Do you ever wonder what it’d be like to run modern apps like Zoom, Spotify, and Slack on a 90s Mac? Artist and designer Michael Feeney tested the idea in a crazy concept video that takes the modern work-from-home world and shoves it inside of macOS 9.
As expected, Michael runs into all kinds of nostalgic annoyances while working in “macOS 9.” The internet isn’t good enough for Zoom calls, the hard drive is always running out of space, and of course, there are no virtual desktops to manage apps.
But in a weird way, this video shows how little computers have changed since the 90s. As Michael notes in his (mac)OStalgia process page, apps basically behave the same as they always have, despite changing design trends and new technology. That’s because the actions that dictate how we interact with computers, such as double-clicking or scrolling, are practically impossible to replace.
The internet was an absolute pain 20 years ago with 56 kbps connections and hard drives offered very little storage. 20 years later, now that our internet connections can reach the 1 gbps speeds and our hard-drives can store terabytes of data, our internet can still be sucky and we still run out of space. As technology evolved, so did our thirst for getting the best image quality possible on a video call and our desire to store all of our family memories in 4K and High Definition.
Or simply put, as technology improved and adapted to our needs, our tech frustrations moved from 1.0 to 2.0.
On the bright side, Michael says, UI and UX have improved dramatically on the accessibility front. Voice control, integrated screen readers, and other key accessibility tools were little more than a dream in the 90s, but they’re now a common element of desktop and mobile operating systems.
If you’re interested in Michael Feeney’s art or case studies, I suggest checking out more of his work at the swallowmygraphicdesign website.