My First Mac

Since Third Grade

- August 1999

My Apple experience began in the 3rd grade with the purchase (by my parents) of an Apple //e. I used Appleworks for typing small things for school up until I was a junior in high school (1994). I also played a lot of PacMan, DigDug, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego (quite possibly my favorite game of all time!), Defender, and some spaceship-shooting-aliens game that I can't remember.

By fourth grade, I was learning to program in BASIC. When I got to junior high, the teacher would turn me loose in the lab to help the other students write programs in BASIC while he went about his business.

I can remember being an Apple evangelist even then - I was always arguing with classmates about the advantages of the Apple over IBM PCs. And I was in the fourth grade.

The summer after my junior year, my parents sold the //e (sniff!) and got a Power Macintosh 6100/60 - and let me tell you, we were cookin'! It had 8 MB of RAM, a 250 MB hard drive, and a DeskJet 520 printer. I had the best looking papers in my class thanks to that printer and Microsoft Works 3.0. For a family Christmas present, we got a USRobotics Mac&Fax 14.4 modem - wicked fast, lemme tell you - and AOL. I was one of the first people at my rural high school to have a computer, and probably the first to have email.

Once I got experience using the Mac, I was hooked. The Windoze 3.1 machines at my school were (a) not hooked to the 'net, and (b) always screwed up. It seemed common sense to pick the Mac over the PC.

When I moved to college (University of Kansas) in the fall of 1995, I didn't take a computer with me....

Fast forward to the summer before my senior year, when my mother's school district is auctioning off its Macs and getting Compaqs. Bad for them, good for me. I got a cute little LC 580 that I have upgraded, tweaked, and generally had a blast learning about the Macintosh with. I also have a student job at KU's computer center supporting a mixed lab of NT 4 machines and Macintoshes, which I really enjoy. I am also the "tech support" for my mixed platform family.

You know, in retrospect, I'm glad my mother always said, "No, we're not getting a (insert popular video game system here). We have the computer."

To be yourself, in a world that tries, night and day, to make you just like everybody else - is to fight the greatest battle there ever is to fight, and never stop fighting. - e.e. cummings

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