The Lite Side

Mac Nearly Old Enough to Start Drinking

- 2004.02.12

The 20th anniversary of the Apple Macintosh was greeted warmly by the Macs of the world. A few venerable first generation Macs were said to be looking forward to getting their first taste of alcohol next year.

"We've sat around and watched Linux machines get toasted even before they're 10th birthday," complained one old-timer used as a file server in a small law office. "Those Europeans think nothing of giving the juice to a kid as a snack."

Linux machines responded that at least they weren't doing drugs like the Windows machines. "Those dudes, they're so wasted," said Linux. "And the Mac, it's like, you know, so oooooold. I mean, nobody trusts anyone over 15. You'd think it was CP/M or somethin', man, it's so old. "

The Windows machines, for their part, were in complete denial. "I don't do drugs," said one Windows box used to track serial numbers of clipped newspaper coupons. "Drugs are no. Drugs are bad, n'kay? I don't do drugs."

The Macs we interviewed for this article were all envious of the older machine's pending 21st birthday - but also wise enough to appreciate their advantages as younger models. "I mean, they can, like, almost drink, but it's like they don't even have a USB port," said one Bondi Blue iMac. "They don't even have a freakin' CD-ROM. That must suck. "

The older Macs ruminated on the differences between themselves and the younger ones at a recent get-together at the Mac Museum of Beverly Hills. "These whipper-snappers don't even know what a floppy drive is," said one Mac SE. "Hell, we're the reason the 3.5" floppy became popular in the first place," he continued. "And you put one of these youngers up against a good old-fashioned SCSI ID conflict, and they'd puke their RAM. You know, they don't even HAVE a black and white mode? And don't get me started about ports. These kids will poke anything in a port, not like the good old day when ports were matched to peripherals. Printers go in the printer port, modems in the modem port. I just don't understand this S-U-B crap."

When a new top-of-the-line flat-panel iMac made fun of the original iMac's processor speeds, a Mac IIci challenged the iMac to a boot contest. To everyone's surprise - except the old timers - the IIci booted faster and was surfing the Net before the iMac stopped spinning its beach ball. "The connection matters a lot more than the processor," said the IIci. "People forget that." Of course, OS 7.1.1 and Netscape 1.1 choked on modern Java enhanced content, but as one old-timer said, "If they provide a link to skip the fluff, why do they have the fluff in the first place? It must not be that important."

When asked what the computer would be having to drink on its 21st birthday, the original Mac responded, "Let's just wait until then, all right? When you're my age, you're lucky to boot up in the morning and say hi." LEM

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