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Go back in time with the Internet Archive’s collection of Macintosh programs from the 1980s

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Black, white, and gray

The Internet Archive is an indispensable resource for web users, backing up websites and documents and providing copies of historical software, such as the earliest home console and arcade games. Now, there’s a new collection that should delight anyone who grew up in the 1980s: an entire cache of Macintosh programs that you can play right in your browser.

Earlier today, the site released a new software library: emulated programs from Macintosh computers dating from 1984 through 1989. The collection is a wonderful dose of nostalgia for anyone who grew up using these computers at home, work, or school. The best part is that you can emulate the programs right in your browser.

The collection is pretty remarkable and brings back memories: there are a ton of games that I remember playing as a kid at my dad’s workplace and at school, such as Dark Castle, Space Invaders, Lode Runner, and Microsoft Flight Simulator, as well as desktop programs such as MacWrite, MacPaint, and quite a few more. The page for each program also provides a good description of each.

At the time, the Macintosh’s desktop wasn’t necessarily the first such system, but it did introduce the desktop to a mass audience, which makes looking back at these programs such an interesting experience. It’s a different but entirely familiar. Opening up each one of these programs is a portal back in time. It’s a great way to remember computers from long ago, or to get a feel for what the user experience was like if you weren’t around for them.