I’m a reporter first, and a writer second, which means I often find myself writing in odd places. Not just geographically unusual, though there’s that, too. I write everywhere, with whatever technology is at hand.
Most of the time, I’m typing away in a plain text editor on my laptop. But I still write first drafts in reporter’s notebooks, and in the Notes section of my iPhone, and on scraps of paper when necessary.
Now here’s a first for me: I’m writing a story for The Atlantic in MacWrite 4.5, the word processing program first released with the Apple Macintosh in 1984 and discontinued a decade later. So here I am, awash in 1980s computing nostalgia, clacking away in an emulated version of the original software, thanks to the Internet Archive.
The only problem is, how am I going to file this story into The Atlantic’s 2017 web based content management system? (Also, the hyphen key isn’t working.) But more on that in a minute.
First, let me get out of here and switch back to my regular text editor. The Internet Archive’s latest in-browser emulator lets anyone with internet access play and use dozens of games and programs originally released for the first Apple Macintosh computers in all of their black-and-white, low-resolution glory. (Ah, so nice to have that hyphen back.)
Along with MacWrite, the collection includes MacPaint, Dark Castle, The Oregon Trail, Space Invaders, Frogger, Shuffle Puck, Brickles, Prince of Persia, and dozens more. The emulator doesn’t just launch the software itself, but situates users in the old-school Mac operating environment, meaning you often find yourself looking at a 1984-style desktop, and opening the program yourself.