A Mac Plus for College
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 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.
The Mac Plus
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 was 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 this 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.
Share the story of your first Mac experience by emailing with "My First Mac" as your subject.
Recent My First Mac articles
- A Second Spring for PowerPC Macs, 2011.09.28. Apple has abandoned the Classic Mac OS, PowerPC Macs, and PowerPC software, but that doesn't have to mean an end for new development.
- Flash, YouTube, and .docx File Conversion for Mac OS 9, 2011.04.05. Although Adobe and Microsoft dropped OS 9 support years ago, there are workarounds for viewing YouTube videos and using Word documents.
- Thanks for the IBM PC, Dad, 2009.01.09. Dad, thanks for bringing home that first IBM PC way back in 1981.
- More in the My First Mac index.
Links for the Day
- Mac of the Day: Centris 610, introduced 1993.02.10. This was the Mac we used when we started Low End Mac in 1997.
- May 24 in LEM history: 99: Mac sales up, iMac sales down? - 01: Speeding up digital photography - 02: The Internet, research, and plagiarism - 04: NewerTech TiBook battery - Optical mice from Contour - 06: Power Mac today or Intel tomorrow? - 07: G5: Apple's last fling with PowerPC - G3: From 233 MHz to 1.1 GHz
- Support Low End Mac
Recent Content on Low End Mac
- World Book Encyclopedia 2012 DVD, Tommy Thomas, Reviews, 2013.03.05. "You may be asking yourself, in an age of Wikipedia and instant information, is World Book still relevant?"
- Vintage Computer Festival SouthEast, April 20-21, 2013, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2013.02.25. Old Apple gear and old PCs.
- iMessage: The Ultimate Messaging Service?, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2013.02.21. In most ways, Apple's iMessage is far superior to BlackBerry Messenger.
- More links in our archive.
- Best Mac mini Deals
- Best 13" MacBook Pro Deals
- Best Intel iMac Deals
- Best iPod touch Deals
- Best iPhone Deals
- Best iPod nano Deals
- Best iPod classic Deals
- Best Apple TV Prices
- More deals in our archive.
Go to the My First Mac index.
Low End Mac Reader Specials
Cult of Mac
Shrine of Apple
The Mac Observer
Accelerate Your Mac
The Vintage Mac Museum
Mac Driver Museum
System 6 Heaven
System 7 Today
the pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ