My First Mac

The Long and Winding Road

Mike Butler - 2000.02.15

Macintosh LCI love Macs.

I hate Macs.

The love-hate affair began in the early 90s, when I bought my first computer - an original LC. It had a 13-inch color monitor, 4 MB of RAM, and an 80 MB hard disk. I thought, "How in the world would you ever fill that up?"

I stayed up all night playing with it, installing applications, games, utilities, fiddling with the microphone, and trying to figure out the quaint Font/DA Mover. I could hardly believe I was actually computing with the thing barely out of the box!

Several months later, in a survival move, Apple drastically dropped prices on its home computers. When I bought the LC, it was Apple's lowest-cost color Mac. Now it was obsolete. I was making monthly payments on a $3,000 cutting board. Had I waited a few months, I could have bought a II-something for under $2,000, gotten a faster processor, and had more RAM.

Still, the LC served me and my kids well for many years. I marveled at System 7, racked up 6,000-plus scores on Klondike, played Tetris for hours, and occasionally wrote a story or two. I finally switched to a used IIcx just so I could run a CD-ROM drive, which the LC wouldn't support.* But the power supply to my upgraded CPU went kablooey immediately after I bought it. The IIci I got after that has never given me any trouble.

Somehow, I managed to sidestep other Road Apples, like the LC II and the Color Classic. But you can't let your guard down. Not along ago, I acquired an early Power Mac without being aware of the problems associated with the Quadra 800 case. Leave it up to Apple to make a simple box an accursed lemon.

I'm still living and learning, I guess. I've never purchased a PC and don't intend to. I'll use a Mac as long as I can, but because of that unhappy first marriage, I'm not going to pay retail.

* There's a persistent rumor that the LC and possibly LC II won't support CD-ROM. It's nonsense; even a Mac Plus can use a CD-ROM drive.

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