Three ways the Mac changed my life

The Mac is 30 years old and aside from Apple’s website, many people are telling their own Mac origin story. So, following this cool custom, here’s my Mac story, or more specifically, the three ways the Mac changed my life.

My first Mac was a handed down 17” PowerBook G4. with a 1GHz processor, 256MB RAM and a 60GB HDD. My father gave it to me when he upgraded to the faster 1.67Ghz PowerBook. It was an awesome machine, not only for its build quality and power, but it ran OS X Tiger, miles ahead of XP. To be honest, my first Mac was the original 1984 Mac. I don’t remember it, but there’s an old picture of a two year old me sitting behind that Mac with some Paint program opened up. But my first real experience I remember was that 17” PowerBook.

I took that machine with me to University, naively thinking it would suffice to run all the graphic programs necessary for my architecture studies. But soon I discovered that a four year old PowerBook and Vectorworks aren’t very good friends. So, in order to get enough money to pay for a brand new Mac, I needed a job. Coincidentally the local Apple Reseller in our town was looking for part time employees. I had a Mac, the job intrigued me, and, as a fresh man studying architecture, I skipped lessons a day per week, and worked every Tuesday and Saturday as an employee at Switch. I kept working there throughout my entire student life, witnessing the switch to Intel, the release of the iPhone, iPad first line. Although I loved architecture, I was often more interested in trying out new apps on the Mac that where somehow related to my studies, and during exam weeks I was often more a help desk for other student’s Mac issues than a regular student. So by using the Mac for my studies, I discovered that I rather worked with the Mac and support other users, than actually doing what I was learning at school. After graduating I travelled for a whole summer, decided I’d rather do what I loved than do what I studied for, and went working full time for Switch as a service technician repairing Macs and doing first line customer support.

Even while working there as a student, somehow I ended up getting the passwords for a whole lot of backend servers. Apparently, having someone on site who could reboot a server on a busy Saturday was useful for our management, and that occasional server reboot evolved into being the go-to-guy for internal support issues. Now, seven years later, I’m not helping fellow students with their Mac, I’m not even helping customers anymore, but I’m currently the System Administrator of our company. By working with Macs, I discovered a job I love, a job that’s often more life than work, but challenging and rewarding at the same time.

But most importantly, I met my girlfriend at work. Two years later, we’re happily living together in Antwerp. So without the Mac, we certainly wouldn’t have met.