kickin’ it old school

i didn’t hear back from the apple store today, so i decided to take the time to get the mail client on my tangerine ibook updated with my email from the last several days– the stuff that’s still on the mail server.

it was something like 1600 messages, almost all of which were spam. it took a couple of hours to download and sort it all, but now i can use email in a semi-normal environment, and that’s totally worth it. email is, i have to admit, a big comfort thing for me. i can and will go for long periods without it when the situation warrants– usually while travelling– and it’s not too distressing, but when i’m home, it’s such a deeply engrained habit to be constantly checking mail that i feel very wrong and kind of upset without it.

anyway, i must state again just how awesome my little tangerine ibook is. i’m so glad i never got rid of it. a co-worker offered today to buy it from me, and she’s not the only person who has expressed an interest. but i think i will hang on to this sturdy, adorable little machine for a good while longer. in fact, i’m thinking squishy will find a home inside 9 Westy. a good, sturdy, compact, and good-looking computer will be appropriate inside my sturdy, compact (and hopefully one day good-looking) van.

i think i will take this opportunity now to introduce you to each of my macs. i’m not saying that macs are a substitute for children, but they all cost me money, bring me great joy and consternation, and i have named them all (well– almost all). so in a really sad, hollow sort of way, it’s similar πŸ™‚

first, i do have two very old macs that have _not_ been named (that i can recall). One is a “Mac Plus”: with no internal hard drive, but a 20mb external hard drive that’s about the size of a small cat, and sounds like a jet engine. This was the first computer I ever bought. I bought it used and was pretty much completely ripped off. I also have a “Mac SE”: with the original canvas carrying bag. It was free. Not a ripoff.

next oldest is my tangerine iBook, squishy. this was the first iBook model ever made. it was difficult to get at the time that i got it– TenPlus systems in Raleigh had a customer refuse delivery on it so they sold it to me. I loved this thing more than I can tell you. I used to make people hug it when they were feeling upset, because it really does make you feel better. It’s rounded and rubberized, and as christa can attest, virtually indestructible. one of the best form factors for laptops ever invented. owning a laptop revolutionized my computing life.

i replaced squishy with a white 14″ iBook (an “icebook”) called icemaiden. this machine enabled me to switch to firewire web cams, which made a huge difference in picture quality and size. it also allowed me to switch to OSX, which was reputed not to be compatible with the tangerine iBooks. icemaiden now has a completely dead hard drive, probably due to exposure to large magnets. i bought this new. one day dave and i walked into the apple store and asked the guys to bring us one powerbook and one ibook. the store was pretty new and they were pretty excited to be selling two laptops at once.

late last year, someone at work was selling a cube, and i decided to go for it. cubes are kind of special. actually, they’re very special. i bought it as much as a collector’s item as because it’s a nice, compact desktop that runs OSX and that i can hang a printer and scanner off of. it’s very buck rogers in the 25th century– all lucite and glowing blue lights. right now it has a dead cd-rom drive. it’s named foxy box.

this year i decided that i really, really, really wanted a lot more screen real estate. i have done some good design work on small screens, but it’s painful. literally. the more i have to move windows around using the trackpad, the more my pre-carpal-tunnel symptoms flare up. so i bought a refurbished 17″ powerbook and named it spacecase. that’s the computer currently in the shop. my sore wrists never really flared up during the roswell development cycle this year and i have to say that i just love that computer to death. it rocks my world.

i have also had, and sold: a dual g4 tower; a powercomputing powertower pro (a “clone”– one of the very few macs that were not made by apple); and a pismo– the first firewire laptop apple ever made. the pismo and the tower were for doing video editing… the power tower was the first really beefy, modern computer i ever bought, and i designed my first web site on it– the still existing wxdu site.

anyone who made it this far definitely gets a cookie πŸ™‚