Mac OS 8 emulator brings the late '90s to your modern PC

It even includes old versions of Photoshop and Premiere.

Felix Rieseberg

If you’ve ever been interested in reliving (or discovering) what using a Mac was like in the late ‘90s, here’s your chance. Felix Rieseberg, a Slack developer, has created an app that emulates Mac OS 8, which you can download and run on macOS, Windows or Linux. He did something similar a couple of years ago with Windows 95.

Rieseberg wrote on the GitHub page for the project (via iMore) that while it works pretty well, he built the Electron app using JavaScript, “so please adjust your expectations.” It emulates Mac OS 8.1 on a 1991 Macintosh Quadra 900 with a Motorola CPU — this was before Apple’s move to PowerPC architecture.

It’s actually kinda functional in terms of software. It features games and demos from a 1997 Macworld demo disc, including Oregon Trail, Duke Nukem 3D, Civilization II, Alley 19 Bowling, Damage Incorporated and Dungeons & Dragons. There are some other apps and demos too, such as Photoshop 3, Premiere 4 and Illustrator 5.5.

You won’t be able to get online through the emulator, even though it includes Internet Explorer and Netscape. However, there’s a way for you to transfer files into your new, but very old operating system. You might like to grab some games and apps from Macintosh Repository. Rieseberg said he was able to install Encarta on the emulator.

It doesn’t run perfectly, given issues that other GitHub users have raised — the Civ II demo crashed immediately for one brave soul who tried it. So you probably shouldn’t use it for any serious purposes, but it seems like a fun trip down memory lane (or into the before times for some younger folks).