View Full Version : Old Skool Mac Users - Say hello!

01-26-2005, 02:56 AM

I'm only 19, but i've been a mac user all my life. My first ever computer was an LCII, and i've since had a Performa 630 (FANTASTIC MACHINE that was, 1993 and it had a CD-ROM and video capturing equipment!) Performa 6200, Powerbook 540c, Powerbook 5300cs, iMac Bondi Blue when it first came out, then an iMac 700mhz, A Powerbook G4 1.2ghz and now a Dual 2.5ghz G5. I have used macs all my life! I also bought The Mac magazine when it was around, and loved the free shareware games and THE MAC CHANNEL, especially the early ones with that Brendon o'behave or however you spell it! And after all that i'm now working as a Mac network administrator at my local university! Fantastic!

I just wanna hear from the old skool mac users, the users who used macs before they were "cool" as it were. Whether you remember THE MAC magazine, and whether you remember the great programs such as Ram Doubler, Speed Doubler etc. Share your experiences!

Craig R. Arko
01-26-2005, 03:58 AM
In those days we spelled it "school." ;)

Two of the best hacks from those days were a system utility called Switcher (http://folklore.org/StoryView.py?project=Macintosh&story=Switcher.txt), which did pre-emptive multitasking with a vengeance (it suspended all the programs except the active one) and Thunderscan (http://folklore.org/StoryView.py?project=Macintosh&story=Thunderscan.txt), which was a scanner that worked by replacing the print head of an ImageWriter printer with the scanning device. Both made possible by the incomparable Andy Hertzfeld.

Next time I'll talk about TOPS (used for networking Macs and PC's) and the joys of paying $1400.00 for 1 MB (that's megabyte) SIMMs for a Mac Plus. Meanwhile read more of Hertzfeld's folklore.org site.

And Macs were always cool. :D

01-26-2005, 07:42 AM
First computer: Apple ][, 64K memory (that's kilobytes, not megabytes), 6502 processor running at 1 (one!) Mhz, 2 floppy drives (blank disks $10 each) and a colour monitor (green). Remember that 'colour' back then didn't mean different colours, it meant that it wasn't white.

And that was a hot machine in 1981!! Dual 'booted' Basic and Pascal (turn switch on -> it's up!)

Anybody remember Beagle Bros. Software?

Never had a Thunderscan but I did run TOPS over AppleTalk between a Mac II and a Plus.

I'lll never forget the day I was working in a Publishing office - they had a Wang Word Processor and the Wang rep stopped in while I had Mandlebrot (fractal generator) running as a screensaver. Their comment: "I wish our machine could do that..."

01-26-2005, 08:57 AM
My first Mac was a Mac 128k bought new in March 1985. I'd used computers since 1977 and when I saw the GUI on the 128k I was hooked. I dragged my wife to the store, she loved it too, and we used the money we had saved for spring break to by the little beast. Since then , we've owned a succession of machines: Mac II, 8100, 7500, 8500, Pismo, G4 AGP, 12" G4 Powerbook, and G5 Dual 1.8.

I've also started collecting the occasional old mac when I see one at a garage sale. I've now got a IIsi, Performa 450, Duo230 n' Dock, IIcx, Outbound 2030E, PB 190cs, PB 520, Quadra 630, PM 6116CD, 7300. Beige G3 desktop. I can't bear to see a good old Mac go to the dumpster

If you like old old Macs -- anything before PowerPC -- then you might also enjoy The Macintosh 68k Liberation Army (http://www.68kmla.net/index.php).

01-26-2005, 09:39 AM
First computer: Apple ][e in Christmas 1983. ( I think)
128K RAM. Dual 5.25" floppies. Green Monochrome monitor. Sweet.

First game jones: Wizardry & Bard's Tale

1st Mac for personal use: Macintosh SE in 1990.
2nd Mac for personal use: 867MHz Quciksilver '01
3rd Mac for personal use: DP 1.44GHz G4 card for above Mac.

1st Mac @ work: IIci
2nd Mac @ work: 8100/100
3rd Mac @ work: G3 CPU card for above Mac
4th Mac @ work: DP 500MHz G4 (Gigabit Ethernet)
5th Mac @ work: DP 1.25GHz G4 (MDD)
6th Mac @ work: 1.25GHz PB G4

First PC ever (for work): Some Dell P.O.S. running XP Pro, December 2004. I hate it.

01-26-2005, 09:45 AM
I remember reading the first issue (Jan. 1984) of MacWorld about two months before the Mac was announced at the Superbowl. I had read a lot about the Lisa, so I was very interested in the Mac. The article about Macwrite stood out. It talked of how changing fonts and sizes on the fly and seeing the results on screen would seem like magic to most computer users. WYSIWYG was a big deal then.

My first computer: Apple II+
The first Mac I got my hands on: 512Ke (Enhanced)
The first Mac I bought: IIci with 8MB of RAM (PC users asked: What do you do with all that memory? :eek: )
The uncool computer I never bought: IBM PC & compatibles :D

The coolest hack I remember wasn't really a hack, but it was cool because it demonstrated pretty clearly how much better Macs were at the time than anything else. In 1989 I had a fax modem from Dove Computer Corp. for My Mac IIci. They're nothing special now, but at the time they were only available for Macs because PCs couldn't handle enough RAM. PCs were only 16-bit because of DOS, and a fax page will often require more than the 64KB that provides. For the next 6 years, it was amusing to have PC users ask me where I got my fax machine because they wanted one that could send such clear faxes. When Win 95 (can you say beta?) finally came out, they got their chance. ;)

Craig R. Arko is right, it was spelled "school" and Macs were always cool.

01-26-2005, 10:17 AM
The magazine that I always subscribed to was MacUser. It was later bought by MacWorld.

My first Apple was the IIe. Then I went PC for a while and came home when the Mac came out. I got myself a Mac Plus. The utility that changed my life was ATM and the laser printer. What incredible things I could do with PostScript!

I was introduced to the Macintosh by a friend who came to me and told me about a business he wanted to start called Artbeats. I helped him in the beginning and watched his company grow and grow and grow.


It was because of the Macintosh that Artbeats was even possible.

01-26-2005, 10:23 AM
I started using macs on system 6 in i think it was 1989 (age 14). I had used the older computers like the IIe and the PET and TRS-80s and things before that, but never really got into computers and liked to use them until i met the Mac. I just liked the way it worked, it seemed to fit into my way of thinking and it was more visual then the CLI on the other computers I had used. As you can see in my sig i have and have had many macs since then, but i did not purchase one myself until i went to college in 94.

01-26-2005, 11:24 AM

I started in 1986 with a Mac 512k and I got hooked inmediately!

Next, I owned a Powerbook 170 for which I paid the incredible amount of US$4600 (well, it had a 40MB hard drive and 8MB RAM). And it's still working.

Then, in order, they came a 6100AV which is still around, an 8500 and a 9600.

Today, I have a small Mac museum at home, as I have the following Macs, all in working condition:

Mac Plus
Mac SE
Mac SE/30
Mac Classic II
Mac Color Classic
Mac IIvx
LC 475
Powerbook 170
Powerbook Duo 270c with Dock

And a series of PowerMacs like the 6100av, 7100/80, 7200/90, 9500/150.

All these, besides 6 other modern Macs for daily use by my family.

But, don't listen to me, I'm a bit of a Mac fanatic... :o

. :)

01-26-2005, 01:55 PM
My intro to the Mac was in the form of a 512Ke running System 3 and MacWrite.

Favorite hacks, INITs, cdevs, programs:

I can still type SMFA700A9F4 / PCFA700 / G from memory. You snapped on the silly-looking piece of plastic called a "programmer key" and you pressed it when your application froze and types in the strings above (with returns in between) and 85% of the time that would kill the errant process and let you resume working in other programs, save your work, reboot.

There was also an INIT called Bomb Shelter that made the "Resume" button on the old System 3/4 era bomb dialogs actually functional. (Otherwise it was just cosmetic, only the "Restart" button ever worked).

SFVol — would let you create a folder on-the-fly in the process of saving a document. Apple eventually added this into the OS, circa System 7, but before that, there was SFVol.

Scroll2 — double-headed scroll arrows.

WindowShade — Eventually rolled into the OS, of course. But we were using it under System 6 as shareware.

SuperClock — same story. The clock in the menubar that would display the date when you clicked on it. Or a stopwatch. (The Apple version eventually included with the OS ditched the stopwatch).

Escapade —*caused the Esc key to work like hitting the cancel button; also made it so that typing the first letter of any non-default button would work like hitting that button, likewise with checkbox and radio-button values in dialogs, etc.

FlashIt — quite possibly the finest screen-capture utility ever made, and for free.

Apollo — how you launched things once you had a hard drive. Or some of us had OnCue, but it didn't make the System 7 compatibility jump, and Apollo did (aside from which Apollo was shareware, OnCue was commercial)

Mψire cdev — the screensaver you used if you got bored with Stars

Carpetbag — to turn on sets of fonts and turn them back off

DOS Mounter —*once you saw it you were never going to muck around with Apple File Exchange again. You could pop in a DOS diskette and it would mount right there on the Desktop just like a Mac disk would, back when Apple's solution was a "mover" program that required you to copy the PC file to a Mac-formatted drive before you could open it with a Mac program, and to save it to a Mac-formatted drive and then copy it to the DOS disk with the Exchange program to go the other direction.

MacroMaker —*Apple's built-in System 6 macro program. Not as editable as QuicKeys, but it would record what you did and you could record complex operations involving multiple programs and play it all back with a single keystroke.

MacPUKE Init — to make your Mac make barfing noises every time you ejected a floppy, of course.

DiskInfo — the powerful shareware replacement utility for the weak little Find File of the day

DeskZap —*one of the best little Swiss Army Knife disk accessories. I think it still works under MacOS 9 if you install onto an HFS volume (not Extended).

Print2Pict —*which would, in addition to printing out to a PICT file of specified resolution, print to plain text or GIF. Before there was PDF there was Print2Pict

Umm...dangit, I've forgotten the name of it, but the INIT that would alter Command-N behavior so that instead of creating a folder named "Empty Folder" (or "New Folder" under 7+) it would pop up a dialog asking what you wanted to call it and it would then create the folder with that name.

FONTastic — the easy-to-use bitmap predecessor of FONTographer. Create and edit bitmap fonts. A System 4 era program that didn't make the transition to System 6 and the new font architecture (NFNT).

SuperPaint —*the Silicon Beach SW program that blew MacPaint and MacDraw out of the water. Editable text and vector objects and bitmap editing and user-defined fill patterns!

MacinTalk — Who needs System 7's text-to-speech? We had our System 4 Macs talking to us. Mine even recorded the outgoing voicemail message for our office. "I guess you'd rather be speaking to a person. I know how you feel. I'd rather be talking to a machine."

The OTHER compression standards before Stuffit emerged supreme. Compact Pro actually had an edge on them for awhile with smaller compressed files and a much better routine for splitting compressed files across multiple floppy disks. And the other also-rans...anyone recall PackIt? DiskDoubler?

WaitLess —*the System 6 Control Panel replacement for your 8 MHz machine, so it wouldn't take all night to load the Control Panel. (Beginning with System 4.1, the OS had to poll the System Folder for custom cdevs; before that, the Control Panel had just one pane. Now it could have a seemlingly infinite number but it took annoyingly long to load. WaitLess only polled when you told it to, relying on saved info to determine what cdevs were available, and only opened the one you designated as "default"; the others were loaded on an as-needed basis only.)

OpenWide — long before Navigation Services, this was how you dealt with the skinny-tiny little window in Open, Save, and Save As dialog boxes. Finally see more than a dozen files and not have to deal with the file names being cut off.

PopupFolder — a later item than the others on this page, but I mention it here because of its excellence. Turned every volume or folder into its own hierarchical menu, added hierarchical-menu capabilities to volume and folder names in any part of the Open, Save, and Save As dialogs (including the dropdowns at top center).

* I didn't intentionally add asterisks. I think it comes from using Shift-Option-hyphen to input em-dashes and not letting up on the option key quick enough when typing the following space. I'm too lazy to delete them all and I figured someone would come down here to see what the asterisk goes to :P

01-26-2005, 02:23 PM
...Favorite hacks, INITs, cdevs, programs:...

Great list! I'm feeling very old though, since I remember almost all of them. :eek:

Phil St. Romain
01-26-2005, 07:30 PM
It's not that long ago, but one of my fond memories was feeling like my Performa 6200 was the cat's meow when it was running OS 7.6.1 with Aaron, which made the ui look like OS 8.0 (which we thought would never come). Open Transport had replaced Mac TCP! And it was fairly stable . . . I was hesitant to upgrade to 8.0 in August 97, so happy was I with my set-up. Silly me! ;)

01-26-2005, 08:48 PM
AHunter3 wrote:
...anyone recall PackIt? DiskDoubler?
Well, here I'm using and still have the original floppies from DiskDoubler and AutoDoubler from Salient.

And remember all the -Ram-whatever- utilities?

RamStart ... to set up a ram disk.
RamDisk+ ... to have a virtual Diskdrive.
RamDoubler ... it doubles the amount of installed RAM.
Maxima .... to extend RAM from 8 MB limit to 14 MB, and to create a Ram disk.

Phil wrote:
one of my fond memories was..... the cat's meow
I'm still using PuppyLove (http://www.grenier-du-mac.net/fiches/PuppyLove.htm)... :D


01-26-2005, 11:04 PM
Apple IIc (I actually carried it back and forth between home and work--it had a handle)...AppleWorks by Rupert Lissner...writing assembly code...making AppleBasic programs by typing hundreds of lines of code from a magazine...game paddles...wonderful Beagle Bros. apps like Extra K...typing "no monsters allowed" at the console and not getting an error...poking values into memory to see what happens...then on to Mac with beautiful apps like MacDraw and MacWrite...producing gorgeous documents and playing Beyond Dark Castle while co-workers were still using DOS...it's been a great 20 years.

01-27-2005, 01:27 AM
It's not that long ago, but one of my fond memories was feeling like my Performa 6200 was the cat's meow when it was running OS 7.6.1 with Aaron, which made the ui look like OS 8.0 (which we thought would never come). Open Transport had replaced Mac TCP! And it was fairly stable . . . I was hesitant to upgrade to 8.0 in August 97, so happy was I with my set-up. Silly me! ;)

I remember Aaron, it was pretty good actually for a shareware/freeware type thing. I had the exact same Performa 6200 with that on.

Does anyone remember THE MAC magaine? I've still got them all here with all the CDs, and most of the apps on them still work. I've even got those Mac Channel movies here if anyone wants to see them. Some great classics are the one where he goes to Apple eXpo 94 and when he visits Apple UK and they don't let him in, haha.

01-27-2005, 02:48 PM
My first Apple was also the //e, with an 80 column card, dual floppy drives, and 128 k of RAM.

My first Mac experience was actually with its predecessor--Lisa. The summer between 8th grade and Freshman year of high school I worked on the 86th floor of the Sears Tower for a law firm, entering the profit sharing data for the partners into a spreadsheet on a Lisa, that they had purchased for (I think) around $10,000.

My Macs at home have included a 7100, a 7200, a 7300, a Lime Rev. D iMac, a 350 MHz B&W G3, and a 733 MHz Quicksilver G4.

At work I have a 15" Powerbook and a Dual 2 GHz G5. Pretty cool stuff.

And yes, I remember Beagle Brothers! I also loved using The Graphics Magician program that was made by Penguin Software.

Anyone remember Miner 2049er? ;)


01-27-2005, 05:29 PM
When I was born in 1987, dad had already bought an Apple ][e. (he actually started with an Apple ][, but that had gone by the time I was born.)

I then learned to use a computer by hanging off the edge of the coffee table and waggling the joystick ;)

Then we had a Mac Classic SE (still have it), then I had a LCII, and he bought a IIXi I seem to remember. As he was a university lecturer (still is) and got laptop upgrades, I remember him getting a 1400, 1440, G3 wallstreet, later G3, all the way through to his current 15" Albook (top model).

Personally, after the LCII we bought a iMac Graphite DV in 1999, which is now mother's machine downstairs. When parents split up and Mother and I moved, his uni was selling iMac G3's off cheap, so I got myself an iMac Indigo DV+ for £225.

I've now had my Powerbook 12" for about 7 weeks and I'm loving it. Funnily I think the 450mhz G3 iMac is faster than it in general usage, but I have yet to upgrade the standard memory in it. Thats the next big purchase.

His girlfriend has just bought herself a 15" Albook (lower model), and mother is looking into buying either a 14" iBook or a 15" powerbook.

And the nearest I come to having a PC in the house is Virtual PC 7 with Windows 2000 on, which is run from 10 - 11, so I can video chat with my girlfriend over MSN 7. Still convincing her to use AIM so I can use my iSight which dad acquired for me when he left his last uni.

01-27-2005, 10:28 PM
In high school (early 80's), I avoided computers like the plague. They were the bain of civilization. Out of high school, I got a job in the med school, and the first day on the job, my professor said, "here is a computer, here are some numbers. I understand there is a graphing program somewhere on here. Don't worry, if you break it we'll get a new one".

It was a Mac Plus with a 10M external hard drive, and MacGraph on it. It was soooooo cooooool! I was hooked. Over the years I have worked with/on most any Mac model, but only owned a few. First one Classic SE. Second, PowerMac 7100 the day after they came out. That machine, lasted through the addition of hard drives, RAM, and even an accelerator card, and then went belly up. I cried (really I did). Next machine was a beige G3 tower, after that a Lombard (one of the best machines Apple EVER built) running yellowdog Linux, a 1Ghz TiBook (the day they were available) and now just recently, my new 17" G4 powerbook.

Thanks for this thread. It brings back fond memories like 'Switcher', Dark Castle', and MacPaint. There was a baseball game that we played for HOURS instead of doing research and also an olympics game...


01-27-2005, 10:55 PM
Oh man, I can barely remember all of my Macs... lemme try, in chronological order, my family's Macs:

Mac Plus
Performa 550
Power Mac 6500
Centris 630 (?)
Quadra 900
Lime iMac (333MHz)
Ruby iMac (350MHz)
Bondi iMac
Power Mac G4 (400MHz)
Flatscreen iMac (800MHz)
Power Mac G4 (1GHz MDD)

And they were all stable, hard working, enjoyable computers. :D

01-28-2005, 11:39 AM
Apple IIe
Hewlett Packard XT (learned my lesson)
Mac Plus
Centris 650
PowerBase 180 (remember those?)
iMac DV
G4 iMac

01-28-2005, 02:00 PM
not mine, the school's:

• Mac 512Ke
• Mac Plus
• Mac SE dual-floppy

then I got my own, used:

• Mac SE (FDHD version with 40 MB HD)

and when it got old:

• Mac SE w/Applied Engineering board =
***40 MHz '030 SE with 16 MB RAM (in four discrete 4MB chunks)

that was one sweet machine with that accelerator in there.

• PowerMac 7100/80

and when it got old:

• PowerMac 7100/80 w/Sonnet card = 300 MHz G3 7100

that one's still in use. It's sitting about a foot away to my left, running MacOS 8.6, and I Timbuktu into it from home to make remote changes to the database during off-hours.

• PowerBook G3 Series ("WallStreet")

the amazing incredible best-Mac-I-ever-owned PowerBook. I've now owned this machine for nearly 1/3 of the time that Apple Computer has existed and I'm still satisfied with it as my primary computer. Of course, at some point it, too, got old:

• PowerBook WallStreet with Sonnet G4/500 daughtercard

By today's specs even that makes it slow, but it doesn't feel slow. Thanks to XPostFacto it's got Panther on it, which rocks; the 7200 Hitachi 60 GB drive adds a lot of zippiness to it, too.

Counting back, it looks like I get about 5 years' primary use from a Mac, plus as much as 5 more years as auxiliary/"other" computer.

Oh, and while not part of my "main sequence", but rescued from the discard pile a few months ago, I also have on my desk:

• original LC running 6.0.8