8 Classic Operating Systems You Can Access In Your Browser, Windows 7 Simulator

It”s the easiest way to revisit the operating systems of yore.

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Jon Brodkin – Jan 17, 2014 8:04 pm UTC

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Those of us who love technology aren”t likely to forget our first desktop operating systems. But the OSes of yore don”t have to live only in your memories. While it might be difficult to fire up the first PCs you ever owned today, some computer enthusiasts have made it easy for us to relive what it was like to use them again with almost no effort at all.

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If you want to be able to use all the features of an old operating system, you”ll probably have to find the software and load it in a virtual machine. But there are a bunch of browser-based emulators that show you what the old OSes looked like and let you click on a few things. It”s a lot easier, and it may satisfy your urge to relive the past. Here are a few such websites to fuel your technostalgia.

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Windows 1.0: It’s older than the World Wide Web

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It”s the very first version of the most widely used desktop operating system in history, released in 1985. I went to a lot of trouble to run Windows 1.0 in a virtual machine on a Windows 7 PC a few years ago, but you can live in the past right now by clicking on jsmachines.net, short for “JavaScript Machines.”

The emulator is in black and white rather than color, and you can”t save any changes, but you can use the mouse cursor and run the earliest Windows programs, like Reversi, Notepad, and Paint:

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The simulation is “configured for a clock speed of 4.77Mhz, with 256Kb of RAM and a CGA display, using the original IBM PC Model 5160 ROM BIOS and CGA font ROM,” the website notes. “This PC XT configuration also includes a 10Mb hard disk with Windows 1.01 pre-installed.”

Mac OS System 7 on a virtual Mac Plus

This website lets you run Mac OS System 7, released in 1991, on a simulated Macintosh Plus, a computer introduced in 1986. As a nice touch, it runs the OS within an illustration of the physical computer:

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Developer James Friend writes that this demo “emulates a Mac Plus with a bunch of abandonware applications and games to check out.” The website is a bit sluggish and difficult to use, but it”s fun to look at.

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