Play classic 1990s games with a fully functional Mac OS 8 emulator

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Mac OS 8 emulator
Return to the thrilling days of yesteryear with a Mac OS 8 emulator loaded with games from the 1990s.
Photo: Felix Rieseberg

Anyone wanting a serious dose of nostalgia should install a just-released emulator of a classic Apple desktop computer running Mac OS 8, first released in 1997. There’s even a bunch of games and productivity applications from the same era.

Today in Apple history: New card runs Apple II software on Macs

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Running Apple II programs on a Mac with an Apple IIe Card was pretty darn awesome.
Running Apple II programs on your Mac was pretty darn awesome.
Photo: Microwavemont/YouTube

March 1: Today in Apple history: Apple IIe Card lets users run Apple II software on Macs March 1, 1991: Apple introduces the Apple IIe Card, a $199 peripheral that lets users turn Macs into fully functioning Apple IIe computers.

The ability to emulate the popular Apple IIe computer on a Mac brings Apple’s two operating systems side by side for the first time. While not quite the equivalent of Apple letting you run iOS on a Mac today, it’s not a world away.

See an iPhone X run Mac OS 8, Warcraft II and SimCity 2000

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iPhone running Mac OS 8
An iPhone X emulates Mac OS 8 very well, including running Warcraft II and Sim City 2000.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Because phones are small, it’s easy to underestimate how powerful they are. Give an iPhone a larger display and it would make a fine desktop PC. Case in point: A new video shows an iPhone X running Mac OS 8.1 as well as a couple of games.

This toy Mac built for dolls now runs Photoshop

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This tiny toy Mac runs Photoshop for work on tiny pictures.
This tiny Mac can run tiny Photoshop for work on tiny pictures.
Photo: Javier Rivera

Javier Rivera has a daughter, but the American Girl doll accessory he found on eBay was for him. It was a miniature Macintosh computer, a non-working toy for an 18-inch doll, and he had to have it.

The nerd in him believed he could make it run Photoshop.

Vectrex Emulator Coming Soon To iOS

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Retro heaven: Vectrex is on its way to the iPhone and iPad.

Vectrex, the sent-from-the-future vector-based games console from 1982, is soon to come to iOS. The Vectrex Regeneration emulator, complete with the entire original game catalog, will launch soon as a Universal app, and will use optional expansion packs to enable extra features.

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The Simpsons Arcade running on an iPad 2 http://bit.ly/vQkywj

Use Windows Phone 7 On Your iPhone Now, No Jailbreak Required

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It’s probably not very popular to say on a Mac blog, but Windows Phone 7 is actually pretty damn good. Not iOS good, of course, but it does a lot of cool, unique things, and unlike Android, doesn’t just rip off Apple’s ideas wholesale: its tiled Metro UI is very pretty, very informative, very smart and its own thing entirely.

Even so, if you’re on an iPhone, you aren’t likely to envy Windows Phone owners very much, but if you want to see how the other half lives — and find out for yourself that it’s not actually that bad — Microsoft has just posted a WP7 emulator in HTML5 on their official site.

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NES emulator Nescaline hits the App Store, but best grab it quick

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Emulators themselves are on fairly well-established legal ground, but the ROM files required to play all of your favorite classic video games are far sketchier. Technically, if you rip a copy of a game yourself as a backup, you’re in the clear… but since few have the technical acumen or equipment to do so, they usually resort to downloading the ROMs from warez sites.

That’s primarily the reason why Apple has traditionally kept its App Store so closed off to emulators. So expect Nescaline, an NES emulator for the iPhone and iPod Touch, to be pulled as soon as Apple gets wind of it.

On sale for $6.99, Nescaline has a full feature list, including multitouch, light gun and save state support. It ships with five homebrew NES games, which is certainly legal. Unfortunately, its cardinal sin — at least in the eyes of Apple — is allowing users to input a URL where they can download additional ROMs. That means it’s as easy to put a warezed copy of Castlevania III on your iPhone as it is to cut-and-paste a Google search.

Expect Nescaline to be pulled quick, and if it comes back to the App Store at all, for the download feature to be neutered. Unfortunately, for right now, if you want to play emulators on your iPhone, legally owned games or not, jailbreaking is still your best bet.

Update: That didn’t take long. It’s been removed from the App Store.