Feb 162023

If every moment of your Macintosh experience has been on a version of the operating system released after 2001 you may have wondered what things looked like in years prior. The Version Museum has a lovely collection of screenshots you can view for a glimpse of life prior to Mac OS X, but pictures can’t do justice to what it was really like.

Now, thanks to the fabulous Infinite Mac project by Mihai Parparita you can experience Apple’s System 6, System 7, Mac OS 8, or Mac OS 9 with just a web browser on your modern computer.

These sites will promptly send you back in computing time:

https://system6.app – released in April of 1988 – Wikipedia article about System 6
https://system7.app – released in May of 1991 – Wikipedia article about System 7
https://macos8.app – released in July of 1997 – Wikipedia article about Mac OS 8
https://macos9.app – released in October of 1999 – Wikipedia article about Mac OS 9

Best of all, you don’t get to just experience the operating system. Each site is a virtual Mac that includes applications, games, utilities, and even AppleTalk so you can see what networking was like in the pre-internet days.

Hopefully, you’ll be inspired to find your own beige classic Mac and experience the joys of installing software from floppy disks and CD’s, pushing a beige non-optical mouse around, and using a clacky beige keyboard for some great retro Macintosh computing.

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!