View Full Version : how long has everyone been using Macs? (tell your story)

03-25-2017, 12:19 PM
I started around 1990. 27 years ago. I was new to computers and I started using a mac in the public library. They had an SE30, black and white. 10 inch screen I think?. that is what got me hooked on computers and macs in general. Never heard of a mac before that.

that same year I bought my first mac, a color classic running system 7.1. floppy drive, no CD drive, 4 MB of RAM if memory serves me right. lol

Yamaha Pat
03-25-2017, 12:41 PM
Its been about 12 yrs. A friend bought me an iPod and I needed a computer to load some music so I bought an I Mac.


03-25-2017, 02:49 PM
I bought my first iMac in 2007. I'd used my sister's when I'd been visiting and just had to have one.

I then got a new one in 2013 (I think), and my first iMac was given to my sister. It's still going strong 10 years on.

03-25-2017, 05:39 PM
2011, when I fell out with Windows. Had friends who were Mac devotees.

03-25-2017, 05:49 PM
I started using Mac in school (New England Tech) in 2002, but I didn't own one. I received my first Mac in 2006. A friend had a Mac PowerBook and a Dell laptop. Told me he would give me the Mac if I could get the Dell running. I did, it ended up costing me about out $75 (internal drive and disc set) to get it working. When I got the PowerBook, I had to get an OS for it, I ended up getting Mac OS X Tiger for it, found out the PB was a 667GHz DVI 15" model, I loved it.

03-25-2017, 11:59 PM
Started in microcomputers in the 1970's building one from scratch using an 8080 cpu chip and having 8K of memory, a tape recorder input and black and white monitor. Wrote programs in hex for it. Output was one row of hex nixie (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nixie_tube) tubes. Moved to a TRS-80 Model 1, Z80 CPU at 1mHz speed, 64K of memory, two 5.25 floppy disk drives with 128K of storage on a disk, still black and white, running TRS-DOS. Then a Heathkit H-100 kit running MSDOS, then a series of PCs starting with DOS, eventually windows. Moved to Mac's about 10 years ago with an iMac, then a MacBook Pro. Now we (my wife and I) have two MBPs, two Mac Minis, an iMac, three Apple TVs, three iPhones and an Airport WiFi router. Oh, and I have an Apple Watch. Yes, we bought into the system, but it all does play pretty well together for us.

Right now the watch on my wrist has more computer power than the mainframe computers I managed in a data center in the '70's.

03-26-2017, 02:48 AM
Output was one row of hex nixie tubes.

Hey Jake.... how come you keep reminding me how old I am? I have a Heathkit clock that I built back in 1972 (uses 6 nixie tubes) still going strong. Although I did replace the original set of nixie tubes with some later model tubes back in 1984. Doesn't have a battery backup but keeps great time as long as the power is on. :)

03-26-2017, 11:16 AM
Charlie, those of us who are "vintage" remember the "good ol' days" that these young'uns have no clue about. When the earth's crust was still warm and computing was new!

03-26-2017, 11:25 AM
My first computer was a TI-99/4A in 1982 when I was in junior high. I switched over to PC's around 1990-ish and stuck with them having built my first computer in 1991. I dabbled a little with various Mac machines starting around 1994 working at a repair shop, did a couple of small "fixes" for Macs that were networked on customer networks as a consultant in the mid 90's. Didn't really touch them again until 2011 when I took a new job and was offered the opportunity to take one of the company MacBook Pro's as my sole machine. I've been a Mac owner since now having my own MBA and iMac 5K Retina.

03-27-2017, 12:17 AM
Be an active user since 2016

03-27-2017, 05:45 AM
I've had a Mac since Christmas 2015 - a MacBook Air. It was the last present I opened, and apparently it cost a lot, but it has served me well for over a year with almost no issues. I remember first setting it up and customising everything, it felt so natural compared to Windows.

My first Apple device, however, was an iPad Mini which I had from Christmas 2013 to early 2015, and I've owned three iPhones (4, 5c and 4S).

03-30-2017, 12:07 PM
In 1985 the education department at my college got 2 Macs to add to the 32 Apple IIe computers in the computing lab. In 1986 we upgraded the RAM to an entire MEGABYTE! WOW! I could run MacWrite, MacDraw, and Ready Set Go 3.0 all at the same time using a new system 6.4 feature called "Multifinder". Saved a whole bunch of time not having to quit and restart applications - especially compared the the IIe's which required a reboot every time I wanted to change applications. Took me a few years before I could afford my own, but been a Mac user since.

03-30-2017, 01:27 PM
I started with Apple II's in high school until about 1982, There was a brief period where I wasn't using any computer other than a DEC word processing system occasionally. Beginning in early 1988 I used a combination of an Apple IIGS (my machine) and a series of Macs (512, SE 30s, Mac II, etc). My wife and I purchased our first Mac (an LC II) about the time the LC III came out. I haven't looked back since.

I've used Windows boxes at work with everything from DOS / Windows 3.1 (with the exception of Vista). I can use them and do the things I need to pretty well but don't enjoy them. When Apple appeared to be on the verge of becoming extinct I half jokingly said I'd buy the best Mac I could afford at that time and repair it till I absolutely could go no further.

03-30-2017, 10:04 PM
I had been with a PC since Windows 3.0 and up to XP, which finally was ok. All the others Windows prior to XP were terrible. I decided to graduate to a Mac in 2003. I'll never go back.

04-22-2017, 11:13 AM
I have been using, building and administering Windows computers since Windows 98. My favourite version to this day is Windows 2000, since it was a perfect balance of stability, usability, performance and friendliness. All other versions have been either terrible "crash and burn" experiments (Win9x based) or Teletubies edition of same Win2000 (looking at you, Windows XP). I don't count WindowsNT editions, since those were not really intended for consumer market up until Windows 2000. Well, then we also had shiny-glassy-and-fat behemoth called Vista, it's refined and optimised version called Windows 7, and finally "back to Windows 2.0" a.k.a. Windows 8, followed by "Windows 3.11 reborn" Windows 10 (where did the "9" go?).
I have had 1-2 years using Slackware Linux as my main OS some 12-14 years ago... Which was quite fine, actually.
To be frank, I was always a big skeptic towards Apple and Apple fans. Mainly because of those douchebaggings fanboys who would consider themselves messiahs of the One True Faith called "All things Apple" and would not shut up about it. And also because prices of anything Apple were always absurdly big in my country.
But then, just few months back I bought a 2013 MacBook Pro 13" with Retina display for my girlfriend, and as I was preparing and testing it, I could not help but "feel the magic" in the MacOS and the synergy between OS+hardware. And of course aesthetics of it all... I got so curious, I decided to buy 2014 MacBook Pro 13" with Retina display for myself (same as GFs, just one year newer). After a month or so of using it, my experience was still the same pleasant feeling of things just working as they should, the way consumer computers should have been all along. It's just that 13" display and dual-core CPU proved to be insufficient while working with hi-res photos and for spinning virtual machines. So just few days ago I upgraded to 2015 MacBook Pro 15.4" with Retina display. Very pleased with it so far.

04-22-2017, 01:23 PM
But then, just few months back I bought a 2013 MacBook Pro 13" with Retina display for my girlfriend, and as I was preparing and testing it, I could not help but "feel the magic" in the MacOS and the synergy between OS+hardware. And of course aesthetics of it all... I got so curious, I decided to buy 2014 MacBook Pro 13" with Retina display for myself (same as GFs, just one year newer). After a month or so of using it, my experience was still the same pleasant feeling of things just working as they should, the way consumer computers should have been all along. It's just that 13" display and dual-core CPU proved to be insufficient while working with hi-res photos and for spinning virtual machines. So just few days ago I upgraded to 2015 MacBook Pro 15.4" with Retina display. Very pleased with it so far.

Awesome story swerfot. Great to hear that even after all that experience with Windows...and possibily some skepticism regarding Apple users & Apple products. That you were still open-minded to trying out Apple products...and sounds like it's been a positive experience!:)

- Nick

04-22-2017, 01:38 PM
Yes, it definitely is a positive experience :-) Although a move from huge stationary PC powerhouse to a compact 13"-15.4" laptop does not yet feel perfectly comfortable, but I figure I can get used to this. Especially since with each passing year I have less and less time and energy left for tinkering with my computer internals and OS'es... A move to ever so less upgradeable Mac might even eliminate those distractions, allowing me to concentrate on my main hobbies and using computer just as a tool :-)

04-23-2017, 04:54 PM
I started computing with a commodore 64 then Atari 130 that I modded. At the time could not afford a Mac so bought an Atari ST which was similar in the way the GUI worked. Got an Amiga when I moved here and had many PCs starting with a 286 and later 386 and 486. A friend had a Mac Plus he was not using so just gave it to me. Loved it and found an SE for cheap then got a Color PPC Mac (Forget the Model) then used Powerbook 170. When I moved again to my own place bought a few Power Macs from thrift stores, one was a 7600 with Sonnet G3 card at 400Mhz. I got a hold of OSX 10.2 Jaguar and fell in love so bought a G4 Sawtooth tower from a friend and have been using Macs at my main computers ever since trying OSX.

I use PC's for games and helping others with their Windows, but for any work or most fun it's Macs all the way.

04-23-2017, 06:08 PM
My first encounter with a computer was in 1974 at Ohio State. I was dating a computer science major and I would help him type punch cards for his Fortran class. I knew then computers were nothing I ever wanted to mess with. Too much work! ;D

Then in 1979, my daughter brought home a TI 99 and stuck it under the tv to play games on. At first I truly believed I could safely make it to retirement without having to deal with computers in my classroom. But then I got curious about the cursor thingy that came up before starting the gaming feature. I started playing with it and found myself programming simple stuff in BASIC. The school I was teaching at bought several TRS-80 Model 1s. I attempted to expand my programming skills using the Trash80s as they were affectionally called, saving all work on a cassette recorder. I decided to take three classes as a local university to expand my teaching areas. They had some DECs with 64K of memory, two 8-1/2" floppies running CP/M 80. We also had some Apple II's with the 5-1/2" single sided disk readers and you could turn the disks over. I moved through the MS-DOS family from 1.0 to 5.0 until Microsoft sent our school a copy of Windows 3.0. I was not really impressed and thought that mouse thing would never catch on. Oh, and the three classes I took - ten hours - was all that was required to become licensed to teach computer science in Ohio. I was an instant expert only because education was scrambling in the early 1980's to meet the demand for computer classes and teachers who had paper saying they were qualified.

I continued moving up the Windows ladder purchasing various PCs until 2013. I finally got so fed up with Windows, viruses, and constant intrusive updates that I purchased a 2011 MBPro. I joined this forum shortly after that because I realized I had a bit of a learning curve. The hardest thing for me was getting past the need for anti-virus. I will admit to trying all the free ones at least once. It took many months of detox and forum therapy to get me to just let it go..... :D

So, I have been a Mac convert since 2013. I am still just a hair above a newbie and am constantly learning.


04-23-2017, 06:23 PM
My first encounter with a computer was in 1974 at Ohio State. I was dating a computer science major and I would help him type punch cards for his Fortran class. I knew then computers were nothing I ever wanted to mess with. Too much work! ;D

Some time around 1987 a friend at the local university was taking a computer science class and had to take a programming course. I think Fortran though not on punch cards at the time. I was in the lab one day doing some word processing on a DEC Mate machine when they entered the room ready to scream. There were 30 something errors in the programming assignment they were coding at the time. Most of the errors were misplaced commas. Made me glad I hadn't studied computer science.

Randy B. Singer
04-24-2017, 02:26 AM
Around 1986, my wife (then my girlfriend) was doing her medical training at Stanford and based on departmental advice she purchased a very early Macintosh. She went off to New Zealand for a number of months to do an externship and she left it with me to play with. I was very curious about it. The world's biggest Mac user group (BMUG) happened to be in Berkeley, where I was living, and they had an electronic bulletin board that I started calling into every day. (Back then everything was via a modem and dial-up. No Internet as we know it.) In a short time, from reading all of the posts, I knew all of the answers to all of the technical questions that everyone called-in and asked. Not long thereafter purchased my first Macintosh, a Mac Plus with a whopping 20MB external SCSI hard drive!

Soon I had my own questions that no one else could answer. So I researched them and wrote articles for my user group on what I found. In time I had a large portfolio of articles. I got a job with Computer Currents (a weekly computer newspaper) as their "Mac guy". My articles in CC were popular, and I started getting requests to write articles for just about every major Macintosh computer magazine in the world. Then a local publisher (Peachpit Press) had a well-known author not come through for them for the latest edition of their popular book The Macintosh Bible. They were in a bind, and I met them at a show and they asked me if I could write a chapter for them about hard drives. I told them "yes" and that I had even built my own external hard drive (no one did that themselves back then), which impressed them, and that I could get them a chapter in a week. (They didn't believe me. None of their authors wrote that fast.) I got them their chapter by the end of the week, and they were impressed, so I went on to write a bunch of chapters for The Macintosh Bible. The book became a worldwide best-seller (at least while I was writing for them) and I was surprised that I actually met random people who could quote things that I had written in TMB. At the time I was a young attorney, and I was actually doing about as well from writing as I was from lawyering.

Around this time I was using my own Mac in my practice, but I was only using it as sort of a glorified word processor. (Very few attorneys were using computers on their own desks at this time. Even most secretaries weren't using computers back then.) But my bio in The Macintosh Bible said that I was a practicing attorney. So I started receiving a ton of letters from attorneys asking me what software they should use. I researched that, and in time I became the world's foremost authority on using a Macintosh to practice law. I now am the head of what I believe is the world's largest Macintosh user's group (with close to 10,000 members). It is only for Mac-using attorneys, and it is called MacAttorney. I publish an electronic newsletter called The MacAttorney Newsletter.

04-24-2017, 02:56 AM
Very cool Randy. At the beginning I had to build my own external drives also. Was a lot cheaper overall that way.

04-24-2017, 10:07 AM
Great story Randy. And to think you got started because your girlfriend/wife went off to New Zealand, left you to your own devices with her Macintosh, and an additional career was born.

When I was teaching high school I use to find it so amusing when young people would tell me how they had planned out their life and just knew that was the way it would be and what they would be doing for the rest of their lives. I encouraged them to set goals, as they are essential, but always be flexible. You never know what doors will be opened and a rigid inflexible view might prevent them from seeing an amazing opportunity. Looks like you walked through some open doors!


04-24-2017, 02:05 PM
Oh wow, such awesome stories... Makes me feel like a mere youngster when reading them... Respect to you people...
And I really agree with Lise regarding planning career for the rest of your life -- that just sounds naive and funny now :-))) I remember, when I was in my 16-18, I was pretty sure I have absolutely no idea what I want (or even can) do with my life. I actually even considered being a woodsman/forester since I like forests so much... :-D In fact, I was totally afraid of computers up until around age of 16 -- that is when my parents bought me my first PC (on a lease, since we were not particularly rich family, if you know what I mean). And then it all started... It came with Windows 98 pre-installed, and in following few years I broke and fixed it more times than I can count, messed with software, OSes and even BIOS to the point of bricking it (CMOS reset was needed to bring it back to life). My first attempt to re-install OS on my own took me a little more than 3 full days (I did not have access to internet back then). I even experimented with BeOS at one point.
But all that paid of. I now have a career in IT (10 years and counting), and right at this moment it feels like I am at the a pinnacle of it (just took upon new job).
But the funny thing is... I wasn't really sure what I want to do with my life as recently as 3 years ago... Even switching to military crossed my mind briefly at one point.
So I can say with confidence that I too want to laugh when people in their year 18-20 say that they "have a plan"... :-D

Randy B. Singer
04-24-2017, 08:28 PM
I encouraged them to set goals, as they are essential, but always be flexible. You never know what doors will be opened...

That's really true. I've changed careers several times in my life. You never know what life is going to present to you.

I probably never would have gotten so involved with the Macintosh, but just by happenstance Berkeley, where I went to undergrad, was the center of the universe for both people who used the Macintosh, and publishing houses for computer publications. If both hadn't been so accessible, I might not even be a Macintosh user today.

04-30-2017, 11:53 AM
There are some superb stories in there folks!

My first brush with any computers was when I came in to contact with the analog conputers that controlled the engines on the Bristol Britannia and as an aircraft electrician they were part of my remit. That was in 1961. I was in the R.A.F. for 12 years working on large transport aircraft. Comet 2 & 4C, Britannias, then Shorts Belfast and VC10s and loved it.

When I left the R.A.F. I jioned Nexdoor Confusion, more commonly known as Nixdorf Computers and 2 years with them on their small machines running off of 2k 'bombs' Books of toroidal core storage. Repairing the dammed things to with yards of VERY fine wire! I got sick of the way the company worked and got a job with that small US company some of you may have heard of, IBM? And spent 18 years employed as a Customer Service Engineer on mainframes. Some of the first disks were hydraulic controlled and at one customer I was repairing an 80 coloumn card punch/verifier and was told that the guy who had just come in to see the DP manager was from the Liverpool Computer museum and wanted to know if the maching I was working on was for sale for his museum! That was in one of the JMB, Joint Matriculation Board offices, they do the selection for the English universities.

First PC, in about 1971, was an IBM, at staff prices. It was less than the reseller could get them from and he wanted to know how I'd swung the price like that. I don't remember much about that one. It was upgraded a couple of times until I could afford a newer model, still don't remember much, but the both had the little floppy disk drive, not much memory and a small HDD!

Stumbled from PC to PC until March 2010, bit the bullet and got an iMac 21 1/2 with 2 gig of memory and a 250 gig HDD. Then 10.10.2010 we lashed out and bought this MacBook Pro 13 that we have now with 4 gig mempory and a 250 gig HDD.

Now the iMac has 8 gig of memory and a 2 tb hybrid SHDD and the MBP has 8 gig and a 500 gig SDD and a 1 tb SHDD internally. They both started out on Snow Leopard and have graduated up to Yosemite on the iMac and El Cap on the MBP. I am reluctant to go to Siera at the moment because I also have a Wacoms graphics pad with both a mouse and a stylus and I don't know of any drivers for Siera??

Would I go back to Windoze? No chance!

05-01-2017, 12:17 AM
I was a Windows guy from my first computer until Microsoft started pushing Windows 10. Didn't like their business tactics. I'm still running two Window 7 computers, but hardly use them. On April 3, 2016 I put my order in for my first Mac the 27 inch. It was delivered on April 12, 2016 and set up a few says later. It took awhile to get use to where everything was on the Mac. I try to learn a little more on the Mac every day. Later this year my Wife will be getting her first Mac. Eventually we will be unpluging the Windows Computers for good.

05-01-2017, 04:27 PM
I started out with a Commodore 64c and eventually graduated to the Commodore Amiga. I was an Amiga devotee for many years and scoffed at what was then the laughably inferior Mac. By the mid to late 90's, I finally gave up on any hope that the Amiga would be ever be resuscitated by any of its new corporate suitors and started using Windows full-time and eventually landed a job in IT during the "dot com boom", mostly working with Windows 95/98 and NT 4. As my career grew, I didn't really give much thought to Apple or the Mac, up until they finally (blessedly?) moved it over to x86 and started to make some really nice hardware that was worth the premium price. When Microsoft released the disaster that was Windows Vista, I bought my first Mac and that graduated into an obsession for Apple hardware. That lasted well up until Tim Cook's Apple started dumbing down the entire Mac line, while simultaneously jacking the prices up into ludicrous territory. Now I wonder what my next machine will be.

05-01-2017, 05:49 PM
My brother still has his Commodore Amiga. He swore it was the best computer he ever had. He use to tweak the heck out of it. Memories......


05-14-2017, 04:46 PM
How did this thread go from a "how we got into Apple computers" to being frustrated by how Apple builds their computers? lol

Kind of a 180 there...

05-14-2017, 05:19 PM
Thread cleaned up a bit. Tangential discussion moved to its own thread.:)

- Nick

05-14-2017, 05:28 PM
Pray tell which thread please Nick? But it is a bit like a conversation where it wanders and returns I suppose?

05-14-2017, 09:32 PM
Your post concerned the possible upcoming purchase of a MacBook. It and all replies were moved to it's own thread in the notebook area.:)


- Nick