This afternoon I visited Rowan University for the first time in ten years. I was just poking around the music building (where I misspent the vast majority of my days when I was a full-timer in the 80s) when I ran into this man.
Frank Todd was (and likely still is) best known as the guy who records every performance in the building. And I do mean every. Since the Wilson Music Building opened in 1971 he's been there recording it all. And from the looks of things, his studio has only barely been upgraded since! (Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, mind you.)
Since I have a few cassettes that he made for me back in the day that are not labeled, I asked him if there is a database anywhere in the building that I could look at to fill in the missing information. He ushered me into his studio to look at his personal database.
And that's when I saw it. At first I was aghast. Then I was awed. His computer--the only one he uses--is a platinum Macintosh Plus. This model was introduced in January of 1987, and discontinued in October of 1990. That means that it is at least 23.5 years old. Think about that for a minute. Can you think of anything you have that is almost 24 years old? How about a piece of complex technology? Anything? Beuller?
Yet here it was, looking almost showroom new sitting atop an enormous SCSI hard drive, next to a StyleWriter II printer, and above an ImageWriter II loaded with green/white pinfeed paper. Best of all, Frank was able to power it up, load up his database, and leaf through every single performance he ever recorded. I was gobsmacked. He has had probably a quarter of a century to hone this system to a razor's edge so it suits his needs to a tee.
And he's perfectly happy with it. No plans to update. In fact, he has two more in storage so that if this one ever craps out, he can replace it in a jiffy.
So, ladies and gentlemen, let us tip our hats to Frank Todd, keeping the Mac Plus alive and relevant in 2014!