Over the course of the last week we have begun decluttering around the house – digging out long forgotten things from the back of cupboards, and the attic – and putting them up for sale on E-Bay. Among the various items was an Apple iMac from the early 2000s. I’m not entirely sure of it’s vintage – we bought it perhaps ten years ago on E-Bay from a school that had unearthed it from a long forgotten storage cupboard. It had almost certainly never been used.
For those interested in such things, it’s a Bondi Blue G3, with 500Mb of memory, a PowerPC processor, and has OS 10.4 installed – “Tiger”. I had a Macbook years ago – one of the pretty white ones – and always maintained that Tiger was the best version of OS X that Apple ever made – it had none of the bloat of the versions that followed it.
After selling all manner of other memories from the loft – among them a Nintendo, a Super Nintendo, a Sega Dreamcast, a number of Nintendo hand-helds, and a Sega Saturn, I couldn’t quite bring myself to sell the Mac. There’s just something about it – something I can’t seem to let go of. It got me through NaNoWriMo late last year. Hell – it’s even got an old version of Scrivener installed on it. I suppose there’s an eccentric hope that it might entice me to write something worth reading one day.
I remember reading about George R R Martin using an old DOS computer running Wordstar – I wonder if the Mac might provide a similar function for me? While I might not end up writing anything of worth on it, there’s something romantic about writing on an old Apple Mac – a feeling. It’s hard to describe. I suppose in some ways it’s a little like using an old mechanical typewriter – although a more modern digital equivalent.
If you’re wondering how I will backup anything I write on it, you might be surprised to learn that it connects to the internet just fine – OSX was based on BSD Unix, and the internet pretty much runs on Linux – a close relative. I’m not using the internet though – oh no – I’m using an Iomega ZIP drive – another eBay acquisition. It turns out twenty year old ZIP disks work just fine – they make a reassuring clunk sound as you push them in, and mechanical whirring sounds as data is read or written – none of that silent USB memory stick nonsense.