Macs (and Apples) I have owned


As almost anyone with a connection to the internet or any other possible source of media including the telegraph and carrier pigeons knows, today, January 24, 2014, is the 30th anniversary of the launch of the Macintosh computer. ReutersMoney did a story on how much people have invested in their Apple products and yours truly was one of those featured. I was fortunate that my parents bought me my first Mac [mfn]My first computers, plural. For my 10th (I believe) birthday a TI-99/4 and when I went off to college they bought me an Atari 520ST. I briefly ran a MacOS emulator on that puppy.[/mfn] and even when I bought my first computer with my own money, the PowerBook 140, it took all my summer salary my parents heavily subsidized every other aspect of my life. My dad is an electrical engineer and spent most of his career with NASA so this was one vice he could understand.

I have posted on flickr some of the Apple computers that are around my office, but I thought I would list all the Apple computers and devices I have owned. And by “owned” I should make it clear that I mean someone bought them for my use. Once I started teaching the university has provided machines for my use. Of course we have purchased several machines for use by the family over the years. In the last 8 years the machines have been so solid that we have also been able to buy used machines for a fraction of their cost and still have another 3-5 years of use.

There are two categories: desktops & notebooks and “devices” (Newton and iOS).

Desktops and Notebooks

  • Mac SE – Still have it, still runs.
  • PowerBook 140 – Started grad school and did most of my doctorate on this, even after the trackball came loose and scratched the LCD screen. Needs a new HD but boots to ? symbol.
  • Mac Performa 5200CD – Completed my doctorate on this one. Sadly got so beat up it went to salvage. I wish I had kept it for a Macquarium.
  • PowerBook G3/233 (Wallstreet) – Stolen from my office, recovered by police in a sting, running such that they could gather evidence from it, but by the time it was returned to me dead. Still in my office.
  • iMac G3/333 (Grape!) – purchased by us for my wife’s use. Still runs but I had to replace disc drive twice.
  • PowerBook G4 Titanium
  • PowerBook G4 17″ Aluminum – Both of these G4s saw good, long service and continued with others at Tulane.
  • iBook G3/366 (Orange!) – Donated by my parents and we in turn donated to a local small business owner who needed it for books. Would love to get another in my collection. I loved the look, the sturdiness, and feel.
  • PowerMac G4 (Gray) – Inherited from my boss. Purchased from the uni and ran for another 5 years. (Still runs, just not in service.)
  • eMac – My folks passed this along to us and we used it to replace the Grape iMac for several years. A great all in one, largely designed for the education market. I used it as a media server for a while before retiring it.
  • iMac “Core 2 Duo” – First machine at PSU along with
  • MacBook (Black) – I was trying to be frugal and the MacBook was awesome for the road, but the iMac was underpowered for my needs then. I used the MacBook for several years, then it became the office loaner before I bought it from the uni for my daughter who still, 7 years later, uses it every day.
  • Mac Pro Quad Core – This replaced the iMac and is still in service somewhere in the college. Apple only just upgraded the chassis. The innards hadn’t been significantly upgraded in several years.
  • MacBook Air 13″ – This is what I take on the road when I need to use Nisus Writer or do heavy work.
  • iMac 27″ – Replaced the Mac Pro, is faster, better monitor (built in, of course) and just a great machine. Still using it and will be for quite some time.
    • I also have several machines I have acquired purely for display: a Mac Plus, Mac SE/30, Mac Classic, and the first “flat panel” iMac. The last, along with a Core 2 Duo (white) iMac are used to display slide shows in the office.


  • Newton MessagePad 110 – With a 4MB! memory card! Still runs fine, but the cover hinge is broken. I really liked and used this. So did my brother, but he had a later model.
  • iPhones – I will not list them all, but I did not get the first iPhone. (I usually do not get or recommend others get Apple’s first generation of anything. The iPad was an exception to that rule.) I or family members have had: 3G, 3GS, 4, 4S, 5, and 5S.
  • iPads – This was the exception to the rule. I got the first generation and was very pleased with it. I have had the 1, 3, and now 4. All WiFi only. My wife has the iPad Mini (which I also quite like). When I travel the iPad is all I usually take along with a bluetooth keyboard.
  • Apple TV – I have a 2 and 3 gen.
  • iPods – Oy. Didn’t get one until the 5th gen came out in 2006. I or a family member have had mini, nano, shuffle, and touches of various generations. All of them still work, that haven’t gone through the laundry, that is.
  • AirPort – Several Airport base stations over the years, including AirPort Express.

So that seems like an awful lot, but this is over 30 years. The actual investment of real $$ over that period and, given the rare down time, represents a fairly reasonable and solid investment. What is frankly utterly amazing is that almost all of these machines still run just fine, barring physical damage (theft, clothes washer, etc.). I am not sure how many other appliances, vehicles, or devices one can say that about. I can, actually name one: my 1987 Technics tuner. That puppy is still serving as my household tuner, connected to an Apple AirportExpress and serving music from an iMac.

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