I did not grow up with the Macintosh as a kid, but I vividly remember the first time I used a Macintosh. During a short trip to Circuit City to purchase my mother’s iPod Mini, there was a display unit of a iMac G4. Initially it wasn’t the Macintosh itself that interested me and pulled me in, instead it was the looping demo of Nanosaur running on it. I loved dinosaurs as a kid, and still do, and the game looked beyond anything I had seen any of my friend’s PCs run. After I played the demo for a while, I finally noticed the actual Macintosh that was running the game. I had always thought computers had to be beige or grey metal boxes that weren’t very interesting. With the Macintosh’s clean white aesthetic and transparent bubble speakers, it changed everything I had thought a computer could be.
I purchased my first Macintosh a few years later when my Compaq laptop was dying of old age. It took a bit of convincing of my parents to purchase a Macintosh since all of their past computers were PCs. Thanks to the Macintosh’s great marketing and wide range of apps, they eventually agreed and we purchased a [year] black MacBook. The first day I turned it on was truly amazing. From its cheerful startup chime, to the [Welcome Video][Link] that played with Mac OS X Tiger, it was an amazing first experience with the Macintosh. After diving deep into Mac OS X and the iLife/iWork suite of applications, started to research the Macintosh’s long history. It didn’t take long before the candy colored G3s and sunflower G4s became computers I wanted to own.
A few years after I purchased my first Macintosh, I was finally able to purchase my first Classic Macintosh during a family trip to Seattle. Growing up in a small town in Florida meant that there wasn’t a huge demand for technology, especially for Apple products. I knew in Seattle there should be a large selection of used computers floating around at garage sales and on Cragislist. Almost immediately I found a reasonably priced Power Mac G4, not my first choice for a Classic Macintosh, but I wasn’t trying to be picky back then. After a few email exchanges, we purchased the Macintosh from the seller who had been using it as audio mixing station for a few years.
The Macintosh was in great shape with almost no scratches on its plastic sides or any damage to the internals. During all of the excitement of finally finding a Classic Macintosh, I had not thought of how I would bring it back to Florida. Shipping was out of the question due to its heavy weight, so my only option was disassembling it and packing all of the parts into our luggage.
Thanks to the modular design of the Power Mac G4, the disassembly was painless and quick, but what came next wasn’t. I was worried the entire time from when the baggage handlers tossed the luggage onto the plane, the five hour flight, and the hour ride home from the airport. The next morning I woke up early and started to reassemble the computer, hoping that none of it was damaged during the trip. The moment of truth finally came when I pressed the power button on the Macintosh. The button instantly lit up and the startup chime sounded, marking the beginning of my Classic Macintosh Collection. Fast forward six years later and I’m unpacking from our family move to Las Vegas from Florida.
Unlike many Macintosh enthusiasts, I did not grow up with a Macintosh as a kid. My first interaction with a Macintosh was when I went to Circuit City to purchase my mother’s iPod Mini. They had a Macintosh display unit, I can’t quite remember which model but it could have been the sunflower iMac G4. Running on a loop was a demo of a game I had never seen called Nanosaur, a game that looked beyond what any of my computers would have been able to run. After playing the demo a few times, I started look at the Macintosh that was running the game. The clean white esthetic of the computer, matched with its transparent mouse and bubble speakers instantly pulled me into the allure of the Macintosh.
[Sunflower Mac running Nanosaur/Screenshot of Nanosaur]
A few years later when my Compaq laptop was dying I thought it would be great to have my next computer a Macintosh. We already had a few iPods floating around the house, but my parents entire computing history consisted of basic Windows PCs. With a little bit of convincing, and two trips to the local Authorized Macintosh Retailers, I was able to get everyone on board. We ordered a [year] plastic black MacBook with [Specs], which finally arrived on [date].
The moment I turned on the MacBook and heard its cheerful startup chime, I was hooked. Most of that first day was spent messing around with the iLife and iWork suite of applications, as well learning the new OS. Shortly after that first day, I started to research what the Macintoshes before mine looked like. Having grown up with grey and beige Windows PCs, the candy colored iMac G3s and the Power Mac G4 Cube was a fascinating look at what computers could look like. It didn’t take too long for me to start browsing eBay, searching for a classic Macintosh to start my collection with.
I purchased my first pre-owned Macintosh during a short trip my family made to Seattle. Growing up in a small town in Florida meant that there were not a ton of computer shops or culture in the area, especially for Apple products. I knew when I was in Seattle though, there may be a small collection of classic Macintoshes floating around at garage sales or online . After a few Craigslist searches I came across a listing for a Power Macintosh G4, complete with an Apple Keyboard and Pro Mouse. A few email exchanges later, my grandfather and I showed up at the seller’s house and followed him to his basement. The computer was in amazing shape, and had been used as an audio mixing station for the past few years.
While it was great to have finally purchased a classic Macintosh, I had not thought of how I was going to get it back to the other side of the country. Since it weighed a ton, shipping wasn’t an option. I decided my best bet would be to disassemble it as much as possible and pack it into multiple bags of luggage.
[G4 Tower with body open]
After watching the baggage handlers throw all of the bags on the plane, a five hour plane ride, and another hour drive home, I finally brought back my first classic Macintosh. I quickly unpacked the bags, rebuilding the computer part by part until everything was back together and then the moment of truth came. I pressed the power button, and thankfully it lit up and booted into Mac OS X. Its cheerful startup chime was the official start of my path to collecting Classic Macintoshes.
A few years later, and many more Macintoshes later, I was unpacking from a recent move and trying to decided what to do with all of them. I turned one on and messed around with Mac OS 9, loving the classic design of the computer and operating system. I also found a ton of old software hidden in a folder on the Macintosh left over by the previous owner. After playing around with the software I decided that if I was going to keep all of these Macintoshes, I should do something productive with them.
[Picture of all the Macs, with the logo on the top portion of the image]
Reviving the Classic is my answer to that problem. Since I didn’t grow up with the Macintosh as a kid, I figured it would be interesting to build an ultimate Classic Macintosh to run all of the old software that I had missed. This blog will document my process of repairs, software reviews, and most importantly retrospectives on the Macintosh platform as I go through this journey.
My goal is to document a piece of Apple’s history, that many of today’s iPad, iPhone, and Watch wearing fans of Apple might not have been aware of. Hopefully this site can be a mix of entertainment and a history lesson that almost anyone can enjoy.
Check back every Thursday for a new post about the journey!