a small network (wired or wireless), or resolving a software or hardware conflict.

More recently I have been learning HTML and CSS and using it to build my own Mac specific website.

I have earned the reputation of nerd and am proud to live up to it. To people I know, I am a one-stop-shop for computer problems and questions. I have made it my mission to preach the benefits of Macs and the Mac operating system.

From a professional angle, I have been a business journalist and graphic designer for 10 years. I am taking a career break and an opportunity to spend time with my wife and three children; I am looking for a change of direction. A future in computer repair may be my new direction and also the basis for this column on Low End Mac, one of my most visited websites – and now an opportunity to write and share my experiences with others.

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