My first computer

It’s fall. The leaves are turning. Birds are filing their flight plans south. Air is getting cool and crisp. And I have migrated to an Apple computer.

Not sure exactly what prompted the platform change. I’ve been working with i386 (PC) systems for over 15 years — my first PC (as in i386 system…) was a no-brand 286 system back in the days when no-brand-286 systems were called ‘IBM-Clones.’ I think the change was actually due to the culmination of numerous factors; enough was enough, let’s go Mac!

In the beginning, my very first computer, numero uno, was a Sinclair-ZX81. (We ordered a Sinclair-ZX80… but got a Sinclair ZX81… go figure…) Then quickly migrated to an Atari-800 to Apple-][ clones (w/ Z-80 cards for CP/M and Wordstar!) from Singapore (lived in Asia at the time…), on to an Atari-1040ST. Now, I will point out that at that particular time, the Macintosh, Atari 1040ST, and the Commodore Amiga were all in the running. I just didn’t feel ‘right’ about the Amiga, so my big choice was between the monochromatic Macintosh and the color graphics available on the Atari 1040ST, as a gamer, it really was not that much of a decision. Hind site: Color is important if you want to sell computers to gamers! Somehow, I suspect there is someone walking around who was at the developers meeting for the original Macintosh who thought ‘We need color support on our computer.’ To you I say, shame on you for not bringing it up at the meeting!

I don’t remember the exact year, but, it was about 1989 that I sold the Atari 1040ST and… financed the purchase of a brand-new Gateway 386 IBM PC-Clone. Well, that’s right, a Gateway — but… Gateway was not able to deliver the computer fast enough. Since I was computer-less at the time, I was suffering from serious withdrawal; canceled the Gateway ordered, drove over to the local computer store, and bought a 286.

Hind site — should’ve been more patient and waited for the Gateway order to be completed. Hind site #2: Don’t sell your computer until after it’s replacement arrives. In my defense, we are talking weeks here… not just a couple of days.

And my life with the i386 platform continued faithfully for many, many years. In the beginning, their was Windows 3.1, MS-DOS, Deskview, config.sys, himem.sys, and autoexec.bat. Customize all you want, you’ll have to change it with your next software purchase.

Operating systems came and went. MS-DOS, Desqview, Windows 3.1, Windows 3.5 (NT), Novell, OS/2 Warp, Windows 95, Windows NT, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and, of course, the wonderful Linux; which goes roughly in this order (Slackware, Red Hat, Slackware, Red Hat, Debian (one install), Red Hat, Suse), and now, FreeBSD 4.10 (stable), which is where I am today with the servers I maintain. As I upgrade, the older Red Hat systems get converted to FreeBSD 4.10 (stable).

Now, for my confession, I have been two-timing on my Dell Laptop with a wonderful half-moon shaped iMac for the past two years. What can I say, there were features I loved on both of the systems. But as time progressed and the OS X platform matured, my needs were becoming met by the iMac more and more. So, it’s time to upgrade my laptop, I took a deep breath, and went with a 15″ Powerbook G4. I’ve had the computer for three days now, and since transferring my documents over to the new powerbook, my old Dell has remained powered off. Something in the back of my mind is keeping me from getting rid of it entirely, I may discover I need something that only it can provide, but until then… I’ll just sit back and enjoy this Mac! 🙂

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