Leo LeBron was born and raised in Michigan. He grew up on PCs at home and Macs at school. He says, "I remember using the old compact Macs all the way up to the 5th grade. Then, in 1998, my school got dozens of shiny new Bondi Blue iMacs. Those were an exciting experience - and made me regret going home every day to my father's old 486.
"When I was in the 10th grade, I became facinated by the Apple IIes my biology teacher's used as classroom machines. This was back in 2003/04. I was interested in both what the machines could do and that they still worked in the early part of the 21st century, over a decade after the newest ones were sold.
"He then offered me my first Mac, a Macintosh Plus, and from there I have amassed a collection of over two dozen Macs - and growing.
"In this column, I'll dig through my collection of low end Macs and give my take on each one, as well as write about what I have them doing today and crazy things I've done to them in the past. That includes everything from turning them into dedicated gaming servers to running Linux as a primary OS.
"Stick around, it is going to be one interesting ride for both of us."
- PowerBook 180 reincarnated, 2009.09.01. The dead PB 180 had once been king of the PowerBook line. Thanks to a PowerBook 165 and some part swaps, it was brought back to life.
- Apple's largely forgotten QuickTake 150 digital camera, 2009.08.10. Apple was the first to market with a sub-$1,000 digital camera, the fixed focus, VGA resolution, Mac- and PC-compatible QuickTake line.
- Beige Power Mac G3: Maximum power then, great value now, 2009.08.03. The world's most powerful personal computer when it was introduced in November 1997, the beige G3 still has a lot to offer anyone looking for a very low cost, powerful Mac.
- The enduring value of the Pismo PowerBook, 2009.07.27. The most expandable G3 PowerBook ever is nealy 10 years old, yet it remains a great value for someone looking for an affordable field computer.
- The death, salvage, and resurrection of old Macs, 2009.07.20. Over the past two years, several Macs have died or been retired, often donating parts to more modern replacements.
- The incredible transforming PowerBook 1400, 2007.11.07. You can change the look of the PB 1400 with its BookCover, upgrade RAM to 64 MB, add a video card, upgrade to G3, boot from flash memory, and more.
- Why the Blue and White G3 is the workhorse of the Mac world, 2007.10.26. Introduced in January 1999, the blue and white Power Mac G3 was powerful, expandable, and supported all the way through Mac OS X 10.4 'Tiger'.
- 8 MHz forever? Apple's Macintosh Classic was no faster than the first Mac, 2007.09.26. A successor to the 1986 Mac Plus and 1987 Mac SE, the 1990 Mac Classic was slow, limited, and barely enough for basic tasks like writing.
- AppleWorks may be discontinued, but it's far from dead, 2007.09.12. AppleWorks combined word processing, spreadsheets, and more in a single lightweight app, giving many users all the tools they needed.
- PowerBook 540c: Still the king of notebook computers, 2007.09.04. The PowerBook 500 family introduced a curvy new design, the trackpad, intelligent NiMH batteries, drive bays, PCMCIA expansion, and 16-bit stereo sound to the world of notebook computers.
- Adium: One instant messenger to rule them all, 2007.08.22. Adium can replace all of your Instant Messenger clients with a single program and handle all of your threads in a single tabbed window.
- PowerBook 100: How Sony perfectly miniaturized the 16 pound Macintosh Portable, 2007.08.08. The PowerBook has the same speed, power, memory capacity, hard drive, and screen resolution at the Mac Portable, but it weighed less than one-third as much.
- 2 pizza box Macs: An original LC and an LC III, 2007.08.01. Pushing an LC III to the limit and dealing with a dead Macintosh LC.
- My first Mac, a Plus, shocked me, 2007.07.18. Going from the world of Windows PCs to a floppy-based Mac Plus provided several pleasant surprises, like booting in just 30 seconds.
- Jaguar on WallStreet: Not as slow as you might think!, 2007.07.11. A 233 MHz PowerBook G3 with 192 MB of RAM and a new hard drive performs quite comfortably with Mac OS X 10.2.x.
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