Bearing an obsession for Macs is hardly abnormal or uncommon these days. Let's face it. Steve Jobs can see into your dreams and extract a product that will ultimately be your missing piece. It is only natural that you reunite yourself with said piece, and so on... thereby increasing Apple’s market share. But some of us have older 'missing pieces' still floating out there in the void, just waiting to make us whole. There’s no questioning our love of new Macs, but our true devotion is to those Apples that have slightly fermented. We are vintage Mac lovers.
The only time I ever get tired of seeing new Macs is when I am looking for old Macs. I try to explain this to my wife but she doesn’t get it… She observes me typing away at my old Powerbook Duo, and she comments, “I really think you can do better than that.” I pause for a moment, speechless, trying to think of a good comeback or perhaps a reason that might explain why I’m composing an email on a 13 year old machine while my G4 Powerbook sits idly by. She’s right. I suppose I could do “better,” at least by any normal person’s standards. I, however, am not a normal person. I am a vintage Mac lover.
I remember seeing Mission Impossible 2 in theaters, and immediately wanting that G3 Powerbook. I was in high school, and I couldn’t dream of affording $2,500 for a computer, so naturally I went without. However, six years later the opportunity to own a Pismo in mint condition for only $300 came my way. By this time I could easily afford a brand new MacBook Pro, so why did I still have a gnawing desire to impulse-buy that Pismo? I guess it’s similar to my dad buying that old Corvette he could never afford when he was a kid. I didn’t want a new MacBook Pro… I wanted that Pismo. I bought it. No remorse.
So what is the underlying cause of this incurable fascination that I and so many others are infected with? Could it simply be the nostalgia of an older Mac that ‘reminds us of the way things were’? Perhaps it’s their elegant simplicity that is somehow soothing in a modern day of digital convolution. Maybe we’re all a bunch of ‘Pavlov’s Dogs’, salivating at the mere sound of a booting Mac, but whatever the cause, we all have a desire to re-live the Mac moments that made us fans in the first place. For some of us, we’re experiencing those moments for the first time.
I have recently come across a few sites that have helped to cater to my insatiable desire for aging Macs. One standard resource would be Low End Mac (lowendmac.com). There is a wealth of information to be found there concerning almost any Apple product you can think of. Subscribe to the RSS feed and you’ll get a daily dose news updates, including the best Mac deals on the web. With intelligent articles and quick email replies, LEM is a great jumping off point for any vintage Mac enthusiast. After a bit of web scouring, I came across a diamond in the rough. RetroMacCast (retromaccast.com) is a podcast with a small but growing community base of vintage Mac lovers. James and John co-host the weekly show, covering everything from priceless Apple antiquities to killer deals on eBay. This should be a no-brainer bookmark for anyone who is even slightly interested in older Macs. If you’ve done any real searching for old Mac software/hardware resources, no doubt you’ve come across the name Dan Palka. Dan has put together a number of very helpful and thorough online resources includingSystem7today.com,PowerbookDuo.com, andInfo-Mac.comto name a few. Check them out. He’s got a lot of great stuff for old and new Macs. For those who wish to run OS 9, there’sOS9forever.com. While no longer updated, OS9forever has the tools you need to get your older Mac running OS 9, even if it doesn’t have native OS 9 support. For retail upgradesOtherWorldComputing.comis always a sure bet. If you can’t find it at OWC, then your best shot is probably going to be eBay.