Happy 30th Birthday, Mac!

About thirty years ago, I walked into a computer shop because I was beginning graduate school and I thought  a computer would help me with my work.

The salesman in the store excitedly sat me down in front of a Leading Edge computer–a Korean manufactured PC popular at that time. He started running me through DOS prompts and command line code.

I remember looking to him and saying as politely as I could, “Really? There has to be a better way!”

I got up, walked out of the store, and drove down the road to the store selling Apple Macintoshes.

I have never looked back.

My wife says I have always loved Macs because I share the same birthday with the late Steve Jobs, February 24. Since I started college as a computer science major, I tell her that I always like to imagine if God hadn’t grabbed me for the life I have lived in ministry then I would have ended up as an engineer at Apple.

I have never bought any other computer than an Apple. I remember sitting down in front of my Macintosh SE with its meager 40mb hard drive and 8 mhz chip and thinking, “This is blazingly fast!”

My, how far we have come in personal computing.

I have owned a lot of Macs and other Apple products in thirty years. I had a Powerbook 100, one of the first laptops they built, PowerMacs, colorful iMacs, the lampshade iMac (which still chugs away even though its 13 years old), numerous iBooks and MacBooks, iPods and  iPhones and iPads.

If you are an Apple fan then you should check out the Shrine of Apple website and, particularly, the book Iconic: A Photographic Tribute to Apple InnovationMy wife bought me a copy for our anniversary and I can say it is a beautiful coffee table book with lustrous pictures of all the Apple products. It is a nice trip down memory lane.

Now, you may not be a fan of Apple products and that is perfectly fine with me. I tired a couple of decades ago with the conversation of which is better a PC or a Mac.

Now, of course, it is, ‘Which is better Andriod or iOS?”  That conversation doesn’t interest me, either.

I have been a Mac and Apple product user for some very simple reasons.

I find their products elegantly and aesthetically designed. They represent simplicity and excellence in engineering.

I appreciate the focus on user-friendliness and the Apple eco-system “that just works.” All the pieces of my digital life talk to each other with ease.

I identify with the creativity they foster. Their products have long encouraged me to try my hand at everything from desktop publishing to graphic design to programming.

Apple is far from perfect. I know that.

Yet, Apple products have enriched my life these last thirty years, have contributed to the work I have done, and helped me express myself more fully and creatively.

Here’s a video about the way the Mac has inspired creatives for thirty years.

From that iconic Superbowl commercial that introduced the Mac thirty years ago, to the latest iPad commercial, Apple has offered me an appealing way to engage the world. I think I’ll keep enjoying them!

Happy Birthday, Mac!


  • MOM

    I thought of you when I saw this on the news this morning.

    • DarrellGwaltney

      It makes me feel “older” when I start remembering things that were signfiicant to me as a young adult and I can measure the time in decades!