■ 09:19 (UTC±00:00), 24 NOV 2014 | GBR HARROW, GREATER LONDON
■ ITEM PART OF 8152BLOG.CH SUB-BLOG
I admit I sunk my teeth into the Mac very early on — in 1991, in Switzerland. In 1990, I was given a test drive on an old Apple (pre-Mac!) machine, where I completed this oddly-named course called Type to Learn. I was the first-ever student in the whole class to finish it in that year, which kind of made my Chinese parents happy (since the Chinese, Asians etc were supposed to be best in class, yotta yotta yotta…).
I remembered from very early on that this in essence gave me a “licence” to test-drive the Mac much earlier. I’m talking about the pre-Mac OS era: back in the day this was System 6.0.7. If you could imagine a compact, all-in-one Mac in greyish-platinum, capable of running only one app at a time in black and white, this was it.
The Swiss had some kind of nationwide obsession with the Mac, it seemed, even though Apple Switzerland (as in the office) wasn’t reality until 1995. It wasn’t like that made any difference, though: before the Wallisellen office was set up, the nation was already engulfed in Mac mania. I was invited in 1995 to an office which was completely run by Macs (see, the Swiss were thinking different even before iSteve returned!), and there I got my first click on the Internet — unsurprisingly, the first site I visited was apple.com.
I’m still missing a few pictures from one of my Macs or hard drives out there that showed in essence a Mac museum on Riedtlistrasse in Zürich. Never mind I only took a few pictures on a rather crappy Sony Ericsson cameraphone (back in the day, the camera had to plugged in, and the resolution was awful); it was there, which mattered the most.
Unsurprisingly, Bern took to the craze as well. Manuel, one of my long-time pals in Switzerland, told me once when he was with me at this Internet expo in Switzerland that there a gent in front of me who was from the Swiss Federal Government. If I spotted it right, he was Thinking Different as well — on a Mac. (He must have taken a break from what Swiss call «Routine», weird-ish quotes and leading caps intended; Swiss law requires all passports to be issued on Windows 7 machines, which to me was a major step backward. Oh well.)
The Mac has slowly faded to the background in Switzerland, sadly (sniff), although the nation is now iPhone republic instead. And yes, sadly, the Mac Quadra at the Do-It-Yourself part of the Migros in the Glattzentrum shopping centre has long gone. Even if those maddening immigration quotas were to apply, though, it would do little to solve this “overpopulation” of “think different devices”. For a system that is less prone to random attacks, Switzerland could avail itself to a little more of that! ■ ■ ■
The screenshot shows a Mac running a German version of Mac System 7.0.1 based on Swiss usage of German and is intended as a picture for referential use only.