This blog is in the process of moving to Markw.us, just take note.
Monday, March 31, 2003
You know that Blackbird I have, you know the one in my specs page, a nice 540c, 24 MBs of RAM, a 100 MHz 603 upgrade, 500 MB hard drive. Well I parted with it today. Well really last week, Wendnesday to be exact, when I packed her up and sent her off. I just know that she arrived at her destination about 4 hours ago. The 540c/PPC was probably the first system I remember really wanting, I mean really, really wanting That must have been back in 1994 or 1995 when I was looking at them come out in Macusers, Macworlds, and days when I would take a MacConnection and look at it for hours on end, configuring and reconfiguring my dream system. Of course I never got it, I wanted a multi thousand dollar system and then some even when there was no way I knew about all of what I wanted.
Childish dreams I suppose, and I grew up, downloading tons of demos and shareware off AOLs mac user group, setting up Clones with ethernet cards, stringing ethernet cable, eventualy getting my G3, my first IIci, building the Phoenix and learning about Mac hardware. But I don't think that dream of a 540c/PPC ever left me, probably the first thing I searched eBay for was a 540c. I know I was looking at them before I bought the 6100, maybe even the IIci, but it took me a while to get even a 520c, and of course my friend was infected by the puddle of drool I probably spewed on the thing, and he was the one who got me to bid on the 540c. It was really the third pick, he had lost the first two auctions so we bid on this third, rather vague auction, snippered and eventualy won at something like $110. The next day we send out a couple money orders and we waited impaciently- I had bought a Newton at the time IIRC. I swear he must have been at my house every day until it arrived, in fact begging me to trade me my 520c for the soon to arrive 540c. In retrospect I should have taken the deal but didn't. And it arrived. I still remember him taking my knife to open the box in my familis office, and how shocked we both were when we realized that 8.1 was running on the system, and ASP showed "540c 100MHz 603" as the system specs. That of course was the beginning of our trades.
A few months later he traded me the 540c/PPC for a 7100, monitor, keyboard, mouse and the 520c as he needed more power at one of his summer camps, I guess the 540c didn't have enough RAM or something like that. In any case I got it, and I was thrilled. Granted the batteries were shot but I tried a few tricks and nothing worked. In the end I just toted it around, banging away on its slightly flimsy keyboard while it was plugged into a wall outlet. I know there were a few cases when I would take it downstairs at 1 AM and watch world cup soccer while playing Marathon or Bolo. It was probably the first system someone had come up out of the blue and offered a price for a part, $125 + for the PPC card, obviously not taken but still another first. When I moved last year I know it was in the car with me at all times, that might have been the first and last time my family sees an in car LAN party with Bolo as the game of choise. Over the next few weeks I would come home finish my homework and then fire up Marathon or Marathon 2 and frag away both glad and dissapointed that my G3 and the Phoenix haven't been moved yet.
I know this is a bit long- perhaps better for an article on my main site, but I didn't plan this out, its just been coming back to me. The 540c, even the 520c I still have, has been a great system for me. They have brought me great joy, and taught me many things. If this ever comes up in a google search, maybe of some newer mac user looking for information about the 540c laptops with the PPC upgrade and stumble across this post, I'd like to let them know that its probably worth it. With OS X now taking over the Mac experiance the 540c is a beautiful system, a memorial to Apple Industrial Design, and with a copy of 8.1, even a 7.5, they can bring you lots of good times. Blackbirds are capable systems, that can play many classic games, play MP3s, and still have a strong following of users around the globe. Perhaps my path will cross My second Blackbird again in the future, but at the moment I have no regrets in trading her for newer systems, as I move into the future.
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