RetroMacCast

Where great old Macs live again!

Let's share stories of our first Macintosh experiences! I'll go first.

It's been a few years now, but I seem to recall that I first sat down at a Mac in a department store in shopping mall in Wichita KS around 1985 or 1986. They had a single Mac on a desk just off the furniture sales area. Nobody was even there to sell it so I sat down and started drawing things with MacPaint. I'm not sure I had even heard of the Mac until then so it was quite mesmerizing. Later, I would get MousePaint for my Apple //e to try to recreate that experience, but it wasn't the same. It's amazing how rudimentary MacPaint is by today's standards, but back then, it was revolutionary!

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While I had been using an Apple ][ europlus since 1980, my first Mac experience was while undertaking a summer job in 1984 at Melbourne University. At the time I was programming an Apple //e to collect, manupulate and plot data collected from a digitizer pad system.

One of the researchers there had just taken delivery of an original Mac 128k and was using CricketGraph to plot statistical charts. I remember having to do a lot of disk swapping, but thinking the application was very easy to use. At the time the output on the Imagewriter I wasn't as good as my HP pen plotter of the day for statistical charts, but that soon changed.

My next contact was with a lab of Mac SE's in 1986 which I used to download software from the University FTP site for my Apple //. It wasn't until 1990 that I finally purchased my first Mac - a Mac IIsi.
I remember the IIsi well because my roommate in college got one. He had his IIsi in glorious color with the gigantic 13" monitor, and I plodded along with my faithful SE until my first color Mac, an LC III. I used to use CricketGraph on that SE. It was light years ahead of the other data presentation programs we had available on the PCs on the VAX at the time.
macdownunder, I know someone who still insists on using CricketGraph today! A tangerine iBook running OS 9 is his "dedicated CricketGraph machine".

Me? In 1987, I was barely five years old when my father brought home—with some help from the budget of his print shop—a dual-floppy Mac SE. We already had a 'family' going in the house (an Apple II, a C64, an 8086 clone running DOS) but armed with a bunch of games, application and utility software, the Mac was more fascinating than any of the other machines. I was introduced to PageMaker (dad helped), Word, MacDraw, MacPaint and later on, Illustrator '88 and handful of disk utilities.

Someone also gave us a copy of Farallon's SoundEdit. Wow! Being able to visualize and manipulate something you couldn't normally see, all with an ordinary computer, was both surreal and life-changing.
The first mac I ever sat eyes on was at my mothers workplace in 1984, a 128k (ofcourse) that really knocked me off my feet. I could sit by the screen for hours fiddeling with mac paint. Ah, the memories... :)

A couple of months later they changed setup at mom's job and replaced the 128k's with Lisa II's. I played around with thatone a bit as well, but nothing could ever compare to the first contact I got with that 128k.
Your story is quite amazing. It's a lot like the story behind Jeremy Mehrle's collection. He also switched recently and then started going back to make up for lost time.
My first Apple was an Apple ][+. My father sold Apple computers in the education market through Wallace Computers in Peoria, IL. He was constantly lugging around his demonstration unit which, when not out on sales calls, was my first Apple and first computer. After high school I got off into the PC world, but my folks continued to buy Apple. First a GS, and then my first Mac experience, the "road apple" 5300 LC. It got better from there;)
Cool! Does your father still have some interesting Apple stuff from those days? Maybe there are some treasures hidden in an attic somewhere!
I lament the loss of a rainbow Apple branded briefcase. If I had any idea when I was 12 how much I would want that briefcase now, I'd have treated it better;)
I don't know if it was my first experience or not, but it was my most memorable.

It's the Fall of '89 and I'm a freshman at Berea College (KY), working in the computer center, which is all Macs. My experience in high school was all DOS and PCs, though I did use and program some Apple ][s. Anyway, we had this little network of Macs being served by an SE/30 with a drive sitting underneath it. One evening, we took the network down to add another hard drive, in a similar external housing.

I was expecting the worst, coming from PCs. But Mr. Mac (our hardware guy, whose name was Mc-something, but not McIntosh) took the drive out of the box, daisy-chained it, gave it power, then powered on the SE/30. The Mac said something like "oh, a new drive. Want me to format it?" and he clicked yes. Then it said something like "Want me to share it?" and again he clicked yes, and we all went home. :) Those of you with memories of 8088/8086 PCs will remember how we formatted and used hard drives at the time -- it required poking around in the BIOS with the DEBUG command.

I also remember later that fall carrying a Mac Portable out to someone's vehicle. I remember being told that it was the first Mac Portable in the state of KY.
Y'know, I had forgotten about this until just now, but one of my first computers was a Mac, back when I was just a little fella. Had an Apple IIe or IIc (can't remember which was first) and have fond memories of being in the family living room and just being completely awed by the thing. I didn't get the Mac-ness of it then, but I was pretty impressed by how much cooler it was than my previous model - the oh-so-sexy Commodore vic-20.

Complete with cassette tape video game drive. Just look at this sex machine!



I promise - that's the first and last non-mac I put a photo of on here.
I used an Atari 800 (very similar to your Commodore 64) from 1979 or 1980 up through 1993 or 1994, then jumped to a 486 Windows PC. I didn't discover the Mac until 2007.
Rock on, commodore, rock on.

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