Our fondest memories from 30 years of the Mac - what are yours?

Remembering our first Macs - what was yours?

Everyone remembers their first time. What was the first Mac you ever owned, or used? Here are some of our first experiences

This week marks the 30th anniversary of the Macintosh. We thought it'd be fun to take a trip down memory lane: To remember the first Mac we ever owned or used. We want to hear from you too. So once you've had a chance to read our memories, post some of your own in the comments!

Anthony Casella

My first Mac was a hand me down MacBook Pro. Up until that point, i hadn’t touched Apple hardware or software since my first computer, an awesome Apple IIc (Choplifter represent!) when I was 14 years old.

Working in IT I had to use various tools to maintain our various systems, most of them UNIX based. I naturally used Linux (various flavors) because of the customizability, plentiful GNU software, scripting, and modular design. I also enjoyed the Open Source Ideology. I usually kept my desktop running gnome or some other default desktop manager. The one drawback with Linux at that time was that I always had to fiddle to get things too work properly. 3D, playing various media, Wi-Fi and many other things had to be tweaked to work. Eventually I’d get it, but it was always a chore.

Then, one fateful day, my company started to get a few Macs running OS X. A UNIX based system with gorgeous UI. It looked amazing. Everything just worked. On top of that, it had access to all of the various GNU tools and software that I needed for work. At first I was reticent to admit my jealousy. I went COMPIZ crazy trying to outdo the beautiful desktop the Mac had to offer. After a lot of under the hood configuration, I could arguably say that my Linux UI and desktop was just as beautiful as any Mac OS X desktop. But the time it took to get there was too long. Too much fiddling. The next year we got more Macs in and I got offered one of the originals. I jumped at the chance and finally had my first Mac. I was very comfortable with the UNIX underpinnings right away. Terminals, X11, access to GNU software. All this, and a fully functional, easy to use an beautiful desktop UI. It felt like Linux+.

I have not looked back since. I have at times wondered if I would enjoy going back to using a Linux box. I think of using some of my old Mac hardware to install some modern distro but Mac OS X works so well even on my older hardware that I can’t stomach the idea of trying to configure everything to get it to work as well it already does with Mac OS X.

The best part of my journey from Linux to Mac is that I now appreciate the amount of work it takes to tweak an OS and a desktop UI to get to the highly polished level that the Mac has to offer.

Marc Edwards

The first Mac I owned was an LC 630, bought predominately for writing music and using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Coming from an Amiga 1200, it felt in many ways like a step back. No preemptive multitasking? Really?! Not as many games. No demo scene. But, in most other ways it was a giant leap forward — a far nicer user interface, quicker hardware, and far, far better software. Deluxe Paint and OctaMED on the Amiga were great, but basic in comparison to Photoshop and Logic on the Mac, which I still use today. It’s pretty insane to think I’ve been using those apps on a Mac for a greater portion of my life than not. I have no idea what I’d be doing as a career if I didn’t buy a Mac 20 or so years ago.

Richard Devine

Being younger than the Mac, I've not had the pleasure of experiencing some of those classic older models. My first Mac experience came 8 years ago, when I acquired an 11-inch iBook around the time of my 21st birthday. It was also my very first laptop computer, since in prior years there had been little need for one with a custom built Windows box at home.

Immediately it was a thing of lust; I saw it, I wanted it. The white polycarbonate shell left the iBook standing out among the dreary, black, boring looking Windows laptops. It was also at that time considerably smaller than most of the competing laptops. I just had to have it.

Moving from Windows wasn't the chore I expected it to be, either. Using the Mac felt immediately more natural to me, the computing experience I'd always wanted, but never been able to get with Windows. And so it began.

I've had another Windows laptop in between, but since that day I've owned another 5 different Macs, both laptop and desktop flavor. The Retina MacBook Pro is something even my wildest nerdy dreams couldn't have imagined 8 years ago. But one thing's for sure; I can never go back.

Joe Keller

The first home computer that my parents bought for the house twenty years ago was a Mac. I don't remember the model. I thought it was a fine little machine, but after a few years, we ended up replacing it with a Windows computer. We went through a couple of Gateways and a Dell, before I went to college and got my actual first computer, a Tangent laptop. That was a piece of junk. I think it actually might have been made from old parts.

After Vista took my laptop from barely usable to something that snails actively derided as slow, I decided that enough was enough. In late 2007, I got my first Mac, the first-generation aluminum iMac, with a beautiful 24-inch display. Not only did the iMac differentiate itself from my Windows laptop immediately by working properly, but I was amazed how much friendlier it was. The mental switch from Windows to Mac took almost no time at all, and I was still able to do everything that I needed to do. Everything was so responsive, so smooth, that I couldn't imagine going back. I still can't.

That first impression was so strong that my iMac was soon followed up with a 15-inch MacBook Pro. Both machines have always been so reliable. That's what impresses me most about Macs: the consistant quality of the experience. From hardware to software, I've never regretted switching to Mac.

Derek Kessler

My first exposure to Mac OS came in my elementary school days — I distinctly remember playing The Oregon Trail on one of the three Macintosh II beige boxes we had in the school library. We had recently acquired an Intel 486 computer at home, and though it ran DOS, it also ran my impression of what computers were. My friend Seth's family had a Mac, but when I grew up it was most definitely a time of overwhelming dominance for the PC.

Fast forward to my freshman year of college. The time is 2005, the location is the computer lab at the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati. I have a PC, specifically a Motion Computing M1300 tablet (with Gateway branding), and while it is a pretty cool stylus-driven Windows XP machine, I need the power of the computer lab to power through some heavy-duty 3D rendering I need to do for my class. The tablet's served me well up to this point, but the lab full of Mac Pro towers is more to my needs — powerful, and with large screens to boot. And it had the requisite software that the PC lab did not have (the School of Architecture and Interior Design was very Mac-centric, while the Planning school worked on PCs)

This was my first real exposure to Macintosh. In retrospect, coming from a Windows household and coming to scorn Macintosh for no real reason, it's surprising how quickly and comfortably a slipped into using a Mac. I even liked it! I resolved that by the start of the next school year, a Mac would be in my bag. No longer would I fight with Windows to get it to work. While I waited for sufficient funds to accumulate I even started tweaking my Windows XP tablet to look and act a bit more like OS X. I was a convert before I even had a Mac of my own.

And so it was done. My first Mac was a 2006 MacBook Pro 15", the first generation of Intel-powered Macs. It packed a 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo processor, 1GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive, and weighed in a 5.6 lbs. It changed my computing forever. That purchase set me down a path that six years later saw every one of my family converted to Mac, even my technology-challenged father and grandmother. They're all on iOS now too — I like to keep the tech support calls I receive to as few platforms as possible.

I'm on my third Mac now, having owned a unibody MacBook Pro and now running on a 15" Retina MacBook Pro. A lot has changed since I first toyed with a Mac back in third grade. Hell, a lot has changed since I bought my first Mac seven years ago. But one thing's for certain: I'm not regretting making the jump.

Chris Parsons

Compared to some of my colleagues, I was a late starter into the Mac world. I got my first white MacBook in 2007, picked it up used for $500 but still in beautiful shape. Still have it to this day in fact, albeit in rougher shape but it still boots up and runs like a champ.

I was always a ‘build your own’ Windows machine type of person but Apple really sold me on the whole do more on a Mac philosophy and as it turns out, it’s entirely true for me. There was very little learning curve with OS X and I found a lot of what I liked to use, was already part of the OS. It made the transition insanely easy and the overall app experience itself was / is better for me.

These days, I honestly cannot even touch a Windows machine — I dunno how to use them. I used to know everything about them and if there was issues with something, I knew how to fix them. I’ve seemingly wiped all that from my brain and even have a hard time using a Windows computer keyboard if it’s not one that ripped off Apple’s styling.

As the cliche goes, how has Apple changed your life? They sold me a MacBook and enabled me to do more, faster and easier.

Rene Ritchie

My first computer was an Apple II plus with a green CRT monitor and external disk drive. I loved it. My father later had a Lisa at his office and I remember marveling at how amazing it was to drag everything into the trash can. I wasn’t allowed to touch it again. I had DOS boxes at home after that, and then Amigas. My first Mac was a rather clunky Performa something-or-other that I used to build my first webpage with — in a text editor and Fractal Painter. I had a Windows laptop at the time, though, and ended up using that more often because, mobile. I stayed on PC, thanks to freebie work laptops, for the next few years until Vista made it impossible. Then I demanded, and got, a Mac.

It was a 17-inch Intel MacBook Pro running OS 10 Tiger and I loved it. The build quality was amazing, the user experience astounding, and I never looked back. I was working in design at the time and living in Adobe products, and the combination of the big, beautiful screen, not having to worry about viruses or, worse, anti-virus software, and the multi-window workflow which, ironically, was better and faster than on the OS called Windows, sold me completely. I quickly replaced my home XP machine with a Mac Mini, then a Nehalem Mac Pro, which I still use as my podcasting machine to this day. I’ve gone through a bunch of Mac laptops over the years as well, each and every one of them the best damn computer I’ve ever owned.

Today, when I think about the Mac, I think about quality and passion and great products made by people who themselves want to make and use great products. The Mac isn’t great because the Mac is great. The Mac is great because, product after product, with purpose and intent, the people at Apple consciously and consistently strive to make it great. And as a customer, that means the world to me.

Ally Kazmucha

You can single handedly blame Windows Vista on me ever purchasing a Mac. True story. It all started with a super expensive Sony Vaio laptop with numerous hardware defects and warranty claims. Vista was the final straw since after installation, basic functions of the Vaio just stopped working, like the trackpad that you know, is a vital component of actually being able to use the computer. Out of frustration, I went back to Best Buy filled with rage after Sony refused to help me.

This is where I ran into one of the most awesome store managers ever. Out of anger I told him I was ready to chuck this laptop into the lake and drive to the nearest Apple Store to buy a Mac. He had been looking over my warranty information since I had purchased an extended one through them and I think he sincerely felt bad for all the issues I’d had. His response? “Well we don’t carry Macs but our Best Buy about an hour away does. How about a gift card for the price of this laptop and you can take it up there and try one out? I love mine.”

Not exactly the response I was expecting. But it’s how I ended up with my first Mac, the original 2006 white MacBook. For that, thank you Best Buy dude.

My MacBook was loaded up with OS X Tiger and I absolutely loved it. My love for it was reaffirmed when the first iPhone was released in 2007 and I found out how amazingly well Apple products were designed to work together. I had my own little Apple ecosystem. Everything just worked. From that moment on, I was hooked.

All of a sudden I didn't understand the origin of all the terrible stories about incompatibility that kept me from trying a Mac for so many years. I could save files in Microsoft Office format, share videos and photos, and so much more. What the heck was everyone yelling about? What couldn’t I do on a Mac that I could do on a PC? I still never figured that one out. Unless you were a gamer, I didn’t see what the big deal was.

The best part was that my Mac came with all the programs to do lots of amazing things built right in. With Windows I would have had to buy hundreds of dollars in software to achieve the same result.

That little white MacBook was a trooper and lasted me until I was finally ready to upgrade to a MacBook Pro in 2011. It was then passed down to someone else before finally being laid to rest in 2013. RIP white MacBook, you served me well.

Peter Cohen

The first Mac I ever laid eyes on was at a computer fair held in the parking lot of a high tech company not too far away from my house. It was 1984, and it was the summer after the Macintosh had first debuted. Amidst the piles of manuals, miles of cables and bins of computer parts sat a Mac on a desk, its owner behind it. It was unlike anything I'd seen.

I was a teenage computer nerd. I had a Texas Instruments home computer - a TI-99/4A. One of my favorite things to do on it was to program bitmap graphics, which I would do by drawing a scene on graph paper, dividing the paper into 8 x 8 squares, then calculating how those squares would be represented in hexadecimal code. I'd type that in as data strings in a BASIC program I'd written, then print the output to the screen. Et voila, like magic, an image would appear. It was an arduous process, prone to errors.

Seeing Apple's MacPaint on the tiny screen of that first Mac was a life-changer. You could draw on the screen with the mouse? Are you kidding me with this?

I'd get my own Mac within a year. It was a Fat Mac, just like the original Mac but with an astonishing four times the original memory: 512K, instead of 128K. (That's right, kilobytes, not megabytes or gigabytes.

The Mac's display was black and white and fixed at a resolution of 512 x 384 pixels - a postage stamp compared to the systems today. One lone 400K floppy drive was all I needed at first: that was enough space to store a bootable system volume and the application software I needed. Though I'd eventually get as second floppy so I didn't have to swap out disks a hundred times in order to save files.

I didn't realize it at the time, but the most life-changing Mac app for me was MacWrite, the original Mac word processor. Words I typed looked the same on screen as they did on paper - the very definition of What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG). That empowered me to be more confident in my writing, and I've been using my Mac as an essential writing tool ever since.

Your turn

OK, we've had our say - now I want to hear from you. What was the first experience you had with the Mac? And do you have one now? What was your first Mac model? Please share your experience with me in the comments.

Peter Cohen

Managing Editor of iMore, Mac and gaming specialist and all-around technologist. Follow him on Twitter @flargh

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There are 43 comments. Add yours.

kch50428 says:

My first computer was an AppleIIc - and used a 300 baud modem to dial into Compuserve on it... then ventured into IBM-PCs... should have come back to Apple sooner than I did.

djstarion says:

First time I ever had used one was in 6th grade when we had Mac IIs, although we had Windows at home. The first and only Mac I ever owned was the older Core Duo Mac Mini, which was such an awesome little machine.

verpeiler089 says:

Apart from MacBooks I still regard Apple computers as overpriced and overrated. I deeply enjoy my MacBook air (my first Mac, been a DOS/windows/Linux guy since the 80s) and iDevices, but I see no real reason (for me!) to buy an iMac or Mini.

boovish says:

My first Mac was a Centris 660AV that my dad brought home from work. I still have it on a desk, and it still works. After that, I got a Macintosh SE, and then an iBook G4, and then a White 2007 iMac, then a Macintosh Plus for Christmas, then a 2008 MacBook Pro, and finally a 2009 Unibody MacBook.

hggs says:

My first computer was an Apple IIc with an amber monitor and a laserwriter printer. I learned to code on that machine with the magazines of the time. Later in life, when I could purchase a computer with my own money, I brought a Power Macintosh 6100. That computer lasted me about seven years, but alas, I had to give up Macs because of work which required PC's (DOS and Windows 3.11 at the time). Finally came back in 2003 when compatibility caught up with a Powerbook 12" (Late-2013) and haven't looked back since. Still have to use PC's for work (unfortunately), but my main computer is a 2012 13" MBA. Apple is truly the only general computing hardware I recommend.

emjayess says:

I had always been an anti-Apple guy because their computers seemed elitist or limited in abilities. In other words, I bought into the hype, the false idea that they would hold me back in some way. And it really bugged me when a few people I knew would trot out the "too bad you don't have a Mac" or "get a Mac" when something was wrong with my Windows machine.

And now, 2 years after getting my first Mac, I have actually said similar things on occasion! When HP killed my beloved Palm Pre, I got an iPhone 4S and loved it. It then occurred to me to go all-in and get a Mac, a 2011 iMac 21 inch. I REALLY loved it, and still do! (Looking forward to the day I can afford a Mac Pro!)

TruthCopy says:

Now I feel really old.

My first computer was in 1980ish -- an Atari 400. It was really a glorified gaming machine with a flat keyboard. In the years that followed I upgraded the heck out of the thing, adding an external real keyboard, a 5 1/4" floppy disk drive and a whopping 16K of RAM. I had a word processor on it, learned to program in BASIC and connected to some early BBS systems using a 300 baud modem.

My first Mac was an SE when I went away to college. It had a 20MB internal hard drive and I think at some point I upgraded it to what seemed like a crazy 1MB of RAM.

Over the years I have supported both Windows and Mac, from Windows 95 to XP, Vista & 7... and Mac OS from System 7 all the way to 10.9. (Although tech support is not my main job and never has been.) Sure, I'm more than slightly biased, but I have always found Mac systems to need far less (although far from zero) attention over the long term.

Dev from tipb says:

Productivity is great, but, since we are disqualifying Apple ][ and nobody has come clean to mention games:

- playing Dark Castle ( http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Castle ) for the first time. The first great platformer on the Mac, with good gameplay, humor, fantastic graphics, and way-ahead-of-its-time use of sound. We literally had not heard anything like its use of samples outside of arcades - it showed us what these newfangled home machines could do.

A video trip down memory lane for us old farts:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BoHHLoNyeIs

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stillmaticb331 says:

My first Mac was in 2005/2006 area. My friend and I thought we needed laptops and wanted to see which ones were the best. Went to the apple store and the apple employee showed us FaceTime or whatever it was called in back in 2006. We were hooked. We bought Macbook's before ANY one else was recreationally buying $1000 laptops. We used those respective MacBooks for 5+ years and people always marveled at how they didn't get viruses. Been buying Mac Mini/Macbook Pro/iMac/Mac Air, iPad, iPad 2, iPad Mini/iPhone's ever since

stevesup says:

My company offered interest free loans for computer purchases. So, back in 1987 I purchased a Mac SE with a 20 Mb hard drive for about $2800 US. That's $5,817.94 in today's inflated dollar. My twelve year old daughter sat down at it, opened MacPaint, and within hours created a 1x1 inch magazine, printed on the StyleWriter, folded and stapled, for play use. Creativity? Priceless.

ratporchrico says:

I’d been using PCs with all of their attendant frustrations when a friend who worked for a windsurfing magazine suggested I try a Mac. They were then in their SE iteration 12” B&W and everything, and expensive. I took delivery of the Mac, still not sure I’d done the right thing, and left my nine year-old daughter playing with the intro disc for twenty minutes. When I cam back she was flying round the operating system like a seasoned pro and I realised I had not made a mistake. I’ve had at least two Apple devices in the house ever since.
The daughter, now in her thirties, has recently released her fourteenth studio album 70% of them self-penned on Macs, toured the US with Joan Baez & Joe Jackson, played Glastonbury 3 times and runs a Words & Music Festival in Cheshire, UK which goes from strength to strength every year. Thank you Apple.

Anthony_Burk says:

My first Mac was the original iMac in blue. My elementary school had 29 Windows 95 computers and just 1 iMac. I loved using it. The graphics, speed, and look of the iMac were amazing! Unfortunately, my school replaced the Mac with a PC and forced me to use it since it "wasn't fair to the other kids." >_>

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polskiman says:

My first Mac was a Macintosh SE with 20 MB of HD and 5 MB of RAM. I bought it to substitute a Phillips computer with 2 3,5" Floppy Drives and 640 KB of RAM, with a 16 colour monitor. Although the SE was a BW computer the interface was awesome with all these windows, icons and crazy real sounds. It changed my life with computers forever. I've own several mac computers through the years, never coming back to PC's except for company work. These computers really create an emotional bond with the user.

clanthin says:

The first actual computer I ever touched was a neighbour's Macintosh Classic in the early 90s. But my parents bought a cheaper PC at the time, so I stayed on the MS platform and had a succession of those until 2010.
That's when I went back to school and decided to ditch the Windows XP box sitting on my desk at the time for a beautiful MacBook Pro: 13 inches of crisp and clear screen real-estate, the best keyboard I've ever touched and, of course, my favorite feature of all: the trackpad! I touch a mouse only when I absolutely have to now, mac or pc. Thank you to one of my colleagues for talking about his experience on OS X!
I've since bought a MacBook Air, an iPhone and just got a new MacBook Pro. Right now i'm in the process of selling my old MBP and it will be a bitter-sweet parting, i'm sure...

nashlib says:

Mine started as a Hackintosh about 6 years ago - then love - then obsession. Now I've successfully converted my entire family to Mac.

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kritter217 says:

My father also had a Mac Lisa at his office and, oddly enough, like Rene I was enamored with the drag to trash can feature. Later the family got a Mac Plus and I remember being addicted to a game (it might have been a very early Castlevania). I received my own Mac Plus some time in college. With the built in "handle" on the back I felt so cool being able to carry it to a friend's room. The screen was small, everything was monochromatic, but I loved it. Sadly, when that departed I entered the windows world for a long, long time. There were hits and misses as I progressed through a Packard Bell, Gateway 2000, HP, Dell. I survived Windows 98, 2000, XP and Vista. When my HP Media Center desktop died I fulfilled my dream of moving to Mac. It was three times more money than I had ever spent on a desktop computer but it was worth every penny. Purchased it in June 2012 and every day I still get a little tingle of joy when I use it. With my iPhone 4S and iPad Air I have a happy little Apple family.

kevinbhayes says:

Peter, small point of correction, your Mac 512K's screen was even smaller than you remember: 512x342. I remember as I learned to program on my Mac Plus with the same screen and then later upgraded to a Mac LC with 12" colour monitor, with 42 more vertical pixels at 512x384.

richlove99 says:

My first computer was an Apple IIe in 1983. I was using Dollars & Sense to do my checkbook and playing games like Choplifter, Dino Eggs and Hard Hat Mack.
But when I saw a Lisa computer at a computer store in Bellevue, Washington, I was amazed at the user interface. I knew that was the future of computing.
But I did not get my first Mac until 1987. I was working as a field service engineer in Seattle and while working on a DEC PDP 11 at the Sheritan Hotel, I noticed a Lisa computer sitting in the office and was able to spend some time seeing what it could do. I was once again amazed.
At that time, the Lisa had been replaced by the Mac. That prompted me to make the leap from Apple II to Mac in 1987.
I am writing this on a 2013 MacBook Air, which I love. I also have a 2010 iMac 27" and a couple of Mac Mini's
Since 1987 I have owned so many Macs that I cannot remember them all.
I have been forced to use Windows PC's in various jobs and consider them to be an enormous waste of productivity due to the extensive labor time required to maintain them.
I love my Macs.

Dave Trautman says:

I wrote about this back in December of 2011 for an now defunct Mac e-zine known as ATPM.

http://www.atpm.com/17.12/segments-first-mac.shtml

Happy 30th. Macintosh.

MacBipes says:

My first experience with a Mac computer was in my college design courses. They were loaded with OS 9, and I soon received my first Mac from my parents for design courses. My first Mac was a 14" iBook in it's beautiful white casing. I've never gone back to PCs for personal use, and continue to use Macs in my work as a magazine art director. I've been through several iMacs (now using the 27" aluminum body), and use my Mac Mini at home for my home entertainment set up, as well as my latest addition, the 13" MacBook Air. My ecosystem is complete with mine and my wife's iPhones, iPad Minis, and Apple TV.

LizJ58 says:

I was working in the graphic design department of a large corporation when the first Macs arrived - an all-in-one SE and a Mac II with color(!). Apple has been a part of my life ever since then. I moved into web design, and switched companies, and continued to work on Macs. At home I began with a Performa, slowly moving the family into other Macs (I'd buy them used from work when they were replaced with new models). At one time our family of four had four Macs at home (and I think, a laptop).

Then came the lean years. Our school system switched from Macs to PCs (the kids hated them, by the way). My job decided to no long support the use of Macs, so everyone had to go PC. I was on a Mac Mini at home, which worked quite well for my home needs., but since it wasn't feasible to work remotely on it, I purchased a PC laptop running (you guessed it) Vista.

As my daughters reached their college years, their computers of choice were Mac laptops, and that is when, I think, the tide started turning. We all got into iPods quite early - click-wheel iPods and Minis, and the USB stick style Nano.

As smartphones began to become popular, I quickly realized I wasn't going to be able to afford iPhones for all four of us, and our first smartphones were underpowered LG Android phones. We compared it with the two iPod Touches that we had at the time, and realized that a mobile device could be so much better than those stupid LG's.

The business I work for started getting interested in mobile, and bought some early first-generation iPads to experiment with. The execs were impressed, to say the least. Quickly our company became known for our early implementation of mobile capability.

And during those first few months of our mobile initative, I took one look at that 3 or 4 year old Sony laptop...and decided to sell it for a refurbished first generation iPad. Haven't owned a laptop personally since then, although my husband and I inherited a 3 year old Macbook from my younger daughter last year when she upgraded to a Macbook Air. And yes, we finally all got iPhones, since the contract price on them has dropped to a fairly reasonable level.

Still using Windows at work, but most of my non-work "computer" time these days is spent on my iPad. The first generation one was handed down to one of the kids, and I got an iPad 2. I hope to buy a refurbished fourth generation or Air this year.

Since I am familiar with both Apple products and Windows (and I did a test drive on a Surface a few months ago, which I hated), I can honestly say that I have believed for a long time that Apple products simply work better. They are more expensive than cheap Windows laptops and underpowered Android cell phones (and a good Android cell phone will generally be in the same price range as an iPhone), but the Apple products have tended to last longer and have generally been supported longer in their life cycles.

iEd says:

My first Mac was a Performa 200.

http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/mac_performa/specs/mac_performa_20...

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macintosh_Performa

I think it was $999.00. Bought it at Silo. A consumer electronic store that eventually fell to Circuit City.

40 MB hard drive Wow. Never filled it up.

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Erod773 says:

It was 2005, I was in college and I had my dad's 2003 HP laptop which at the time was a big deal for me because it was my first away from home computer and a laptop to boot! One night I was writing a 12 page research paper in Word and I was on page 4 when the laptop shut down for no reason. I lost two pages of work because I didn't save and I never saw the shutdown coming.

The HP did this to me three other times during the semester and they were all during crucial moments of writing. I asked my tech friend what I could do and he told me to go buy a Mac, I scoffed at first, but I researched Macs some more and purchased a white 13 inch MacBook.

It blew me away! No more viruses, no more bad hardware, and I could write in Word without having to worry about a shutdown. Fast forward 9 years later and I'm typing on my MB Pro Retina that I use for work about why Macs rock my world. Thank you Apple for making me more productive by giving me great hardware, and eliminating my need of worrying and tinkering with an OS.

infty says:

I used the vic-20 when I was in grade school, but it wasn't mine. My very own computer was the Apple IIGS. I was the envy of all my classmates and I used it up to my first year in college. After that I began using the Unix system's computers on Campus and using LaTeX to type my papers. My second computer was a windows laptop with a docking station that I paid $5,000 for. Since then I got a new windows laptop every two or three years, while using Linux at school and making a Linux box for myself. This occurred until 2007, when I went back to mac and bought a Macbook Pro. I bought another one in 2011 and I'm buying another one this year when my three year Applecare runs out.

tcduff says:

Mac Plus circa 1986. Splurged on a 20 MB Western Digital external hard drive! Also an ImageWriter. Later upgraded the Mac to 4 whole MB of RAM!

Gsarfin says:

I first used apple IIs in elementary school. The first computer I owned was an apple IIe and commodore Vic 20 with tape drive and a modem that I got used for Christmas. In 87 or 88 my dad bought the family a Mac plus. I loved using it for school work and playing Dark Castle and Beyond Dark Castle in black and white. After that it was all PCs for me except at school. I was a photographer for the school paper in high school and college, so around 93-97 is was on a performa or a Mac quite a bit. I bought a white iBook G3 in the early 2000's and still have and occasionally use it. I've had an iPhone since day 1 in 2007, and wonder why I haven't bought another Mac yet. I guess the iPhone mostly does everything if need a computer for, and for everything else I have my iPad and a cheap ass netbook that (barely) gets the job done. Truth is, I just don't use computers outside my phone or iPad anymore, and use LogMeIn wherever I am to access my always on netbook if I do need a computer. This past year I've strongly been considering a Mac mini. Waiting for a refresh to decide if I want the new one, or a discounted old one when they come out with the new one.

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dalyapp says:

I bought a Mac Plus in 1986 to write reports and term papers on while attending grad school. Due to lack of funds I started using various PCs but was never that happy with them. I finally went back to Apple with a G4 MacBook. My wife liked it so much we've bought Apple ever since.

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booboolala2000 says:

My fondest Apple memory was the US Festival and the tech tent. The 83 year. I think they had a precursor to the Mac on display.

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dochris says:

Wow you guys are so lucky to own and worked on such early Apple models back in the 80s! I wished I did but like a few others here I am a late comer to the Apple scene at my age (born in 60s) and was using windows for years since I saw it at my first job in 1989 and then bought my own PC from Gateway in 1999 for 1000 quid. Had that for about 5 or 6 years till I bought another PC from Dell. So like a few people here I was v proficient at windows by then and was not thinking about Apple computers at all until I met my girlfriend from Croatia. She has an iMac at her home so I played around with it for ages and discovered that it's so nice and simple but I was still not convinced yet. It took her a year to persuade me to have a leap of faith and buy an aluminum MacBook which I did in 2008. Man, I fell in love with it as soon as I started to use it. It was so exhilarating and awesome in terms of experience and ease of use. I still kick myself for not going for Apple earlier! I'm still with her and we have a lovely array of Apple stuff now, two iPhones, iMac, iPad Air, retina MacBook Pro and Apple TV here at home. Never ever going back to Windows that's for sure!

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Brady KEITH says:

Edit: disregard...wasn't a fond memory...came across as trolling.

Analog Spirit says:

My first experiences with Apple computers was way back in "ancient times" when I was in elementary school (circa 1980), in computer class. I vaguely remember using one of the very early pre-Mac Apple computers, I think it was an Apple ][ or something like that. I was intrigued by them but I wasn't a very geeky or computer-inclined kid so I usually just left them alone.

Fast forward to 2008, when I finally got my first Mac. My big, noisy, antiquated Fujitsu Windows XP tower was dying, and I was tired of Windows-related issues anyway, so I began looking at alternatives. One of my coworkers was selling his 2006 Mac mini for only $300, and I had heard good things about Macs, so I decided to buy it off him, despite knowing almost nothing about Macs at all.

That Mac mini was the best little computer I ever had. It never gave me any issues the whole time I had it. I was amazed at how capable it was despite being so small and quiet.

Then in 2009 I upgraded to a 2008 iMac, which I've had ever since. It's almost 6 years old and still soldiering on running OSX Mavericks 10.9.1 (or whatever the latest release of it is). I've never had any significant issues with it either and l'll probably keep it til it dies.

My next computer will definitely be a Mac too, most likely a 15" retina MacBook Pro, once I can finally afford it. And maybe one of the new Mac minis for home use.

lfeuln says:

It seems like a lot of iMore started out on Tiger - so did I. My first Mac was a 2005 G5 iMac (purchased just a little over a month before the Intel announcement - argh!) and was a perfect example of the iPod halo effect. :-)

I transitioned later to a 2007 white Macbook which lasted me till the 2011 MBA I'm currently on, so will be coming up on 9 years of Mac usage. It's definitely been remarkable seeing Apple's growth in that time!

JNGold says:

The day I brought home the original Mac 128k with an external disk drive and ImageWriter printer. I still remember the other kids looking in envy over the true script fonts printed out while they kids were still handing in dot matrix Epson printouts.

I remember first sitting down in front of the Mac at a computer shop that I was working at during the summer back in 1984. I Remember saying to myself and anyone who would listen that it was the future of personal computing.

asuperstarr says:

My first mac was a Mac Pro. I really didn't know what I had at the time. Then I moved to the iMac.

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Cuong Ngo says:

My first Mac was the Macbook Air 13" 2012. Well, technically, i'm a newbie, eh? Since the first day of the transition from Windows to OS X, I've been experiencing a fast, convenient, and sleek computing compared to that of Windows (XP, Vista, and 7). Top 3 OS X features that distinguishes the Mac (for me at least) 1. Precise Trackpad gestures 2. No virus environment 3. Deep integrted cloud system 4.

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Galley says:

I pledged a frat at the University of North Dakota in the fall of '85. A alumnus worked for Apple and sent them one of the first Macs. I was blown away when I saw it. It was the first GUI I had ever used.

rokuvaan says:

The 1st computer I ever used was in my elementary school in 1995 or 1996, its was a Classic Mac, with color I think. Last year, I bought a Mac Mini and got rid of all my PC's with Windows(which I had used for most of my life). I thought I would need them for some apps but I was wrong, I like the iMessage app which I can text my friends(also can get thru iPhone and iPad Mini). Loving it so far.

CycloneFW says:

My first was a Mac 128k with the telephone cable hookup for the keyboard and a rather large, single button mouse. I remember it was a single-sided, single-density 3.5" floppy drive. It was amazing, even when dealing with dozens of floppy swaps per sitting (unlike Peter, I did not get a second floppy). It also had a serial number of *A<forget how many zeros>9*. Wish I never sold it, as it would be a great keepsake.

Then it was an LC (forget which model, but it was a 68040 processor). Then a Performa 636, Performa 6400, G3, G5, 2007 iMac (that I still use today), and a hand-me-down 2008 MBP. Each machine introduced me to so many new things that I could do and each one "pushed the human race forward" :)

Montgomery Gabrys says:

This might be a little long so apologies in advance.

My first mac was a Plus circa 1988. According to some articles of the times, it was among the first million sold. My fave moment with it was during the 1989 loma prieta earthquake in San Francisco. Now, in spite of me living in the area - years later - I was linked to the area via a beta test program from Colorado with the online proto FPS multiplayer game "Amazing" aka : Mazewar on (the) GEnie (online network) which was being played with a handful of us testers and some at GEnie (and or) Macromedia devs. I'd developed some custom skins and mods for the game so I was on it a-LOT. When the quake hit - the tv in our college dorm room previously showing the World Series went static but after a few minutes every player who got knocked off (in the Bay Area) reconnected. The phone lines were jammed - but not the lines being used by the modems / online services. We spent the next hour making collect phone calls for those players in the earthquake zone to notify their family and loved ones that they were alive and ok. I'm sure there's other great mac-moments - but that's my tip-for-the-top.

Gary Compson says:

Pre Mac, my Father and Grandfather built a kit computer based on the Superboard II around 1978, followed by Sinclair ZX80, ZX81 and ZX Spectrum. I had a lot of fun with those machines.

The first computer I bought was Amiga A500, followed by Atari 1040ST (for the MIDI ports and Pro 24). I had a brief encounter with a 486 PC / Windows 3.1 in the early 90s.

My first Mac was a Quadra 650 with Pro Tools (1994). Followed by a G3 desktop, G3 PowerBook, Titanium PowerBook(s), 17" MacBook Pro, 13" MacBook Pro, 15" MacBook Pro, 13" Retina MacBook Pro, and a 2013 11" MacBook Air.

3 of those MBPs and the MBA are in active service. I sold the 13" MacBook Pro a couple of years ago.

This years marks the 20th anniversary of my first Mac.

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zdn1042 says:

I don't own any Mac. And I WAS actually one of those people that doesn't really know better why other people chooses to buy a Mac. I used to say why pay for something that's overpriced when you can build a Windows computer with similar specs that costs less and offers more flexibility. Now I believe I'm starting to get it. Really.
It was really fun reading everyone's experiences with their first Mac (Go Vista! lol)
Hoping I'll have a story of my own someday. Cheers!

Ipheuria says:

I work in IT and since doing 3D and programming in HS I was a Windows man. I didn't have any bias in truth I didn't even know about Macs. The company I worked for only had one Mac when I started. It was the graphic designer and unlike the other users he took care of his own machine. In time after he left the marketing dept. got a few more Macs and the new graphic designer became one of my best friends. This is when I started to learn a little more about Macs. My support of them was limited they were a bit walled off in the 95% Windows network. When I did help my friend was usually doing most the work while I watched. I wotk at an architecture firm and a student doing his work term became the third member of our trio. He was in university so he had a 17" Core 2 duo MBP running Tiger. When he decided to upgrade he offered to sell it to me. I figured with Marketing demanding more support and being more integrated into the network. It would be good for me to know Mac OS. I still needed to run Windows so I maxed the specs out and loaded up VMware Fusion running Windows in parallel. I have learned so much not only about the Mac OS and Macs but about running Windows in parallel vs BootCamp. I still use Windows every day. I enjoy using both OSes. There are things I love in Windows and things I love in Mac. I love using the newest of both and seeing the changes. Sometimes I contemplate going all Windows for the hell of it. Then I laugh it off but luckily I have computers running both OSes so that I don't feel like the grass is greener on the other side. Since that core 2 duo I have owned 3 other MBPs along with my iMac and new old school G4 Mac.

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ChrisFricke says:

My first Mac experience was in the early 80's on the Apple 2c (or something like that). As a kid I thought it was great but to be fair it wasn't an Apple specific thing. Our school had COMPUTERS! It didn't matter what brand they were it was new technology and cool. Especially since they played Oregon Trail. Actually I think that was later. I want to say that all we did at first was practice programming in Basic (drawing lines with the "Turtle").

Anyways, fast forward a dozen years or so and I'm doing tech support for Symantec for their database app. My crash course in Mac was my lead coming by and dropping one off at my desk (can't remember what model). "Learn it", she said "Because you're on the phones tomorrow." This would have been in the mid 90's well before OSX. I enjoyed the challenge of learning a new OS and being able to support it in a day. Overall the experience was okay but nothing that blew my mind (only one mouse button?). The Mac was a fun toy but it was no replacement for a NT or Novell based network. Troubleshooting network issues with AppleTalk? Made Netbui look good by comparison.

Fast forward another dozen or so years and you have what I call the "second coming" of Apple. All the devices we see today starting really gaining mindshare a few years ago. Not just the phones and pads but the mac books. We've let a few into the enterprise and stopped there. It's even been a few years since then and really no progress has been made to make Macs an enterprise platform. There's a long list of reasons why but ultimately it comes down to interoperability problems (directory services, browser, printing, file sharing, hardware, etc etc). Thank goodness for Windows virtual desktops. Maybe if we had nothing but Apple on the floor it would be workable - except that half of the vendor apps would stop working - maybe more :)

Sure some organizations use Apple exclusively - very successfully - I'm not trying to knock that. Windows has deservedly earned itself a lot of scorn but cost and flexibility keeps it winning out in large enterprises. For now... maybe when we fast forward another dozen years or so the business world will be shifting as much as the consumer world.