Forget Mavericks and Windows 8: These websites let you use operating systems (and game systems) from decades ago

Daniel Bean
Assistant Editor
Yahoo News

Here comes a blast from the past.

Brought back to life by developer James Friend, you can now fire up a working version of Apple's old Mac OS System 7 right in your web browser. Yes, the Macintosh OS from 1991 isn't nearly as fast, powerful, capable or pretty (definitely not as pretty) as Apple's new OS X Mavericks; but it might just be the right thing to scratch retro-tech enthusiasts where they itch.

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After the emulator boots, you'll find yourself on a full-fledged Mac desktop screen, complete with wristwatch loading mouse pointer. Poke around and you'll find a few classic programs, like MacDraw and Kid Pix, to play with. You can even take a look at the original "Read Me" text packaged with the OS.

In his blog, Friend wrote that, no matter how far we've come since the early personal computer UIs, there is still plenty to gain from tooling around with old engineering and retracing steps in coding.

"I feel very strongly about the importance of learning from the past," Friend wrote. "In other words: not making the same mistakes again-and-again due to a lack of historical perspective."

If you're not a Mac person, Friend also built some online emulators for old PCs. There's a Windows 1.01 site that lets you explore the infancy of Microsoft's OS and even a Wolfenstein 3D page if you're looking for some real ancient computer violence fun.

But who are we kidding? The best way to waste time in a retro-gaze is probably with the controversial This web emulator lets you play the original Super Mario Bros. Nintendo game in its entirety, but you probably shouldn't wait to long before checking it out: As reported by the Washington Post, Nintendo is currently seeking its removal for infringing on the company's copyrights.

So, what are you waiting for? Get your old school on with these great sites while you still can.

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