My First Mac

Hooked on Low-End Macs

Frank C. Modica - 2001.07.24

I didn't actually touch my first Mac until I went to grad school in journalism at the University of Illinois in 1986. Both Macs and PCs were available for typing papers, but I used the PCs at first because some friends were prejudiced against Macs. When Mac-savvy friends introduced me to the Plus, I was intrigued, so I had to try them out at the university computer labs. At first I struggled with basic things like how to use a mouse and how to print to the networked laser printers in the labs, but once I overcame my initial computer klutziness, I was hooked.

Nevertheless, when I returned to my public school classroom as a special education teacher in the fall of 1987, I went back to Apple IIes. I had to satisfy my Mac lust at various computer labs on campus. However, when my school district had a special purchasing arrangement with Apple in 1991, I nervously took the plunge. For about $2,500, I picked up a Macintosh LCbrand spanking new LC, color monitor, ImageWriter II printer, and educators software package. (I wince when I think what I can get with the same $2,500 today, maybe an iMac, an iBook, and an inkjet printer!)

In the summer of 1998, I took the plunge for the second time, and picked up a Performa 6200 with a 15" Sony Trinitron monitor for about $700. When I went from a hard drive with 40 MB to 1 GB, I almost didn't know what to do with all that extra space. But I still wasn't connected to the Internet at home, satisfying my Internet mania at school.

I eventually surfed onto Low End Mac, and discovered articles about upgrading old Power Macs to G3s. And then I bought my third Mac, a Power Mac 6100. Thanks to articles on Low End Mac and links to other resources, I dropped a larger hard drive inside the 6100, bought more RAM (and installed it myself), and navigated the shoals of upgrading my operating system from Mac OS 8.0 to 8.1. I also tinkered with the LC, thanks to Low End Mac columns, upgrading the RAM to 10 Mb and adding a 300 MB hard drive. I also signed up with a local ISP.

Through a bulletin board sponsored by my local ISP, I plugged into some local sales, where I picked up Macs four, five and six: an LC 575, a PowerBook 170, and a Power Mac 7100. Thanks to eBay, I grabbed Blackbirdnumber seven, a PowerBook 540c, for a son who needed a handy computer for typing papers and could access his school ethernet network while he was away at college.

On the hardware front, my inventory of Macs has gone down a bit since I gave the 575 to a brother who never had a computer. I'm in the process of unloading the 6200 and the LC, but the 540 is home for the summer. Meanwhile I've picked up a Personal LaserWriter, and I've been looking for a Duo as well as adapters so I can create a home ethernet network with the 170, the 540, and the 6100. Now my kids are asking me, "Are you really going to buy another computer?"

Thanks to the PowerBooks list, I took apart the 540c and put in a new PRAM battery. I've gotten my 170 on the Internet and also figured out how to set up that laptop so I can use a calling card. I've gotten direct email help from people all over the country, as well as picking up tips from around the world in the various email lists that I subscribe to. I haven't named any of my computers so far, but I really love (in a metaphoric sense) my low-end Macs.

Go to the My First Mac index.

Custom Search

Follow Low End Mac on Twitter
Join Low End Mac on Facebook

Favorite Sites

MacSurfer
Cult of Mac
Shrine of Apple
MacInTouch
MyAppleMenu
InfoMac
The Mac Observer
Accelerate Your Mac
RetroMacCast
The Vintage Mac Museum
Deal Brothers
DealMac
Mac2Sell
Mac Driver Museum
JAG's House
System 6 Heaven
System 7 Today
the pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ

Affiliates

Amazon.com
The iTunes Store
PC Connection Express
Macgo Blu-ray Player
Parallels Desktop for Mac
eBay

Low End Mac's Amazon.com store

Advertise

Open Link