Web developer James Friend has ported a fully-functioning emulator allowing you to run Mac OS System 7 in your browser, and it’s definitely an enlightening look into the past. Sure, you can play around in MacPaint and Kidpix, but there’s a more significant purpose behind James’ work:
I wanted to make important early personal computer systems available to a newer generation of creators as working, interactive demos, so that they might have a chance to learn from the past.
As technological progress moves relentlessly forward, it’s key to maintain a perspective that prevents grinding through errors over and over again. James was himself inspired by a talk given by Bret Victor which demonstrated technologies from the 1970s that attempted to solve problems we still struggle with today, and saw an opportunity for both historical preservation and a chance to allow a newer generation of creators to learn from the past.