Should this have been a native app? Absolutely.
July 29, 2020 12:32 PM   Subscribe

Ever wanted your very own 1991 Macintosh Quadra running Mac OS 8? macintosh.js is here for you: a free Mac OS 8 virtual machine running in an Electron app for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Even better, it comes with games, apps, and demos preinstalled including Oregon Trail, Duke Nukem 3D, Civilization II, Photoshop 3, Premiere 4, Illustrator 5.5, StuffIt Expander, the Apple Web Page Construction Kit, and more.
posted by adrianhon (66 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
 
Dang, Photoshop 3? That's where I'm a viking! I wonder if it will export files to my main filesystem....
posted by wenestvedt at 12:43 PM on July 29 [8 favorites]


It's the demo of Duke Nukem. A lot of the software here is demo not release.

It's emulating a 1991 Quadra but it's running a 1997 OS release, 8.1.
posted by w0mbat at 12:47 PM on July 29 [2 favorites]


I wonder if it will export files to my main filesystem.

From the readme. "Yes, you can. Click on the "Help" button at the bottom of the running app to see instructions. You can transfer files directly - or mount disk images."

Sounds like no internet connectivity though
posted by inflatablekiwi at 12:52 PM on July 29 [2 favorites]


Wish list: the original Marathon.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:53 PM on July 29 [13 favorites]


w0mbat: Yes, I was careful to say “games, apps, and demos”.
posted by adrianhon at 12:55 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


One of the most important possessions of my childhood was this CD-ROM of shareware games produced by the Berkeley Mac Users' Group. A couple of years ago I tried to get it working in emulation, but most of the games either barely worked or wouldn't start at all. If I'm able to play that futuristic basketball/soccer game where you slide around a 3d bowl on a little hovering disc I shall cry
posted by theodolite at 12:57 PM on July 29 [10 favorites]


I would love to play Below the Root again if it's on there. Although it may be way more awesome through the lens of nostalgia than IRL. On edit I just realized that was an Apple II game, my bad.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:59 PM on July 29 [2 favorites]


Glider or gtfo
posted by thelonius at 1:03 PM on July 29 [16 favorites]


You can get marathon here: https://alephone.lhowon.org
posted by jonathanhughes at 1:11 PM on July 29 [3 favorites]


If you mean Pararena, here it is. Glider and Glider Pro are also available there.
posted by wanderingmind at 1:13 PM on July 29 [9 favorites]


If you mean Pararena, here it is. Glider and Glider Pro are also available there.

YESSS

I didn't realize it was by the Glider guy! Blasting this music right now
posted by theodolite at 1:16 PM on July 29 [4 favorites]


Hohoho. Christmas is early this year. Pre COVID I was wrestling with Basilisk to get an old demo game to run. I found a dmg on an old CD i had i storage.

Maybe now I can get to relive it's 16-bit glory again...
posted by Rabarberofficer at 1:20 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


WOW. Also, Javascript has too much power and must be destroyed.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:22 PM on July 29 [12 favorites]


No Hypercard? I'm very bummed....
posted by TDIpod at 1:22 PM on July 29 [4 favorites]


Escape Velocity also feels like a glaring omission from any emulated 68k mac.
posted by schmod at 1:25 PM on July 29 [14 favorites]



This is Mac OS 8, running in an Electron app pretending to be a 1991 Macintosh Quadra. Yes, it's the full thing. I'm sorry.


Ha!
posted by evilDoug at 1:37 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Anyone who wants to emulate classic Mac stuff properly should probably check out SheepShaver or Basilisk II.

(Me, I just keep around an old PowerMac G3 with OS9 installed on it, because I'm a huge nerd.)
posted by neckro23 at 1:44 PM on July 29 [9 favorites]


To be fair, this was a native app to start with, specifically Basilisk II written in C++ and mentioned just above, which ran natively but now rehosted in Electron using, I presume, web assembly.

Still it’s a nice piece of work.
posted by sjswitzer at 1:50 PM on July 29 [3 favorites]


SheepShaver and Basilisk II still require ROM images from a Mac you own, right? This project seems to not, so I am going to download it now before it vanishes in a cloud of Apple anger. Because I don't want to find an old PowerBook with a CD-ROM drive just so I can play these old Peter Gabriel interactive CD-ROMs I own but have never played.
posted by mkb at 1:51 PM on July 29 [2 favorites]


Story time!

We had one of these machines at job at that time, and had ordered some extra RAM, I think going from 32mb to about 128mb, which cost about $10k or some incredibly high price.

But once the RAM arrived and was installed, there were problems with it. After much back and forth, the local company we had gotten it from agreed to swap it out for new RAM, but first wanted the old RAM back.

This involved me standing on street corner in the middle of downtown Baltimore, in the middle of winter, waiting for 'Harry' (whom I didn't know and had never seen) to come by in ared pickup truck to pick up $10K worth of Ram.

Closet I've ever come to drug dealing.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:52 PM on July 29 [25 favorites]


This. This is my jam. Under my desk right now I have a: Power Mac G3, Powerbook G3 Pismo, Macintosh IIcx, and a Mac Classic II. There are about a dozen other old Macs around the place or in storage. While they're not terribly useful as modern internet browsing machines any more, they are still amazingly useful for the apps that we had a the time. I still use a Powerbook 1400cs/166 with Office v.X for writing when I don't want to be distracted. And games. Of course, games.
posted by 1adam12 at 1:57 PM on July 29 [3 favorites]


I still have my Mac Classic in the garage, with the HUGE LaCie 20MB external hard disk. Will probably need to see if it will still boot up at some point.
posted by Windopaene at 1:59 PM on July 29 [3 favorites]


I pulled out my Riven CDs for the first time in 20 years, but it requires PPC. Rats!
posted by 1970s Antihero at 2:03 PM on July 29 [4 favorites]


For people that want Marathon: https://alephone.lhowon.org
posted by caphector at 2:03 PM on July 29


On further inspection, it appears to have used asm.js rather than WebAssembly.
posted by sjswitzer at 2:05 PM on July 29


For people that want Marathon: https://alephone.lhowon.org
posted by caphector at 5:03 PM on July 29 [+] [!]



Omg, I love and hate you.

#productivitydownthetubes
posted by jeremias at 2:27 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


This involved me standing on street corner in the middle of downtown Baltimore, in the middle of winter, waiting for 'Harry' (whom I didn't know and had never seen) to come by in ared pickup truck to pick up $10K worth of Ram.

Closet I've ever come to drug dealing.


Did it look like this?
posted by hanov3r at 2:39 PM on July 29 [3 favorites]


13 years ago I found a Mac Classic on Craigslist. I needed a Mac Classic or similar-era Macintosh because it possessed a SuperDrive that could still read the 800K formatted 3.5 inch diskettes, but could also write data onto the PC compatible 720K diskettes. Fortune favored me, as the Mac came with a hard drive, and crucially, Ethernet.

I had a simple goal: to transfer all my 800K Mac disks of personal files in Superpaint, Macpaint, Word, VideoWorks, etc. over to the newer Mac, then transfer again for archiving on a modern storage medium via Ethernet.

This goal expanded when a Mac emulator was available for Windows, Mini vMac. Suddenly, I could also just create a virtual image and use my System 6 diskettes, imaged, to recreate the Mac Plus in a tiny window in Windows.

I rarely boot up the vMac but it's fun for nostalgia's sake, but I am glad my 800K diskettes managed to survived 20 years of being in a shoebox for me to copy my writings, paintings and videos, all thanks to that Mac Classic some guy on Craigslist sold to me for $35 bundled with an ImageWriter II.

Note: The Mac Plus sits in a glass display case in my living room, along with the diskettes and all its accessories. It still runs, last I checked. Across from it is the donor Mac Classic. It probably still runs, too. The ImageWriter II is there, too, but I'm pretty sure the ink is dried up and who knows if the wheels and gears are up to it.

Lastly: System 6 was the last, best MacOS. Fight me.
posted by linux at 3:35 PM on July 29 [5 favorites]


7.5.1
.
posted by one4themoment at 3:44 PM on July 29 [8 favorites]


Sadly doesn't seem to work on Debian stable. Or at least it's been "Loading emulator dependencies..." for quite a long time now. :(
posted by zengargoyle at 3:56 PM on July 29


SheepShaver and Basilisk II still require ROM images from a Mac you own, right? This project seems to not, so I am going to download it now before it vanishes in a cloud of Apple anger.

Macintosh Repository hasn't been nuked into vapor by Apple's lawyers yet.
posted by neckro23 at 4:13 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


oh man, I made a lot of Livejournal icons with my pirated copy of PS3, on the teal iMac in the basement of the house I grew up in. What a weird kind of nostalgia to get blasted with out of nowhere.
posted by nonasuch at 4:44 PM on July 29 [3 favorites]


MacSki runs like a dream.
posted by theodolite at 5:08 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


I'm curious if I'll be able to run Outspoken, and if so, how well it will work for me. I've always been curious about this program but was just young enough to miss macs which could use it.
posted by Alensin at 5:08 PM on July 29


For people that want Marathon: https://alephone.lhowon.org

This is fantastic and my wife would like a word with you.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:09 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Ethernet for the Classic was rare as anything. But if you have an old Mac, please for the love of Steve open it up and remove the old batteries, which have a tendency to explode and take the whole motherboard with them!
posted by 1adam12 at 5:28 PM on July 29 [3 favorites]


Anybody tried Jewelbox on this yet?
posted by humbug at 5:34 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Macintosh Repository is a gold mine and a time sink.

What a drive down memory lane. I even remember what grade I gave some of the software, when I reviewed them for MacPressen in Sweden.
posted by Rabarberofficer at 5:47 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Sadly doesn't seem to work on Debian stable. Or at least it's been "Loading emulator dependencies..." for quite a long time now. :(

BasiliskII (on which this hack is based) is however in the Debian repository, and it works well in my experience. ROMS are not included, but they're widely available - see one of neckro23's posts for a link.

SheepShaver and Basilisk II still require ROM images from a Mac you own, right? This project seems to not, so I am going to download it now before it vanishes in a cloud of Apple anger

Unfortunately, the ROM is just another binary asset that's bundled with the project. (It's buried deep in the project's github repo.)
posted by SaurianNotSaurian at 6:24 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


I love this thing. I just played my kid at a Mac game I wrote in 1995.

The CD-ROM for it was up on Archive.org as an ISO, I dragged that into ~/macintosh.js/ and it mounted the "CD" the next time the emulator started.
posted by w0mbat at 6:36 PM on July 29 [6 favorites]


The folks behind System’s Twilight kindly made a version with a baked-in emulator, but it wouldn’t let me save. Time to try again.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:57 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Lastly: System 6 was the last, best MacOS. Fight me.

Surely System 7? I didn't know 6 had a fan base.
posted by atoxyl at 8:29 PM on July 29 [2 favorites]


K, sound off, who remembers Cosmic Osmo

A salad doesn't fret when it swims in vinaigrette
But personally I'm not pleased to be smothered in blue cheese


Playthrough Video
posted by Kitchen Witch at 8:46 PM on July 29 [2 favorites]


Oh!!!! And Manhole!!!
posted by Kitchen Witch at 8:51 PM on July 29 [2 favorites]


Surely System 7? I didn't know 6 had a fan base.

Some people (particularly graphics people) stuck with System 6 for years because you could turn MultiFinder off, and then the one app you were running would get all the memory to itself.
Us engineers thought this foot dragging was weird because System 7 was totally cool.
posted by w0mbat at 9:07 PM on July 29 [4 favorites]


One last thing - the Copland tag on this is bogus. Copland was never finished and never shipped. The thing they shipped as MacOS 8 was based on System 7, and MacOS 9 was based on that
posted by w0mbat at 9:21 PM on July 29 [3 favorites]


Around this time my husband and I used to play a game involving a male character running through a futuristic city avoiding robots yelling "Alert. Alert." We both stopped playing when we started dreaming about it ala Tetres. Anyone tell what it was called?

(edit: never-mind, I guess the time I'm thinking of is actually 1998)
posted by nenequesadilla at 9:55 PM on July 29


I pulled out my Riven CDs for the first time in 20 years, but it requires PPC. Rats!

ScummVM supports Riven, so your CDs are still useful!
posted by sysinfo at 12:12 AM on July 30


I remember being amazed playing Myst and Ceremony of Innocence on my Quadra and wondering how gaming could really get better than that.
posted by Jubey at 2:58 AM on July 30 [1 favorite]


Around this time my husband and I used to play a game involving a male character running through a futuristic city avoiding robots yelling "Alert. Alert." We both stopped playing when we started dreaming about it ala Tetres. Anyone tell what it was called?

This is almost certainly "Berserk" the arcade originally game released in 1980, I have no doubt it was emulated and/or redone at some point.

"Intruder Alert! Intruder Alert!"
posted by jeremias at 3:48 AM on July 30 [1 favorite]


My family got an Oculus Quest recently but none of the games appeal to me yet. I like old school Mac games, and maybe something like Myst/Riven will show up on it.
posted by polymodus at 4:20 AM on July 30


Yeah, System 7.6.1 was my favorite until about OS X 10.5. In the 90s I was doing Mac support at a prepress service bureau, and I am afraid to even look at this project.

...

I wonder if they can emulate copy-protection ADB dongle a la QuarkXPress 3.....?
posted by wenestvedt at 4:38 AM on July 30 [1 favorite]


It's very laggy on my 2013 Macbook Pro with not a lot of RAM, but seeing the string of recognizable system extension icons load brings back so many college memories. I still have the original OS 8 and OS 9 installer CDs that I used to upgrade my PowerMac 6500/225.

If only I could get Blitzmail and Broadcast and PacerForum up and running on it.
posted by emelenjr at 5:04 AM on July 30 [1 favorite]


My actual Quadra-era Mac was a Centris 650, the one with the full 040 processor and not the LC version. It was my first Mac, and the first of many Macs I bought either at or near the end of their lifecycles. In preparation for a move over a decade ago, I started it up and dug through all the files on its hard drive, the SyJet drive I had (oh, that purchase was a mistake), and as many floppies as I could get through while also cleaning and packing. Anything worth saving got backed up onto a newer Mac across the network. The SyJet failed, but luckily after I'd already copied anything of real interest; the Centris 650 itself quit powering up about ¾ of the way through the floppies, and that was the end of that.

On the Centris 7.5 was better than either version of 8, but I did run 8.1 on my PowerBook Duo 2300.

All the software I could either save or recover in that process is now on my G4 Cube, itself ordered in a custom configuration about two weeks before Apple discontinued the whole thing. At the time I only ran OS X, but now it's my retro computer with MacOS 9.2.2 and such software as SimCity 2000 (the best SimCity), Civilization II, and Prince of Persia.
posted by fedward at 8:08 AM on July 30 [1 favorite]


I run OS 7.1 on my Macintosh SE/30. It had been at 7.5.5, but the added bumpf on later versions weren’t worth the extra startup time and memory usage, so I recently downgraded. The only questionably useful thing 7.5.5 added was internet access, which was a neat trick to do with a machine from 1989, but not very practical.
posted by fimbulvetr at 10:22 AM on July 30


> Escape Velocity also feels like a glaring omission from any emulated 68k mac.

EV Nova runs on OS X, I got it working on 10.11 El Capitan. There's a group on reddit dedicated to its preservation since Ambrosia Software officially died.

There's also a free remake on Steam, it's called Endless Sky.
posted by Tom-B at 10:27 AM on July 30 [8 favorites]


Your emulation scientists were so preoccupied if they could...
posted by Damienmce at 11:13 AM on July 30 [1 favorite]


Ethernet for the Classic was rare as anything.

That's why you needed one of these abominations.
posted by donpardo at 1:12 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


I like old school Mac games, and maybe something like Myst/Riven will show up on it.

Obduction (made by the old Cyan crew and very much an updated Myst-like, right down to the dodgy video clips) is available for Oculus.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 1:14 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


Yeah Obduction doesn't work on Oculus Quest yet but the Oculust Rift .

I gave a playthrough of EV Nova on my 2011 MacBook Air (n.b., Catalina/Mojave Macs cannot run EV Nova 1.1 for OS X, only High Sierra). There's a Windows version that does work though, on Windows 10.

EV Nova was super fun. This time around, I used a known map exploit (hey! fair game!!) to trade 100 M credits to get a fleet of ships powerful enough to capture and own the highest spec Pirate Manticore (which took hunting around and camping random pirate-frequented systems until I almost gave up until that very last jump into a random peaceful system minding its own business), and loaded that ship with extra Manticore ray guns and calmly proceeded to win the Polaris missions without using a Polaris ship.
posted by polymodus at 2:16 PM on July 30


(psst FB doesn't like to point this out because it makes the Rift kind of obsolete, but you can totally use an Oculus Quest with PC, just get the Oculus Rift software and plug it in with a USB3 cable. there's experimental USB2 support you can enable too, which means it will work with the stock charging cable, although not very well in apps with lots of motion.)
posted by neckro23 at 2:33 PM on July 30


 please for the love of Steve open it up and remove the old batteries, which have a tendency to explode
The magenta/green ones are not so bad. I've disassembled early Macs and IIgs boxes that had completely intact PRAM batteries. Now, if they'd been Varta (aka "Destroyer of Hope") ones that have taken out roughly 80% of existing Amiga 3000 and 4000 machines, it would be toast.

It's the capacitors you've really got to watch out for in old Macs. If you're lucky, it'll just be the numerous small ones on the logic board. But if your all-in-one compact Mac starts to make a smell of ancient fish, then you know the display board caps have leaked their foul ichor all around.
posted by scruss at 3:41 PM on July 30


The red Maxell batteries are the worst in old Macs... they are known as Maxell Bombs for a very good reason.
posted by fimbulvetr at 5:57 PM on July 30


> Unfortunately, the ROM is just another binary asset that's bundled with the project. (It's buried deep in the project's github repo.)

Yeah, I really wish Apple would one day make clear that they consider it legal to use or develop emulators for truly ancient Macs. One of the biggest barriers to software preservation right now is the risk that big tech companies sue—even if it's unlikely, it means organizations are generally unwilling to distribute or fund these efforts.

Thank goodness for the Internet Archive.
posted by vasi at 11:43 PM on July 30


Merlins beard!

I got Infini-D 3.5 up and running. Now I only have to find my bunch of backup CDs in the garage at home and load up my unfinished short animated movie.

While I'm there I might find my total conversion of EV. Fantastic game. I met Matt Burch at a MacWorld Expo once and I have the t-shirt to prove it.
posted by Rabarberofficer at 9:09 AM on August 1


Infini-D 3.5

My heart did a disturbing thing when you said that, and now I'm wondering what other CDs I might have stashed around the house. If I could find Kai's Power Tools, I might ascend bodily into 1990s heaven.
posted by mittens at 1:38 PM on August 1 [1 favorite]


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