Steve Jobs’s death certainly marks the end of an era, but we can’t help but remember where it began for us.From old-school computers to shiny new iPods, here’s the SAI staff remembering the gadget that first got each of us paying attention to Apple.
My dad bought a Mac Classic II as a college graduation present for me in 1992. He sprung for the double-sized hard drive -- 80MB. A friend of mine who was into PCs at the time called it the 'Macintosh Meatloaf' because the small black and white monitor was built into the computer. I used it to play SimCity and write bad fiction. The hard drive died in 1999 and I was never able to get the five-pronged screwdriver to unscrew it and replace it. I just got rid of it in 2007 -- I gave it away to a crazy-looking guy who was going to use it in some kind of destructive art project.
It was a 4th generation iPod. There was really nothing like it at the time. I took it with me everywhere. Then one day I dropped it on the floor and it bricked. Roops.
In 1994 my dad unveiled a new PowerMac 6100 he had set up in the living room. It was the first Apple product to use the new Power PC architecture. It had a whopping 250 MB hard drive and a killer 60 MHz processor. What followed was hours and hours of Myst and Prince of Persia.
We hung on to that thing until 2001 or so. We like our computers.
Is it really lame if I tell you mine was the iPod?
When I was a freshman in college, my parents gave me an iPod for my birthday. I guess it's poor form to admit that I remained a PC person until I joined Business Insider in 2008, or that I have a Blackberry.
My first time using an Apple computer (other than playing around with a friend's for a few minutes) was in my high school journalism class. We somehow scored a 2003 Powerbook, which we used to lay out the school paper. I was editor in chief, so I got to take it home every day to do extra 'work.' I got my own Powerbook, the remodeled G4, when I graduated high school in 2004.
My first apple gadget was a second generation (barely) 10GB iPod. This one could hold 2,000 songs (instead of 1,000, like the original with the wheel that actually moved). I remember the white headphones, and the monochrome screen. And how the wheel turned a little brown after I used it all day for a year. I have sold many of my old gadgets, but not that one. It remains in a secret place, inside of the belt-clip case it came with, inside of the cotton sleeve that came with.
I wasn't blown away by an Apple product until I bought the third generation 40 gigabyte iPod.
I'd grown up with one of the all-in-one Apple computers because my parents were teachers. I also had a Macintosh later on. But neither of those computers meant much to me. They mostly collected dust. In college I had a Compaq, I think. After college, I bought the iMac with the silver arm, and the half sphere bottom half. It was a really beautiful computer, and I still have a soft spot in my heart for that design.
But, as I said, the iPod is what truly melted my mind. I remember buying it, opening it up and marveling at how small it was. To that point, I was going to work with a Discman and a fat stack of CDs. Suddenly, every CD I owned fit in this little box, with room for more!
It changed my life and made me an Apple product devotee. I finally got what everyone else was talking about when they talked about loving Apple products.