Thursday, May 05, 2005

Apples from heaven

At about 10:00 last night I was walking down Mifflin St. on the Capitol Square. Suddenly, on the sidewalk in front of Shakespeare Books, I spied an an old-school iMac. Just sitting there, its keyboard and hockey-puck-shaped mouse piled neatly on top of it. I looked around. Was it real? I approached.

A light was on in the shop next to Shakespeare Books. Until a few weeks ago, this storefront actually was part of Shakespeare, but that splendid used bookstore has, evidently, shrunk (unlike most independent bookstores in Madison, which generally disappear altogether, these days).

A man was laboring in the new store, painting or something, and when he saw me he came to the window. I gestured quizzically at the iMac, and he indicated it was mine for the taking. He opened the door and said he wasn't sure whether it worked, but he had no more use for it.

People who know me well know that I adore computers, especially old computers, and I would never pass up a free one--especially one as elegantly designed as the 1998 Bondi Blue iMac. So I thanked the man (he's opening an antique store), locked up the machine in my truck, and continued my stroll.

When I got home, I booted up the iMac and found that it works perfectly! (Except, that is, for what looks to be a dead clock battery--unless it's told otherwise, the computer believes it is permanently the year 1973.) So now I am, for the first time in my life, a Mac owner! This one runs Mac OS 9, and it appears to have belonged to a little girl: there are all manner of girlish games installed on it, including several produced by Wisconsin's own American Girl.

The timing is immaculate. We needed an extra computer, and this one is perfectly serviceable. Now then, I have a brownie here for whoever has an old (pre-OS X) copy of Microsoft Office for Mac they're not using.

No comments: