A Mac Origin Story
Warning: This is a long post (2,500+ words).
I’ve been using Macs since 2001. For some, that still makes me a newcomer to the Mac platform. Here’s my story.
This is not as retro as some other posts here, since it only starts in 2001, but even that is 22 years ago now, so it really does count even if those of us (me) that feel like it was just yesterday may not want it to.
Prior to 2001 I did not know much about Macs. I had used them in college a few times and I had a friend that owned a Performa of some kind, but that was about it. At the time I used Windows NT 4 and Windows 2000 (even on my home computer) and as a professional Windows software developer, I generally considered Mac OS 9 to be outdated, unstable and uninteresting.
But in early 2001 a friend of mine who was working on his PhD in Computer Science was in Maine for a visit. He had with him a PowerBook laptop and wanted to show it off to me. I was surprised that he had a Mac since he was all about Unix. “That’s just it”, he told me, “there’s this new thing called Mac OS X and it is Unix!”
As I didn’t really follow the Mac world back then, I knew nothing of this. He then showed the Terminal (on a Mac) and demonstrated running all kinds of Unix commands. My friend was largely uninterested in the Mac OS X UI as he just wanted a Unix laptop so worked in Terminal primarily. But I was intrigued. At this point Mac OS X was still in beta.
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