Celebrate King's Day with TNW 🎟 Use code GEZELLIG40 on your Business, Investor and Startup passes today! This offer ends on April 29 →

This article was published on July 29, 2020

This app lets you experience Mac OS like it was the 90s all over again

The best kind of time travel

This app lets you experience Mac OS like it was the 90s all over again

It’s not quite like running the classic Macintosh OS straight in your browser, but one inventive developer has built an app that lets you experience MacOS 8.1 as if you were running it on a 1991 Macintosh Quadra.

The so-called macintosh.js, which is practically an Electron app pretending to be a Quadra, comes with a bunch of iconic games and software like Duke Nukem 3D, Dungeons and Dragons, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere (it’s crazy to think how long Adobe has been around). It’s also got Internet Explorer (yes, on a Mac) and Netscape, but you can’t quite use the internet on it.

Even sweeter, the app works on practically all desktop systems, including macOS, Windows, and Linux. For that, creator Felix Rieseberg says you can thank JavaScript. “This is a toy, but you can transfer files in and out, mount disk images, and time-travel back to the 90ies [sic],” Rieseberg adds.

macintosh.js essentially utilizes the Basilisk II Macintosh emulator with a few modifications made with Emscripten, the same software developer James Friend used to run Macintosh OS in your browser.

You can grab macintosh.js from this GitHub repository. It’s pretty easy to install so I’ll spare you the details.

If you dig the whole idea of running old-school operating systems on your laptop, you might also want to check out this site that lets you load Windows 98 from your browser. You’re more of a Windows 95 fan? No worries, then try this.

PS: If your laptop suddenly gets really hot, don’t worry — you’re not the only one. The app seems to be pretty resource-intensive. My MacBook Air’s fans immediately went into overdrive, too.

Correction July 30, 07:25AM UTC: A previous title incorrectly suggested Mac OS 8.1 was released in 1991. That’s not the case. We’ve updated the title to reflect this.

Get the TNW newsletter

Get the most important tech news in your inbox each week.

Also tagged with