RetroMacCast

Where great old Macs live again!

Just in case you are interested…

I cut my computing teeth on DOS version 3.3 and IBM AT (two 320 K 5 1/2 inch floppy disks, no hard drive). This was, of course, a nightmarish experience. When I was deciding whether to get a computer of my own, a friend of mine from where I worked said I should at least look at the Macintosh. So I did. I went to the Campus Computer Store and asked to see what this was all about. The guy took me to a Mac plus and did something on the screen with the mouse. And that's it.

My first Mac in about 1988 was an Apple Mac 512 KE. With its built in 400 K 3 1/2 inch floppy disk drive and – get this – when external 8K floppy disk drive.

Looking back at this was a horrible experience. But at the time it was amazing and wonderful. Certainly compared to DOS.

I eventually upgraded this machine to Mac plus (requiring logic board and back cover replacement) with 1 MB RAM and then upgraded that to 4 MB of RAM. You see: I had to play Strategic Conquest Plus and mess with HyperCard.

The two upgrades mentioned above cost about $1100 as I recall.

I also was the last person to happily pay $550 for external 20 MB SCSI Jasmine Drive. It took me six months to fill it up. :-)

One of the more amazing things I learned was that 1) I could teach computers and 2) there was a desperate need for people who could teach computers well. Having spent a month generating a 45 page complex document in Microsoft Word version 3 for DOS – one of the worst months in my entire life (I'm sure I burned through a ream of paper figuring out how to get the margins, footnotes and footers to match correctly) – I had people coming up to me asking me to show them how to do stuff on these DOS machines. I made a deal with them that if I showed them this then would they leave me alone – since none of this was in my job description? They assured me yes. And were back next week.

I've considered myself a teacher of computers ever since.

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