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 April 17, 2014
For some inexplicable reason, I've never visited a Dogg Haus location until today. Well, I've learned my lesson.
Published April 10, 2014
Whether you support the e-cigarette industry or not, one thing is indisputable: it's a phenomenon that's growing rapidly. And while the companies that produce cigarette alternatives are based all over the world, one exists right in Milwaukee's own backyard. Hartland's Johnson Creek Enterprises, which makes Johnson Creek Smoke Juice, has quietly grown to an $8 million business and is expanding rapidly.
Published April 8, 2014
It's hard to believe that the classic baseball comedy, "Major League," is 25 years old. Filmed largely in Milwaukee, everyone here of a "certain age" seems to have a story to tell about the making of the movie.
Published April 7, 2014
Jason Gorman, the chef most Milwaukeeans know from his time at Dream Dance and Iron Horse Hotel, is returning to Wisconsin to Kenosha's newly remodeled Mangia Wine Bar.
Published April 5, 2014
I wanted to see the hubbub first-hand, so I joined the throngs of crowds checking out the brand new Mayfair Collection today. The parking lot was packed, but the two stores I visited weren't too chaotic. And once things settle down a bit, I'm sure I'll be back.
Published March 31, 2014
Opening Day has always been a special day for me. It was 16 years ago, on April 7, 1998 that I celebrated my first day of self employment (and the birth of OnMilwaukee.com) at County Stadium. I haven't missed many since then.
Published March 24, 2014
In an industry where positioning a brand as retro vintage is suddenly new and trendy, Milwaukee's Lucky Tiger doesn't even need to even try. Trademarked in Kansas City in 1935, the iconic men's brand actually stretches back to a barber shop from the 1920s, when it was a very large line of tonics and hair products.
Published March 18, 2014
And just like that, the trip is over. The one that I spend 360 days a year daydreaming about. The one that almost didn't happen. On one hand, it feels like we just got here. On the other hand, when I look at myself in the mirror right now, it feels like I've been here for a month.
Published March 17, 2014
When I last left off, it was Saturday night in the desert and we were starving. After a little pool time at the Camelback Inn, we headed to Old Town Scottsdale to see what awaited us.
Published March 15, 2014
When I left off last night, we were heading out to dinner, our first actual meal of this year's spring training trip. It's really been a great 24 hours in the Valley of the Sun, and we're all now in full-on Cactus League mode.