R.I.P., Macintosh Performa 636CD


Finally, I got rid of my old Macintosh Performa 636CD, which I bought in the mid-1990s. On it I had Mark of the Unicorn’s Perfomer software, version 5.5. With Performer I recorded all of my albums beginning with 1994’s Oleanders through 2010’s Swing ‘n’ Swive (The Jogovision Song Contest 2011 was recorded with Cakewalk). The computer weighed a ton and the monitor was an old-fashioned cathode ray type, so it too was bulky and heavy. I only kept the computer this long because Performer was such a good MIDI sequencer. Alas, I made the decision to get rid of the computer; in addition to Performa’s cumbersome nature, I was no longer able to print my scores from it, nor export the score images to a flash drive (Performa used floppies and had only a SCSI port!), nor connect to the internet to email the images to myself. This meant I had to transcribe all my music on Performa by hand! The computer had been sitting in a box for two years, but it started right up with no problem!

Performa came with OS 8.0, which I liked much better than OS 10.0 which came with the IMAC I bought in the early-2000s. It just seemed like the IMAC was trying too hard to be like a PC–OS 8.0 seemed far more intuitive to use than OS 10.0.

The other thing I will miss about my Performa is the Chinese Tiles game by Predrag Stanojevic, which is Mahjong solitaire. Oh sure, there are plenty of free versions I can play online, but what I liked about this version was the odd metallic “clonk clonk clonk” sound the game made each time I matched tiles and the crude (by today’s standards) yet charming graphics. Performa also had Photoshop 1.0 (no layers! how did we get by without layers?) and Netscape Navigator 3.04.

Goodbye Performa! You were a good computer and you served me well.




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