Past setups

Recently I’ve been perusing my photo archives trying to put together a series of snaps I took when I still lived alone in my flat near Milan, Italy. I stayed there from 2001 to 2005, and whenever I stumble upon some photos taken there, I’m always assaulted by a mix of good and bad memories from that personal era. The flat was in an old building (alas, old here just means old, not historic), and it had been my grandparents’ home for 20 years when I moved in, so a lot of furniture was already there. But I soon rearranged the space to fit my needs, and in the end that flat wasn’t so bad. In retrospective, I think that what I liked most of it was its size: two people could live there comfortably, and since I was alone I could take advantage of the space. What was my grandparents’ living-room, for instance, immediately became my studio. The little storeroom became essentially the place where I kept my vintage Macs and peripherals. And so on.

As I was unearthing some photos from my archives, I was pleasantly surprised in finding some pictures I didn’t remember too well. When I lived at the old flat, I rearranged my desks and changed my Mac setup a few times, and some of those photos faithfully portray those changes. I’ve selected a few shots I wanted to share. At the time I had a small Nikon Coolpix 885 that got damaged by water, so the quality of these shots isn’t that great. Still, fond memories.

2002

iMac G3 blueberry
My beloved iMac G3/350 blueberry, with matching Iomega Zip 100 drive and CD-RW burner.

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iBook G3/466 Graphite
And in this photo you can see the rest of the desk, with the then-new iBook G3/466 FireWire.

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Other vintage Macs
In this photo, taken at another time, you can see what was behind my main desk. In the smaller desk I had my Quadra 700 set up. In this photo I was connecting the recently acquired PowerBook 5300 to the Quadra to copy my personal documents and have them on the go. (All those flowery cushions belonged to my grandparents, by the way).

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2003

The morning after
This rather dark picture was taken one early morning a few days after my blueberry iMac G3 met an untimely demise. The two desks were now arranged in a back-to-back configuration. In that big FireWire enclosure near the iBook was the iMac's 6.4 GB internal hard drive.

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2004 – March

iBook and PowerBook at night
In March 2004 my desks' arrangement had changed again as more vintage Macs were acquired. An L-shaped arrangement was preferred. Here's a shot of the main workspace, with the iBook G3 as the main machine and the PowerBook 5300 as its sidekick. The number of external drives also increased, to accommodate the increasing growth of my archives and, of course, for backup purposes.

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The studio at night
And here's a photo of the whole setup in all its mess... er, splendor. On the secondary desk on the back, you'll notice a Colour Classic and a 14-inch Apple Colour Monitor, and that half-hidden tower in the shadow on the right is a Quadra 950. At the time the 14-inch monitor and the keyboard were connected to the Quadra. (Apologies for the photo quality: I had to sharpen it and lighten the exposure because it was too murky otherwise.)

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2004 – October

A studio full of Macs
In July 2004 I purchased my PowerBook G4 12", and I needed to expand and reconfigure my setup. This photo was taken in late October, and of all my setups this is probably the one with the most active Macs in it. Starting from the foreground you can see a PowerBook Duo 280c, a PowerBook 5300, the aforementioned PowerBook G4, an iBook G3, a Quadra 950, and a Colour Classic. Beneath the 14-inch monitor now was the DuoDock. Monitor and keyboard were shared between the Quadra and the Duo (when docked). Hidden behind the Colour Classic was also a Power Macintosh 9500 that I'd just acquired at the time, waiting to be added to the home network. It ended up replacing the Quadra 950.

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All the Macs you see in this last photo are still in operation today, but since my home office here in Valencia is smaller, some of them are stashed away or in other rooms, and are summoned on a need-to-use basis. The only piece of hardware that didn’t survive, sadly, is the DuoDock – its power supply was fried during a bad thunderstorm. Too bad I can’t dock the Duo anymore: it was, indeed, a handy workstation.

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