165c

A long time ago, in the before-times of late 1994, I bought myself a laptop that would change everything…

The Apple Macintosh PowerBook 165c had come out in February 1993 and was the first laptop to have a 256 color display. It looked like nothing else on the market; it was simultaneously very 80’s and very 21st century – and was something of a dream machine for computer nerds.

I really, really wanted one… But they were about $3400, or almost $7000 in today’s money.

At the time I was using an Amiga 500 that I’d modded into a bit of a Frankenstein’s monster and a PC AT as my home computers, and had a Toshiba “Satellite” T1800 that I used when I was away from home – but what I really wanted was that PowerBook.

For Christmas in 1993 I managed to find a 165c for the low, low price of $1800 and after selling the Toshiba acquired it. It had 4 megs of ram, an 80meg SCSI HD, a 33Mhz 68030 CPU, and that amazing 8.9″ 640×480 color LCD all housed in a remarkably tiny box – and I was over the moon to have it!

And, as another testament to just how long Apple stuff will last – it looked a bit like this:

The 165c in all of its grey plastic and rainbow apple glory
Mmmm – trackball. And two buttons! (a rarity for Apple products)

The 165c ran Apple’s System 7.1 from the built-in 80meg HD…

I primarily used the 165c as a writing tool, so it had things like Office 3.0 and Norton Utilities on it. But I also had a few games on it, like the amazing pinball simulation “Crystal Caliburn”…

The 165c was my first “Mac” and started my life-long appreciation of the brand and its “Think Different” moniker.

About a year after acquiring the 165c I picked up a PowerMac 8100/100 which was instrumental in my graphic design work at the time, and somewhat cemented my use of the Macintosh platform to this very day…

1993 68030 on the left, 2022 M1 Max on the right – and almost 30 years between them.
Listening to "I Still Believe" by The Call