The first time I saw a Mac was shortly after it came out. A slightly-older, slightly geeky friend, from a well-to-do family that lived down the street, had bought one.
At some point, I was alone in his room with it. It was turned off, but a floppy disk was sitting partially-ejected. I remember panicking when I pushed it in, and couldn't figure out how to get it out. I think I turned it on, and then back off, to get it out. In retrspect, I think that was my 2001 moment.
At the time, I was a recent college drop-out, and working as a messenger at my uncle’s law firm. Eventually, I became a paralegal there — a miserable gig. A friend of mine, was temping as a word-processor and making double what I was making. So I decided to buy a computer to get my typing speed up, and learn WordPerfect.
The law firm, used Wang WP, but we had a PC in our little group, that ran a Clipper db, as I recall. I was literally not allowed to touch it, but stayed late a few nights, and played around with it a little.
From everything I could see about PCs, I know I didn’t want one. I still remembered the Mac. So I did a little reading, and bought a Mac Plus, with 1 MB RAM, and a 21 MB external hard-drive. I think it ran System 6.0.3. I also bought a typing program, and the first version of WordPerfect for the Mac.
There were very few Mac jobs, and zero Mac/WordPerfect gigs, so I had to take PC temp jobs, but Mac gigs started to turn up – usually at advertising agencies. I bought Microsoft Word 3.x .
Eventually, I could turn down the PC jobs, and one thing led to another. Steve Jobs did not make the Macintosh alone; Andy Hertzfeld, Bill Atkinson, Steve Capps, and many other amazingly smart people did. But it’s also safe to say, that without Jobs, the Macintosh — that perfect little machine, wouldn’t have happened.
And I would have wound up doing, I don’t know what..but it would be a lot less cool. Thanks, Steve.