The Mac is now 25. I am 32. I don’t remember the introduction of the Mac, and I don’t recall ever seeing the 1984 ad. In fact, I was only vaguely aware of the Mac until I hit college. My schools never had Apples or Macs, and none of my friends had one either. For my first college programming class, we learned Turbo Pascal on Mac Classics running System 6. I learned a lot about System 6 as a result of that class, and I have to admit that I wasn’t a fan.
Fast forward to OS X. I started paying attention with the release of Cheetah in 2001. The news that it was BSD-based was the primary driver for my interest. I’d been poking at Linux for years in one form or another, and one of my major complaints about it was its usability — or, to be more accuratehonest, its complete lack of usability.
My first personal Mac was a PowerBook, the 1-GHz TiBook. It was a world away from Turbo Pascal, System 6, and a Mac Classic. I loved having the power of Linux with a useful and usable UI on top of it. If I want to drop down to the Terminal for sed and awk, it’s all there. If I want to run a full-fledged word processor in all its glory, it’s there too. I still kept around a Solaris box running Gentoo as my media server, although I ultimately replaced that with a Mac Mini with a pile of external hard drives.
Today, I’ve got two Macs at work (a MacBook Pro and a Mini) and three at home (a lampshade iMac, a MacBook, and a Mini).