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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My first Mac experience was in 1994, just a few months before my son was born. My wife at the time wanted to buy a computer for our home. I was skeptical of the idea, wondering what we would ever do with a computer at home! (My previous computer experience had been BASIC in high school, running statistics on a Digital VAX in college, and crunching numbers on a 286 at work.) We decided on a Mac because my wife worked at the local college; having a Mac would allow her to bring work home. So, we went to the Walmart in Dodge City, Kansas where we found a Macintosh Classic on sale for less than $1000.00. It had 2 MBs of RAM and no hard drive.

Several months later, I spent hours and hours playing Tetris and a few other games on it while waiting for my son's delivery date to approach. I became the "computer guru" at the house by running Disk First Aid when the new hard drive had some kind of problem. I had no idea what I was doing.

That computer has since been named Mycroft and is the centerpiece of my collection.
The first time I saw a Macintosh computer was at a 4H meeting in 1985. A vendor was invited to show how the new Macintosh worked. I assume this was a 128k Mac. We spent most of the evening using Mac Paint to draw pictures of "Bill the Cat" from Bloom County.

In 1986 I used another 128k Macintosh while at Vocational High School to create flowcharts for a programming contest I was entering.

A majority of my computer usage in the 1980's was with an Apple IIe at school and a Commodore 128 at home...
It is amazing how the Culture is changing. it used to be so *hard* to be a Mac user. You had to not only believe in it but adjust your lifestyle. Things like not having the best games or latest Office features, or *constantly* telling people "no, it's okay I can read YOUR floppy, you just can't read mine..."

The iPod did a lot to change that, forming a whole other culture of obsession where the Mac was at the wayside. Thats why I love sites like this- I never want to loose that culture, that shared history.

My first Mac *experience* was that Mac IIsi that my aunt had. God that machine was amazing to me. I can still feel the glimmer of awe and mystery I got every time I went to her house and got to turn it on... It keeps me going- I hope it still does that for future generations.

- Josh
I think the very first Mac that I ever saw was in person was in high school. It was in an office inside one of the mechanical engineering classes, I remember that there was a kid playing a game that I now recognize as Dark Castle. That was from a distance though... I'm not sure what he was doing playing Dark Castle while we were in class, but I didn't ask...

Later, when I got my first job, which was just a couple of hours after school fixing computers for the NYC board of ed, they had mixes of all sorts of machines from Apple II's, to Commodore's, TI's, and even PC's... I think those were Mac Plus's.

That's also how I got my 1st Lisa. They were throwing it out and I asked my boss if I could take it. He said, sure, and even gave me a Profile hard drive. Later, a teacher had two dead Lisas, and he knew I had the other one, and offered them to me. Out of these I swapped parts until I had a second working Lisa. I regret throwing out the remaining parts, but I lived in a small apartment in Queens back then, and I barely had the space for a single Lisa, let alone 3. :-)
Freshman year in high school, fell in love instantly, Soon became my schools computer guru. low budgets they had no computer teacher. soon I was running a BBS off the SE in science room with the schools phone line at night, some what underground :)
Although technically not my first experience using the Mac, my first memory of significance is receiving a letter from my friend which he had used his Mac128K and Imagewriter to create, and he demonstrated how his new computer could use a number of different fonts. I remember New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Geneva.
Compared to the ugly dot matrix stuff that was around at the time, it blew me away.
So later I was taken to a computer shop and had a go at MacPaint. I was hooked.
Not long after that I owned a 512KE and Imagewriter 15".
I vaguely remember my first Mac experience. It was at primary school, in the early 1990's. Up until that point the school had used a couple of 1980's Acorn BBC computers which had a few educational games on them. Then the school took delivery of their first Mac which I believe was a Macintosh LC. I was among the first to use it and the only thing I remember was playing with Kid Pix. I used to sit for ages drawing pictures and I still remember the cool sound-effects the various tools have. The Mac was a very new feeling computer and the mouse was particularly strange at first, but I very quickly got used to it.

I do also remember when the school got it's first PowerPC Mac in the mid 90's. It was either a 6100 or 7100 and it seemed so fast in comparison to the LC-series Macs we were used to.
It was at my College newspaper a Macintosh Classic II it was quite amazing to me. My first personal Mac was 7100 I still have it.
Being an Apple II guy through much of the 80's (my IIgs travelled with me to college in '89), I started using the Mac Classics set up in the computer labs on campus to write term papers. I found myself spending more time with the Mac "experience" than actually getting any work done. My future wife received a IIsi as a graduation gift in 1993 and I was hooked on its colorful glory. I got myself into trouble almost immediately with '040 accelerator cards, external hard drives, and a serious SimCity 2000 addiction.
I can say I grew up with Macs... I have a SE/30 which has practically my age, so "the contact" took place really early :). I remember playing with KidPix, and plenty of other educational games. My parents "secured" the computer with KidDesk, a really nice app which created a virtual desk, complete with a lot of widgets (sounds familiar? :)), and prevented the usage of the Finder and the rest of the operating system.

After finishing my 7th grade, my parents replaced my aging LCIII (this was 2001) with a PC running Windows 2000. So, for a while, I sticked with Windows, having returned (for good, I hope :)) to the Mac in 2006, when I got a new Intel iMac to replace that aging PC.

Next year I got a Pismo from eBay - it still rocks, I use it a lot in college, although I'm planning on getting a MacBook for the heavy duty work I need to do everyday :).

I sure can't imagine what is like to work with a Commodore 64, or even a DOS PC... I worked with DOS in 1st grade, my school only had PCs, but the following year they upgraded to Windows 95, so DOS faded away.

Oh, now I recall a funny situation. I was in 2nd-3rd grade (can't remember properly), I had a really nice game for the Mac, F-40 (the one with the Ferrari cruising through 4 different US states), and I wanted to run it on the school's PCs, to show it to my friends. I had such a disappointment when I opened the floppy disk and found nothing like an application icon - only garbled text on the filenames. I learned the difference - the hard way :)

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