My First Mac

Always Back to the Mac

Derrick Mims - 2001.04.25

I first used a Mac in the summer of 1987 at a computer lab in Duke University. I was 13, and it was the coolest thing I had ever seen. We wrote papers on MacWrite and drew pictures with MacPaint with practically no computer skills at all! The only drawback was the incessant inserting and ejecting of disks when trying to copy files.

After that summer, I didn't use another Mac until college, but I kept missing them in the back of my mind. I finally got to own one in 1999: an SE I bought at a used computer store for $80 (boy, did I overpay!). This machine had only an 800k floppy and a 20 MB hard drive, so I couldn't load all the fab Internet files and programs I was finding on Low End Mac and other places. It was useless, so I got rid of it and bought a PeeCee.

I had to have a Mac again, though. I felt like an addict already, so I bought a IIci and an ImageWriter II through the newspaper for $50 - the guy even tried to warn me that it was old. By adding a modem, ClarisWorks 2.0 (from a used book store), and AOL 2.7, I was off and running. I ran that machine for a few months, all the while thinking how amazing it was that a computer made ten years ago could still be useful.

I needed more power, however, since the '030 processor could barely surf the Web. So I bought a Power Computing clone with a 601 processor off Yahoo Auctions. I couldn't afford a nice monitor just then, so I bought a used 12" b&w Apple monitor for $20.

I had big plans for that baby, hardware and software upgrades galore, but it decided to die on me one day. It just wouldn't turn on, and I didn't know anyone who could come look at it (all of my friends think Macs are stupid). So, I advertised it as non-working and sold it on Yahoo for almost what I paid for it!

Now, computerless, I thought I'd try my hand at a PowerBook. I bought a 140, again from the auction site. It was great but still too underpowered, so I sold it for what I paid.

My parents gave me a Pentium 90 machine. I tried putting Linux on it to avoid Windoze, but it wasn't the same. So, once again, I sold it iMacand bought a brand-new indigo iMac 350. (At $800, even I could afford it!) Here was the computer I had always wanted - fast, silent, gorgeous, and new. I put the Apple logo sticker on the back of my truck and set about evangelizing for the Cult.

But unexpected expenses forced me to sell it. I bought another old PeeCee, apostate that I was, and used it for a few months until I had the funds to buy a 7300/200, which I am using now. Like my clone, I have big plans for this monster - a G4 card, memory, FireWire card, etc.

I'm not scared of Microsoft, as I love IE 5 and OE 5, but I am a firm believer in the Gospel According to Cupertino. I adore my Apple, and I hope Mac and I are never parted again.

But if something should occur and we get separated, I hope the Mac gods understand that the split will only be temporary. I'll be back in no time, even if I have to limp along on a Classic II or a 6100 with a 28k modem. I'll never buy a Wintel machine again, so help me Steve.

Go to the My First Mac index.