Ten Years Ago Today

by Dean Mattson

I read this story about the iMac’s tenth anniversary with probably more interest than the average reader because that was my very first computer.

I remember it being announced several months before it went on sale so I had already decided to buy it and was anticipating the day it would finally be available. That summer, my school district also began paying teachers for the new school year in August instead of September, so I got an extra paycheck that summer. I used those extra funds for the new computer. I was used to using Macs at school, so I had always wanted one, but they had always been too expensive. When that first iMac came out, its price was more reasonable ($1,299) and it promised it would have everything I needed to get on the internet.

That was why I found myself driving over to the local CompUSA on Viscount early Saturday morning on August 15, 1998. I arrived a few minutes after opening time, went straight over to the Apple section and picked up one of the very big, very heavy boxes those first iMac’s came in. I brought it to the checkout line to pay for it and dashed it home.

I was soon up and running. Apple then was touting the ridiculously simple directions that came with the computer. I think it went something like: 1. Connect the power cord to the computer and plug it in. 2. Connect the keyboard to the computer. 3. Connect the mouse to the computer. 4. Turn it on. In a matter of minutes, I got myself signed up with AOL and I was on the internet.

A lot has been written about the importance of that first iMac in the history of Apple, but it was incredibly important to me. I was able to use the computers at school, but now I had one of my own where I was free to experiment and explore and try new things. I find I’m different from a lot of people in that respect – they have very definite ideas about what they want to do with a computer and stick to those while I always want to find as many uses as I possibly can for it.

That was a great computer, and I never regretted buying it. Believe it for not, it’s still working. It’s still being put to use in one of the classrooms at Edgemere.

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