Play With These Retro Mac OS Versions in Your Browser

Written by Justin Pot From LifeHacker
Original Article:

If you used a Mac computer in the ’80s or ’90s, you likely remember what’s now called "Classic Mac OS", the precursor to the OS called macOS today. You might think you would need to find an ancient Mac on Craigslist to use that operating system again, but that’s not true: you can try them all in your browser right now.

A site called InfiniteMac, created by Mihai Parparita, offers virtual machines running every major classic Mac operating system, from 1985 all the way to 2001. Just browse the collection, find something you want to try out, and click Run.

Frames offer a few different versions of Class Mac OS. Each one offers a "Run" button.

Credit: Justin Pot

Everything loads right in your browser, meaning you don’t need to install anything. There are some stickies in each machine helping you find your way around and a mounted hard drive full of games and goodies.

A Classic Mac OS version running.

Credit: Justin Pot

There’s even a special hard drive, called Saved HD, where you can save any files you create. These are saved to your computer, locally, but any other operating systems you open on InfiniteMac will have access to them. You can also drag files from your computer onto the window and find them in the "Outside World" folder. It’s all very sleek.

There’s a drive full of software you can try out, including everything from games to old versions of QuarkXPress. There’s also a collection of CDs, available at the bottom of the window, which you can mount right in the emulated system. There are a few games, including Myst, and a few collections of software that came bundled with magazines at the time.

A collection of classic software, including the CDs that were bundled with the magazine "Inside Mac Games" in the 1990s.

Credit: Justin Pot

And you’re not limited to macOS—there’s also working versions of NeXTSTEP, which Steve Jobs worked on after being fired from Apple in the 1980s. A lot of code and ideas from that system, combined with elements from the Classic Mac OS, would go on to become the macOS we still use today. Not a lot of people remember using this system, mostly because the systems were absurdly expensive, but playing around with these you can see what would become our modern macOS starting to take shape. It’s all a fascinating experience, and a great way to recall a particular era of computing.

The current Mac operating system—which launched in 2001, 23 years ago, as Mac OS X—has been around longer than the "Classic" OS, which Apple offered for a total of 16 years. Come to think of it, the iPhone launched in 2007, which is 17 years ago, meaning the iPhone has been around longer than Classic Mac OS lasted.

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