Abandoning the Mac

Posted: February 2nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Blog, Mac OS X | No Comments »

Unitron_Mac512_System_s1I still remember the day I bought my first Mac, it was the Macintosh IIFX. It had an 68030 processor with 24MB of memory and 100MB SCSI hard drive. If you know anything about 68k machines, you should this the Spruce Goose of hardware. The machine originally had a price tag of $11,000 but I got mine for $30. P.C. Place in Surrey BC was having a sidewalk sale in the late 90’s and they were stacked on a skid about 6 units high. As urgently as a girl getting her first period, I rushed home completely beside myself with anticipation. Mac, check… ADB keyboard, check…. ADB mouse, check… Mac compatible monitor adapter, uh… uhhhh… what the heck is this video port? This isn’t VGA.

One angry bike ride later I had my Mac compatible VGA adapter, you remember them: the one with the dip switches and the two parrots on it. I plugged it in, turned it on, and was greeted by what I now call the Sound of Failure.¬†After about a day on this machine, I got TCP/IP up and running on a hacked version of System 7.5.5 that I got off a buddy’s Hotline server. Yeah, that’s right, Hotline. Deal with it. The only other computer I had was a Windows 95 box that I used to download Apple floppy images. Hey, who remembers booting off floppy? Oh hey Andrew!

Those were the glory days, when getting a Mac was a special privilege. Ownership instantly baptized you into this world of insanity where people congregated just to boast about the superiority of their chosen platform. It meant you were a bit of a hacker, trying to squeeze as much as you could out of an old machine, mostly due to the superior case design, upgradability, and stability of OS 7-9. RIP. G3 upgrade for my 6400/180 603e? Yes please!

Today things are different. Apple has abandoned their professional customers, reduced the value of their product to commodity status, and all but destroyed the sub-culture that existed. Most MUGs are dead, with members taking to a recollection of better days more often than they experience new ones. Those die hard faithfuls struggled for Apple when they were dying, we celebrated them when they arose from the ashes, we promoted them and helped achieve relevant market footprint by proselytizing their almost evangelical status. However, in the end Apple abandoned us, they give us shittier tools with every revision, mediocre hardware often built on last years advances, and $29.99 server software that is promoted by a K-Mart style blue light.

The revolution is over. Communism won, and we cheered for it.



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