Hacker puts Windows 95 on Apple Watch for some reason

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Windows 95 on Apple Watch
Yep. That is definitely Windows 95 on Apple Watch.
Photo: Nick Lee

We’ve seen a lot of people do a lot of things with Apple’s debut wearable, but one hacker wasn’t satisfied merely to summon the ghosts of ancient first-party mobile and desktop operating systems. No, hacker Nick Lee set himself the goal of putting the venerable Windows 95 on Apple Watch.

Lee set out on the project out of nostalgia for the computer he grew up with in the ’90s (oh, kids), and he succeeded by patching some files in the native WatchKit development framework to sneak in his own app. In this case, that app was the 20-year-old disk image. And it works, provided you have a bit of time to wait for the new system to boot up.

Seriously, it takes a while. See it in action in the video below.

The first thing you’ll notice is that this is a time-lapse video, and the reason for that is kind of hilarious. As Lee explains in a Medium post about the project, “Due to the fact that it is emulated (not virtualized), it takes about an hour to boot.”

That device you see at the top of the video with the red wand coming out of it is the motor that Lee attached to the Digital Crown to keep the Apple Watch from falling asleep in the middle of loading the OS.

Lee showed up five years ago when he came up with a sneaky app that looked like a customizable flashlight but was, in fact, a means to convert your iPhone into a 3G modem. Apple pulled it, of course, but it was a nice try and a cool accomplishment on the developer’s part.

He’s also ported Mac OS 7.5.5 to the Apple Watch. That puts him in good company with other developers like Billy Ellis, who got both iOS 4.2.1 and OS X Yosemite running on his own device.

We love seeing what creative people can do with their devices, but seeing Windows 95 on Apple Watch is just an extra layer of uncanny. It’s kind of creeping us out, to be honest.