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My History with Apple (Computer) Inc.
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Image by Adam Kuban
Edwin Tofslie created this visual. On his site, he says, "A visual I created to show the evolution of most all Apple products created over the past 30 years. This was created to show the evolution of the form factor and industrial design of the products, not to show every single model or upgrade Apple has launched."

I grabbed it and thought I’d use it to make a history of my Apple purchases. From left to right, top to bottom:

The Apple ][c I must have gotten this in 1985 or ’86 (when I was 10 or 11). I remember wanting this computer *so bad* after using the Apple ][e in grade school. I remember going to the Apple dealer (er, excuse me, the Apple authorized reseller) in Olathe, Kansas—The Bottom Line—and drooling over the computers there. I was an overweight kid, so my parents made me a deal: Lose X many pounds, and they would buy the computer. I lost a little weight, but not the specified amount. Still, I think my parents were swayed by my argument that it was an educational tool and an investment in my future. I learned to type on this machine, using a program with a little wizard who did magic according to how well you did. I also discovered Zork (never did finish) and Wishbringer (finished, ’cause it was easier). A couple years later, I got into the Bard’s Tale series. This was supposed to be a "portable" computer, hence the "c" for "compact." The machine itself had a handle on the back that folded down to prop up the computer or folded away into the body. You could carry the computer around, but the monitor was one heavy summbitch. Consequently, it never left the living room, where it sat on the desk toward the back of the room. I loved this little machine! I used it until about 9th grade (1989) and then didn’t do much with computers at all in high school. By the time I got another computer, see below, they had (OMG!) something new called a hard drive. Hmm…

Macintosh Performa 6220CD: OK, the one pictured here is from the Performa series. I had a 6220CD, which was a pizza-box configuration. My parents helped me buy it, and we got it from Best Buy, of all places. Best Buy! Can you believe that? That was in, oh, 1995, maybe ’96, during the dark Gil Amelio years. Anyway, at that time, I think Apple had a glut of products, and the 6220CD was one of the machines Apple made for the casual market—hence the Best Buy thing. It had a 75 MHz PowerPC 603 processor, 16 MB of RAM, a 1 GB hard drive, and a TV/Video card. It came with a little remote, and you could run cable or a broadcast antenna into the thing.

I got this either during my junior year or first senior year of college (I had two senior years because I switched majors), after I discovered the internet in the auxiliary computer center in Strong Hall at KU. I remember bringing this thing home and having one of my roommates kinda freak out a little bit—"Oh man, Adam. I can’t believe there’s a computer in our house." He wasn’t excited; he was a bit disdainful. At the time, he was kind of a hippie in a very minor way, and I think he saw computers as something evil. Sometimes, I think he was right; but mostly, I love computers. That roommate now is totally into computers and has a pretty nice top-of-the-line Powerbook.

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