Looking Back At OWC Over The Years.

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.


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  • I’ve order upgrades for several different macs I’ve owned over the years, from a variety of vendors, but have enjoyed using the OWC site the most. Here’s some nostalgia for you: my first computer was a Mac Plus. I used it every day for 3 years during grad school. By the time I was done with the machine, I had added a 40 meg Jasmine external scsi hard drive, upgraded 3 MB of ram (to get to 4 MB!!), added an external Applied Engineering AE HD+ floppy (to read high density floppies), and, the pièce de résistance, installed an accelerator that upgraded the processor to a 68030 (looking at the Low End Mac site, I think it was the Dove Marathon Racer). Talk about maximizing your technology investment!




  • My first Mac love wasn’t my first Mac (iMac 2nd Gen Blueberry – still works with OS X installed) it was my first Mac laptop. A Tangerine iBook (RevB with 6GB HD – Feb2000). The fit and finish and design quality “had me at hello”. While I’ve liked all my macs since…. the only one that comes close to that same feeling of awe/respect that my iBook gave me is my 2008 iMac.




  • Wow, very interesting read on how things were in the “olden days” of new-gen computing. Thanks for sharing!




  • Nostalgia->a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past. Any need in woodstock for a slightly damaged picaso table lamp? How about a still shrinkwrapped Apple 1 MB RAM upgrade for a Mac IIfx? Still has a price tag of $241.00—> a real bargain?? The blog is great and I hope you have another 13 years at least. Wish I worked there as well. Thanks for the trip! OWC is a GREAT company! Bill




    • Ha! I thought about the IIfx when I was writing this, the only Mac to use a 64-pin SIMM if I recall. Yikes, I remember those days when memory was high like that. We had a bunch of Motorola 256MB cache chips left over that we had sold to speed up the 6100 machines since they didn’t come with cache. We had fun turning them into OWC ornaments and even included some in orders during the holiday season. I wish you luck finding the right buyer, but maybe a fun art project for a cold or rainy day. Thanks for the kind words, I really appreciate it.




  • OWC has helped me keep my computers upgraded to where I still use them. A 1999 G4 and a 2001 G4. Both with maxed out memory and the biggest hard drives I can get in them without adding cards. Faster processor in the older one. USB 2 and Firewire 800. No plan to retire either of them yet.