My First Mac

My Friend's First Mac

- 2000.12.15

Oddly enough, this My First Mac isn't going to be about my first Mac. It's going to be a friend's first Mac, the first computer she ever owned.

I've used PCs for as long as I can remember; I remember hating them until Windows 3.1 came along. My grade school had a few Apple IIs, and I liked using them, but, frankly, Apples were just out of our family budget, so I've grown up in the Wintel world. I don't have any real horror stories to tell. (In fact, I even came to like MS-DOS, after I finally had it explained to me in a logical, methodical way.)

I know Wintel. I'm comfortable with it. I have Windows 98 on my desktop and Windows 3.1 on my 486 laptop. If Wintel is the "Dark Side," then I am a Dark Lord of the Sith.

But enough about that.

My friend has always been Mac fan, but she couldn't afford one. We talked about computers one day, and she casually mentioned that she really wanted a laptop. Mulling it over, I looked at my budget and decided to see what I could find for her in the $250 range.

And, frankly, I have had a blast trying to find her a old but still decent Mac laptop. Through sites such as MacAddict, Low End Mac, and EveryMac, I was able to find a lot of valuble information about upgradablity and compatibility. What's more, I've come to a better understanding of what I can only term "the Mac philosopy." (I'm even thinking of buying an old powerbook just for the challenge of learning the Mac OS.)

In the end, I put a bid on and won a PowerBook 540 with a 240 meg hard drive and 12 megs of RAM. My friend can type her papers and surf the Net, plus it's upgradeable. Since I got it well below what I expected to pay for it, I took the extra cash I had set aside and bid on some other goodies for her computer: a CD-ROM drive, Mac OS 7.6, and Claris Works 4.

I would've been able to do none of that without the information I got from EveryMac and Low End Mac.

Thanks guys, it's been educational. I now have a fuller understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of the Wintel and Apple platforms.

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