I recently stumbled into a new hobby. I found myself wanting to acquire a vintage, early-model Macintosh and get it up and running. Not for any particular purpose, just for fun, and to dust off my retro-computing skills, and because I never owned one before. (Back in that era I had a Commodore 64, then 128, then Amiga, and didn’t own a Mac until my 2010 MacBook.)
I’m still waiting for my new (old) Mac to arrive, fresh from eBay, but in the meantime I’m reading Facebook groups and blog posts and forum discussions about Macintosh restorations. And just tonight I realized I am getting something positive out of this experience already, something I hadn’t been expecting, and something I didn’t know I needed.
Some people probably get this feeling from shows like This Old House, or Car Talk. Shows where (just like in my vintage Macintosh community) people provide help to others with specific technical problems. This Mac won’t start, but it does beep—here are the first things to check. This one needs new capacitors on the motherboard—here’s what kind to replace them with and where to buy them and how to do it. This other one is covered in stickers or pen marks—here are the cleaning supplies and techniques needed to remove them safely.
I think what I find comforting about these posts and articles and videos is the idea that broken things can be fixed, if we approach them with calm and caution and thoughtfulness, and make use of a community of caring people who are happy to help their fellows.
This is what I need to be seeing right now.