Weekly Poll: Which Mac OS Did You Start On?

Today’s poll is a fun walk down memory lane. I’m very interested to know how young or old our audience is in their Mac-using lives. Leave your answer in the poll on the right and let us know which was the first Mac operating system you really used extensively or owned yourself. Did you start when it was simply referred to as “System” software or are you a newbie who only just got your start on Snow Leopard?

After you vote, leave a comment below and tell us about your first Mac. I’ll start us off. Though I really began using Macs around OS 8, the first Mac I really owned was a Blueberry iMac running OS 9. I loved all the neat little sound effects the windows made and spent endless hours poking around the system to see what I could find.

The last Windows machine I owned ran Windows 3.1 and that’s honestly the last time I really used Windows on a daily basis! Once I switched to a Mac I never looked back. How about you? Do you own and use both operating systems regularly or are you a die-hard Mac-loving PC hater from way back?


  • Jesse Shawl

    It seems silly to lump Panther, Tiger, and Leopard all into one, yet you can choose between system 6, 7, 8, or 9?!?!

    • http://www.coroflot.com/joshuajohnson Joshua Johnson

      OS X has had so many versions! Giving them each their own option resulted in a LONG list!

    • Pieter

      Agreed, those OS X versions separately and the evolution in that period was what I was interested in most.

      What’s wrong with a LONG list?

  • Tessa Thornton

    7.1.2 on a Performa 630, I believe. Good times! I think it was my family’s first computer.

  • Franko

    my first mac OS was not a mac OS — it was an apple ][.

  • http://www.perezfox.com Prescott Perez-Fox

    I remember _using_ Mac in school from an early age. Definitely the mid-to-late 80s, so maybe system 2. But the first Mac I owned was bought in Feb 2002, and I’m pretty sure it was running 10.1. Haven’t looked back since.

    And like Franko, we did use Apple ][ back in the day.

  • http://ianbreakspear.com.au Ian Breakspear

    I started out on a Performa 250 in mid to late 1993. Running System 7.1 and from memory a 20Mb hard drive – which I upgraded later to 40Mb and thought I’d never need more storage! ;-)

    It was a beautiful little all in one model of which I still have fond memories.

  • http://www.museofruemorgue.com Rob Powell

    I started with OS 6 on the mac… wow the eighties!

    My first computer though was an Apple II… the original, the one with the separate disk drive and the all caps keyboard.

    Windows… 3.1

    Have used everything on both ever since.

  • http://thebird-feeder.com Ben Carlsen

    Started out on a Mac SE. I chose the first option, but I guess it might technically be System 7, because that was the main OS but I had to boot into 6 sometimes to use certain programs.

  • BlackMacX

    Fun poll today. For me, my first Mac was a 512K with System 5 (if I remember correctly) in 1986. Family was still using it until 1995. I have used everything since (the first Mac I owned was a Colour Classic (yes, I intentionally spell if the Canadian way) with OS 6 on it. I had it run everything up to 9.21) and have learned to do what many of my Windows friends said couldn’t be done (like disk recovery and file recovery). Anyone remember a tinkerer’s best friend, ResEdit? Those were the days, when you could have your entire OS and everything on a Zip Disk.

  • http://nova-fusion.com Michael Ebens

    I made the switch from PC a bit over a year ago by buying a second hand Mac Pro 1,1, which had some serious issues for the whole period of my usage. Thankfully I recently got a 27″ i5 iMac, which works like a charm.

    Since I made the switch I didn’t use Windows much; in fact I haven’t used it for at least a few months now.

  • Lavasusan

    My first Mac was the pizza box Mac. I got it used “for the kids,” but I took it over in the evenings. We’ve since had the Bondi Blue iMac, the grape iMac, missed the flowerpot iMac, had two of the all-in-one iMacs, and an iBook and a MacBook. Oh, and the iPad2. And two flavors of iPhone.
    …all this, and I still have to use a PC desktop at work.

  • http://robsonjunior.me Robson Júnior

    I used to love pcs and hate mac, because people told me it was bad but never really tried for myself. I don’t keep touch with any of these people today … lol

    Later, i was hired to work on a digital agency, and they didn’t have a single pc in the building. When i saw my computer, an iMac running Tiger,i was like, OMG, why would they use these strange computers?
    I took my sony vaio to work everyday for the first 2 weeks. And after that short period, i madly feel in love with the mac. Bought a 13 inch Macbook with tiger instantly and never looked back.

    Unfortunately i still need to own a pc for testing purposes on ie … that sucks :p

  • Pascal

    1993 as a editor with a Mac II. Later a PowerMac 6000 something… Running 7.1.
    1998 becoming technical writer and working on PC since then. Also used a PC privately.
    In 2010 changing all my private computers to Mac and I never will go back.

  • M. Brock

    My family started out with one of the very first Macintosh back in 1985 and I’ve never looked back. Long live AAPL

  • http://murphys.me murphy

    Last year was the year i bought a macbook pro because i could buy it. i got enough money to get this nice thingy.

    Windows 3.1 is a good peace of software and it marks a big spot in MS history, since it was the first Windows which was runnning well. Windows 95 was the seller itself, but Windows 3.1 laid the stones for Windows 95.

  • Drew

    the first computer I remember using was a Performa of some kind- i really don’t remember that much about it because i was so young. I switched to PC for junior high because my parents bought one, continued using PC’s for all of high school because that’s what my school had, got a Dell Inspiron 5000 running vista for college (which lasted about two years before it was too slow to use) then bought a macbook pro running Snow Leopard my junior year and it changed my life. I started a blog about macs with my roommate within four months and have now convinced my entire family to switch back to mac

  • rdamborsky

    First one I really used was Hackint0sh iDeneb 10.5.4 with lots of issues when installing… spent a lot of time to get it running but also learnt lots:)

  • http://techinch.com/ Matthew Guay

    My first Apple device was a Newton my uncle gave me in 2001, though that doesn’t exactly count :)

  • James

    One, an Apple Store opened nearby. Two, Mac OS X was just being announced. I walked out of the store with my first PowerBook G4 Titanium with Mac OS 9 & X – I remember going back to stand in line for Jaguar and getting a T-Shirt. I bought a PowerMac G4 about 6 months later. I came to Apple primarily due to UNIX being under the hood on 10.x. Although I run many different operating systems, Mac OS X is now my favorite OS and Mac’s are my primary systems at home and now a secondary system at work! I was the one responsible for personally deploying my companies first 160 iPads to the executives and top managers. Mac adoption is growing at an enormous rate. IT is scrambling to catch up. Certainly entered the company from a top down approach. Many of the executives have Mac’s at home. They all knew everything about the iPad before IT did. They demanded the devices and demanded that IT provide business solutions on the iPad for internal use and for our customers.

    • James

      My parents would have a bought an Apple ][ back in the day, but it was far too expensive. Ended up with an Atari 800 XL instead. Still learned a lot, including programming. Apple’s were very much out of my price range back then. Then the Macintosh was nothing more than a toy when it appeared, I was running UNIX workstations. Win3.1 was a joke. Win95 more so. WinNT was better but still didn’t like the BSOD. NeXTStep was THE BOMB! Mac OS X is NeXTSTep / OpenStep under the hood, so that’s the attraction. Mach kernel, BSD Unix, NS API, a thing of pure beauty! I use all sorts of operating systems but Mac OS X is what I love! It’s what I rely on and it is something you can actually rely on. I never trusted Windows like I trust Mac OS X.

  • Tim

    After purchasing a HP desktop for uni and having nothing but trouble with it I opened up the piggy bank and went and bought a 13″ MacBook Pro running Leopard and haven’t looked back. Now running a 15″ i5 MacBook Pro and an iPad 2 and would be lost without them.

  • Thomas_U

    I started in 1995 with the PowerBook 2300 ce and 7.1. This PowerBook was the greatest Apple-Lemmon of all times. In the next 5 years every part got replaced several times.

    Pismo 400 with 8.6 followed, then PowerMac dual G4 MDD (“Blowdryer”) with 9.1 and 10.2.x.

  • Tony

    System 6 on a Mac Plus with 1 meg of RAM and a 20 meg hard drive. Go graybeards!

  • Denny

    Color classic in 1993, system 7 I believe. Awesome little Mac.

  • BryanG

    First was an Apple //e…programming in BASIC at the age of 12. :)

  • Enrico Caruso

    Macintosh 512e! Actually bought the last 512 at the store except for the demo. The computer was bad and they offered me the demo with an extra app. I took it home and discovered it was the 512e. The difference you ask? The “e” could read BOTH sides of a floppy. Even then, salesmen knew nothing about Macs. I have to say It killed me when the Macintosh SE came out…..TWO floppies….no disk swapping!

    Big upgrade day was when I cracked open the case to double the memory to 1 MB. Oh, and the 20 MB external hard drive was excellent as well.

  • stsk

    My first Mac OS was the emulator on my Lisa development machine. I was a seeded developer for the Macintosh, so I had my “Mac”, as I recall, about six months before the Mac was introduced.

  • http://www.coroflot.com/joshuajohnson Joshua Johnson

    Very impressed by all the Mac users from the 80s! Way to represent!

  • http://studentblogger.net Kevin Paquet

    I started out with Snow Leopard (boo, I know). I’ve got a Macbook Pro 15″ (2009) as a birthday gift in 2009. (Unlucky me, if I had waited 6-7 months, I could have gotten one of those Core i precious) This one still sports a C2D [2.66gHz] and NVIDIA GeForce 9400M & 9600M GT. Not complaining though. It has enough power to do things I want it to do… most (that’s 98%) of the time.

  • Russ Rinehart

    My first was a Macintosh 128k that was purchased by my school system back in the mid ’80s.

    My first home purchase in 1999 was a G3 Blue & White with 300MHz CPU and a 6 Gig HD with OS 8.6. I upgraded the CPU to a 900MHz ZIF and upgraded the HD to 320GB.
    I am using the machine to post this comment. Twelve years old and still working, although a lot slower than my MacBook Pro with Snow Leopard!

  • http://www.sitebase.be Sitebase

    I only recently made the switch. I started out with Snow Leopard.

  • Mihla

    The first Mac I ever worked on was a Mac Plus, and the first one I ever owned was an SE, which is still sitting in my office. It works! My husband was happily using an old Mac running OS8 until I convinced him to buy a new iMac three years ago.

  • Jeff Severt

    Let’s see, Commodore 64 to Radio Shack TRS-80 (“Trash-80!”) to Apple ][. BASIC days. Green monochrome. Circa 1984? Anyway, left the command line world of MS-DOS 3.0-ish once and for all for the Mac SE GUI universe! (Thanks to XEROX for that invention, and Apple for the vision to do something with it.) Had just about every Apple since–G2, G3, Performa, Quadra, PowerMac, Powerbook G3, iMac, Powerbook G4, iPod, PowerMac, iBook, G5 iMac, PowerMac Motorola Dual Processor, holding out-no Intel! no Intel! NEVER! . . . Ok, sell out, intel PowerMac Quad, iPhone 2, Apple TV, MobileMe, iPhone 3GS, MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo, iPhone 3 cracked, bandaged, glued, prayed over . . . waiting on iPhone 5 . . . i will not waste my $ on a 4 this close . . . still waiting on iPhone 5 . . . btw, anybody got a used intact 3Gs I can buy cheap? . . . waiting on iPhone 5 . . . hello . . . Apple!

    I still never had a Mini or MB Air. I have GOT to get me an Air! They are just cool, even without the touchscreen. Make that happen, Steve daddy, and you will “touch” those of us who need click-sensory feedback. This Mac disciple still HATES touchscreen typing, AND having to lug a BT keyboard around with iPads 1 & 2. Air could be the hybrid solution for we sensory-integration types.

    Steve? Steve?

    <>

    This is like being left-handed in a right-handed world. Oh well.

    . . . Still waiting on iPhone 5 . . .

    . . . Still waiting . . .

    . . . Still . . .

    . . . So, how does this Android thing work? 4G? Really? Tell me more . . .

  • David

    Started with an Apple ][+ in 1981. I used a Mac 512k running System 6 at school in 1986. The first Mac I owned was a Macintosh IIsi running System 7.0.1. Although I did buy four PCs along the way to help me get and keep IT jobs, a Mac has been my primary computer for the last 20 years.

  • Matt

    The first apple computer that I used was an Apple ][ at school.
    The first macintosh that I used was my sister’s System 7 Performa.

    I have a Hackintosh Snow Leopard box now (my parents own my computer, so I can’t buy a new Mac)

  • http://richarddas.com Richard

    My first computer was an Apple Macintosh 128k my dad brought home. I recall lifting two huge white cube shaped boxes out of the back of his car, one with the computer in it, the other with an ImageWriter. My brother and I spent the next few weeks getting to learn our way around it, including following the tutorials on how to use a “mouse” by listening to a cassette that came with the computer. The year was 1984, I was just turning six. Today I design and build iPhone and iPad apps for my sons to use.

  • Keith Lockhart

    Apple Prodos and GS

  • http://www.twitter.com/j_holtslander Jay

    Tiger was my first. Vista made me switch. Used every Windows operating system up until then. Within minutes of setting up my first Mac (Mac Mini) I was in love. Within a week I was never going back. You couldn’t pay me enough now to go back to Windows. I fix PCs for a living. I stopped recommending Macs to my customers as it’s bad for my business.

  • Derick

    Actually I had a Gap… started with an Apple ][, //e and //c; had a Lisa and one of the first Mac SE. Then it’s been Unix mostly, some VMS and Windows … now back gladly to Mac

  • Shona

    Well technically the first OS we had was when I was a kid, and I can barely remember all that much about it, but judging by my age when we got it I figure it must’ve been System 7? Could be wrong. May just be the following one. In any case, it lasted for over ten years – take that Windows! Last year I finally made the swap from XP to Snow Leopard and could not be happier! Just need to wait until I get paid so I can get Lion… :D

  • http://www.hamishmcneill.com Hamish

    The first Mac that I bought myself was a 17″ Powerbook G4 running OS X Tiger. It was a great machine and I used it until late 2009 when I replaced it with my now 15″ MacBook Pro, Roar..

  • G Pirtle

    Mac OS 7.5 on Performa 600

    • G Pirtle

      Performa 6100*

  • http://dokimay.com Jay P

    I’ve owned at least one mac since 1986 but was a big fan since its intro in 1984. I couldn’t borrow one often enough from 84-86. I even had the great privilege to work for Apple as a field Systems Engineer from 87 to 93 and helped start a Mac Users Group in the early 90s. At one point I was primarily a Windows users (2004 – 08) since thats what my employers always used. Now a days I have 8 running macs in the house (kids all have one for school) and have moth-balled the PC. Over the years I’ve had every OS Apple has offered except Cheetah.

  • http://www.cubicleliberationarmy.com Krishna

    Fun thread.

    My first Mac wasn’t actually a Mac – it was a Mac clone – a PowerTower 180e from Power Computing. It was a great machine. My first Apple computer was an Apple IIGS. Loved the interface and used the IIGS from 1987 – 1993 – then switched to Windows for 3 years (oh, the pain!), before getting the PowerTower in 1996.

    My first real Mac was a Wallstreet PowerBook.

  • Lawrence

    My first Mac was the 128K Mac, the first Mac. I used the Lisa before that and worked with folks at Xerox PARC where I saw my first mouse! This week I bought a new 17″ i7 MBP and a OWC Mercury Extreme 480 GB 6G SSD. Call me mad – my wife certainly does. But such fun…

  • http://www.chriscurnow.com Chris Curnow

    Yes my first Apple was an Apple ][ – although it belonged to my employer not me. The first computer I owned was an Apple //c. Then I got to use a 128k Mac before buying my own Mac SE, soon upgrading to an SE/30. I can’t remember what OS was on the 125k, but I suspect it was 1.
    I’ve been upgrading my Macs every three years since. My current machine is an old (2 years) 17″ MBP, and i have an iPad and an iPhone. The MBP is, of course, now running Lion.

  • Ron

    First Apple was a IIC which got me through graduate school followed by a IIGS. More recently a 22″ imac (10.6.8)

  • http://www.shaktai.com David

    First computer used was a Commodore 64. My first owned computer was an Apple IIc followed by a Apple IIGS. My first Mac was a Mac Plus with dual floppy drives (not even a hard drive.) Have owned a lot of computers, Mac and PC, but outside of work, for me my first preference has been a Mac since 1986. Current are 27″ iMac (3.06 core 2 duo) and 13″ MacBook Pro.

  • http://www.aeronaves.org Aeronaves

    I can’t remember what OS was on the 125k, but I suspect it was 1.

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