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How it all began for me April 15, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Legacy Hardware, Reminiscing.

My love affair with Macs began with a dalliance in the early 80s with an Apple ][ Plus that look exactly like this. Well, kinda; only I had just one drive, not two. The other chunky metal floppy drive came much later. Actually, come to think of it, even the first drive came late too; I started with a little cassette recorder to load up apps and games, and to save files. On cassettes, I kid you not. I used to listen to the stored programs, and they sounded exactly like modems do when they try to connect to some slow-ass provider. I remember my favorite program was a game called Space Invaders, a 20k app which took fifteen minutes to load up and start.

The Apple ][ Plus wasn’t a Mac, no. The Mac came later in my life. But this is the computer that started me on Apple, and onto the Mac. This is how it all began.

Later I’d get a Z80 card and a 64k memory expansion card so I could run CP/M, which is a command-line operating system that wasn’t made by Apple (strictly speaking, I wasn’t using Apple software, just the hardware – later I’d live and breathe Appleworks, but in the early days it was Wordstar and dBase and VisiCalc). CP/M was the ancestor of MS-DOS, and CP/M itself grew up to become DR-DOS, if I’m not mistaken. I’d later graduate into a Apple //e, and then an Apple //e-Enhanced, (which was silly when you come to think about it – the e in //e stood for “enhanced” already) – and a color composite monitor and more colorful games like Centipede and Karateka, and then, finally, a Macintosh.

My //e still lives and breathes, by the way, a 25-year-old geezer. I love that thing.

Seemed appropriate to talk about my roots, at this juncture. Great to put things in perspective; there are so many proud, chest-thumping newbie Mac fanboys whose earliest memories start with the Aluminum Powerbooks. Man, you don’t even know the half of it, you young whippersnappers. *grumble* Let’s just say, if you’ve never wrestled with system extensions to get your Mac running, be careful in flaunting your Mac pedigree.

More reminiscing as my memory comes slowly crawling back.



1. mariquita - April 23, 2007


The nostalgia of it all! My very first computer *ever* was one of those. I had to worship any and all Apple equipment from afar for a very long time after that, though – but now, my iBook pwns me like nothing before or since. (Unless you count my 6GB iPod mini?)

And “Karateka”!!! Damn, but that eagle (vulture) on the bottom level was pure, pure evil. ::sighs happily:: Did you ever play “Tai Pan”?

BTW, this is cindyg from LiveJournal. I think I’m going to enjoy visiting here!


2. details_later - April 23, 2007

Hey Adel! It’s Karen!

With your encouragement, I decided a bit of my own Apple/Macintosh “How it all began.” I realized I clapped eyes and fingers have tapped on various Apple computers pala. Even though I didn’t own my own Mac til late last year. (Yes, an aluminum PowerBook. What a whippersnapper!)

In the dawn of Karen Apple time, I used to play “Santa Paravia” at my best friend’s house with her dad’s Apple II. Santa Paravia was a serfs/landlord game, the early progenitor of Sims. So I learned a bit of sociology at a young age too. Apple—so educational!

Then another best friend’s dad had an Apple IIc bought in the States. Very nice indeed! Paper white na ang monitor niya. Didn’t get to use it much. I only remember the machine clearly because Time magazine included it its Best Of Design year-end in… 1987?

Mom had an early Classic when she was working in PAL. (They also had the earliest IBM PC and Compaq’s!) But I really got to work with Classic in the ol’ common workingplace, and my Macintosh affair really began!

I went on to graduate to Performas, and used it for a good five years! She was a good machine.

The ol’ common workingplace also had an LC and a Quadra.

Virtual Mac history, no? Bet you had all the machines I mentioned in your home office! =>

3. reverseengineer - April 23, 2007

Sadly, no, Kawen. From a Mac Classic I fastforwarded years later to a Graphite G4 tower and a Tangerine toilet-seat iBook bought during a moment of excess at a Mac store in Sydney, Australia. In the interim I was a Gates Acolyte. But there was no turning back after that.

I am ashamed of my sordid past, gallivanting with 8088s, PC-ATs and XTs and a variety of other Wintel machines. But we all deserve a second chance, don’t we? And I believe I’ve adequately redeemed myself.

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