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LC 520 @ 25 Years!

My very first computer experience was an Apple II, but I was but a toddler, and all I remember are lots of kids huddled around playing a trivia game I can’t remember the name of. After that, it wasn’t until 1984 that my father brought home the very first Macintosh for me to plunk around on during the summer school break. After that, each summer I’d get to play on the latest Macintosh model, I still remember seeing the first splash of color on the Macintosh II! But, MY very first computer, as in one I was given for full-time use was in 1993. It was a 25Mhz (yes, that’s MEGA) Motorola 68030 (Sixty Eight Oh Thirty) sporting LC 520!

LC 520

The LC 520 in all it’s platinum glory!

LC 520 – LC =Low Cost?

At $2,000 US at the time.. and around $4,500 CAD adjusted for inlfation.. they had a different idea of “low cost” back then! But she was a great machine, loaded with 4MB of RAM, a floppy drive AND 2X CD-ROM Drive! I would enhance it with a $300 Apple Adjustable Keyboard later, and for my birthday we upgraded the 80GB Hard Drive to 1GB! At the time, that was outrageous and easily would have cost $1,000.

The LC 520 was the first multimedia machine we ever had, I remember being amazed seeing a movie preview for 1995’s Strange Days run through Quicktime, probably no more than 280px X 180px. The stereo speakers and ability to play music CD’s made it my stereo, and to this day cannot help but remember Wolfenstein when hearing a Diana King track. It was also the first computer I had a chance to “hack”… boy was Dad pissed when the computer started up and told him in a loud booming voice that “It’s official, YOU SUCK!”. Only later on did I find out he actually thought it was hilarious.

I also remember when we officially got internet service, the squelching of the 14.4 BAUD modem made and using the Mosaic browser, having to tap on a graphic icon to download any photos. I also remember hitting the newsgroups for the first time and seeing wonders only seen in print before. I remember making LONG time friends over Bulletin Board Services, using First Class Client to access ReDAUG (Red Deer Apple User Group). Then later on being asked to help out with A BBS called Daves Place, with a Dave that now works in a certain Space Ship in California.

LC 520 Early Work

This was created with Claris Works, impressive 3D for such early software!

 Not All Play

I remember using ClarisWorks for countless school reports, and couldn’t believe when I got a copy of Aldus PageMaker! I dove into desktop publishing soon to be followed by a copy of Adobe Photoshop that started my love of graphic design.

She was well built and lasted me until 1997 when I got the first G3 desktop. Being the geek I was, she was also the first computer I really dived inside. With a beautiful slide out logic board, I remember replacing a few CMOS batteries. The Hard Drive upgrade was also incredibly easy. Having to learn to install a fresh OS and then wanting SO BAD to upgrade to OS 8 with its cool 3D folder icons! This was the first computer that really set me up for my future, little would I realize I’d be working on the same machines 25 years later! It was the work on this early machine and my passion for learning everything I could about it that landed me my first job as an Apple technician right out of High School.

So, after 25 years, I look back and say thank you to that glorious workhorse for getting me where I am now. Those memories of me and Dad playing Chuck Yeager’s Air Combat are nice too. 🙂

What was your first computer?

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Ryszard (Rick) Gold, From Calgary, Alberta, Canada has over 20 years of experience working with Apple products in a technical capacity. Passionate about technology in general, his natural troubleshooting abilities, curiosity and appreciation of good design lead him into working exclusively with Apple Computer products.
Ryszard Gold
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