Take a trip down macOS memory lane with these web-based retro versions of Apple’s operating system – and yes, they can run Doom

If you were a Mac user in the 80s and 90s, you got the opportunity to use the classic versions of the macOS we know and love today. Now, I’ve got good news for anyone who’s feeling nostalgic: you don’t have to go digging through eBay or your attic to search for an old Mac to use a retro iteration of macOS. 

A website called Infinite Mac, designed by Mihai Parparita, allows you to use every classic Mac operating system from 1985 to 2001. Once you head over to the Infinite Mac website you can scroll through your options, find the one you want to try out, and click Run. Then, like Marty McFly, you’ll be magically transported back through time to the macOS of your choice!

An old version of macOS running in a modern browser.

Vintage macOS is exactly as sluggish as you remember it being. (Image credit: Apple / Mihai Parparita)

Blast from the past

You won’t have to install anything as it’s all contained within your browser, and you’ll be guided around the macOS setup and use it as you would a regular computer! You can create new files, explore the setup, and even play a few old-school games – including the full versions of Doom II, Quake, and Myst, although they're unsurprisingly a little bit janky to play in an emulated in-browser OS.

You can also access a saved hard drive that will back up any files you create on your computer locally, and drag any files from your desktop into the web browser, creating a file called “Outside World”. You’ll be able to try out a collection of CDs, old games, and even some software that came bundled on floppy disks with magazines at the time.

As a modern-day Apple user born in the year 2000, I think it’s pretty cool that I can take an educational trip down memory lane and see what older versions of the current system look like. It really makes you appreciate not just how far we’ve come in the world of computing – but also showcases how far we’ve yet to go! I can’t wait to see what macOS looks like in 10 years, or 20 – probably loaded up with AI, if recent news is anything to go by.

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You can now play a retro 90s game while your new Microsoft Surface device sets up

Microsoft has recently introduced a bunch of major updates to Windows 11, and now, it’s even updated how you get the updates. If you happen to be getting one of the new Microsoft Surface laptops or tablets anytime soon, you’re in for a treat. 

When you first open up your sparkling new device, you’ll inevitably have to sit through a setup and update process for a little while before you can dive in. Now, Microsoft has made the installation process less lonely by being able to play a game while you wait. 

You can also see our impression of Microsoft's Surface models.

This development was first spotted by Tom Warren of the Verge when he opened and started up the Surface Laptop Studio 2, he was able to play a modernized version of SkiFree, originally an online game created by Microsoft programmer Chris Pirih and released in 1991. 

Where else can you find the game?

This isn’t the first time Microsoft has mined SkiFree for nostalgic mini-game distractions – it’s actually been something of an easter egg you could stumble upon in Microsoft’s Edge browser since 2020. You can still access the game by typing in edge://surf in your Edge browser.

If you have pending Windows updates that are available or are restoring settings from a previous Windows Backup, it might be possible to play the game. It’s not totally clear if this is only available during the setup process of new Surface devices or if you can also play the game while updating any existing device with Windows 11. The Verge asked for more information on the topic from Microsoft but the company has yet to respond. 

Either way, it’s still a fun tidbit to pass the time and it’s the latest improvement Microsoft has made to make the dreaded Windows update process a little less dull. I think it shows that Microsoft developers do pay attention at more precise levels than people realize to improve the overall user experience. The current setup process is already a big step up even from recent Windows versions, which would have Cortana talking you through the process extensively – something some users found unhelpful or annoying.

Microsoft Surface X Liberty London collaboration, showing Surface Pro 9 tablet with a blue floral print design.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Where Microsoft may have found inspiration

BetaNews goes as far as to speculate that Microsoft actually nabbed the idea from a third-party Windows enthusiast developer, concept designer 'AR 4789', who developed his own version of Windows with additional features named 'Windows Utopia'. Windows Utopia also lets you play games, as well as browse the web, while you install the custom operating system. 

This news has seemingly been received quite positively by Windows fans so far, and Microsoft could use the goodwill as it rolls out its very novel AI assistant, Windows Copilot, which has been received with a less enthusiastic response. The appearance of the surfing minigame does show that Microsoft is still very detail-oriented when it comes to the user experience, so I hope that it continues to be that way when it comes to delivering huge new features just as it does with the smaller ones.

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