What Was Your First Mac?

The Apple community has long been known for being a world unto its own. This community includes tech enthusiasts, artists, and just about anyone who gets excited about any of Apple’s products. While I wouldn’t say that companies like Microsoft or HP don’t have an enthusiastic following of their own, the so-called “Cult of the Mac” phenomenon is in a category all its own. One common similarity each member of the Apple community has is a story about their first Mac purchase. What helped them make the decision to buy a Mac? What was the first Mac they brought home? How did it change the way they interact with technology? After hearing about how great Macs were, and being a Windows user for years, I decided to give in and pick up an iMac.

iMacs then weren’t the big screen wonders they are today. They were one of the first all-in-ones to include a flat panel display. In fact, when Steve Jobs announced Apple’s new line of iMacs in January of 2002, he proclaimed, “The CRT is officially dead.” Even though Apple continued to sell the CRT eMacs for a few more years, it’s safe to say that the CRT did in fact pretty much die during the years following the release of the first flat panel iMac. Is the iMac responsible for this shift? Hardly, but it’s fun to think so.

By today’s standards, the flat panel iMacs were a far cry from the larger and more powerful machines we use today. At 15-17 inches, their displays had only a moderate amount of screen real estate and even the larger screen could only barely display a video at 720p. This would have been difficult anyway on some of the earlier models, as the included RAM maxed out at 2.0 GB.

What Was Your First Mac?The first flat panel iMac came with an 800 MHz 32-bit PowerPC G4 processor. By the end of the product line’s life cycle, that increased to 1.25 GHz and they were eventually replaced by the 64-bit iMac G5 in August of 2004.

Specs aside, what’s most important to note about the flat panel iMac was how unique it truly was. By introducing an all-in-one computer that not only featured a flat panel display (something still very rare in those days) but also swiveled, pivoted, and moved freely on a desk lamp style arm, it became an important part of what would ultimately become the next big rise of Apple as a computer company.

That’s the story of my first Mac; what’s yours? What made you decide to pick up your first Mac? Which Mac did you bring home? If you’re still considering switching, which Mac are you considering purchasing?

Article Written by

Chris has consistently expressed his convictions and visions outright, supplying practical information to targeted audiences: media agencies, business owners, technology consumers, software and hardware professionals, et al. He remains a passionate personality in the tech community-at-large. He's a geek.

  • http://twitter.com/jeffnorris J Norris

    first mac was Machintosh in 1984 when 1984 would not be 1984 the Mac classic as it called now. Not much of a computer compared to today’s standards and its long been put in the trash bin.

  • William C. Toundas

    My first mac was a 6290, but I had to take it back because it had a logic board problem. My second mac was a 7200, which was a wonderful machine.

  • Jeffrey Murray

    Well my first computer was an apple IIc my family had since I was little, but my first mac was an iBook G4. Its a pity I don’t have either of them anymore.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1050456929 Robert Frederick

    my first mac, oddly enough was a clone, a starmax 3000 that was given to me when I first decided to try my hand at mac hardware. I later assembled a G3 desktop from a pile of parts. I still have both.

  • http://kevinrubin.blogspot.com Kevin Rubin

    My first Mac was a PowerBook 1400 that I bought in 1997 when I finally felt like I had enough money saved up to buy my first Mac (I’d been wanting one since about 1984, but always too low on cash and bought the cheapest PC parts I could get). It was fun.

    Unfortunately, it died a heroic death in 1998… It was in my backpack, on my back, when I got hit from behind by a Jeep. There was an ear shattering *CRASH* noise and I don’t know how long I was face down on the pavement before I crawled home. When I finally tried the Mac a few days later it was damaged inside, though not a scratch or ding on the outside… I think it must’ve absorbed enough of the impact to save me, though…

    It wasn’t my first Apple, though… I went through most of high school with an Apple //e.

  • thomas caroscio

    My first was a Macintosh XL, if that counts as a macintosh. For those who may not be old enough to know what that is, it was a refurbished Lisa, that emulated the Mac OS. I got it in the early 90s and It still powers up, but I do not have it running very often.

  • http://twitter.com/BildoBaggins Bildo Baggins

    Amiga 500!

  • http://twitter.com/mrcnwmn Marc Newman

    TSR 80 Color Computer. It was a Christmas gift (new) in 1982. Came with 8k or RAM, and I upgraded it to 16k.

  • http://twitter.com/stuff2read Patrick Cooper

    The ill fated Commodore Plus 4, had it for a few days and took it back to the store for the Commodore 64.

  • Anonymous

    Haven’t owned one, yet – I really dislike walled gardens. Plus, I’d ultimately end up installing Slackware or Ubuntu on it, which I can do on a cheap Intel or AMD based device.

  • http://twitter.com/dewono Dewono Siswardiyanto

    Powerbook G4 12″ 1.5GHz

  • http://www.jimmccusker.com Jim McCusker

    My first Mac was the 128k Mac that I purchased for college in 1984. Prior to that my actual first computer was the TRS-80 Model II with the 48K expansion interface and two floppy drives.

  • http://twitter.com/charlieisaacs Charlie Isaacs

    I built my first computer, a Heathkit (Zenith) 89. We built our first prototype for on-line shopping in 1983 on this computer, and then ported everything to the IBM PC. We provided hardware and software reviews using PCWorld’s Annual Software and Annual Hardware reviews, and allowed people to buy software online (300 baud and then 1200 baud) and allowed people to download demo versions of the software. We were only a little too early to the market…should have patented everything I guess. :) The name of the company was DirectNet, and Dave Bunnell was our sponsor at PCWorld.

  • http://twitter.com/CatsEyeDesign Bob Dunn

    First one I used, was an Apple e around 1983, then shortly after that bought my first Apple, the Mac 128 K. And since then, well, lot’s of models and I’ve never look back : )

  • Anonymous

    My first ever computer was a Mattel Aquarius in 1983 when I was 6. My first ever Mac was an LCIII in 1993.

  • differentspirit

    I had to look up pictures and specs of old Macs to figure out what my first one was, a Mac Plus. It was my very first computer, so it revolutionized my life in the way, I think, everyone’s personal computers revolutionized their lives at that time. I bought it used from one of the offices where I worked in the late 1980s when they upgraded. I used it until I bought my second, a Performa 475, which I bought new in 1995. I went online with that computer in 1999. My third was an iBook G4, bought new in 2003, which has been casually upgraded several times. I still have both the Performa 475 and the iBook G4. I only use the iBook G4, along with one (a laptop) of three PCs I also own (I’ve always been a switch hitter, although my preference is for Macs). I’m not sure why I keep the Performa (or two of the three PCs)…probably for the same reason people keep their families!

  • http://twitter.com/JackWestMD H. Jack West, MD

    Ironic to think that my family spent over $2K in 1983 on an Apple IIe with a dot matrix printer for me (though it was much loved and well used), then another $2K in 1986 for my Mac as a special discount from the college bookstore, but I think a MacBook Air for $1200 today is criminal (though yes, I bought one). And in that time I’ve gone from 5.25″ floppies to 3.25 in to now no drives. It took a long time to toss the old disks and storage systems, but then, you eventually realize you’re probably not going to use a 5.25″ disk again.

  • Doctor Partridge

    Jessica, a Macintosh IIcx was my first work Mac (if you don’t count ‘Angel’). My own personal one was TARDIS(1) a Mac mini circa 2007 with Leopard

  • http://twitter.com/doctorpartridge The Doctor

    I first used Dr Maher’s lab Mac (a IIx I think) called Angel but my first Mac to ‘own’ in terms of purely personal use was Jessica, a IIcx running 7.1. After her came Kimberley, a Centris 660av on which I wrote up my PhD thesis. I didn’t actually buy my own machine for ages then, until I was living in a friend’s place and needed a machine which was small (but bigger on the inside); TARDIS – this started my Mac mini collection. I renamed it TARDIS1 and she’s become my friend’s daughter’s main machine as I moved onto TARDIS2. I’ve got a TARDIS2b as well and special plans for building a TARDIS3, let alone all the others!!!

  • http://twitter.com/doctorpartridge The Doctor

    As you may notice, I name all my computers, Macs, PCs and everything else. I believe that you ought to name your PERSONAL computers else how can you refer to it? Actually, it allows to form an emotional bond to it (and hence you might look after it better!) than just calling it PC343456 or whatever. Yes, I was an IT Manager and encourage bonding / looking after your kit! My iPad is called Eric, by the way!

  • http://www.facebook.com/paddy260991 Paddy Gordon

    Had a PowerMac G3 years ago then got a MacBook and then a MacBook Pro in 2009

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_R5JXRUMXMAIO5HSSMBYEKK7374 laser

    My first Mac was an Emac G4 and an iMac G3 working together and i loves it

  • Anonymous

    my first and only Mac was a Lisa, which was given to me. it was very basic.