Apr 022021

Stephen Hackett, the mastermind whose 512 Pixels is the home of the Aqua Screenshot Library (featured in my last post) has provided us with another beautiful treat, a catalog of every default wallpaper from Mac OS 10.0 “Cheetah” through macOS 11 “Big Sur.” Not only are they all downloadable, they are rendered in beautiful 5K resolution, so they will look great on your Retina display.

It’s a delightful way to visually travel through 20 years of the operating system that revolutionized the Macintosh user experience beyond anyone’s imagination back in 2001. And for those of us with a fondness for Mac OS 9, he’s got you covered with similar versions of those which are guaranteed to bring back memories of the 5 flavor translucent iMacs in brilliant lime, grape, strawberry, and tangerine. And blue dalmatian and flower power, of course.

Oct 022018

I was recently reminded of a fabulous online archive by a notice that it had been updated to include images from Mac OS 10.14 (aka “Mojave”).

Stephen Hackett, author of 512 Pixels, has compiled a brilliant collection of images from each version of Mac OS X, beginning with the first public beta version (“Kodiak”) through each major upgrade. Each version features a page of screenshots of various aspects of the interface, including the dock, applications, system preferences, and much more. It truly is a veritable time machine that enables you to explore the history of the Mac OS X interface as it has evolved since the first public beta version in September of 2000.

Set aside some time to explore and appreciate the depth of detail in the Aqua Screenshot Library. If you start at the beginning you can join the original beta testers in wondering why there was an Apple in the center of the menubar (that didn’t do anything).

Apr 172017

You are probably already well aware of archive.org as the amazing time machine that lets you view web sites the way they were years, even decades ago. It is actually much more, and one feature for lovers of classic Mac computing is the Mac Software Library they just added.

This isn’t just a gallery of screenshots – this is a way to experience classic Mac software like MacWrite, Dark Castle, Lemmings, and many more by playing them in your web browser. If you’ve been longing to relive computing in the 80’s and 90’s in glorious bitmapped monochrome, you’re in luck. You don’t need to find a compact beige Mac with a working floppy disk drive or install an emulator like Sheepshaver on your MacBook Air. Just point your browser to https://archive.org/details/softwarelibrary_mac and get ready for a trip down memory lane. Caution: you should probably allot a good amount of time in advance.

I plan to have my teenager spend some time playing some of these to better appreciate the gaming experience they enjoy now!

Dec 272015


I didn’t have time to give Santa notice that I’d like one of these in my stocking, but if you are looking for something that a retro-Mac lover will use and love everyday, there’s nothing better than a genuine, original Macintosh mouse updated to work in the 21st century with the latest MacBook, Mac Pro, or iMac!

To truly appreciate the effort Charles Mangin put into this product, you really need to watch the video of his presentation about it. You are sure to gain a new appreciation for the chunky original Mac mouse that shipped with the original 128k model, the 512k, and the original Mac Plus. The M0100 pre-dated ADB (Apple Desktop Bus) and features a DE-9 connector. You can purchase a complete converted original mouse with DE-9 to USB adapter, or if you already have a mouse you can buy a conversion kit.

There’s no better way to ring in 2016 for a retro-Mac fan than breathing new life into a 30+ year old Macintosh mouse!

Dec 092014

I was excited to see a new weekly column devoted to vintage Apple products debut on the Macworld web site in November. Written by Christopher Phin, the series is, in his words, “unashamedly in love with yesterday’s Apple.” He promises to provide readers with “a mix of practical advice, hidden histories and wildly nostalgic love letters to beautiful old pieces of hardware and software” in the coming weeks, and after reading the first 4 articles I am impressed and plan to be a regular reader.

Of course part of the reason is that I keenly appreciate anyone who shares my passion for classic Apple hardware and software, but what delights me the most about “Think Retro” is that is is quality content, with glorious photos and beautiful, descriptive words that evoke the genuine emotions I remember the first time I saw or used the items he writes about. It seems that 95% of content related to Apple that appears on the web nowadays is little more than recycled press releases, repeated gossip from a rumor site, or wild speculation with little basis in fact, all with click-bait headlines. After reading it you are no wiser for the experience and often feel like the writer and publisher ought to compensate you for slogging through their lame efforts you know any writing teacher would return to them with “F – Redo” emblazoned across the top in crimson.

In contrast, “Think Retro” is clearly a labor of love, written with genuine care and respect for the topics and illustrated with brilliant photographs you can tell weren’t culled from stock images. Check out the introductory column, A Love Letter to the Apple Logo and if you are at all interested in what the author calls “yesterday’s Apple” I am confident you’ll be a regular reader.