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.
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