antique mac

This is the 512K (kilobytes) computer that I typed my Masters thesis on in 1988.  It was the latest thing, and a substantial upgrade from the 128K macs with an 8 MHz  CPU.  I still have all the 3 inch floppies that both my thesis and PhD dissertation are on.  (It’s about 20 floppy disks, total, including the data files).

In case you are curious, 512K is 0.5 Megabytes, or 0.00049 Gigabytes.

I am typing this on a 2.4 GHz Intel Core Macbook, with a Terabyte of memory if you include my second hard drive.

Things change.

I’m thankful that Steve Jobs had the vision to imagine a world where usability was important.  It’s not enough for software or hardware to be good at computation; it should also be easy to use, intuitive, and beautiful.  That is what Mr. Jobs brought to the table.

He was only a few years older than me, but had a tremendous impact on the daily lives of Americans. I really liked what Wired had to say:

A visionary inventor and entrepreneur, it would be impossible to overstate Steve Jobs’ impact on technology and how we use it. Apple’s mercurial, mysterious leader did more than reshape his entire industry: he completely changed how we interact with technology. He made gadgets easy to use, gorgeous to behold and essential to own. He made things we absolutely wanted, long before we even knew we wanted them. 

He may not have been an easy person to work for; some of the stories I’ve heard suggest a bit of micromanaging. But damn, did he get results.

You will be missed Mr. Jobs, and my thoughts are with your friends and family.
From a 2005 commencement address at Stanford University:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life,” Jobs said. “Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!


  1. The picture about is the exact same computer that I started using when I first started at my current job back in October 1989. And I too still have disks lying around for it. Although I believe all of those computers have been disposed of. This is a really big loss for the world I believe.

    Just stumbled on your blog when I was googling iSad.

    R.I.P. Steve Jobs – You will be missed.

    Take care,

  2. iSad too, Bug Girl. His vision and talent will be missed. Geniuses are sometimes hard to work for/with, I guess.

  3. Jennifer Lemming October 6, 2011 at 9:24 am

    I once attended a lecture by a Graphic Art expert. He said that the Apple icon (the apple with the bite out of it suggesting temptation into knowledge) was the most brilliant use of advertising graphic art he has ever seen. And everything else about Apple was brilliant too, because of the leadership vision of Steve Jobs. RIP, (apple with a bite out of it).

  4. Simone Abegg-DuBois October 6, 2011 at 10:23 am


  5. The first computer I used was an Apple II back in 1980. I had one of the original Macintoshes, too. But my favourite of those early years was the SE/30. Just awesome. I’ve lost track of how many different Macs I’ve owned and/or used over the years. And then there were all the other Apple products, some good, some not so good!

    As someone who’s spent the past 30 or so years doing all sorts of media production—print, audio, video, web—on Macs, Steve Jobs had a huge influence on my work and my play. The biggest leap, for me, was that in just a few years I went from working on a newspaper produced on hot metal to working on one produced on a souped up SE/30. The change was mind-boggling. I’ve seen a lot of other changes since then, but that leap took me from the 19th century to the future. RIP Steve Jobs, you did indeed think different.

  6. My first Mac was the rev. a bondi blue iMac. I loved that computer.

    Up until then, I’d been writing on an antique Commodore PC10-III running some kind of DOS. GUI? Certainly not! It was a glorified typewriter. That Mac opened up a whole new world for me.

Comments are closed.