Today Apple celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Macintosh. Of course, I was too young to know it at the time, but it was a day that would change the course of my life. I thought I’d take this opportunity to share my Macintosh story.
In 1984, my dad owned a small sporting goods store. He opened the store a couple of years earlier and up until that point had been running his small business using pen and paper. The personal computer was just coming of age and the Macintosh was affordable enough that he could justify the cost to use the machine for bookkeeping, inventory, word processing, and creating simple signs for the store. At least that was the intent.
I wasn’t even in grade school yet, but I remember going with him to pickup the machine. We brought home a “bundle” that included a carrying case and a printer. The man who demoed the machine showed us how the tiny beige box would side in and out of the gray carrying case and you could sling it around your shoulder so my dad could take the machine between home and the store. This, after all, was a portable computer.
We got the Mac home and set it up. My dad loaded up MacPaint for me and I started drawing pictures, trading crayons for a mouse. The early scrapbooks my mom keeps still has a few of these creations. I was only four years old, but my parents gave me the freedom to play on the Mac. There really wasn’t anything I could do to cause damage. There was no Internet to get into trouble and all of my dad’s business files were stored on disks separate from mine. If I broke something, or accidentally deleted the system folder because I needed more storage for my creations, I had to figure out how to fix it myself, and I did. Within a few months the Mac became “my computer” and dad ultimately bought the 512 Mac when it was released for his business.
Thus began my life-long journey with Apple and the Mac. My parents aren’t “techie people” by any stretch, by the time I was seven I was providing most of the tech support in our house. But when they bought that first Mac 30 years ago, and then ultimately gave it to a child, they made an investment in me that changed my life and I will forever be grateful.