My First Mac (1989) – Thanks, Steve

My First Mac (1989) – Thanks, Steve


Self-portrait c. 1989

By now, you’ve already seen thousands of tributes to Steve Jobs. This one is no different.

Around 1987, my friend Tim Suh and I started to muck around with a Mac Plus, MIDI and Performer, an early piece of “sequencer” software, which is best described as a precursor to Garage Band. One of us would man the Mac while the other tapped out notes on my Korg DW8000, and we layered together various scores of music we found in obscure Japanese fan magazines like a full transcription to Jan Hammer’s Miami Vice Theme. On other days, we would mess around with Aldus Pagemaker. This computer, with it’s hulking 512kb of RAM, was fueling our creativity.

In college, my Mac was an SE80, followed by my first color Mac IIsi. My use of the computer expanded to Quark Xpress (page layout software) and Finale (music engraving software). The summer before my senior year, I engraved the repertoire of the Yale Whiffenpoofs before I served as its musical director.

During school, I worked at a small design firm in New Haven called Strong Cohen, and in addition to Quark, I had my first exposure to Photoshop.

After graduation, I became a founding employee of, and design its logo on a Mac. We had an Apple Quicktake, one of the first mass marketed digital cameras. I owned an Apple Newton, which still sits in one of my drawers today.

During the mid-1990s, Steve wasn’t around Apple, and then CEO Gil Amelio had licensed the operating system to third parties thinking that Apple could proliferate like Windows. I purchased a Mac clone from Power Computing, one of the first sub-licensors.

I paid $4000 for the first 22″ Cinema Display. I marveled at the size of my Nano that Grover and I received at an Apple Aperture user’s group conference. I waited in line for the first iPhone and grinned like a child on the subway when I “casually” pulled it out amidst the not-so-hushed whispers of admiration of onlookers.

I watched a teenage boy literally sweep his hands back and forth over a 30″ cinema display in the Ala Moana Apple Store two years ago as if he was in a trance. Was it the Millennials version of a pony?

I’ve cracked myself up by making silly videos with PhotoBooth. I’ve used Screenflow to create PhotoShelter video tutorials, Garage Band to make background music, Keynote to present seminars, and iTunes to create playlists for lazy trips to the beach. I’ve passed on old Macs to friends who refused to use their PCs.

Even yesterday, all of the engineers and I sat at our computers on websites like Ars Technica, MacRumors and Engadgets trying to get updates on the iPhone press conference while all three sites were crushed under the heavy load of anticipation.

I’ve used Apple products nearly every day for 25 years, including tapping out this blog entry.

As an entrepreneur, I’ve marveled at the constant reinvention of Apple under Jobs. How do you go from nearly bankrupted to the second most valuable company in 15 years? How do you create not only category killers, but categories themselves? How do you drive people to do their very best? How do become not only the greatest CEO of a generation, but also the greatest marketer the world has ever seen? And when your body is breaking down, how do you find the fortitude to continue, and the peace of mind to know when to stop?

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Steve, you inspired millions, but you also inspired one person in particular. Thank you.

Rest in peace.


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This article was written by

Allen Murabayashi is the Chairman and co-founder of PhotoShelter. He co-hosts the "I Love Photography" podcast on iTunes.

There are 5 comments for this article
  1. flora at 11:41 am

    great post, thanks for sharing! He was truly a pioneer of great things. Someone has said he gave us things that we didn’t know we couldn’t live without. Hope the people at Apple keep his vision intact as they move forward.

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