My First Mac

Five Years with Macs

Vincent Crowley

Vincenzo lives in Australia, where he enjoys contributing to Quadlist and other Low End Mac email lists - and fixing up older Macs for first-time users.

Unlike some others, I am not a long time computer user. I first saw a punch card in 1973 - never used them. In 1988, while walking through a shopping mall, I saw an Amiga 500 running a "screen saver," I think, which absolutely blew me away watching these balls rising and falling from the goo.

In 1994 I decided that computers can't be that scary. So I went to the news agents and bought about six magazines. I knew there were IBM compatibles and Macs, but that was it, apart from the fact that Macs were more expensive. So I worked out what my minimum requirements were - 2x CD ROM, at least 5 MB RAM, and a SVGA monitor.

Every PC shop I went to (seven) in my home town, showed me something similar to what I wanted, but none would allow me to touch them or use them. I happened to be passing the sole Apple distributor for 1500k (950 miles), so I called in. The guy spent an hour and a half showing and teaching my then-six-year-old daughter and I how they work. I brought my wife back the next day, and he took an hour of his time to show her.

The end result, based purely on pre-sales service, was that we bought our first computer, an LC 575 with 5/160, a colour StyleWriter Pro printer, and $2500 dollars worth of software. All compliments of an insurance policy taken out twenty years prior and forgotten about.

We still own the computer. It now sports 36 MB RAM, a full 040, and a 260 MB hard drive. It runs beautifully. Up until PowerBook 3400several months ago it was the main machine I used. I have since switched to a PowerBook 3400/200. The 575 last froze or crashed in November 1998. My wife uses it as a Jukebox, and my three children use it for homework and games, along with their own computer.

"Heather," our LC 575, has a permanent place within this family and will never be sold. Who could give away their first child? We have since had a few more children. Some fostered for a short period, and others to join "Heather" as permanent members.


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