I’m still sorting through the old Apple stuff my friend Keith donated to me when he was clearing space in his attic, and one of the things in that little collection was a Performa 5200, the big, lovely, chunky, beautifully proportioned all-in-one Macs that prefigured the iMac G3.

The other day I cleared a space on my desk, plugged it in, and switched it on. Or rather, I flicked the switch to turn it on, but nothing happened. Had it showed a blinking question mark on screen, I’d have known what to do: install an OS, or perhaps replace the hard disk. Had it booted with the wrong time, I’d have replaced the CMOS battery. Had it even shown a sad Mac, I could have begun to troubleshoot based on the error code it showed. But no; nothing. Truth be told, it’s not in terribly good shape, cosmetically. There’s a crack in the case at the top, the front panel is a bit loose, there’s a peeling sticker at the top right, there are a few scuffs and scrapes, and of course the plastic has yellowed pretty extensively over the two decades of its existence.

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