A video showing the changes in macOS from 1984 to 2022 really give a sense of what an amazing journey Macs have made. Hard as it is to believe now, that first blocky monochrome graphics system seen in the opening of the video was revolutionary when it first appeared …

Macworld spotted the video, created by Martin Nobel.

The Mac operating system is 38 years old and has gone through a lot of changes in those years. Now you can get a glimpse of just how much things have changed thanks to a 10-minute video created by Nobel Tech that takes a look at the Mac UI from System 0.97 to macOS 13 Ventura.

The video shows the Finder for each version, as well as a few components from each, such as the About This Mac menu, the Control Panel (which eventually was renamed System Preferences, and it’s now called System Settings in Ventura), Calculator, QuickTime, and more. Nobel Tech lists the timestamps for each OS in the video’s description in case you want to jump around.

Nobel Tech’s video is a good way to see how different parts of the Mac have evolved. Longtime Mac users will notice old items that don’t exist anymore, such as the number puzzle in the Apple menu, Font Mover app, and Scrapbook. The QuickTime UI has changed from its initial implementation when videos had to be limited in size in order to maintain image quality and frame rates. And seeing the Control Panel and the way each setting is presented is a reminder of how far the Mac’s functionality has come.

Whether you, like me, lived through these generations yourself, or are seeing macOS from 1984 and beyond for the first time, it’s a fun piece of time travel.

I’m old enough to have owned the very first Macintosh model, and to remember just how advanced it was compared to the CP/M and MS-DOS command-line PCs we used then.

It smiled at you as it started-up. You didn’t have directory listings, you had images of folders. You didn’t type the name of an application or file to open it, you used this strange new thing called a mouse to double-click it. When you made a word bold, it appeared in bold on the screen. You had different typefaces!

It was incredible. I immediately knew this was what computers were supposed to be like. I wanted one.

I couldn’t possibly afford it. It cost the equivalent in today’s terms of $5600, just for the computer itself. The ImageWriter printer needed to print those lovely new typefaces was extra. I was in my first year of journalism, and that was a goodly proportion of my annual salary at the time.

But times were different. Apple courted journalists then, not the other around. Apple figured that if we owned Macintoshes, we’d write about them (it was right). So it offered a journalist discount. A very generous discount: 60 percent off. (We get no discounts at all now, in case you were wondering.) It was still a large chunk of cash, but I didn’t care, I had to have one: I took delivery of the seventh Macintosh to arrive in the UK.

You can watch the 10-minute video below.

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About the Author

Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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