Apple Mac

I’ve had PCs since the very beginning, since a time when I didn’t know anyone else who had one.

I went through the evolution of XT, 286, 386, 486, 486DX, various Pentiums and AMDs before eventually losing interest in building computers. I still have a desktop PC, with a recent memory and hard drive upgrade, but I no longer build or buy a new computer on an annual basis.

In the late 80s/early 90s, a PC was pretty expensive, but the most affordable computer. Excluding the 8/16 bit machines that plugged in to a TV.

The Apple Mac had a cooler image, but the screen was an inch or two smaller and the cost prohibitive.

My first PC, an ‘Turbo’ XT clone cost £475. That bought a machine that ran at a maximum of 12Mhz, had a huge 640k memory and a single 5.25 inch floppy drive. A 10MB hard drive was added later at the bargain price of £90.

My second PC, a 286, ran at 16Mhz. It had a whole 1MB memory, a 40MB hard drive and a 3.5 inch floppy drive. Since I already had a monitor, I snapped it up for just £400. That would have been around 1990.

That 286 ran MS-DOS 3.3; the XT came with DR-DOS to save money. I’d experimented with the GEM graphic interface, but it ran slowly and I opted for the cruder DOS command prompt.

It was a couple of years later, after building a 386 PC, that I tried Windows 3. It wasn’t great, but it was miles better than Windows 2.

Of course, the Apple Mac was around at the time, with a much friendlier interface. But it was costly at over twice the price of a decent PC. And there was limited potential for upgrades.

In all honesty, cost was the main reason I avoided the Apple Mac. Until now, that is. Picked up on eBay for a bargain price, a Mac Classic. Just 30 years old.

As I said, it was cheap. It’s also very, very slow.