January 4, 2018

Comment from E-mail

‘ve started this letter twice and can never seem to get it right, but here goes. I was saved from swearing off computers entirely and going to Iowa to be a potato farmer by a Mac. I was working at as a tech support agent for a large technology distributor and the constant frustration of supporting Windows and folks who just didn’t care, was draining all the fun out of computers. Then back in ’97 I bought my first Mac, a G3/233 minitower. It was the most incredible experience ever. Things just seem to work the way they are supposed to. One thing led to another and here I am going back to school for a degree in Computer Science, I’ve already got one in Business Administration, and have found that a computer is just a tool to get stuff done. It should not be an end unto itself.

Also, I seem to have accumulated four other Macs, a Plus, an SE, a IIcx and a Quadra 950. I’ll wrap up by saying thanks for starting Apple, they have really kept the personal in personal computer.

BTW, my first computer was not an Apple but a Timex Sinclair 1000 with a whopping 16K of RAM.


The way I see this tool vs. end-in-itself thing is that there are lots of different kinds of people. Some of us, like most of my students, will benefit from it as a tool. But a minority, those that are like me when I was young, really do get something from the computer itself, especially if they can build and add hardware. I’ll never forget the hobbyists, even if they are mostly Windows types today, because that was the center of my own life.

A TV was to watch shows, but for myself it was a thing to open up and connect wires to put in my own signals, from VCR’s (before Betamax, before channel 3 modulators) and from computers in the early days.

I remember once, in slightly later years, buying a Timex Sinclair computer. It was only $50 or $100 and had BASIC and actually worked very nicely by itself. Even today, a $50 computer on your own TV screen would be a hot item.