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15 years of TidBITS

April 19th, 2005

Macintosh fans will want to read this 15-year retrospective from Adam Engst who’s the leading figure behind on of the longest-running online publications in existence, Mac newsletter TidBITS

I bought one of the first 128K Macs in 1984, and like Adam, I’ve bought 20 or so of them in the intervening period, seven or eight of which are alive and in use among my extended family (the oldest, a PowerMac 8500 from 1995 is in use solely as a floppy disk reader, but most of the others are used on a daily basis). I can endorse Adam’s observation that the working life of a Mac, at around seven years, is quite a bit longer than that of the average Windows machine.

The last fifteen years have seen highs and lows for the Mac, but with the massive cash flow from the iPod and the apparent crossover effect on Mac sales, the future looks pretty bright.

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  1. Sean Kellett
    April 19th, 2005 at 21:09 | #1

    Bought my first windows based machine in ’94 and it is still going strong. They make good servers once you put linux on them.

  2. April 19th, 2005 at 22:04 | #2

    My Amstrad PPC 512 is still going strong – since 1989. Not much use for anything these days though. My old PCs have only ceased going because they were cannabilised for upgrading. Thats my complaint against Apple- the iMAC I have here is impossible to usefully upgrade in a cost effecient way compared to a PC.

  3. Bill Cushing
    April 20th, 2005 at 01:32 | #3

    I had a 1984 Lisa. 2mb RAM (using 16kb chips)! 10mb 3″ hard disk; 3″ floppy. A truly astonishing machine.

    Gave it to a collector 10 years later.

    My 1978 TRS-80 (that I used to run APL) was in basement of my cousin’s house that got burned down in the Canberra bushfire. Sic transit …

    Dumpster has greeted 1983 Hyperion portable with APL chip; TRS-80 II with CP/M; IBM PC-XT; Mac IIcx; Mac 7300; 3 x IBM Thinkpad. Plus numerous video displays; hard drives, floppy drives, printers, modems, graphics cards, etc, and crates of software. Pretty much the history of technical progress in personal computing from its beginning (including the original VisiCalc).

    All still in working order when dumped. Running museum pieces does not aid one’s productivity.

    I wonder if any other industry has generated so much obsolescence in so short a time?

    (JQ–we used VC on Apple II at Finance from 1980 to calculate the University Grants payments.)

    Still got a PowerBook (upgraded–this can be done) and a ThinkPad–I like to keep a foot in both camps.

  4. April 20th, 2005 at 02:07 | #4

    Skite skite I have a Newton. I hide it away because it will drive me insane if I try to get it running.

  5. derrida derider
    April 20th, 2005 at 15:29 | #5

    Today is a bad day to try and get a Mac vs Windoze flame war going, John – the religious flame wars will swamp it.

  6. April 20th, 2005 at 17:53 | #6

    I have a Sinclair Z88 I bought second-hand from Tim Costello for the curio value of its documentation.

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