Tuesday, 4 February 2014

The Apple Mac Turns 30

That was what they were called when I first got my hands on one in 1986 - an Apple Mac. I was working for a financial institution in a large grey building. We had two computers in the office - an IBM XT and an IBM AT. They sat on their own desks and the operators would approach them as a craftsman would his lathe. They did one thing (crunch numbers) and you needed to treat them with respect or else things might go Horribly Wrong.

Nomenclature is a funny thing. All computers had geeky, alphanumeric names and seemed for initiates only. So when I persuaded an Apple dealer to let me borrow something called an Apple Mac for a couple of weeks I became an inadvertent IT rockstar. Perched perkily on my desk the Mac had a greyscale screen (not green), ran a GUI rather than command-line, and had a mouse ("Look, I move this little box on a wire, and that arrow on the screen follows it's movements!"). I used MacWrite and MacPaint to basically play for ten glorious days until it was taken away again, and I was plunged back into the world of words and numbers.

But it opened a window on a world that I began to inhabit full-time 5 years later. That of designing things on screen or for screen. It changed my world. I could have been an analyst and instead I work with some of the most precious things in the world and the most interesting people.

So to mark the shift and the progression, here's a list of the Macs I've had since then.

Mac IIci
Mac IIfx
PowerBook 170
Quadra 660AV
Power Mac 8100
Power Mac G4
Mac Pro G5
Mac Pro Dual Core Xeon
Cube G4
iMac G3 DV
PowerBook G3
iBook G4
Mini Core Duo
Mini Core i5
Macbook Core 2 Duo
Macbook Pro Core 2 Duo
MacBook Pro Core i5