10 Years of X

2013.06.23 in personal

It was my fourteenth birthday—summer 2003, just a few months before I started high school… Vivian and Margaret decided to be their traditionally-ridiculously-generous-selves, and offered to replace my desktop (an HP tower, also from them!). Young Tim of course started dreaming of some crazy PC (perhaps constructed from parts, perhaps off the shelf), but then they said something like "we know you've been eyeing Apple's offerings, maybe you want to get a Mac?"

Now, some context here: much of my close family at the time were employed by IBM; we had no Apple folk around; our schools were full of Dells; I'd used some Mac IIs many years earlier, but not since then. So, of course, I went for that :)

Little did they (or anyone!) know what that amazing birthday present would turn into, eight years later—one of those tiny whole-life turning points, I guess.

The machine that eventually (just days before Airborne Express, who had some … troubles … delivering it, became a company no longer) arrived was a decked-out PowerMac G4 MDD.

It shipped with Mac OS X 10.2 (Jaguar), though Panther came out a few months later. Apparently, Jaguar was the last release of OS X to ship without Safari; I don't remember, but I do remember running the Safari Beta, all those years ago. John Siracusa's Jaguar review also notes that it was the first release to include the big cat codename in the official marketing name, which is pretty cool.

Trinity, as I called it, was a trusty companion throughout high school, introducing me to AppleWorks, and eventually Keynote, and later Pages, all of which were absolutely cruical to me for those four years. And, to Safari… and we know how that went. It followed me to college, sitting under my desk and acting as a fileserver for a few years, then later running various PowerPC Linux distributions for various reasons. And, even to Cupertino, where it sits under the desk in my bedroom, unpowered but ready to spring to life at any sign of need.

It really does still boot today, though it did have a pair of power supply malfunctions in 2008, which resulted first in me dragging it to the Crossgates Apple store on a CDTA bus, and then later me resorting to using a random G3 we had laying around. I don't actually remember how it recovered, but it did.

So, thanks, Vivian and Margaret, for turning a birthday present into oh-so-much more! It's been a great ten years!