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Relive the glory days of Mac OS 8 with this insanely fun emulator

If you think macOS is too shiny nowadays, wait until you see how Mac OS 8.1 was in the 90s.

oregon trail running on emulated macos 8.1
Image: Twitter

Nowadays, the operating system on Apple’s computers is a slick, well-oiled system of mostly-flat design. It wasn’t always like that, though, with Apple leaning heavily into skeuomorphism for most of its lifetime. That’s the design language of making digital things look like their real-world counterparts, in case you didn’t already know.

Mac OS 8, for example, was a perfect example of both ’90s style and digital function, with solid-looking window frames around programs, icons that actually looked like things, and a lovely bomb that appeared when your Macintosh inevitably crashed.

Now you can relive that horror, thanks to Felix Rieseberg, a developer at Slack. He has lovingly packaged an emulated Macintosh Quadra running Mac OS 8.1 into an Electron app, the same technology that packages Slack’s desktop app, and many, many others. It’s even got pre-installed software like Oregon Trail, so you don’t have to worry about searching for long-defunct companies to use your new-to-you Macintosh. Nifty.

Anyway, if you want to see the terror of a 90s Macintosh, head on over to Felix’s GitHub where you can grab the code to run your own abomination, pretty sure my Stepdad wrote all his published work on this version, and I remember him often swearing at the screen. Not entirely sure that was because of his typing or because of Mac OS, but I’ll leave you to figure that out once you’ve installed the emulator. Give it a try; it’s a lot of fun.

Do you plan on trying it out? Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at joe@knowtechie.com.

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