OK, I'm about to write a love letter to a computer. Embarrassing? Sure. Ridiculous? Oh, yeah. Just out-and-out pathetic? I'll give you that, and I'll even add that it's laughable.
Well, laugh all you like, but I'm not ashamed to say that I love and miss that damn Mac Classic II, even though I never had one. Here- I'll supply a photo of someone's Mac Classic that I found (which still works fine), so you can have some sort of a frame of reference. I was happy to find this photo because it includes some everyday objects near the computer so that you have a sense of scale (Lucky Strikes!). The candles are a nice reverent touch, too.
Ever have one of these? Or work on one? Just curious.
Here's a sketch of my early computer history, which might give some insight as to why I like the Mac Classic II. My family didn't have a computer, but the family that was sort of our family's best friend, the LaRoches, had a Commodore 64 that Dianne LaRoche and I would occasionally screw around with. The only thing on the Commodore 64 that interested us was Print Shop, a sort of Iron Age, Lascaux cave forerunner of the idea of desktop publishing. In the 6th grade, I remember the two of us printing a huge 6-foot long banner that said " I love Ryan Gibson!" with Print Shop, which took about 3 hours to print and we had a lot of that perforated sprocket hole paper to tear off it afterwards. That's really all we did with it.
And I had no interest in computers in high school- I graduated in 1991 from a small school and there were next to no computer classes offered there, although I do remember that one could take "Keyboarding" if they so desired. I did not. And when I took the art school 'math' cop-out course in 1992, which was then called "Computer Math", we had Amigas in there!! Jesus Christ!! I still find that hard to believe. I was truly in a dark and unknown land in that class- I had no interest in or aptitude for working with these computer things, but it was required, so let's get it over with. But yeah, we had to do little animations and a touch of programming. I was fine at the animations and a miserable failure at the programming.
Then in...oohhhhh...I guess it was 1994 that I was required to take Desktop Publishing, where they had a room filled with the most up-to-date Macs of the time, and I was still kinda lost. Still didn't care for computers. Hated having to do anything with that goddamed vector Adobe Freehand shit. "Freehand" was certainly a misnomer. At the time, I was deeply immersed in choosing the right sheet of Arches Extra Cold Press Deckled Edge paper and finding soft brushes with just the right amount of spring and all these picky geometrical processes and 'files' and 'folders' seemed like an absurd amount of trouble to go through just to get a crummy fake ad printed out on a piece of crap 8 1/2 x 11 copy paper. "This is bullshit! If I wanted to be graphic designer, that would be my major, wouldn't it?" The only good thing about that class was the professor; one Durwin Talon, who said on the first day that we could address him as Durwin Talon, Dark Lord of the Sith. He gave us extra credit if we we went to see "RoboCop", since there was supposed to be a computer animated sequence in there and that had something to do with our class. I didn't go.
But that same year, I had to write a long paper for History of Film and my professor, Mr. Joe Marohl, required us to either type the paper or print it out from a computer and he told us that there was a writing lab in Norris Hall (known as the 'computer building'- a very cold, quiet, and boring place). So once I finished writing my paper out I went to Norris and found this writing lab, which turned out to be a small grey deserted room. There was one long waist high counter that ran all around the room and on this counter there were about eight little Mac Classic II's. They just sat there, patiently waiting. I pulled up a chair, turned it on, and started to 'type up' my paper. And typing is still the way I thought of it. And no, it hadn't occurred to me to actually write it on the computer. Even now, whenever I write anything longer than these blog posts, it's always longhand first.
But that day I had such a satisfying time typing up that paper, for some reason. Sure, I'd enjoyed writing the paper itself, but that teeny little humble and inoffensive computer was so appealing to me and so cute. I just liked the idea of that small little Mac Classic with no separate hard drive to bump your feet into or take up space on the desk, and no memory room for too many big scary programs I didn't know how to work. Just perfect for quietly helping you turn out a nice-looking paper, like a little friend! No one else came in while I worked- it was just me and the Mac Classics, having a nice, peaceful, and productive afternoon. I got an A+ on that paper, too.
Alas, at that time the Mac Classic II was on its way out, and I had no money or reason or inclination to buy a computer for years until The Internet was a well-established entity. But I'm still carrying a torch for that friendly little friend whose friendly name was Mac Classic II.
One more thought: I realize some of my friends who are reading this are PC people who might scoff at my Mac leanings, but that's OK. I myself am not one to judge a person based on their computer beliefs or operating system affiliations. I know you're laughing, Chuck!