Happy (belated) 30th Birthday Macintosh: My first Mac story

The top of my first Mac. On the Macintosh’s 30th birthday, I forgot my MacBook Pro at home.

I knew something was off that morning. When I arrived at my office and opened my backpack, it was not there.

I let out a loud sigh. I would have to go home. And it was –6 degrees.

A coworker asked if I could just use one of the iMacs in the office. I could. All my documents were in the cloud. Yes, I wouldn’t have TextExpander snippets or Launchbar, but I could by.

Another option would be to use my iPad. I’ve been inspired by Federico Viticci and how the iPad as his primary work machine and have wanted to try to do more things on the device. But with an ongoing political scandal and a weekly column to write, this would not be that day.

I needed my own Mac

The Macintosh came into my life as I was graduating from high school. It was a 2006, 15-inch MacBook Pro, and the nicest thing I had ever owned.

The machine soon became the center of my life. Over that summer, I used it for photos, internet discovery, music and chatting. When I got to school, I took notes on it, researched papers and used it for my Latin and Greek studies (that’s another story some day. Looking back, I thought I had a pretty cool workflow).

In a lot of ways, it was nothing new. I had been obsessed with computers since my parents got the family a giant Gateway 2000 desktop. When I was 12 I was able to set up a loan and payment plan with my Grandparents to get the money to buy my very own computer (it too, a Gateway). On it, I went deeper into the Linux world and really tried to make a machine that could do everything I wanted.

This was during the wild west of peer-to-peer sharing. And did it get fun when we got a cable modem. I even made a few appearances on TechTV.

When I was getting ready to go to college, I knew I really wanted a Mac. There really was no debate. My boyhood PC was nice, but most memories are of it being slow and sluggish. I didn’t want to deal with tuning up the computer to work, as I did with Windows. I wanted it to just operate smoothly.

Every semester, that machine went through hell and back. I used it for everything all of the time. When I became the news editor for the college newspaper in my senior year, I needed something fresh that could go through more beatings. I purchased a baseline, 13-inch MacBook Pro. I used that daily for three years until I got a 15-inch MacBook Pro for work. That is now my primary machine.

The keyboard and trackpad of my first Mac. I do not lie when I say this thing went through a lot.

I realized as I was driving to get that machine on Friday how important and vital the Mac is for me. I use my iPhone and iPad for a lot of focused tasks, such as RSS, Twitter or personal writing, but if it’s for work, it’s always on the Mac.

There’s an ease of switching between applications and the customizability. And I can’t forget horsepower. With the multimedia editing and processing I do daily, it’s the only device that can do it in an acceptable time.

So happy belated birthday Macintosh. You have changed how I work and are a reliable, sensible machine which helps me get work done. While we’ve only been aquatinted for eight years, I look forward to your next 30.

(If it means anything, I still have my first MacBook Pro. It’s retired but I will forever hold on to it. As for my first computer….don’t know where it went).