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LC 475
Model:Performa 475
CPU: 25 MHz Motorola MC68LC040
RAM:32 MiB
OS:System 7.6.1
HD:250 MiB
Acquired: 1994

Aladdin was my first ever Macintosh and the machine that caused me to become an Apple devotee. Purchased in the Autumn of '94, alongside a StyleWriter II black and white printer, it remained the main home computer for 7 years, before we finally upgraded to an iMac DV 400 in 2001.

During those seven years, the machine had its RAM upgraded from the stock 8 MiB to 32 MiB, and the System Software was maxed out to 8.1. However, Mac OS 8.1 proved to be unstable – particularly when it came to loading CDs from the external CD-ROM drive we purchased for it circa 1996 – and was subsequently reduced to 8.0. Two other pieces of hardware were purchased for the computer: a monchrome Connectix QuickCam digital camera, and an Agfa SnapScan 1236s colour scanner.

When the iMac arrived, iMac Jr. (as it was then known) became my personal computer and I used it to play old games – those requiring 16 colours in particular, as the iMac didn't support said palette – as well as for school and, later, college work. The Performa's monitor eventually developed a fault with its PSU socket, which resulted in the power cable having to be held at a specific angle in order for the VDU to function. I recall utilising a hammer propped up against the ledge of the windowsill to achieve this. Unfortunately, one of the folks became intrigued as to why there was hammer balancing between the monitor and that was the end of that. The VDU was junked, and iMac Jr. sat idly.

During a clear out at my father's workplace, one of the items scheduled for the tip was a 14" Apple MultiScan Display. Dad duly saved it from the skip and brought it back home; iMac Jr. was back in business. It was during this time (c. 2004) that I demoted the machine to System 7.5 – Mac OS 8 was just taking up too much space on my meagre 250 MiB hard drive.

It was also then that I decided to begin naming Macs after the codenames Apple gave them. So, iMac Jr. became Aladdin, the iMac – originally called Blue Mac – was christened C1, and my 5500/275, which a friend and I had rescued from outside a local Internet café, had its name changed from Black Mac to Phoenix.

Two years later, I acquired a Macintosh LC along with its original 12" RGB monitor. Sadly the computer was only good for parts – as the PRAM battery had exploded whilst the LC was in storage, and had oozed battery acid onto the ROM chips. Nevertheless, its monitor was in perfect working order and became Aladdin's new VDU.

Throughout the seven years during which Aladdin served as the family computer, it had never once been on the Internet. That changed in Spring 2007, when I acquired a donor Performa 475 from university. Although I call it a 'donor', the machine worked perfectly – and still does. I simply took the uni 475 for its LC Ethernet card.

Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful in attempting to configure Aladdin to get on the Internet under System 7.5, using its MacTCP control panel. That meant having to upgrade to 7.6; something I was hoping to avoid. Nevertheless, with its new Ethernet card and new System, Aladdin connected to the World Wide Web for the first time in 13 years.

Currently, Aladdin is sitting idle on my desk. Originally, I planned to use it as a file server, but lately haven't had much use for the machine. Although early versions of the Java SDK (Software Development Kit) are compatible with System 7.6.1, I fear that it may take up too much space on Aladdin's modest hard disk; otherwise I would consider using it for writing Java apps.