My first Mac was technically not my own. It was my parents', but it belonged to the family. The year was 1990. I was 5 years old. The Macintosh Classic was its name. It sported a 9-inch grayscale screen at 512 x 342 pixels, a 40 MB hard drive, and 1.44 MB diskette drive. It was the first Mac to cost less than $1,000.
I was enamored with it. It seemed light years ahead of the black screen and green text IBMs my school had. I could play Wheel of Fortune on it. By far my favorite thing to do was to open AppleWorks and make a new drawing document and begin using a digital canvas to create a city with that big clunky mouse. Then I'd select this tool that looked like a tornado to send pixels flying!1
That little Mac was the beginning of my love for technology. When my folks upgraded to a Power Macintosh 7100 a few years later, the Internet was also just gaining traction with the public. My folks were always early adopters, and so we of course had the Internet.2 I remember adding USB to the Power Mac, upgrading the processor to a G3 processor from Sonnet, and how lightning fast it felt when we switched out the 14.4k modem for a 28.8k.
We got a full decade out of that machine with all the upgrades, and it likely could have gone more.
Then came the eMac I got for college. This was truly my first Mac. I quickly found out that a 50-pound behemoth was not ideal at college in 2003. This was my first experience with OS X. I hopped on the bus with 10.2 Jaguar, and 10.3 Panther was released just a couple months later. Safari was at version 1.0, and I haven't changed my default browser since. I used the eMac my freshman year, then it went to my parents to replace the old Power Mac.
My sophomore year I went with the 14-inch iBook G4. I used this through most of college and wrote many papers on it.
My senior year I treated myself to the black MacBook while I still had an education discount. That thing was lovely. I still kind of miss it, as it just looked fantastic. I would love for Apple to make a
black space gray MacBook Air.
A few years later I got the first unibody MacBook Pro, 15-inch. This felt like a dream computer. It had real horsepower and was the fastest & thinnest computer I had used yet.
And, just about a year ago, I went to the MacBook Air. The Air is just plain fantastic. It's fast, it's battery lasts ages, and it is light. When you want to close up and go, you can do just that.
The Mac has been a significant part of my life for the past 23 years. It sparked the curiosity of a young boy and challenged me to learn more throughout the years. And these days it is integral to my way of life, not only in how I accomplish my own goals, but also to how I am able to provide for my family. Right now, I simply could not do what I do without the Mac.
Happy 30th birthday, Mac. Here's to many more.