A recent video by Stephen Hackett at 512 Pixels provided me with a nice trip down memory lane:
The 12” PowerBook was both my first laptop and first Mac, and “much beloved” is certainly an apt description from my viewpoint. I bought it from a friend in university in the early 2000’s, when the iPod was just starting to gain in popularity and Macs were still a rarity on campuses. The aluminium case and glowing Apple icon definitely stood out in comparison to the uniformity of black Windows laptops, and let’s not even talk about the software – Windows XP was the latest and greatest on that side back then, but I knew people who were still having to put up with Windows ME (ouch). It was a reliable machine through classes and frantic late-night paper-writing sessions at the library, and a regular companion on trips back home during break.
I’m sure that if I had one in front of me today, it would seem big and clunky (especially compared to the iPad that I’m writing this post on!) and I realize that the soft glow of memory has likely obscured annoyances that I would have had at the time. That being said, it was my introduction to a portable computing device that provided almost all of the benefits of a desktop machine while not being too onerous to haul around (at least by the standards of a university student used to carrying textbooks). It may appear unwieldy compared to the ultrabooks, tablets, and smartphones that we have today, but the lineage from there to here is pretty clear in my mind, especially since I haven’t been without a portable Mac of some kind since then.