[ Retro Scan of the Week ] The Mac in Dad’s Office

September 30th, 2013 by Benj Edwards

A Macintosh SE in my dad's home office - 1988A Macintosh SE sits in the home office of Benj’s father, March 20th, 1988

My father bought the Macintosh SE you see in this photo pretty soon after it came out in 1987. It proved to be a key tool in launching his business the following year. His company’s logo, sales literature, and product manuals were all designed on it. It was an amazing upgrade over a DOS-based PC.

Naturally, my brother and I immediately started to use the SE to play games. We had access to very few titles, though — we played Shadowgate, Dungeon of Doom, Silent Service, and that’s about it. I was always disappointed with the Mac’s lack of color, but the sharpness and resolution of its display were hard to beat at the time. And the sound was amazing too. The evil laugh in the beginning of Shadowgate still rings clear in my memory.

The SE pictured in this photo remains in my collection to this day, and I boot it up from time to tinker with it. Perhaps I should fire it up again today in honor of my dad.

Discussion Topic of the Week: Did you ever use a computer in one of your parents’ offices? Tell us about it.

7 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] The Mac in Dad’s Office”

  1. Justin M. Salvato Says:

    Whoa, your father must have had some serious money in the bank to buy one of those at that time. The rest of us were settling for Commodore computers. My parents didn’t use computers at home. My mother used, what I think, was a word processor that had a big vertical screen, green text, and 8 inch floppy disks for medical transcription. I always wanted to use them, but I’m sure the hospital staff would have freaked out, so I settled for playing with the tape dispenser and looking at my Coleco ADAM catalog 🙂

  2. Benj Edwards Says:

    Well, he used it mostly for business purposes, so I suspect it could have counted as a tax write-off. 🙂 But yeah, they were expensive. That may have been why he didn’t let us play games on it too much.

  3. DMR Says:

    When I was in college in the 90s, I had a Mac loving friend (one of the few Mac users in the CS program). The first time he fired up Wolfenstein 3D on my PC and heard one of the affects (I think it was stabbing that first guard to steal his gun) he said “that sounds like a fart!” 🙂

  4. TNLongFellow Says:

    My mom bought a Packard Bell 286 for doing some work at home. However that did not pan out as she did not actually end up using it for that. So I started borrowing some software, playing with DOS, parking the hard drive and locking it up. However a new 40 MD hard drive (that’s right! warranty is awesome!) later and I was back and running!

  5. Commanderraf Says:

    Let’s see: My dad -and my granddad- had an architectural business since the 60’s. The office was located on my grandparent’s house in northern Mexico City.

    I remember that once -it had to be around 1987- my dad took us to his office -actually, my granddad’s office; my dad’s office was on an upper level of the house- for something (I was 2 at the time) and, to keep my brother and I entertained while he worked, he started up my granddad’s computer and, after tinkering with it for about 10 minutes, left us to play Dig-Dug (or a clone) on that computer.

    When I was older (early teens) my brother and I to what it used to be my dad’s office -the company went bankrupt in 1994- and discovered that the computer was storaged there: it was a Printaform (a Mexican computer brand that started doing printed forms -hence the name- and that now survives making “computer furniture”) IBM clone with an Intel 286 processor and, I think, 640 kb of RAM. It ran MS-DOS from 5 1/4 floppies and, while we didn’t find the Dig-Dug game we played when we were kids, we DID find a corrupted copy of Microsoft Flight Simulator and an old MUD.

    Thanks for reminding me of that memory Mr. Edwards.


  6. Chris Says:

    My Dad bought the original “Fat Mac” 512k through his work at a university. Kept that for years- no hard drive, just 2 floppies. He went from that to a Mac LC (and my Mom got the Fat Mac). I could access the Internet on the LC through the university and a shell account, though I really did not know what I was doing (I just used my Apple II+ for dialup to a BBS).
    The LC gave way to an original iMac (or iFruit, as he called it- Bondy Blue), and now he’s on his second iMac (Intel, 27″). Not bad- 30 years, 4 computers.

  7. Dar Says:

    “Naturally, my brother and I immediately started to use the SE to play games. We had access to very few titles, though…”

    So nothing’s changed, really.

Leave a Reply