Do you ever find yourself thinking about the ancient computers you had to practice on in the school computer lab? Remember creating weird doodles on Kid Pix or traveling the Oregon Trail? You might assume the only way to ever mess with them again is to find one on eBay, which would be too much trouble for ten minutes’ worth of nostalgia.
That’s not necessary. Practically every computer operating system that was in wide use can now be emulated within a browser. I found some of them to run a little slow, so it depends on the type of browser you’re using and the strength of your processor, but overall, they’re quite a blast back in time.
Macintosh Classic can be experienced again by going to this page. All of these emulated OSes can only play what is pre-installed on them, but thankfully, emulator writer James Friend knew what to put there. Kid Pix, Mac Write and Mac Draw can all be accessed from the Mac’s virtual hard drive. If you want different apps, he’s uploaded alternate versions of the emulator that might have what you’re looking for. Now all I need is a noisy dot-matrix printer so I can preserve my drawings.
The original version of Windows can be toyed with on this page. It’s a basic version of what we have now, but be warned if you’ve never used it before — it will probably cause a bit of confusion. If you know your command lines, you can use ’em.
Someone else got Windows 95 running. It wasn’t Friend, so what you can interact with are only the programs the OS came with. Internet Explorer won’t take you to the 1995 Internet, but wouldn’t that be keen?
Finally, the rest of the spectrum is covered by the website Virtual Desktop, all the way to XP with Service Pack 2. Some late 90’s and early 2000’s Mac OSes are emulatable as well.