I wanted to take a moment to write up a post about my full set of Mac Color Classics. This was the machine that captivated me back in college. During my undergraduate degree at Texas, I had to write up a paper and ventured into a small computer lab in Burdine hall. I waited my turn and sat down to face a small, seemingly simple computer: a 1993 Macintosh Color Classic. Even though it was considered underpowered at the time, I credit this computer for changing my career. Right to left: the Mac Color Classic, the Mac Color Classic II and the Mac Performa 275:
At that time, I wasn’t exactly sure what the future held for me. I was drifting from one potential career trac to another and had settled on becoming a police officer or an FBI agent (it sounds silly in retrospect; kind of like wanting to be a ’superhero’ for a career 🙂 )
I grew up on sales floor of my late father’s Radio Shack franchise in Denton, Tx. From the time I was 8 years old, I was stocking shelves or selling VCRs and radar detectors to incredulous adults who considered it strange to be getting a sales pitch from a kid who couldn’t even drive a car. I always loved computers, particularly the Model 4 TRS-80 All-In-One that my dad would bring home for me to tinker with on the weekends (stores were closed on Sunday at that time so he didn’t need a floor model for about 36 hours, giving me time to recreate all the code scenes from WarGames on that beautiful Model 4 with dual 5 1/4 floppies.
By the time I got the UT, I was not long enamored with PCs. They were good for games but not much else. My visit to Burdine hall changed all that. I absolutely loved the way the UI looked and the way I could highlight and manipulate the text on the screen. The clean lines and smooth experience made me giddy to return for future papers. At the time, those systems ran around $2300 or so. Way beyond the means of a kid who was paying his own way through college using Pel grants and student loans. As much as I loved that computer, it would have to stay a dream for a while longer.
I finally managed to grab one off eBay a while back. In addition, I also snagged it’s big brother and big sister: The Mac Color Classic II and the Mac Performa 275. These were basically the Mac Color Classic “done right”. They had a faster data bus, more memory and were truly performant for the time period. They were only sold in Canada and Japan (hence the alternate characters on the keyboards). At the time, I never even knew they existed. But I’m thrilled to have them in my collection today. 🙂