While I celebrate my 13th anniversary of working at OWC this month, I thought a virtual stroll down memory lane might be informative and entertaining. When I first came here, there were only about six employees, so we all did whatever was needed to make sure orders got out the door and customers were happy. I would take an order in the morning, help run it through the credit card terminal later in the afternoon or evening, and sometimes help enter it into the Fed Ex terminal at night.
I had a number of paper pages stapled together that gave me the latest prices on 30-pin and 72-pin SIMMs, 168-pin DIMMs and everyone’s favorite SCSI drives (is my SCSI fast, wide, ultra, ultra fast, ultra wide, fast wide?). Notes were all over it since we didn’t yet have the website we have today with all its helpful information. With the Apple II I used once or twice in the library at my grade school being my only Apple/Mac experience, I relied heavily on www.everymac.com and a program called QuickConference to instant message Larry (a.k.a. OWC Larry) or our other techie guy to figure out what was compatible with what.
You can check out early iterations of our website here by typing in “www.macsales.com” into the field at the top. If you aren’t familiar with the Wayback Machine (not to be confused with the WABAC machine), it is a very cool tool and project.
I remember talking with Larry early in my tenure about our earliest acceleration products, the Booster (for 605 based Performas and Quadras), Rocket (for PowerPC 601 Macs) and AfterBurner (for PowerPC 604 based Macs) and really coming to understand what his mission was. While I was one of the first kids in school to hand in word processed papers, using a 286 based PC (I think), I don’t ever recall my family upgrading our computers. When the first one got too painful to use, we went to a 386 and then a 486 and then… (drum roll please) a Pentium.
Larry wanted to give people a way to maximize their technology investment. Why spend thousands of dollars on a new machine—which involved considerable time porting everything over, especially in those days—when you could take 15 minutes or so (unless you had an 8100 or 8500 ;-) ) to install some memory or an acceleration product, and get that new computer feeling for a fraction of the price?
It made so much sense to me and I really respected that message. Eventually, a new machine makes sense for everyone, but most people can use what they have and get more enjoyment out of that use, for much longer with a little upgrading. And while some take things a little further than most of us, we all have that machine we connect with and wish could make last forever – mine was the first white iBook G3. It was so sleek and just plain beautiful, but could also handle a little abuse.
Today, a lot has changed. Our website has a wealth of information to make it much easier to find out what works with what. I don’t input orders as much anymore in my current role, but when I do, there are a lot of people and automation that charge the card, pick, pack and ship the order out and even email out tracking numbers.
Some things are still the same though and I hope they never change. We all still work together to make sure that orders get out the door and that our customers are happy. We all have certain areas we focus on of course, but we also take time to give each other a hand or a different perspective when needed and I can’t imagine this place without the sense of camaraderie and teamwork we have.
So, I look forward to many more years helping OWC be the place you rely on for helpful information, great service and the best, most useful products for your Mac or PC. It has been my pleasure serving you and hope to continue doing so for many more years.