My First Mac

Love at First Use

William J Rose - 2001.12.11

Boy, was I excited when I bought my first PC. In 1985, $1,200 bought a PC clone built by my friend Donny - 8 MHz, 512 kb of RAM, dual 360 KB floppies, and a 14" RGB monitor.

I was happy using it, until a fateful day in 1987 when I saw and used a Macintosh SE. I was in graduate school and had a part time job in the engineering department. I actually used a fast IBM PC AT for my daily workings but was introduced to the SE for word processing by a coworker.

After using it for five minutes, I thought to myself, "this is how computing should be!" I had fallen in love with the Mac. I used it as much as I could and came to despise the PC I had at home. Not even the $250 spent on a 20 MB hard drive helped. I wanted a Mac. But being a starving graduate student, there was no way I could afford one.

After graduating, I had to leave the little SE. I pursued a Ph.D. and continued to use my PC until it was simply too underpowered to do what I needed. Still starving, there was no way I could get a hold of by beloved Mac, so I waited and used the i386 and i486 systems at school.

After graduating and getting a job, my thoughts turned to obtaining my dream. In 1994 I bought a discontinued Quadra 660av. I was in heaven! System 7.1 and all the shareware I could download via the GeoPort modem. Umax S900LI could download software, run Claris Works, and watch TV thanks to the Quadra's AV inputs - all at the same time and all on a 25 MHz machine.

I continued to use it until OS 8 came out and the 68040 was just too slow. I upgraded to a Umax S900, again more than half off in 1998. It ran everything I threw at it with blazing speed. Now it has been upgraded to a G4/350 running OS X.

But you know, I still pined for the little compact Mac SE I used more than a decade ago. So a month ago, when I saw an SE/30 at a yard sale for $7, I snapped it up. Now upgraded to System 7.5.5 with 32 MB of RAM and a 4 gig hard drive, I'm back in my glory days and loving it.

Telling my sister about how "cute" the SE/30 is, she remarked, "Only a nerd like you could think an computer was cute."

So I'm a nerd, but I'm a nerd with Macs....

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