Thursday, July 8, 2010

How many Macs have I had?

Most people who know me know that I'm fairly tech-savvy, which is mostly just a hobby/interest of mine. I started using computers in 4th grade, when the Apple II came out-- my school had a great lab and I cut my teeth doing simple programs in Basic on the Apple IIe (the education edition).

I used the Apple IIe at school, and at home we had an IBM Selectric II typewriter and a Coleco Adam computer, until late in high school. In my Senior year, my school obtained one Apple Macintosh computer-- the "Classic". I had found my computing platform of choice.

Since then, I've owned 12 computers -- and all but four of them have been Macs. (In the late 90s, I was too broke to continue buying Macs-- they were still in the thousands of dollars range, while I could build a Windows PC for a few hundred dollars.) Here's my list:
  • Macintosh LC (1991)-- this one was my high school graduation present. We splurged for the 13" monitor (that was an upgrade from the 12") and the new Apple StyleWriter inkjet printer (which was a re-branded Canon printer). It cost almost $4000, and had a 40MB (that's MEGAbyte) hard drive and 2 MB RAM. Over time, I upgraded it with more RAM (all the way up to 4MB), a modem (and later a faster modem), the "System 7" Mac operating system, an external hard drive, a different printer, and a trackball. I had a ton of software that I owned, and each program took up a few hundred kilobytes or at most a meg. I used my LC until 1998; it's in a farm cabin on some family land now, but it still runs.
  • iMac DV 400Mhz-- after the season of Windows machines that begat frequent frustration, we were given this iMac in 2003. It ran System 9, when we got it, and we upgraded it to the OS X 10.3 "Panther" operating system. It ran great for several years, and while it was really heavy it was a good "family" machine to keep in the corner of the small dining room of our seminary apartment. We used it until late 2005, when the hard drive died and we bought a Mac Mini (more on that in a moment).
  • iBook 12" 1.2Ghz-- when the Windows laptop we bought in 2001 for seminary finally gave it up in 2004, I bought a Mac laptop, the 12-inch iBook. This was a great computer, and I loved it-- a great size, plenty of speed and power, and it was still running strong two years later when it was stolen!
  • Mac Mini-- when the iMac hard drive failed in 2005, I thought about swapping it out for a new one-- at that time, a new one would have cost about $100. We decided to put that $100 toward a Mac Mini, which would extend the life of our computers for some time to come.
  • MacBook-- in the fall of 2006, my iBook was stolen-- right before classes started for both seminary and the school where I taught. Within 48 hours, I had replaced it with a MacBook, the new line of Mac laptops that had replaced the iBook line a few months earlier. That MacBook has been a very good computer, though I replaced the hard drive a couple of times (once because of failure, and once as an upgrade). That Mac is now Marcie's main Mac, since I got a new one recently (details to come).
  • PowerBook 17" 1Ghz-- this was another hand-me-down, and we got it in 2007 (though it was originally sold in 2003). It was Marcie's main computer from the start, giving her more freedom than the Mac Mini (which had become something like a digital hub/family computer). It felt a bit slower than the other, newer Macs around the house, but it still ran well until January when the hard drive finally failed.
  • iMac 20"-- in 2007 we replaced the Mac Mini with a 20" iMac, which we still have and is still our digital hub and family computer. Now the kids are becoming avid Mac users as well, and they love to spend time on the iMac.
  • MacBook Pro 13"-- this is my current Mac, which I got in April. It's great, and will probably last me as long as my others have. I've gotten quite used to the small laptop form-factor (12", 13" and now 13" again) and find it a joy to use daily.

I think it is worth noting that, except for my stolen iBook and the Mac Mini, all of our Macs had (or have) lives exceeding 4 years, with some of them going for longer: the LC for 7 years, the first iMac for 6 years, and the 17" PowerBook for 7 years. And until April, the newest Mac that we owned was three years old. That's really something compared to the fact that, for 5 years, I went through 4 different Windows computers.

Those are the Macs I've had. How many Macs have YOU had?

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