03 November 2006

MacII heads to landfill

It was a sad day today when, while visiting my mum, I took my old MacII down to the recycling centre (c'mon, I just wrote the headline to attract the Greenpeace brigade).

It had sat in a cupboard since being replaced by the iBook G4 last year, and hadn't been used for a few years previously by my mum. Nevertheless, as a machine that was manufactured in February 1987 - so almost 20 years old - it has had a long life. I know the manufacture date because I took the lid off to remove the hard drive - an 80MB superfast model that I bought separately at the time. Inside the top was written the date of manufacture with a marker pen! It struck me how well-engineered this box was - particulary the way the top came off and how the Nu-bus cards could be added/removed - neither actions requiring a screwdriver. The monitor, keyboard and box itself where all of very solid construction indeed.

I think this was my second (or maybe my third) home Mac, but my first colour one (was it the first colour Mac?) and cost upwards of $5,000 at the time when I was in the US. At then exchange rates, that was around £4,000!

In an ideal world of course, I'd have kept this, but really it wasn't in good enough condition to be a museum piece. For my mum, I think the last straw came when she opened the cupboard and had the monitor fall on her head! So, out it went. In disposing of it, I was amazed at the lack of options available to us for recycling such devices in this country, and I hope that will soon change.

I had a great time with my MacII and it was a revolution at the time. Next week we should be welcoming a MacBook Pro CD2 into the household (though not for me unfortunately - it is to replace a Titanium G4 PowerBook stolen from my partner's workplace). It makes me realise how much things have changed. 2,000times the disk storage, 500 times the memory (I think I had 4MB), and a processor that is clockwise 300 times more powerful than the 16Mhz Motorola 68020 (but not allowing for other chip improvements), all in a portable device a fraction of the size and weight, and for a price about 1/4 of what I paid for the Mac system!

I apologise for the quiet posting lately. Got a few articles in the works, so stay subscribed...

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