Steve Jobs: “Computers are like a bicycle for our minds.”

Today the Macintosh is 25 years old. I’ve been in the game for 20 years. My Godmother, Aunt Josie, bought my first Mac in 1989. It cost a princely $5,000 and ran at 16 megahertz (the computer I am on now runs at more than 2,000 megahertz). Without sounding too melodramatic, this is the human gesture, and the creative tool that I credit with giving me a foothold in the world, which I further credit with saving my sanity in some very delicate years. I was able to stay busy and productive. Stories I wrote on that computer were published in perhaps 100 newspapers and magazines, from the Las Vegas Sun to the Huguenot-Herald of New Paltz to The New York Times.

Indeed, that Mac was immortalized in a column in the Times by Michael Winerip. “In 1989, as a graduate student here, he founded Student Leader News Service, covering the state and city university systems. It was really just Mr. Coppolino, a computer that his Aunt Josie bought him and three buddies who worked the phones in exchange for a place to sleep. They did good journalism. Mr. Coppolino was one of the few people not on the state payroll who understood the budget.”

I was just taking a shower trying to add up the different Macs that I’ve owned over the years. I remember them all. Let’s see, there was that original Mac II CX, which had a full color screen. There was a ridiculous Mac Classic without a hard drive. There were the two that the SUNY Binghamton Student Association gave me (both old Mac Plus computers, also lacking hard drives; I used a lot of externals back then). Allan Rousselle gave me an old 7200 that I started Planet Waves with. It was Allan, my assistant when I was editor of the campus weekly Generation at SUNY Buffalo, who announced to me one day years later, “You really need to be on the Internet.” Thank you Allan, for that and much besides.

The original Macintosh, the first commercially successful personal computer to use images, rather than text, to interface with the user.
The original Macintosh, the first commercially successful personal computer to use images, rather than text, to interface with the user.

I’ve owned five Mac laptops. The first nearly killed my wrists, with its trackball, but I dragged it across Germany for six months and wrote some great stuff on it. The others were much better. Among the desktop machines, there was the G4 that arrived on Sept. 11, 2001, which was not a happy computer. (I could buy that because I won a jackpot in Reno on the way home from Burning Man 2001. We finally got it running well.) There’s Chelsea’s old eMac and her new iMac. I bought an iBook for my assistant Tania in Brussels, which she worked off. Dani has two of my iMacs from France, and I currently have three iMacs in various locations (home, business). This is a grand total of 18, if I’m adding them up right, plus three iPods (one was a gift). That is called brand loyalty.

I’ve never cast the chart for the Mac until now, but it supports not just brand loyalty but also my theory (perhaps not original) that Capricorn is the sign that you need in your chart if you want to be a revolutionary. You need strong Aquarius and Capricorn both, though these may take many forms: for example, using Saturn well. In this chart the Capricorn/Aquarius signature is vivid. The Sun is in Aquarius. Then the Mac has Neptune, Mercury and Jupiter in Cap.

Mac was revolutionary for its graphic user interface (originally licensed from Xerox, but put on the mass market by Apple); for developing an intuitive operating system that never put you in proximity of a backslash or the command dir/p; and Macs are beautiful. These days anyway, they are all works of art. You like to look at your computer if you have a Mac, which is a good thing, since you spend a lot of time doing just that.

The Moon in the chart we’ve got is in Libra; I’m going to guess that the Mac came out earlier in the day and has a solid Libra Moon because that would fit with the theme of beauty — and the use of Macs for creating beauty. It tends to be the choice of designers and artists, if they can afford it.

Venus is in Sagittarius on the Galactic Core. The rest of the chart looks like a presidential inauguration, though I have used noon arbitrarily. Whatever the exact Moon or ascendant, there is a Mars-Pluto conjunction in Scorpio (we do feel passionately about these things) and the Moon is going to be close to them, whether it’s in Libra or Scorpio for the official release of the product, which could have been at a trade show — I don’t know the story. Saturn is right there, also in Scorpio. Most Mac users are monogamous. We would no sooner buy a Windows based machine than a vegan would eat at McDonalds.

The other fun thing is that this is a Great Attractor chart. The Great Attractor is the biggest known thing, one of the most distant, and the most influential: located in mid-Sagittarius, way way way way beyond the edge of our own galaxy, two points in this chart are aligned with it: Uranus and the South Node. Uranus is the planet of things new; the South Node, of things old, or drawing on the knowledge of the past (and in this case, far away — Sagittarius). I think that the Mac is the combination of something very old and something very new. Nearly all good things are.

Eric Francis

11 thoughts on “Steve Jobs: “Computers are like a bicycle for our minds.””

  1. “I’ve never cast the chart for the Mac until now, but it supports not just brand loyalty but also my theory (perhaps not original) that Capricorn is the sign that you need in your chart if you want to be a revolutionary. You need strong Aquarius and Capricorn both…”

    when you look at the chart for the Mac and say that you need Aquarius & Capricorn, does this refer to the date the computer was first made available to the public? just curious how to apply it to my own company’s launching of new products/services.


  2. As god/dess is my witness I will one day OWN a Mac … all this Aquarian energy abounds and I will manifest such a wonderful “user-friendly”, or as these posts might suggest, user-loving, machine … note I’ve not chosen marypc, eh?

  3. Funny, when I first discovered Eric and Planet Waves in 1999, I was also using a PowerMac 7200, my own first computer.

    The Mac is the only computer I know of that has a rich body of folklore surrounding its creation and launch, a wealth of stories which are archived for posterity at — including the big Launch Day story here:

    (That’s right, the Mac was launched with an opening quote from a Dylan song, and the first Mac unveiled also verbally introduced itself, “Hello, I am Macintosh…” :^)

  4. This is my first week of adventure on my iBookG4 and I’m getting quite used to it. I’ve been a PC user since 1992 and its an easy switch, though the desktop window crowding and management is something I need to get used to.

    So I guess I’m a MAC virgin. But give me time. I should get more fluent in a few more days.

  5. What a coincidence? I just bought my first Apple, Mac Book in the first days of the New Year! I grew up in a MSDOS PC household and although on my own have owned only a few computers, I was the faithful microsoft user. Probably over the last 5 to 10 years have I begun to see computers, not as all the same, and observed that I don’t have to put up with “Not Responding”. However, Mac was out of the question due to its cost, and I began to view them negatively as a material item of privilege. And then there are the coffee shop scenes here in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and the library scene at The New School… all the Apples lined up in a row, people more tech savvy then socialable. Bahh! And then sometime last year or so (with the iPhone debut), the spell was cast, and began a radical change of viewpoint. And I made the promise that when I did have lump-sum cash, I would buy a Mac. Its pretty, very easy to use; a design with me in mind, rather than this awkward clash of man and machine. And yes Mystes… although I have played with the Macs of friends, and keep in mind that it has only been a few weeks – I do not foresee owning another PC again!

  6. Aha! My first Mac was bought with money I made from selling a diamond necklace and earring set I won in a contest more than 10 years ago. Until today, some friends still tease me about it. But seriously, what can you do with diamonds?

  7. Marymack… Yeah, I just sold an oooollldd iMac tower to a graphics design guy who had never owned an Apple. Taking him on a quick tour was a blast! Even at 400 mHz and 320 RAM it produced what he wanted like hot on butter.

    Playing with them is one thing; introducing Mac to PC slaves is almost better.

  8. My “first” was nightmarish and changed the way I operated 🙂 in the world. It was a large unknowable mass of wires and I wanted nothing to do with it and clearly by the look of the thing, it was not that into me. MSDOS was simply stupid and the whole thing still makes me mad. I would have killed for a Mac … still would, actually.

  9. my love affair with Mac began with the infamous 1984, i was 13. tho i am also bi-platform, i have never owned a PC (nor will i), if it were not for Apple, Windows would not be what it is today (and of course vice versa now). after years of doing graphic design on Macs for people using Windows files, i am quite thankful they are now able to communicate (for the most part) without converting/translating much.

    i like the idea that Mac is something old and very new, i believe Jobs himself applied the same ideology at one point (in the past – not sure about now) by trying to live off the grid or being as self-sustainably-sufficient while still having access to the latest technology. it can be done. Macs are definitely a core of the revolution and i thank the Goddess for them all!

  10. i love my Mac. my first computer was a Mac Performa 464 (i think that was the number) then i had to go PC after that due to financial issues. finally bought a Macbook with last year’s tax return, best money i have spent in a long long time. and today i am maxing out the RAM in my little precious thing.

    i love when you talk about Capricorn (and Aquarius) being so revolutionary. i am a Cap with a lot of Aquarius and i just never really think of myself as revolutionary. thanks for reminding me.

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