My First Mac

Happiness is a Pentium Mac

Quinn Evans - 2001.06.26

I've been into computers for half of my life....

I guess you could say I'm a hacker in the original meaning of the term. Did you know that hacker originally meant someone that loves computers so much that they sometimes forget to eat drink or sleep while working on them?

My first computer was a Timex Sinclair 1000 that had a bad cassette interface, so I couldn't even save the programs I wrote. I had to write them down on a piece of paper.

My first really functional computer (well, as functional as a Wintel PC can be) was a 150MHz Pentium with 24 MB of RAM and a 4 gig hard disk. I caught the computer bug right away. I learned everything I could about Windows 95 and DOS, and I started experimenting with Linux and OS/2.

I kept going with PCs for years. But one day I was at school and the school had suddenly decided upon a mandatory Macintosh LCtyping class - administered on Macs! They were old LCs, if I remember correctly.

They were so much more comfortable to work on than the PCs I had spent years on, it was almost unbelievable! I eventually memorized the supervisor's walking routine and managed to start sneaking my way into exploring the Macs. It was love at first click.

One day the supervisor noticed and called me into his office. I thought I was in big trouble, but he didn't seem mad - I was so relieved!

He asked me if I liked the computers, and I reluctantly answered yes. He warmed up and started talking about how I reminded him of how he got into computers (of course, I had been into them for years, but he didn't know that) and said that if I wanted to, I could stay in at lunch breaks or after school and help him work on the computers. I excitedly accepted.

I kept working on the Macs in the school for a year, then finally found an old Mac Plus at a thrift store for $10. I bought it, made a System 7.0.1 boot disk from one of the LCs at school, and booted up the Plus. I was so happy! It only had a black and white screen and 4 MB of memory, but I loved it.

I later found a Macintosh IIsi at a thrift store for $35 with a 14" Colour Apple AudioVision monitor, extended keyboard, and old "sandbox" mouse. It had 9 MB memory and a 220 MB SCSI hard drive. This computer is still in use today with multiple hardware upgrades: It now has 33 MB memory, a 1 gig hard drive, a PDS to NuBus adapter card with a joystick adapter plugged into it, and an external SCSI CD-ROM drive.

This computer is my baby, and I'll never turn back to the cold and crash-happy Wintel systems.

Go to the My First Mac index.

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