Sunday, July 25, 2010
When Apples wore rainbows
London, ON, May 2010
I have a thing for old computers. In the cruel light of modern-day technology, they don't deserve a second glance. Their specs can be beaten by the most run-of-the-mill cell phone, and they're so obsolete that getting data off of them can range from difficult to impossible.
To wit, this machine has a 3.5-inch floppoy drive, a full array of serial and parallel ports (all together now, "Oooooh"), and absolutely no way to jack in a USB flash drive. Its screen resolution hurts my eyes and listening to the hard drive crunch away while it loads Word documents reminds me of what it must have been like to crank-start grandpa's Ford Model T.
But sheer performance matters little when history comes into play. I found this machine in the far corner of the youth director's office after dropping my kids off at choir. I used one just like it way too many years ago, and never forgot how much I enjoyed the experience - and how much this humble little machine started me on the road to following and writing about Apple in my eventual career. I wasn't alone, either: In schools across the continent, machines just like this defined how students first transitioned into computer-based learning.
Laughable technology today, I know. But sometimes I feel we don't take the time to appreciate the history of an era where everything seems to disposable and forgettable. Perhaps milestone machines like this Mac LC III deserve to be celebrated a little and not relegated to dusty office corners.
Your turn: Your favorite old computer was a...? Why? What made it special?
Thematic Photographic's closeup week continues here.