Buying the original Macintosh at 18 years old wasn’t exactly a common thing among my friends. My parents couldn’t help me with the purchase. Apple has never been known for rebates. I didn’t know at the time about student pricing. I think it wasn’t a thing anyway. So, I had to be patient and earn my money. I bought the original Macintosh through special sales from Xerox for 3175 CAN$. At that time, Xerox attempted to take advantage of the Macintosh’s relative popularity, but it didn’t take off. They had accumulated inventories of unsold Macintoshes. My father’s office (he was an architect) depended on Xerox copiers. He sometimes got calls from Xerox representatives to see if he needed upgrading his copier. Eventually, on a given call, the subject of the Macintosh computer sale came up. This is how we learned about the special promotion. The timing was right: I had enough money to take the plunge. Paying more than three thousand dollars for an under-powered but revolutionary computer while still going to college was scary. I was so excited to be part of the few in the family of proud Mac owners. I also bought the original Apple carrying bag.
Owning a Mac wasn’t enough; I remember collecting promotional material too. I had a few posters and the glossy Macintosh flyer, but I can’t remember how I got them (see the artifacts and references below). I had the flyer before owning the Mac. I remember literally spending hours reading and looking for all the details I could learn about the Macintosh. This was so new, different, and “out of this world” back then. I was instantly hooked up to this machine. At the time, this flyer sported a fascinating and singular computer experience with novel applications like MacPaint, MacWrite or the Finder. I was hooked on the visuals, the concept, the idea of a user-friendly computer.
I had a few Mac applications, including MacPaint, MacWrite and later MacDraw of plastic floppies. Unfortunately, I can’t remember what type of work I did on this Macintosh. Eventually, I started collecting shareware and started using more serious applications like Microsoft’s Multiplan (the Macintosh version is still available for download here). My father really liked to use Multiplan for his work, from time to time. Comparing Multiplan on the Mac to the PC DOS version was very telling of the Macintosh’s appeal.
Fast forward to today. My brother-in-law still has a working Macintosh 128K with MacPaint and MacWrite floppies. His kids used to draw on MacPaint when they were young. He still has their drawings somewhere on some floppy disks. The Macintosh serial number puts it in the first thousand Macintoshes ever produced. It’s a collectible item for sure.
Artifacts & references
The most notable artifacts I have amassed throughout my research and writing project are here. This concludes the first article in the series “Remembering The Story Behind Every Apple Computers I Ever Owned – Numeric Citizen Blog.”
- Apple 1984 Super Bowl Commercial Introducing Macintosh Computer (HD)
- Macintosh 128K – Wikipedia
- Top 100 Hits of 1985/Top 100 Songs of 1985 | Music Outfitters
[Update #1 – 2022-04-02]: After spending part of my weekend cleaning up my old papers, I found an old bank account statement where we can see the withdrawal transaction to pay for the Macintosh 128K. 3460.75 CAN$ was the price I paid for this machine. It was a lot of money at the time.