My First Mac

Salute to a Classic II

Max Thom Stahl - 2000.07.31

With a nostalgic tear in my eye, I remember my first Mac. It was a little Macintosh Classic II that my father bought when I was just six or seven. I didn't really pay much attention Mac Classicto what he did with it; I gather mostly it was spreadsheets and junklets having to do with word processing and SPSS (a statistical analysis program that's older than the digital hills).

What I remember most was the games.

You may remember them: old school 68K games that weren't designed around good graphics or even good programming. They were just there, and if you liked them you could send a couple of dollars to whoever had made them. The 68K era was a time where programmers made games so that they could play them, and if anyone else wanted to join in on the fun, they could, and if they enjoyed themselves enough, they could show their appreciation however they saw fit. Of course, I didn't realize all that back then: I just played the games and marveled at how much nicer this "Macintosh" thingy was than the old IBM PC in the other room.

I picked up the nuances of the graphic user interface almost immediately, and, with the help of my father, learned the basics (and a bit more) of the operating system.

It was so much easier than DOS! And, at the same time, it was so much more stable than Windows 3.11, which I, being a seven-year-old, totally could not comprehend.

A year or so later, I wrote all my reports on the same Mac Classic, and I wrote some of my better works of fiction years later than that on the same machine. When I was eight, it had been augmented by an external hard drive and something new called a CD-ROM, which mystified me and gave me no end of amusement.

Right now, my old friend is still with me, in a way. It resides in an unused corner of my music studio, next to the right channel of my stereo system, just across the room from where I sit while typing this. Regretfully, time did take its toll on my oldest friend, and right now it has some monitor problems that I gave up on a few months ago. I have three SE/30s to make up for it, but it just isn't the same.

Many of my more enthusiastic compatriots out there in the Macintosh world will understand: you can never forget your first anything, but it's especially hard to forget your first Mac.

To my Mac Classic: I salute you.

Go to the My First Mac index.