The Macs I’ve loved

Keith White
13 March, 2008
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To all the Macs I’ve loved before … Part 2

I ushered in the millennium with a Blue and White G3/400 accompanied by a G3 Wall Street PowerBook which I’d picked up on the rebound from a kind lady at AppleOz. The PowerBook is a lovely machine with beautiful rounded edges and I still have her. She’d been born just before the USB revolution which soon became a serious disadvantage, fortunately solved with a two-port USB adapter plugged into her card slot. Her removable floppy drive however was rendered inoperable by a former friend who insisted on ramming in a cheap disk whose metal bit was obviously about to break free. Which it did. Inside the drive. He then tried to make amends by removing it with a screwdriver. Pretty difficult to do with one hand — while the other was restraining me.

In 2000 we acquired a new graphite iMac/G3 400 DV SE, ostensibly for my wife. It was the first time I’d seen DVDs on a computer and I was mightily impressed with a training disk on iMovie 1.0 by Mac guru Jim Heid. At the time I was working with a group of students at the nearby secondary college who were keen to do a video on local tourism. Let’s see if Apple can promenade the verbiage about ease-of-use, I thought. So each day I lugged the iMac into class and booted up iMovie, which I’d never used before. Converting various VHS segments via my trusty TRV900E video camera and pulling music from CDs via iTunes we knocked it all together. Between me and the class geek, who’d never even used a Mac, we impressed everybody. Especially ourselves. iMovie’s debut had been a bit flaky at times but wowingly easy.

Fast forward to 2002 and I was getting tired of everybody raving about the new G4s. And the new LCD Apple Cinema displays. So a disappointingly noisy Apple Power Macintosh G4/867 DP (MDD) usurped the G3, which went to a family member who still uses it as a server. Rather than copy over all the files from the G3′s 30GB hard drive I had it put into the G4 along with an extra 120GB drive to supplement the 60GB that came with it. 210 gigabytes! I’d never use all that! And of course the dumpy old 17-inch Apple CRT was elbowed aside by a sleek Apple 17-inch LCD Studio Display. But she hung around alongside her more glamorous sister for the next four years playing a valuable support role in a dual-screen setup.

By 2004 I was doing regular archival work at a large independent school which only used PCs. No thanks, so I approached my former classmates who generously funded a G4/1.25 eMac. The walls were breached. Today there are two complete classrooms of the latest Intel iMacs and probably more to come. The eminently practical eMac is still running happily with a dual-display set up and the Apple and Adobe software which makes digital archiving so quick and easy.

I also needed a faster, DVD-enabled laptop to cope with the growing number of presentations I was being asked to do. A cute white G4/1.42 iBook with a 14-inch display and 1.5GB of RAM entered my life in 2005 and like a good PA, handles everything I throw at her.

By 2006 the G4 867 was starting to show its age and I was meeting Colonel Panic on a too-regular basis. Coincidentally Apple had just released the 24-inch iMac Intel Core 2 Duo — so what’s a guy to do?

She’s a real Aphrodite — elegant and swift. The best yet. She’s smiling coyly as I write this. Will it ever end? I hope not.

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