My First Mac

The Wonders Never Cease

Frank Ieraci - 2001.12.31

The year was 1980-something. My Dad came home with the latest item that "fell offa da truck" - a spanking new WYSE PC. It was one of the first IBM clones, it ran DOS, and it boasted a color screen and a 10 meg hard drive.

Having no computer experience at all it was beyond frustrating trying to use it, and my Dad's eighth-grade Italian education and years of masonry and restaurant experience . . . well, let's say he was no source of enlightenment there behind the mouse. The two phone book sized user manuals were boring and full of so much "pertinent info" they were almost useless.

The WYSE sat around for many years. My younger brother had figured out enough to boot up a couple of games, and he was content with that. No one else touched it because of the disappointment it never failed to give when a bright eyed boy would sit at its keyboard with visions of the powerful untapped world of personal computing only to be stonewalled by the C: prompt, and those fateful words "Abort? Retry? Ignore?"

Years later, the printing industry, with which I fell enamored, went digital. I had been trained extensively in conventional lithographic offset and was a journeyman in my trade when the Mac IIbottom seemed to fall out, yielding to desktop publishing and clunky, proprietary computer imaging systems. I scored an apprentice position learning a DuPont scanning system and this happened to interface with an Apple IIfx running Adobe Photoshop, version 2.0. I was hooked. All my tinkering and exploring was intuitive, fruitful, and it was fun! Fellow users were very happy to show me - brag to me - about what the Mac could do.

It wasn't long before I shelled out cash for a used Centris 610 of my own. It was a powerful machine at that time and had, wonder of wonders, a built in CD drive and a whopping 250 meg hard drive!

The wonders never ceased after that.

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