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dave

January 24th 2014 12:08 pm

30 years of Macintosh: What was your first Mac?



30 years ago, Apple introduced the Macintosh, which introduced personal computers to the public and ultimately created generations of both passionate fans and detractors. For those of you who've been Apple fans through thick and thin, it's been a wild ride. For those of us (myself included) who jumped on the bandwagon in more recent times, it's still been a fun experience.

I think it'd be fun to dig through the Engadget product database and talk about our first Mac and the stories behind them! Feel free to post them below (and don't forget to add them to your have or had lists on your Engadget profile!).

You can browse the Apple product database right here:
www.engadget.com­/products­/apple/

And check out our post on the Engadget homepage:
www.engadget.com­/2014­/01­/24­/apple­-30­-years­-macs/

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33 replies
PhilipPalermo

We dabbled with Macs in school, but my first real exposure came at my first newspaper job. Our big daily paper had fancy new G4 iMacs, but we lowly weekly paper reporters got hand-me-down Bondi Blue-era iMacs -- ones that had OS X crammed into them. Performance was... well it generally turned on and off when I wanted it to, but everything else was a bit of a headache. My Mac experiences since then have thankfully been more pleasant.
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kineticartist

...sigh I wondered when someone was going to bring this up 30 years has it really been that long? My first Mac was one of the original or close to original it was the white Mac not the tan one so probably not the first gen. I was working as a graphic Artist and Print Man at a St Paul Based Tshirt screen print shop and they had a Mac it didnt do much for us except font manipulation for our garments all other graphics were done old school n rubylith but the Mac let us do kick ass things with the text; bookends, arches, skews, twists ,drop shadows oh my it was glorious.

Every job I had after that over the next several years there was always a Mac for messing with fonts and text and I cut my iTeeth on those Macs and lusted after one of my very own but alas they were far too expensive and when I got my first computer it was a PC.

Now I live in a household with High end PCs a couple of Ubuntu laptops a Hackintosh a Mac Book Pro android tablets and phones iPods and iPhones.. So yeah it was that first Mac in all its lovely gui goodness and a drooling needy love for a gui based OS to manipulate graphics that made me fall in love with tech, all tech whether it be PC Mac or Android or linux

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Ryeenl

Yes, this is exactly the one. A Macintosh from 1984 with 512K RAM,, first computer ever. i got it in 1995.
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kineticartist

Man I must be the oldest guy here
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dave



My first Mac was bought around 2005 or so, while I was in college. It was a 15-inch Powerbook G4 and I ended up buying it about a year or two after I purchased an iPod. Up until then, I was a fairly rabid Windows fan (with build-it-myself computers). My pleasant experience with the iPod changed everything and I decided to check out what I thought was a hot laptop.

Crazy, I don't even think it had a 16:9 screen. How uncivilized! ;)

www.engadget.com­/products­/apple­/powerbook­/g4­/15­-in...
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baileylo

I came here planning to post some comment about how I got mac x when I was in college and blah blah blah. But you beat me too it, same computer and everything!
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dave

Hah! Did you ultimately decide to purchase it because of your experience with the iPod?
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baileylo

The main reason I decided to go mac was the lack of games; in high school I had been a huge CS guy and decided the lack of a game library would help my grades. Sadly, a year later I found World of Warcraft. But there's a funny story about the iPod. My dad had bought the computer and a printer, also at that time iPods came free with the back to school deal. My dad's credit card company decided he didn't normally spend that kind of money at apple and canceled payment. I'm not sure exactly how this all happened, but I ended up with the printer and the iPod but no computer. I can assure you those two devices aren't all that useful with out a computer.
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dave

I'm remembering something else about this too, actually. Our Earth Systems lab in college was split roughly 50% Windows (HP machines, I believe) and 50% Mac (flower stand iMacs). These guys: www.engadget.com­/products­/apple­/imac­/15­-inch­/early...

The main problem is that everyone would come in and use it and hog all the Windows machines. I thought, "hey, I think I can figure this Mac thing out. No one uses them, so I'm guaranteed to get a computer every time I go in the lab."

I think that also conditioned me that having one mouse button is okay.
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baileylo

I hated those iMacs, by the time I found the non computer science computer labs at my college they had this one www.engadget.com­/products­/apple­/imac­/17­-inch­/early... I think. That's pretty much the computer that sold me on the iMac line.
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baileylo

The first time I used a mac was in kindergarten/1st grade. My school had a bunch of second hand Apple II E, green monitor and all. If you were lucky you got the one computer that had a joystick and a colored monitor and then it would be Karateka(en.wikipedia.org­/wiki­/Karateka­_%28video­_game%29) all day long!
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wmsteele

We had Macs for Oregon Trail and Mavis Beacon back in 4th grade, but I can't remember what model they were.

My first real memory of a Mac was in undergrad. We had a lab full of iMac G4s. Though the design was pretty quirky, it served as a bridge from the older bubble iMacs to the newer thinner all-in-ones. I remember loving how I could adjust the screen any way I wanted to for staring at anchor points in Illustrator 11 for hours on end.

www.engadget.com­/products­/apple­/imac­/g4­-17­-inch­/la...
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jonfingas

15-inch PowerBook G4 from late 2002. I'd bought a Windows laptop for school beforehand, but the particular model I got was... bad. A slow 1GHz Celeron, 7-pound body (ridiculous for a 13-inch system!) and three hours of battery life. At the time, Mac laptops really were in another league, and jumping to the PowerBook was ultimately a very wise decision. I still use Windows sometimes, but that probably set me on my way towards being primarily a Mac user.
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MacsAre1

I think Mac laptops are still in another league, if you compare them to the junk entry level laptops and netbooks that use today's equivalent of the Celeron processors.
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schumaker

I got the white plastic core 2 duo 13-inch MacBook in college and still have it to this day. Its gone through a RAM upgrade (from 2 to 4GB) and a hard drive crash, and runs a little hot, but it's still good for mild web browsing and word processing. I just can't bring myself to get rid of the old girl.
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jandrade

My first Mac? err... well... I inherited a 2009 Mac Pro in 2011, but I hated it. My "real" first Mac was the first 15" MBP Retina, and I love it!

I'm not new to this though. My first computer was a Commodore 64.
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AZIceBear

My first Mac was a PowerPC 6100 with a DOS card. I took a Mac hiatus for 6 years and then bought a MacBook in white. I haven't looked back since but am less of a fanboy than I once was.
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marc

The first Mac I owned was probably the 512. The oldest Mac I've owned is the Lisa, aka the Mac XL. By the time I bought it, it was more of a historical novelty than a practical computer, but I still preferred it to early Macs. Unlike most Macs (and other subsequent Apple products, including the iPhone and iPad), it was completely user-upgradeable. It was easy to open the case, and all of the major boards were easily accessible. If the platform had caught on, it could have changed the entire way the Mac line evolved (or made the Mac irrelevant, and we would have celebrated the Lisa's 30th anniversary last year).


www.engadget.com­/products­/apple­/lisa/
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beau

I had a PowerBook 140. It too was my computer for college. I was the only person I knew with a laptop, so I never brought it to class. 4 MB of RAM, 40 MB hard drive. Monochrome LCD screen that I had yell at people to NOT TOUCH. No modem, had to get an aftermarket 14.4 modem to dial into the university network.
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frankspin

Is it weird for me to say I've never personally owned a mac? Every one I've ever used on a daily basis was work issued.

If that is acceptable, the first one I ever used was an OG Mac Pro. The office I worked at in college had one and no one ever used it. One day when all the laptops were in use I decided to use it and didn't stop while I worked there.
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TgD

I paid for a $2500 1st gen Macbook pro. The thing had a core duo processor (not core 2 duo) and lasted me a solid 4 years.
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Dignan17

It was a MacBook I got a couple years ago second-hand. It's still the only one I've used. I'm not the biggest fan :)
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javensbukan

At my elementary school, we had nothing but Macs. My fondest memories of computers were our well used Apple IIe's with the Green Monochrome Screen; many a book report were made on that less than desirable screen. Naturally, the first computer I bought with money from mowing lawns was a used Platinum Macintosh Plus from a DOT bus garage that I found on a trip with my dad (a parts salesman). It came with System 6.0.8, Claris works and many, many games, plus a mint ImageWriter II! I was constantly amazed that my tiny computer did things my parents' PC struggled to do; all the while being more reliable. I believe my Mac Plus was partially responsible for my career in IT. Even though I eventually sold it to fund my next Mac adventure (a Performa 6360CD), to this day I wish I still had my old plus.
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sirwnstn

I'll never forget. 1989 in the 7th grade. My dad got us a used Mac SE/30. It was my first computer. It had 8MB of RAM and a whopping 80MB of hard drive space. All of course running at a blistering 16MHz.
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Antonovs

The first Mac I owned was a Mac Mini mid 2007 model: 1,83 Ghz Core 2 Duo and 1 GB of Ram.

The First Mac I ever used was an eMac, do'n know which model exactly.
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AdmGilgamesh

The very first Mac I ever used was a Performa of some sort running OS 7.5. I was in the 7th grade and I had actually won a grant from The History Channel for genealogical work I was doing on the Cajuns. Well, the only computers this one museum had for me to research their records were these ancient machines. It took me like five minutes to realize the power button was on the keyboard.

I guess a few years later I purchased an old iMac G3 to toy around with. It was pretty ancient too, but it was so freaking cool. I adored that thing. It freaked out my parents; it was unlike any computer we had ever seen, even at that point.

Finally, in 2008, we purchased a new iMac (one of the first aluminum ones). That just opened new doors of possibilities about stuff you could do with a computer. In fact my parents still use it to this day.

I've been blessed to have used and owned many different Apple products, and I've even got to work for Apple for a year. It was like a dream come true. So I think it's safe to say that 30 years of Mac history and getting to work with the Mac has made me a true fanboy.
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peterburk

I think I'm the oldest kid to have never known life before a GUI-capable laptop computer connected to the World Wide Web. I was born in September 1989, and knew my dad's Macintosh Portable from birth!
The first one I personally owned (not a shared family computer) was a Mac Plus at age 8, followed by an iBook at age 10.
peter­-burk.rhcloud.com­/digital­-native
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Josemiguelangel

The firsts Macs that i've used was a Classic II, a IIsi and an LC II back in college, all with System 7, I've also used some Quadra 900 and 700, and some Power Macs 6500, and became a fan.... Really enjoyed all those machines, they weren't perfect....my first mac was an iMac back in 2000.....I've really enjoyed the brand even in its darkest hours.....
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groovechicken

"My" first Mac was an Indigo 500MHz iMac Firewire edition that I ordered as my new office computer at work in Spring of 2001. In the years leading up to that, I had derided the concept of the hard-to-upgrade all-in-one computer. A friend talked me into making the switch at the same time he did, though, so we could help each other with the switch. I ended up falling in love with that thing. What sealed the deal was editing a music video of my first child's first days in iMovie. That catapulted me into several years of videography and editing as a side job. I would grumble every night when I had to use my Windows 98 machine at home and started saving up funds from videography to finally buy my first Mac that I actually owned, a G4 Digital Audio 733MHz that I bought on ebay. I ended up starting a Mac User Group in my area and ran that until Hurricane Katrina.

I remained a true fanboy for years, but started to sour on the company around the time the first Intel Macs shipped. The slipping quality, high rate of lemons that got the complimentary 3 year warranty extension for one issue or another, and refusal to lower prices despite the switch to X86 has mostly turned me against Apple. I still use a mini at work because of the Adobe suite, and I keep my trusty Powerbook G4 running 10.4 for iMovie and iDVD 4 (the last versions that mostly worked without too many bugs or an incomprehensible UI), which I recently used to convert about 30 VHS-C tapes. I also hang on to some of my older models that are just too neat to let go of. I am a full time Linux user now, though, and consider OS X the same as Windows in terms of being those other OSes I use because I have to.

Check out my Have and Had lists to see the sheer volume of machines I inherited over those years, many of them as freebies from people who were buying new machines. Sigh, oh for the days of Avie Tevanian and Steve Jobs.
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MacsAre1

wow, still stuck on iMovie 6? Sure they drastically changed things with the newer versions. But at least the newer one has modern features like export to Youtube. More importantly, if you're doing video editing, you'd have to understand the benefits of a faster machine. (Powerbook G4 has to be about 10 years old!) I just helped edit a movie on iMovie on my wife's iPad mini and was blown away by how easy it was to use, and powerful. She figured it out without any of my help, which says a lot.
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groovechicken

Version 4, not 6. 6 was a buggy mess. It was better than 3 or 5, but not by much. In terms of stability, 2 was the best, but the added features of 4 made it worth putting up with a few quirks. The Powerbook I have is the 1.25GHz 12" model. I put an OWC SSD in it before the project and it was plenty capable for everything I threw at it. Granted, encoding took a while, but it was tolerable. I have been toying with the idea of making that my writing machine because it has one of the best keyboards I have ever used.
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MacsAre1

We had an Apple IIc+ from about 1990, then we got a Performa 6200 in 1995. That was great! Only because it had great software. It was also a bloated, crippled, and underpowered machine. But through my junior high and high school years I learned all the ins and outs of the Mac, even began learning C programming. A couple years later I actually rescued a PowerMac 6100 and upgraded that to the point where I'm pretty sure it was better than the Performa. Then in 2000 I got an iMac G3. Much better machine! Ran it into the ground for 5 years. My in-laws still have it.
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IbrahimRahman

My first and only mac was McDonald's Big Mac.
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