I’ve owned and used many computers in my time. But I’ve just parted with my favourite one.
I started with a Sinclair ZX81 that I received one Christmas, after 1981 obviously. It had 1k RAM on board and an extra 16k RAM in the expansion box that you plugged in the back. All saving and loading of programs was done using a tape recorder and blank tapes. The next was a Dragon 32 with, surprisingly, 32k of RAM on board. It had a full sized keyboard, colour graphics, sound and a slot in the side for cartridges. Not that I had enough money to purchase these cartridges I just made do with buying games on tape.
Many years passed before I purchased a Dell Inspiron laptop. I was playing the stock market at the time and needed something that was more powerful than my Psion 3a. Also I had the idea that I could learn Microshite® Access which would improve my job prospects, it didn’t. To it’s credit it is still going today and I do use it occasionally boot it up to check how web pages look in Internet Explorer and to update my Philips Pronto. I bought a printer to go with it, added more memory and upgraded it to Microshite® ME.
I can’t quite recall why I wanted to buy another computer. All I ever used the laptop for was to surf the ‘net to buy CD’s and book’s and to send and receive e-mails. Back then I had only just switched from paying my internet time by the minute to paying a monthly subscription and surfing for as long as I wanted.
May 9th 2002, at approximately 4:49pm, I purchased my first Apple Mac from John Lewis. This was after checking around on the internet to see if I could buy one cheaper online. Of course I had previously bought a huge desk to put it, and the now ageing laptop, on. Also I had bought David Pogue’s book on Mac OS X so I wasn’t completely clueless when I came to power it up.
I was really impressed with the build quality and the design of it. Even the power cable had been designed for the machine and wasn’t just a basic kettle lead that you get with PC’s.
It did all seem a little strange at first after having used Microshite® software since Windoze 3.1. Even then I didn’t use it for much except e-mail and internet. Then I started to rip some of my CD’s to listen to whilst surfing. I copied all my documents, pictures and the few mp3’s that I had on the laptop using a 16mb disgo USB storage key. I had trouble with my ISP at the time as they didn’t support the Mac platform. The dial-up connection would drop or I couldn’t connect at all. Then I decided that this new fangled way of connecting to the internet called broadband could be the way forward, I haven’t looked back since.
Over the last 3 years I’ve upgraded from Puma to Jaguar, done a complete format and reinstall when Panther came out and upgraded to Tiger last month. The only modification that I had made to the machine was to install an extra 512mb of RAM when the first version of GarageBand came out. I’ve scanned in all my photo negatives, touched up photos and manipulated images, learnt AppleScript, more HTML and CSS, watched all the WWDC Keynote speeches and possibly bought thousands of pounds worth of books, CD’s, video’s, video games, DVD’s and of course my new iMac on the internet.
So it was quite a sad day when I handed it over to Zoe.
I’ve given her strict instructions on keeping it clean and dust free and of course I have arranged visitation rights.
I don’t really think that she will appreciate the whole Apple concept. When you buy a Mac you’re buying into quite a select club. You have a Mac because you want something that is brilliantly designed and is easy to use, something that just works and does what you want. Maybe I’ve suffered so much over the years fighting to keep PC’s working that owning a Mac was just a breath of fresh air.