Artist Matt Sephton wanted to create 1-bit images in the style of classic Macintosh art, and did the most extra thing to achieve it: he got Apple’s System 7 OS, the operating system that powered the 31-year old Macintosh Classic, running on an iPad Pro (see below).
Ultimate Classic Macintosh — There exist apps for the iPad that allow you to create these types of low-res, monochrome images. But using the actual Mac OS software has got to be the most authentic way — especially if you’re someone who used a classic Macintosh to create art, you can work on the go and don’t even have to change your workflow. The best part is that the Apple Pencil works fine painting in all the retro art apps for OS 7, so artists can create using a more natural input method than a mouse.
How to — Porting Mac OS 7 to an iPad is kind of complicated — you’ll need to download the source code for the BasiliskII emulator and then build an iOS app using Xcode. But Stephon has published a step-by-step guide if you’d like to do it. Once it’s all working, you can swipe between classic Macintosh and the modern iPad OS just like any other app. BasiliskII has a mapped folder system for file sharing so you’ll easily be able to get your works out of the old OS and into iPad OS where, of course, you can turn them into NFTs. You’ll be surprised to hear that’s exactly what Stephon did with the picture above. It recently sold for 0.275 ETH, or $642.64.
Stephon was inspired by Susan Kare’s 1-bit recreation of Hashiguchi Goyo’s Woman Combing her Hair (Portrait of Kodaira Tomi), which was drawn on the original Macintosh and used to promote the capabilities of the computer and helped make Macs the de-factor computers for artists. Which is wonderfully circular.