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Happy birthday, Mac

Posted in: geeky    

The Apple II and the Macintosh SE/30

Today marks the 30th anniversary for the Macintosh. Happy Birthday, Mac!

I didn’t become a Mac-user until 1990, but I’ve owned and used most of the models. Looking through MacTracker, I think the Macintosh 512K and Macintosh XL (the renamed Lisa) are the only models I’ve never put my hands on.

The first Apple my family got wasn’t a Macintosh, but a 1978 model Apple II. It came with a whopping 48KB of RAM, which we later upgraded to 64KB. I had a lot of fun with this computer, PEEK’ing and POKE’ing the registers. Naturally, Space Invaders was the most used game.

I was a bit slow adapting the Mac. Reading MacWorld/MacUser and pestering the sales people of the local computer store for almost a year, I convinced myself to buy the fabulous SE/30 in 1990.

The SE/30 had 8 RAM-slots divided into two “banks”. Each bank had to be filled with the same type of RAM. If you bought the SE/30 with 1MB of memory, you would get four 256KB RAM modules filling up one of banks. When you later wanted to upgrade to 8MB of memory, you had to buy eight 1MB RAM modules, and throw away the original 256KB modules. With this in mind, I bought mine with 4MB (4 x 1MB) of memory. Price? Just a bit more than you would have to pay for a base model of the new Mac Pro.

The SE/30 ROM’s weren’t 32-bit clean, so you couldn’t access more than 8MB of memory. Thankfully, Connectix (remember them?) came out with Mode32 which enabled 32-bit computing. My SE/30 eventually ended up with 20MB of memory.

In addition to the RAM-upgrade, I bought myself a 200MB Seagate hard drive to replace the stock 40MB one. I also got a graphics card for connecting an external 13” Apple Color Monitor. Add in a modem for BBS and Internet access. This was one heck of a work horse.

So thank you, Apple. I look forward to see what kind of Mac I’ll be using in 2044.