Raging Pencils logo

Free comics every Monday, Wednesday & Friday!
pump high heel pregnant
A tribute to Steve Jobs.

A History

apple cubeMy first Mac was a used Mac Plus, plucked from the shelf of a nearby Goodwill Store in 1993. I installed a 10mb hard drive, popped in a system disk, turned on the modem and joined the conversation on my local BBS. It was just that easy.

My second Mac, bought in 1995, was a brand new PowerMac 6100. I scrounged up an additional $200 for 16mb of RAM at the local computer swap-meet and bought a cheap copy of Adobe Illustrator. I was now truly in the computerized art business.

A year later the 6100 was burgled along with assorted household goods, and the insurance company generously replaced it with a Performa 6360. I really loved this lightly-regarded Mac as it had all kinds of built-in audio/video bells and whistles. It was later killed by the same lightning strike that also got the fax machine and the TV.

The hard drive somehow survived so I popped it into a used PowerMac 7500 upgraded with a 300mhz G3 card, all bought with more insurance dough. Now I had dual hard drives, tons of RAM, and a hot-rodded CPU. Life was good. The 7500 form-factor, a sort of cyber-origami, remains one of my favorite designs of all Mac-time.

This particular Mac served me well for many years until OS X came along. Sadly, it wouldn't work natively with Macs that didn't have built-in USB ports so I swung a deal for a lightly-used Mirror Door G4. Now I had dual 1mhz processors and four hard drives. This was serious computing.

A couple of years later the upgrade bug hit me and I bought a used dual-core G5 from a designer at Texas Instruments. I gave the G4 to an artist friend of mine and he's still using it daily.

A year after I bought it the power supply in the G5 shorted out and took the motherboard with it. Apple couldn't fix it and, instead, gave me a brand new quad-core Intel G5 Tower as a way of saying "Sorry. Shit happens." In the meantime, while waiting for the Genius Bar's final verdict, I had purchased another used G5, swapped-in the hard drives, and kept working. As I didn't really need it I eventually sold the Quad-core to a sergeant serving in Iraq.

My current G5 is seven years old and working fine. If it dies I'll fix it or replace it, probably with another Motorola-powered unit. To be honest I'd still be using the 7500 if OS X would have been more flexible.

Above me, sitting on a sturdy shelf, sits the Mac Plus next to a cherished SE/30 I purchased somewhere along the way. Under my desk quietly rests the 7500. I'm still looking for a used 6360 just to complete the set. They're rare and, oddly, expensive. Yeah, Mac guys are weird this way.

Finally, stashed away in my hall closet, is my Mac Cube, the coolest personal computer of all time. It makes me happy to know I own one even if I don't use it for anything useful. But that's how art works.

Best of all, day-in and day-out, I sit at my desk each morning, smile when I hear the start-up bong of the G5, and continue to create. No worries.

In closing I'd like to say that never in all those years have I used anti-virus software. Never did I have to reinstall the system software. I am astonished at how hardy these computers have been and doubly thankful for their longevity.

Thank you, Steve. You were the best.


Steve Job's commencement address at Stanford in 2005.

HTML Comment Box is loading comments...

Today's Google Chow.

Everything good that I've created over the past 16 years was made on a Mac. And in all that time the last thing I ever worried about was if my computer was going to work that day.

So, thank you, Mr. Jobs, for giving this world your very best.