Couple Retire 15 Year Old Mac SE, Upgrade To iMac G4

There is something magical about the Mac, though many PC users (and even some Mac users) donit understand that. For instance, how many people would use an old 286 or 386 today, especially as a production machine? There are probably a few that have been converted to Linux here and there, but then how many people would use a 15 year old Mac SE? Thereis one couple who have been using theirs for the last 15 years as their sole production machine, but they traded it in for a new iMac recently. The man is Stephen H. Dunphy, and he is a columnist for the Seattle Times. Last week, he published this in his personal technology column:

The school newsletter was done and the printing had begun. But as the printing job moved on to the second page, the printer slowed and stopped, as a familiar message flashed across the screen — "Not enough memory to print HP fonts."

We knew what to do in this situation. We had learned from past experience that if we rubbed the sides of the computer in a soothing circular motion, the problem would be resolved. In a few minutes, the printer was humming again, apparently restored by our tender, hands-on approach to computing.

All you techno-experts out there will read this and start composing e-mail slams about how really dumb we are — rubbing the side of a computer? But as Dave Barry would say, "I am not making this up." This really happens, especially when your home computer is a one-time top-of-the line computer from Apple.

In 1986 — thatis when we bought the Macintosh SE. It has served us faithfully since then — school newsletters, homework reports, letters, a few simple games. We could even use it on the Internet way back in the early days of the University of Washingtonis Pine program.

We also found his reasons for choosing the iMac to be interesting:

Consumers and technophiles usually have many good reasons for going with a new computer. The new, fast 700 megahertz chip? Not us. How about the new Mac operating system? Nope. Cool graphics programs and easy-to-use photo downloading? Maybe weid use it in a year or two after we get comfortable.

The real reason is that the machine fit on the desk. The new smaller physical size of the pedestal iMac was a big selling point. When you live in a small house built in 1912, these things are important.


So off we go into the 21st century of computing. If all goes well, we might buy another one in, say, 2018.

The old SE? We still have it. It still works. Weire talking about what to do with it. After 15 years of utilitarian service, weill find some place for it.

Mr. Dunphy has much more to say about the new iMac in the full piece, and we recommend it as a very enjoyable read.