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travelweb page stuff  My thoughts about the Macintosh computer. 
2 centsWhy a Mac

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This page was written back in '96. However I have decided not to update it, but to leave it to show how much everything changes, yet nothing changes. Back then I was the proud owner of a P 475, while the machine is still in use (not by me), I fixing to retire my 6400/180 and upgrade to a G4.
Back in the old days, better know as the early '80s, a new concept was born.
The Personal Computer

Personal computers were starting to pop up every where. A new language was being born. People were using old sounding words with new meanings: bites, ram, rome, floppy, drive, disk, storage, memory.........

I knew it was the wave of the future. That every thing that appeared to be state of the art would change rapidly, I just didn't know how fast it was going to happen.

One Christmas, Sears was blowing out (clearance sale) a line of Timex computers. The deal of a life time.

Times Sincler 1000 computer with 2k ram. only $19.95
The "RAM pack" that boosted it to 16k ram only $19.95
A printer only $19.95 Programs $2.00 to $5.00
Bottom line over $400.00 of computer stuff for less than $100.00.



The neat thing was the entire system would fit in a briefcase. All you needed was a cassette player, TV, and a place to plug in. Within days I learned how to use a spread sheet, play computer games, and that there was another language to learn, "basic".

It wasn't long, before I discovered I could do most things faster the old way, and that a printer that used paper from an adding machine, was cute, but had no practical purpose.

Next came the Commodore Vic 20, WOW Color!!!! Could use carriages or tape. It was another great deal, a friend bought it, never could figure out how to use it, I traded some of my crafts for it. It too proved not to be very practical as a work tool, but was one of the greatest toys the girls ever had. Many an hour did the girls run their mice after the cheese (a cute game called Rat Race).

By now it was the mid '80s, I had truly learned to hate computers. They were expensive, slow, and every time something went wrong in my life, I would hear one of the famous quotes:

Sorry the computer must have made an error.
Well the computer says.....
Sorry the computer is down.



Spring 1989 I heard the words that brought a chill to me, "Everyone will be doing their own data entry, and typing their own reports". The boss had spoken, it was time to do the computer thing again. We were each given 4 hours to play/learn the computers. We had several of those fancy color IBMs and several smaller black and white computers they called The Mac Plus and an others were The SE 30s.

After 2 hours on the IBM, doing something called DOS, I was ready for happy hour and a new job. Several days later, a co-worker handed me a disk and told me to put it in the Macintosh. With in two hours, I could use a mouse, open programs, write reports, save it to a floppy, and a whole bunch more. It was so much fun that I would go in on week-ends to play with it. Even writing reports was fun. I wanted one for home so badly, but they were so expensive. A basic set-up was in the thousands of dollars.

Then came my chance, a co-worker had bought a Mac Plus with all the neat extras. The only problem was her budget was tight, and the only thing she ever used the computer for was card games. All I did was give her $100. and pick up the note that had a balance of $1,700.00. What a deal. I was now the proud owner of a Mac Plus, an Imagewriter II (that printed color), a large hard drive (20 megs), and neat software.

Next came something I had never heard of An Apple User Group. I walked in on my first meeting, very proud of my Mac, but not knowing much. Every one was so kind. Over the next couple of months I learned that my Mac could to do much. They taught computer terms, told me about free and cheep software, and that my computer could talk to theirs over the telephone, and most of all they taught me about mail order. It wasn't long before I was calling in an order for one of those fast 2400 baud modems that could send a fax.

During the same time I learned to have a very strong dislike for non Mac computer users. They would call my Mac a toy, and tell me it couldn't do as much as a PC. When I went into one of the bigger computer stores, to ask about some software, I was told to look on the back wall. The salesman than walked off, never offering to help me. I went to another computer store to ask about buying a book on Mac, and was told in a very cold way, to go to a book store. To this day people still try to run my Mac down, the only thing that is different, is I now know enough to blow them out of the water, and do, every time I get a chance. You don't talk bad about my kids or my Mac.

Over the years I have helped many a person see the light, and helped them buy their first computer. I now use an Performa 475, to say the least, it was cheaper than the first Mac Plus. My husband has my old Performa 460, and the old Imagewriter, the first Plus died after 11 years of service. I also have a second Plus that I had bought that still works, it will be leaving for Texas shortly, to be my best friend's first home computer.

Owning a Mac, is more than owning a computer. True it only a piece of electronics, but the culture of people that use Macs are a unique bunch of people. Much like a large family.

The following are some of my favorite come backs to PC users.

I just got a new 486!
Oh, I'm sorry.
I don't like Macs.
Have you ever used one? (only a couple of the people have ever touched one)
You can't get software.
Sure you can, just like you, we use mail order. Much faster, larger selection, cheaper, and most companies offer overnight delivery.
Well you know they are going out of business.
That's what people tell me. As matter of fact everyone felt it was their duty to tell me that when I bought my first Mac Plus in the 80s.
It lets me do things a Mac can't do.
Like what? (of course, not a single person has given me an example of anything they can do I can't)
Hmm let me tell you what I've been able to do:
    My old '85 Mac could talk and make sounds without buying any extras.
    I've been able to format, open, edit, and save into different formats including yours for years. Can your new one do that?
    Even before the Power Macs and Power PCs I could buy a little piece of software, and make my Mac slum to your operating system.
    When I want to install new software it only takes four steps.
      1. Put in the master
      2. Double click the "install"
      3. Click the OK button
      4. Click the quit, after it finishes
    How many steps for you. By the way how is your exe.bat? We don't have to worry about that kind of stuff.
    I understand now you can name your files with more than 7 letters, do you still have all those suffixes?
    When I added my CD-ROM, external drive, Jaz, printer, and modem. I just plugged them in, installed the drivers and was running in minutes. It takes me longer to get it out of the package than to install them. Never had to buy one those expensive cards.
    And there is that one little extra, unlimited tech support and great warranty work. 1-800-SOS APPLE. Apple like every one else, every once in a while has a bad piece of equipment escape the factory. Like a monitor I had, that was doing strange things, I called Apple, the next morning my new monitor arrived, with postage paid for me to return the faulty one. Or when I bought a returned unit from Sears, someone had bought it, and returned it, not telling Sears that they had destroyed most of the software. Apple not Sears sent someone to my home, and complete check the CPU and reinstalled everything at no cost to me!