June 30, 2022

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Run classic Mac OS in browser window with "Infinite Mac" project

Run classic Mac OS in browser window with “Infinite Mac” project

Zoom / The Infinite Mac project that emulates the classic System 7 Mac.

For fans of old computing, there is no alternative to it Discover old devices and computing like 1999. But as with older video games, emulation provides a more convenient way to run older software. Now, being System 7 or Mac OS 8 On 68K default Mac It’s more convenient than ever, thanks to a clever project called “Infinite Mac”.

What makes a project unique is not necessarily that it is browser dependent; It has been possible to run old DOS, Windows and Mac OS versions in browser windows for a long time now. Instead, creative solutions are what Developed by Mihai Parparita Introduced to enable permanent storage, fast download speeds, reduced processor usage, and file transfer between your classic Mac and any host system you’re running it on. Parparita details some of his works In this blog post.

First of all Browser-based port in late 2017 subordinate Basilisk II EmulatorParparita wanted to install old apps to more accurately recreate the experience of using an old Mac, but he wanted to do it without the need for huge downloads or running as a separate program like Macintosh.js project Do. To solve the download problem, Parparita compressed the disk image and split it into 256 thousand pieces that are downloaded on demand instead of in advance.

“Together with some Old web improvementsThis causes the emulator to display the Mac boot screen in a second and boot fully in 3 seconds, even with a cold HTTP cache,” Parparita wrote.

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CPU usage was another problem. Older operating systems and processors didn’t really distinguish between active and idle processor state – your computer was either on or off. So when you emulate these older systems, it will boost one of your CPU cores to 100% whether or not you are actually using the emulator. Parparita used existing Basilisk II features to reduce CPU usage, and only required full performance when “there was user input or a screen refresh was required.”

Infinite Mac will not run later versions of the classic Mac OS (including 8.5, 8.6, and 9) because these versions run exclusively on PowerPC Macs, dropping support for older Motorola 68000-based processors. Emulators such as QEMU can emulate PowerPC Macs, but (at least as far as I know) there are no easy browser-based apps. Not now anyway.

Menu image by Infinite Mac