My First Mac

The Eight Year Road to Macintosh

Walter R Basil - 2001.12.06

I entered the computer world in 1991. My mother-in-law had passed and left us with two computers. One was an Apple, and to this day I do not know what it was. I remember the term GS being associated with it. It was not an all in one unit like the Macintosh was. The other computer was an Emerson IBM clone. It was a 286 16 MHz with 1 MB of RAM that I later maxed it out at 4 MB.

Everyone I talked to, of course, told me to stick with the PC, so I gave the Apple away and kept the PC. That little mistake probably cost me eight years of turmoil. I was never happy with the way memory worked (what the heck is expanded memory and why can't I use it), and never liked Windows 3.x or Desqview.

That is when I switched to OS/2. I stayed with OS/2 until Windows NT. I admired the stability of NT, but still didn't like the UI. I had a few more peripherals to use under NT than I did in OS/2.

By 1999 I was truly fed up with computers and decided that I would try one of two things:

  1. Try some flavor of Unix/Linux, and purchase all new hardware peripherals that would work under *nix.
  2. Try an Apple.

I was getting ready to go away from home for a year, and it would be an opportunity to really see if I liked it.

In April, 1999, I bought my first Macintosh, an iMac. This was also my first heartache with a CompUSA store. This was during the time of a revision to the product line. CompUSA told me that they didn't have the new Rev. D 333 MHz iMac, but they were happy to sell me an old 266 MHz model for the same price. Since I was getting ready to leave for Korea at the time, I didn't have time to wait or argue, and told them I would take blueberry, since they didn't have lime.

When the salesperson brought it out, I noticed that the box said it was 333 MHz. I pointed this out to the salesperson, who didn't have a clue what I was talking about.

The iMac worked like a charm while I was in Korea. I had to redo my system once, though, as I trashed my system file - oops - that's what that was.

Seriously, I liked the interface and the way programs just installed and uninstalled, but it did not have protected memory. I figured I would just stick to it until I get back home and then try some *nix flavor on the PC I had left behind.

That's when I heard about this newfangled OS called Mac OS X. Based on Unix. Protected Memory. I was drooling! I knew I would love it; it was what I was looking for all those years. When I returned home, I bought an iMac DV SE 500, maxed out the memory, and that fall I bought the Public Beta of OS X.

I am sold on Apple and have just purchased a new iBook to compliment my crop of Macs. Never before have I bought three computers in three years.

Go to the My First Mac index.