80 year old still uses Macintosh Plus and ImageWriter II

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/05/17/80-year-old-still-uses-macinto.html


The Mac could be emulated, but I don’t know where you’d get an Imagewriter.


Well that depends on what you are using it for. If you aren’t trying to go on the internet, I am sure that that ancient mac still works perfectly well as a word processing and checkbook balancing machine. It can probably run a lot of very nice vintage games and prints out lovely cards and banners as well.

As an added bonus, it’s practically guaranteed to be distraction free - no facebook or twitter access to interfere with your writing time.


If you learned how to use a Mac Plus when you were fifty, it would be just fine 30 years later, provided you never touched anything else.


I dunno. Is this cool? Taking pictures of people’s homes and then lofting them up on the internet for people to gawk at and make old-people jokes about?

I mean, I like some Mac-nostalgia as much as the next guy, but this seems kind of shitty. Or is it somehow okay because we don’t specifically know which 80-year-olds, so it doesn’t count as an invasion of privacy?


I think I know an elderly woman who still has one of those on hand, though even she’s got a tablet.

Probably the most troubling thing about such a setup is that it only uses double-density 800k floppies, which are notoriously incompatible with non-Macintosh floppy drives. (I suppose you could get a PC-formatted 720k disk and use the ancient Apple File Exchange utility to transfer files, but that was achingly slow.) I do not miss floppy storage at all.

Also, surely compatible ink ribbons stopped being produced long ago?


This is how real estate listings work


The real question, to me, is do they still actually use it? Or is it just there because they never got rid of it and they are just tidy folk who keep things neat and dusted?

In the 70’s, my Grandfather still had a huge console radio in the dining room from the 40’s that no longer worked but was something to fill that corner of the room (one of those gorgeous wooden cabinets that’d be worth a fortune now).


You made me curious, and having google, I found that they are still being made. They cost about $6. Almost makes me want to dig out my old iw2 from my dads house.


If you’re looking for security by obscurity and relative portability, a pimped out Mac Plus would go a long way. OS 7 and 4 Mb of ram is surprisingly snappy in one of these. With a 68030 upgrade card and 16MB of Ram, they were usable long after you might have suspected.

With a SCSI-SSD adapter, you could likely store every 68K program ever written.


I use an iPhone 6 that almost 2 years old. That’s gotta count for something.


I get upgrades on my smartphone every couple years. When I do, the kids working at the cell phone place act like they’ve never seen a phone so ancient before.


I know a 60-year-old who is similar to this old man. Instead of Microsoft Word, or even LibreOffice, he uses some kind of word processing software from the 1980s that is compatible with precisely nothing.


I doubt many people still use it as a daily driver (if you do, tell us about it in the comments, and provide screenshots of what Boing Boing looks like on it).

I sometimes use a pimped out Mac SE, which I think was the next model. It really is nice as a standalone productivity box, and some of that is precisely because it is hard to network to other distracting things.

They aren’t that bad - at least no worse than floppies are, generally. If the drive works, it can re-format DOS floppies. What I did when I set up my SE was use a later Mac (8600) to collect floppy images, and then use LocalTalk / AppleShare over serial to transfer them to the SE, where I used old utilities to write the images back to fresh floppies.

The serial port can also be used for ethernet access by using a hardware LocalTalk Ethernet bridge, but it still limits one to ancient browsers. On System 7 one can probably use iCab or something else somewhat more recent, but on System 6.1.8 options are limited. I have done FTP though.

And there is nothing wrong with that. If you do not need the benefits of interoperability, then sticking with what you already own and know how to use can save vast amounts of time, money, and frustration. Not to mention immunize you against some common malware vectors.

And i am sure that it crashes and eats his data a lot less often than Microsoft Word would.


I drive a 1986 model car. Amazingly, it still gets me from point A to point B exactly as well as it did then.


I knew a writer who,as far as I know, still uses a Commodore 64 with attached printer. Also, back in 2000 I worked at a law firm where one of the lawyers had an old Apple IIc that he had programed to do complicated actuarial calculations that he still used.


i have four Mac Pluses in my basement. they all work, as far as i know – haven’t fired them up in ages. i’m amazed anyone could find a use for them without needing internet, but if you were using them as a word processor, i guess that would work just fine.


Well, I mean, no, it’s not. The seller chooses to post the specific photographs the seller takes.

Sure, you give up some privacy when you let people into your house so they can see if they want to buy it. That doesn’t mean it’s totally cool for them to take pictures of stuff unrelated to the sale so that they can say, “hey, internets, look at this dude’s Hummel figurines LOL.”

I get that this isn’t a crime against humanity. Just seems a bit shitty.


In my basement.

edited to add: And yes, I am old, but I try to keep up with the Myspace.