Sunday, June 24, 2007

Welcome to the iFamily.

Maybe it's a sickness, but it seems every time I work at the recycling site, I bring home a Mac or two.

Just this past weekend we held an e-waste drive at Jackson's Sam's Club. Early on I spotted an old PowerMac, but the case was cracked and its monitor and peripherals were missing. Later, I go inside to the bathroom and come out - and there's a Mac SE sitting in one of the bins.

Our recycling president, Steve, and I were just talking about his switch to Apple's. I told him about the iMac I found last winter, and how it works perfectly well and now takes care of all my financial number-crunching and a few other writing projects. He must've been looking out for me after our discussion, because he pointed me toward the pitched mini-Mac.

Digging through the computer rubble, I found the original keyboard, mouse, and power cord, as well as a Macintosh Quadra 605 and LC II. Someone, it appeared, had cleaned out their closet.

My first thought, of course, was my resurgent eBay activities: these babies might fetch a decent price in some auction, and here I hadn't paid a thing for them.

But then, with no keyboard or monitor, I wondered if they even worked. These two consumer models are super easy to crack open. Just pop two switches in the back and you're in. I saw they were a little dusty, but that's it.

So I loaded the three Macs into my car and headed home. The Mac SE would be the easiest to check - I just plugged it in, switched it on, and *PING!*

We're in business.

The Apple is so spartan it defies description. A few simple programs, like MacPaint and MacWrite (and even a version of MS Word!), and a bare-bones desktop. That's it. One floppy drive. A 9" black and white screen. Luckily I had a few game discs, like Frogger and Ultima II and III, to try out (they work great). This little thing was too cool.

After letting it sit for a while, I also found it came bundled with a fireworks screen saver. It's running as I type.

I assure you folks that I'm not the only crazy one here. Some people (like these guys) take old computers way more seriously than I do. If I can't find a good use for it, why keep it?

And if I have to make up a "good use" for some of these, like a Macquarium, for instance, then so be it.

So the list right now reads an iBook G4, an iMac G3, an iBook G3 clamshell, two Mac SEs (one working, one destined to be the home of my next goldfish), a Quadra 605, and an LC II. Plus a Newton, an iPod, an a custom built blueberry iMac G3 for grandma.

I'm running out of room.

Thankfully eBay can save me some space and earn me a few extra dollars.

I still have to figure out if the Quadra and the LC II work. All I need to do is hook them up to a monitor (thank you, roommate!), plug in the keyboard and mouse I already have, and switch them on. With a bit of luck, they'll give me the same *PING* the lil' SE did.

No comments: