I’ve told this story a bunch of times, not the least of which was a job interview with Apple retail personnel for a job when shit was tight. I thought it would be worth sharing for the Mac’s 30th birthday.
My dad offered to buy me a computer to take to college in the spring of my senior year of high school. I demurred, saying that I didn’t really understand computers. I had managed to not need one for all four years of high school, so I figured that I would be okay.
When I returned from a long weekend trip in 1993 with my classmates to Williamsburg,VA, a Macintosh Color Classic was sitting on the table waiting for me.
It was amazing.
A nine-inch color screen, dense with color, sat staring back at me, a little droop in the floppy drive’s mouth smirking playfully. I played Prince of Persia on it, wrote a speech for graduation on Word Perfect.
It was a computer for a technophobe. By my senior year in college, I had turned into a techie, one of the few guys I knew who could dial into the school vax, chat with classmates from my apartment, get pictures from Usenet. My roommate and I played Marathon over LocalTalk. Oscar the Grouch sang a song when I emptied my trash. My buddies typed papers on my Mac. It never crashed and hosed a floppy.
Today, I’m the guy at work who fixes the macs and winboxen when you’re stuck. I can get you printing without you having to submit a work order. If your Office installation on your MacBook is screwy, I’m the guy who can fix that default Word template. I’ve copied iPods’ worth of data onto hard drives and restored the songs to iTunes. I write Applescripts and shell scripts that solve problems. I help out without making people feel dumb because I was dumb about the same stuff once.
The Mac made computers accessible to me.
My dad bought me my first Mac.