Getting my first mac, was like getting my first automobile.
In early 1999 I bought my first car shortly after I purchased the Apple Macintosh G3 that helped me earn enough income to acquire my first car, a Volkswagen Jetta. Don’t worry it was lease. Unlike my Mac, my Jetta required the expense of fuel, insurance at full coverage, maintenance. In San Francisco there was the payment for parking at the office, parking at home was free but it meant having to keep track of an evil street cleaning schedule: Midnight Tuesday and Thursday just in front of the SOMA live work space I was squatting in. Mondays and Wednesdays at 2 am. 11pm on Monday thru Friday at 6am and 5pm around the corner. Sunday’s sleepy weekend dreams before the morning of work was often interrupted by a dream encased panic, a bolt of lightning running up my spine causing me to sit straight up and putting my hands to my head Home Alone style. Inevitably the expense of parking tickets added to my car purchase. Whereas my Mac just kept me busy making money during the what was then the dot.com bomb in San Francisco’s South of Market hub. Owning my first computer was so much better than owning my first car.
I loved spending money on my Mac. Why because when you love somebody you will do anything to make them happy. A digital camera came first. A large format scanner. A color inkjet printer. An upgrade of RAM, which I was able to install myself, unlike the oil filter on my Jetta. Back then no one was stupid enough to touch my computer or computer screen for that matter. No one touched my private parts. And my Mac was so much an extension of my private life that it occurred to no one to touch my Mac.
The automobile didn’t make it make it a year after the first wave of stock market correction occurred during March 2000. But my Mac was securely installed in my studio at CCA’s graduate level workspace. It was during grad school that I was reminded and re-educated in terms of finances. I learned to keep things simple. To treasure and interact with the tangibility of the object. A book or a T-Square. The lost and found. That which I could hold and behold becomes something to re-value.
I’m currently on my fifth Mac. A 2012 Mac Mini, that I’ve already out grown.
Erik Spiekermann’s seminal text written with E.M. Ginger titled Stop Stealing Sheep & find out how type works is one of those objects that I acquired shortly before purchasing my G3 in 1999. I had been working for Kit Hinrichs at San Francisco’s Pentagram Design office. I was in charge of archiving their exhaustive collection of collateral. Additionally I was in charge of the studio’s library which shared a floor with the fabrication workshop, IT (where my office was cornered out of) and accounting. I bought many design books during that time but none so important and affirming as Stop Stealing Sheep. I picked it up recently after considering how I would set money aside to acquire a new Mac. And it is there on page 72. Frugality will never go out of style. Here here!
Check out what Spiekermann is up to lately.