When I was a junior in college, Apple launched the Macintosh. Our local computer store in York, PA had a “Try at Home” policy and I was able bring it home for 2 weeks to try it out. It had a single 3.5” floppy drive and I was constantly swapping between the boot disk and the program I was currently using — but I loved it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t afford it and was resolved to buy a Compaq luggable. But the 2 weeks I worked on a Mac changed the way I viewed computers and what I could do on them. As a CIS major I spent most of my free time in the computer lab working on a Burroughs 1900 computer learning how to code in Fortran, COBOL and a few other now dead programming languages. While the school also had Apple II’s (on which I learned C and Pascal), III’s (which is where I first used a word processor), none of the computers I had worked on really were “FUN” to work on. Looking back over the past 30 years it is easy to see how the Mac changed how the world viewed computers.
That leads me to when I actually received my first Mac. I say received because 2 years after my 1st experience with a Mac my parents opened a $10,000 CD at the Bowery Savings Bank. This is back when banks were so happy you entrusted them with money they’d offer depositors a gift as a way of saying thank you. My parents gift for opening the CD was a Mac Plus. It became my 1st Mac. While in college in 1985 I had saved up enough money to purchase my 1st personal computer; a Compaq luggable running DOS. But when I got the Mac I found myself spending hours figuring out how it worked and learning new ways to do things on it. I bought an external SCSI 10MB external hard drive, 300 baud modem, ImageWriter printer and a few choice Mac programs. I would spend HOURS creating and storing information in HyperCard. Even with all the things I can do today in HTML, I still miss HyperCard.
I sold that Mac back in the early 1990’s and I learned how to get by in the real world on a PC. First using DOS, OS/2, then Windows and finally Windows NT, but none of those computers were as fun or as supportive a computing environment as my 1st Mac (even with all the frustrations we all experience back then). Finally in 2000 I got an Apple Powerbook and OS X and things started looking up again, but it wasn’t until 2006 when I bought my MacBook Pro that I finally ditched my IBM Thinkpad (issued by my employer of the same name) and switched to using a Mac 100% of the time. I am now at Deloitte Digital and happily use a MacBook Air. I couldn’t imagine working on anything else.
So Happy Birthday Mac and congratulations Apple!
Looking forward to see what the team at Apple develops next!