The computer that I normally use at my job, the so-called "assistant manager's computer", is a 2.8Ghz Celeron-powered eMachines... thing. I have no model number for it, because it's generic, so I can't link to a website or anything.
Well, I have finally made my full transition into the role of assistant unit manager. They told me to "make the job your own", and so I have... and part of that involved pulling off a huge coup, and replacing that tired old eMachines with... actually, an even older iMac G3
And get this... this little 600Mhz PowerPC G3-powered iMac, with 768MB of RAM and OS10.4.11, runs CIRCLES around that 2.8Ghz eMachines behemoth. Like, seriously! Particularly in situations that call for connecting to the remote machines... because part of what we do requires us connect remotely to a mainframe in Raritan. And Microsoft's Remote Desktop Connection for Mac
works about ten thousand times better than it does on the PC. No joke!
By far, though, the coolest thing is this:
You can see inside the thing
I remember when Molly had one of these, a purple one
, back in the days when I was still using either a PowerMac 6100
(which I still have, by the way) or a Centris 610
(which I don't have, but I do have a Quadra 660AV
, which was kind of the same thing).
Yes sir, we've definitely come a long way.
It got me thinking, though, of what my top five favorite computers were. Like... the five best machines I have ever laid my hands on. Here, then, is my list:#5: The Apple IIe
This is, of course, the first machine I ever saw or touched. My elementary school
had a limited number of these things, on carts, and they wandered from classroom to classroom. When you were lucky, you got to use Bank Street Writer
or Number Munchers
or something. And once or twice a month they'd gather all the big, rolling carts into the art room and we'd learn Logo
or something. This is what made me want a computer. BUT...#4: The Mac 128K
It wasn't until the original Macintosh stumbled into my school's newly christened "computer lab" that I really fell in love with computers. This is the machine that got me bugging my family for a computer.#3: The PowerMac 5400
I'd had a couple of Macs by the time I acquired my 5400
, but the 5400 is where it all started to fall together and make sense. People malign these machines, but it really was the first Mac that I could really upgrade
. I remember that mine had a bad hard drive, so I went out and bought a 20GB Maxtor drive for something like $80. My brother and I went on a monumental search for the bizarre RAM DIMMs the thing used, and it was the first computer that I had that used USB (via a PCI card that I installed myself). It had a built-in microphone and I remember experimenting with a very primitive AIM audio-chat with my friend Jamie. It only had MacOS 8.6 (I hadn't even made the leap to OS9), but I liked it so much that, when the internal monitor started to go bad, instead of upgrading to a newer Mac which was in my price range, I instead bought a PowerMac 6400
, which is based on the exact same "Alchemy
" motherboard, so I could just transfer over all the hardware and stuff.#2: The MacBook
I got a 2.1Ghz MacBook
for my birthday, and it is the machine that has become attached to my side. This computer has taken the coolness of any other computer you can get, and mushed it all into a notebook computer that I can take with me wherever I frikkin' go!
I'm using it now. Chances are, if you read an email from me, it was written on it. If you see me on AIM, you're catching me using it.
When on the road, it operates as a normal laptop, with a trackpad and all that portability and power. But when home, it transforms into a very powerful desktop system, with a 17" LCD monitor, external iSight camera, Altec Lansing speakers, USB2 backup drive, Apple aluminum keyboard and Logitech optical mouse. She is, simply, second to none.
And this might seem strange, but... #1: The Commodore 64
It's old. It's obsolete. It's not a Mac OR a PC. But the C64
was the first computer that I had. It was the original computer that my grandfather bought me for Christmas in 1986. And it was from this computer that all my knowledge came from.
From the Commodore 64, I taught myself how to program. I learned not only the commands, but what they MEANT. I taught myself BASIC and 65xx Assembly Language with the C64 and without it I never would have figured out 680x0 Assembly or, more recently, x86 Assembly. I learned to do things on the C64 that the C64 was, frankly, not meant to do
. The Commodore 64 is, in short, the benchmark by which all future systems are judged:
I've talked enough for tonight, and I have to get back to work, so... that is all.