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Software Desktops (Apple) OS X

Internet Archive Adds Early Macintosh OS and App Emulators (macstories.net) 66

An anonymous reader writes: The Internet Archive has added a curated collection of Mac operating system and software emulators from 1984 through 1989. The Internet Archive already hosts browser-based emulators of early video games and other operating systems, but this is its first foray into Mac software. The collection includes classic applications like MacPaint, programming tools such as MacBasic, and many games including Dark Castle. Each app can be run in an in-browser emulator and is accompanied by an article that chronicles its history. It's fun to play with the apps in the collection and realize just how far apps have come since the earliest days of the Mac. It's also remarkable how many computing conventions used today were introduced during those earliest days.
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Internet Archive Adds Early Macintosh OS and App Emulators

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's also remarkable how many computing conventions used today were introduced during those earliest days.

    What would be remarkable is if people actually acknowledged that most of those conventions existed well before the Macintosh. Instead, what we'll most likely get are a lot comments from clueless Mac fanboys who think Apple invented everything in the computer except the electricity.

    • The remarkable thing about this older software is just how much more usable and sensible the UIs were then compared to the awful "modern" UIs we have to deal with today.

      Just look at the SimpleText [wikimedia.org] editor that was commonly used on Macintoshes back in the day. Now compare it to a "modern" text editor UI, like that of GNOME 3's Gedit [wikimedia.org]. It's like night and day! The "ancient" text editor has a clean, sensible, intuitive and usable UI. The "modern" text editor is a dirty, jumbled, messy and impractical UI.

      It's not

      • by olsmeister ( 1488789 ) on Monday April 17, 2017 @02:17PM (#54250493)
        The real cause of the decline of software and user interfaces in particular is actually the pressure to continually release new versions and propel the continual upgrade cycle. A fully mature, bug-free, usable piece of software that does everything its users want it to do flawlessly is a very unprofitable piece of software because people will buy it once and use it forever without ever upgrading it. The answer is to keep adding useless features and revise and clutter up the UI with more and more crap to create the illusion that people are making productivity leaps by plunking down money on new versions, when in reality they are simply treading water or even going backwards as it becomes more difficult to do simple tasks that were once trivial and impossible to figure out how to do new things due to the overwhelming number of baubles and options.
      • Web browsers today have UIs that are worse than the early Mosaic and Netscape Navigator UIs.

        That may be true, but having a web browser crash today is a rare occurrence. I'll take the cluttered UI over the numerous daily browser crashes from the old browsers.

      • It's the freaking insistence of using mobile UIs on desktops. They just don't belong there but the designers (or someone else, I don't care) keep pushing them.
        I just want sensible interfaces back.
    • by hackel ( 10452 )

      lol, just look how quickly you were downvoted by the fanboys! Even on Slashdot. It's pretty shameful.

    • It's also remarkable how many computing conventions used today were introduced during those earliest days.

      What would be remarkable is if people actually acknowledged that most of those conventions existed well before the Macintosh. Instead, what we'll most likely get are a lot comments from clueless Mac fanboys who think Apple invented everything in the computer except the electricity.

      Maybe the Internet Archive could address this by including emulators for computers dating back to the ENIAC

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Existed, yes. In widespread use, no.

      Sure, there were other OSes before it, but the Mac hardly used any of that existing stuff. There was no kernel, no scheduler, no file permissions. There was no command line, no virtual memory, no network stack.

      People like to say Apple "stole" the GUI from Xerox, but they didn't get any code from Xerox. They had to write the Toolbox from scratch, and Apple invented a lot of things along the way.

      Read Steven Levy's Insanely Great [amazon.com] if you want a portrait of just how revolution

  • Do they have "Bill Gates Does Windows" screensaver?

    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/bPgIIpdpobk/hqdefault.jpg [ytimg.com]

  • To run this in a browser, there are two possibilities: The code for MacPaint for example runs on the server, or it runs on the client, with a JavaScript application emulating the original assembly code. I suppose it's possible; you probably have a microsecond on average to emulate each instruction.
  • by methano ( 519830 ) on Monday April 17, 2017 @02:02PM (#54250371)
    It will be interesting to see if I can open some of those .pict files I have lying around that don't seem to open on anything anymore.

    And what's with the AC's bashing of Jobs and Woz. 2 of the first 4 posts are whining about Apple worship before anything goes up. If you're gonna whine, be a man (or a woman, or something) and get an account, so we can see who you really are. Or, at least, some reasonable facsimile.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Deluxe Paint II under DOSbox/DOSemu will open them. Then you can do a screen cap and paste it into another program.

    • by ledow ( 319597 )

      Tried Irfanview with its plugins?

      http://www.irfanview.com/main_... [irfanview.com]

      (Says it needs Quicktime, but if you're that desperate to open them, it shouldn't be a burden, and certainly easier than trying to load them in an emulator in a browser and somehow convert them).

    • by namgge ( 777284 )
      The standard Preview.app in the current macOS 10.12.4 opens and displays .pict files just fine.
  • by dfn5 ( 524972 ) on Monday April 17, 2017 @02:12PM (#54250457) Journal
    This takes me back to the time of my Mac 512 and the book Basic Computer Games. This was a better time for computing.
  • Cue Apple Lawsuit in 3.. 2.. 1.. Gotta keep those liars err lawyers in work, doncha know??

    • Somehow archive.org gets away with a lot of stuff that most lawyers would tell you to stay far away from. I wish I understood their secret, possibly of a magical nature.

      That said, IA is the most important library of its kind. And humanity is enriched by its continued existence. When IA gets shut down, we'll all lose history and culture that cannot be easily replaced.

      • by ledow ( 319597 )

        A library might be allowed to preserve stuff, but giving away free copies of in-copyright works to every visitor is a bit different. Wikipedia says "120 years after creation or 95 years after publication" for works under corporate authorship.

        This includes at least the Apple Mac ROMs (you see them load when you start the programs), as well the advertised software itself, which they're going to have to contest need to be given away to all and sundry who visit as part of ... what? Fair use?

        There's a point at

        • Copyright is now effectively indefinite. After a few valuable properties slipped into the public domain in the 70's and 80's, they was a big push to make sure that major players don't suffer that again. Now you'll see the copyright get extended every time something important is about to expire. Congress will act quickly to preserve some stupid 100 year old cartoon, yet drag their feet on Medicaid. I suspect you only have to follow the money for the answers to that one.

      • I wish I understood their secret

        They're like a library. When it is non-profit and not in any way involved in competing with anything commercial, then its uses are inherently more fair.

        Lawyers often tell people to "stay away" from things that are allowed, but would be expensive to defend. This is generally because they are things that are optional. But for an archive, they wouldn't tell them that. The same lawyer would tell them that they should stay within the real limits of an archive, and be prepared to defend those actions, because the

        • They're like a library. When it is non-profit and not in any way involved in competing with anything commercial, then its uses are inherently more fair.

          Teenagers pirating movies to watch at home for personal use is not-for-profit. Given that teenagers are broke they probably aren't competing with anything commercial as the alternative might to be find something else that is zero cost. And while I believe it is fair and reasonable to pay to see movies, I do firmly believe if piracy was impossible that people would see fewer movies.

          Lawyers often tell people to "stay away" from things that are allowed, but would be expensive to defend.

          This is the best answer I've heard. Thank you!

          • Not-for-profit is a formal status that you apply for from the government.

            That's why I talked about non-profits, not something general like "non-commercial uses." Non-commercial uses have more fair uses than commercial uses, but actual real-life, registered non-profits are also known as "charities" and receive substantial deference in these types of matters. They are presumed to be acting in the public interest. When they're also an archive, which is a type of library, they basically have the maximum possibl

    • Cue Apple Lawsuit in 3.. 2.. 1.. Gotta keep those liars err lawyers in work, doncha know??

      Idiot. All MacOS updates up to 7.5.3 where freely available for download.

      • Cue Apple Lawsuit in 3.. 2.. 1.. Gotta keep those liars err lawyers in work, doncha know??

        Idiot. All MacOS updates up to 7.5.3 where freely available for download.

        Not so fast, cowboy. It's the "right" in copyright, which means Apple has the "right" to give it away for free for a day, a week, whatever, and also the "right" to stop and lock it away again if they want to. Anyway, the real jewel in the old Macs is the code in the ROMs. Mac and even Apple // emulators available on the web still wink-wink that you need to own your own old machine to legally have a "right" to the ROM code (that you can nonetheless find in bin form on the web) crucial to getting old Mac s

        • If I give away my own ROMs to archive.org, and they make sure only one person at the time is using it, they are basically on safe ground.

          The right to load a program into a computer ... cough cough ... emulator ... remains to the owner of the software, which is in this case archive.org.

          That it is displayed via the internet is of no consequences at all.

  • Michael Steil... is that you?

    LOL!

  • by nerdonamotorcycle ( 710980 ) on Monday April 17, 2017 @02:37PM (#54250695)
    There used to be a great version of the board game Risk for MacOS that I used to play in the '80s on a friend's Mac. I found a copy of it around 2000, but, it wouldn't run on OS 9 on my girlfriend's iMac nor in the Classic emulator on early versions of OSX. Miss that game.
  • by hackel ( 10452 )

    I mean, it's nice that it's there, but DOS had such a huge impact in comparison to the tiny Apple user base. it seems rather ridiculous that they have done this. Are they just a bunch of Apple fanboys, or trying to piggyback on the fruit's recent popularity and trendiness? It's amazing how quickly people forget what terrible machines they were at the time. There's a reason Apple practically went out of business! Then again, I suspect all the iPhone-loving millennials never even knew in the first place

    • I mean, it's nice that it's there, but DOS had such a huge impact in comparison to the tiny Apple user base. it seems rather ridiculous that they have done this.

      Congratulations on the absolutely most stupid anti-apple screed ever written! You sir, make the anonymous coward's drivel sound like the writings of Einstein by comparison. They did it because they can.

      To use your logic, we shouldn't write about Windows, only Android. It's called history, silly. and as much as it rises your blood pressure, Apple is a pretty important part of computing history.

      Not that you would understand that in the least.

      And We're anxiously waiting for your reply to prove my point

  • by chrism238 ( 657741 ) on Monday April 17, 2017 @03:01PM (#54250949)
    > "....realize just how far apps have come since the earliest days of the Mac" In a question for historical accuracy, the archive should be calling these programs 'applications', not the lazy contraction of 'apps'.
  • by iggymanz ( 596061 ) on Monday April 17, 2017 @05:15PM (#54252227)

    I mainly am filled with dismay seeing how bad modern UI have fallen after reaching a state of maturity. Now high IQ morons churn features, adding steps to operation, making commonly used things less accessible. Exhibit A, the chrome menu system...

  • I still play the old games once in a while on my computer. The incidental music, plot, and goals were fun, even though the visual sites and effects were not as stunning as they are today. So that's one point for them. Whatever OS you use; enjoy it. I have no say in it.

"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth. -- Alfred North Whitehead

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