I'm feeling a little nostalgic right now, though I can't pinpoint it to just one thing. It started, I think, last week with the 20th anniversary of my death of my grandfather. As I reflected on that sad day, I continued reading the biography of Steve Jobs, which is interesting, because it connects the dots of a story that I only peripherally understood.
This led me to ask my parents if they still had that original Mac lying around somewhere, the one they bought in 1985 that taught me most of what I know about graphic design and became the platform on which I really learned how to write.
Turned out they did.
My dad handed me a dusty, padded bag, and inside was a yellow, stained and possibly moldy old computer. I plugged it in and turned it on. It didn't quite boot up. Back in the day, Macs didn't have an internal hard drive, so the computer, itself, flashed that familiar old blinking question mark icon, while the 26-year-old extra hard drive hummed loudly.
It turned the 20-megabyte drive on and off about 10 times, and when I came back from grabbing a cup of coffee, it had booted. A screen saver called After Dark, one that I hadn't seen since the early '90s, lit up the screen.
I found myself elated that this relic was working, but disappointed that my school papers and MacPaint files were gone. At some point, I must've removed these files and transferred them to another long-gone computer. Still, the Mac held documents from my younger sister, some work memos from my dad and even a novel my mom had started.
As I pondered how I'd get this information off this ancient computer (there was no ethernet port on this computer, no modem, and I haven't seen a floppy disk or disk drive in ages), I got cocky. I searched for Disk First Aid and ran it. It froze halfway through, and I can no longer get the Mac to boot. Sadly, I think I re-killed this Mac 512K.
My final nostalgic act occurred when I remembered that at some point, I had a SCSI-enabled ZIP drive that maybe I could connect to this ancient computer. I found a box tucked away in the corner of my office and dove in. Inside, I found old newspaper clippings about OnMilwaukee.com, stickers emblazoned with our old logo and a container of CDs.
The CDs were the best part, because I rediscovered 20 or so discs that I never wound up ripping to iTunes. I found parts of my music library that hadn't seen the light of day in this millennium. But I didn't find that ZIP drive.
So, the old Mac remains plugged in, frozen in time. Maybe someday I'll find a way to resuscitate that old hard drive. Maybe not.
But in the last week, I found myself traveling through my past. Some memories were good, some less so.
I guess sometimes a walk down memory lane is an nice little stroll the park. This time, the nostalgia felt a tad more bittersweet.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Andy Tarnoff
Published Oct. 9, 2015
According to busbud.com, a travel company, Rock Island State Park in Door County is the most Instagrammed place in Wisconsin. I call B.S.
Published Oct. 6, 2015
When Jason and Randy Sklar perform their standup show Friday night at Turner Hall they're the first to admit that Milwaukee is a basically a Bizarro version of their hometown, St. Louis - and not just when it comes to sports fans. The first Adler's Fall Comedy Classic is right in the wheelhouse for the 43-year-old twin brothers, who span every genre of comedy but especially shine when it comes to smart and observational commentary rooted in "insider baseball" sports.
Published Sept. 27, 2015
Maker Faire rolled into Milwaukee this weekend with a stop at Wisconsin State Fair Park. Running along Harvest Fair, kids of all ages were treated to all sorts of science projects, maker projects and DIY culture. Some 175 vendors participated, and organizers said more than 45,000 attendees visited the show.
Published Sept. 26, 2015
This time around, the "S" seems to stand for "subtle." That's not the way Apple is positioning it, of course, but as a user who has owned every iPhone but the first, the 6s model appears to be such an incremental upgrade, most customers may never realize the difference. This review assumes that you have some familiarity with iPhones, and cuts to the chase with real-life examples instead of benchmarks
Published Sept. 24, 2015
My 7-year-old daughter is a big fan of cats, and not coincidentally, she's a big fan of our veterinarian, Dr. Becky Banks, from the Small Animal Hospital. In honor of OnMeowaukee Cat Week - and Becky and Mara's friendship - my daughter prepared nine questions about cats for Dr. Banks, which I shared with Becky over coffee. Here they are, in Mara's own words.
Published Sept. 23, 2015
Many people ask for me for tips on how to get their cat back when it goes missing. I touched on our methods in this blog post right after Jabie came home, but I've had the added perspective of time to think about it. Here's what I learned about how to find a lost cat.
Published Sept. 19, 2015
There may not be much summer left in Milwaukee, but cooler weather isn't not keeping people away from the last few South Shore Farmers Markets. This year, it runs until Oct. 10. On a beautiful, crisp Saturday morning, I captured a little video to savor the waning days the season along with a few hundred of my neighbors and friends.
Published Sept. 18, 2015
It's been more than a decade since OnMilwaukee spoke to Tom Wopat, best known as Luke Duke from the hugely popular `80s series, "Dukes of Hazzard." Wopat, of course, is from Lodi, just outside Madison, and in his career he's done a lot more than the Dukes. A Tony-nominated Broadway actor, he's also released a number of successful albums in different genres. Now, Wopat is coming home (or close to home, anyway) to open the Oconomowoc Arts Center's Main Stage Series on Saturday. He'll be performing jazz-inspired renditions of contemporary classics from his album, "I've Got Your Number."
Published Aug. 19, 2015
An unseasonably cool and windy August night didn't stop NEWaukee's Night Market from heating up Wednesday evening. Rather, the crowd bundled up and took in the local vendors, food trucks, dancers and marshmallow making.
Published Aug. 13, 2015
Laura Langemo doesn't take herself too seriously. In fact, the FOX 6 Wakeup News reporter says her goal is to make viewers laugh a little while going through their morning routine, and to that extent, she's willing to try just about anything for a great story.