My First Mac

Mac Obsession

- 2000.09.18

Firstly, I need to admit that I am still a relative "newbie" to the computing world. After the explosion of personal computers and the Internet in the '90s, especially here in Austin, TX, I decided it was time to "take the plunge" and get a computer in 1997. I had played around with a Mac Plus that was in the dorm where my spouse lived in the mid-to-late '80's on U.T. campus, and I really enjoyed it. I also spent a lot of time at a nearby Kinko's in the early-to-mid '90's, writing articles and creating documents on early Performa-series Macs. Again, I really enjoyed using the Mac.

So, in 1997, I went to Goodwill Computerworks, and, after awhile spent looking over their huge selection of old Macs, I came away with a PowerBook 100. I thought (and still do!) it was so cool - PowerBook 100I actually had a Mac PowerBook! I even found the external floppy drive made for it and a lot of 68000-compatible software. I created my AOL account with it, using AOL 2.5.1 in early 1998. I loved the PB 100, taking it everywhere, writing articles, drawing, emailing, chatting. It was cool!

However, I soon realized that at 16 MHz, with only 4 MB of memory and a 20 MB hard drive, it was also pretty limited by modern standards. I hate to say this here, but I then decided to put together . . . a PC! I went out and bought a minitower, monitor, Cyrix MII-333MHz CPU and motherboard, and everything else I needed. I added 64 MB RAM and a 10 GB hard drive. I felt like I had joined the enemy camp! The reason I did this: the Mac I really wanted, the iMac, was just too pricey, and I was able to put together a Windows system for a lot less. But read on, because this is not the end of the story!

All the while, I was still using my PB 100. Late last year, I got an offer from a local Mac dealer to trade my PB 100 and $200 for a mint condition PowerBook 540c! The 540c had 28 MB RAM, a 500 MB hard drive, and Mac OS 7.6.1. (I should point out here that although I have the PC, I have always preferred the look and feel of the Mac OS. Again, I was only defecting on the basis of economics!) I jumped on the 540c and was so excited, I couldn't wait to really dig deep into it, with it's glorious active-matrix color screen and stereo speakers! It is still a stock 68LC040 machine (soon to be PPC upgraded!), but it has been a marvelous performer on the road and everywhere - I really love it!

Getting the PB 540c really renewed my Mac desires. I have since purchased a Quadra 605, a Performa 460, a IIsi, an LC, and an SE! My next purchases will be an early all-in-one type PowerMac and another 100-series PowerBook (I'm leaning toward a PB 180 - the 100 series are great old machines!). I am working on a network at home and have also acquired a lot of older 68k software. With the addition of the Power Mac to my collection, I hope to be able to do some serious upgrading and run more current versions of the Mac OS. Then, someday, I will abandon the PC altogether and get that iMac I've always wanted . . . and it's gotta be Ruby!

I should conclude this by saying that I spend a lot of time reading about, working with, and simply enjoying my old Macs. I surf the web with the PB 540c and the Quadra frequently, and I have created web pages with both. For me it's simple - Macs rule!

  • Heather has since added a PowerBook 145 and PowerBook 100 (complete with floppy and 8 MB RAM) to her collection.

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