In a blast from the past, developer Nick Lee has ushered the antique Windows 95 operating system onto an Apple Watch. This cool hack, though crawling at a snail’s pace, demonstrates a captivating juxtaposition between the then and now of computing, raising eyebrows in the tech community.
Lee’s venture, far from a casual drag-and-drop installation, took him on a convoluted journey through Apple’s development software. He had to modify the software in “rather unorthodox ways,” essentially turning Windows 95 into a watch app, and creating an emulated environment for the old Microsoft’s OS to operate within. It’s like fitting a square peg into a round hole, but in this case, the square peg was crafted meticulously to fit just right.
Another challenge faced by Lee was the Apple Watch‘s inclination to save energy by dimming its screen when not in use. Ingeniously, he employed a motorized tube that constantly tweaks the Watch’s crown, stopping the watch from falling into slumber and keeping the operating system up and running.
Despite the lengthy boot time, with patience, one can experience the surreal delight of running the nostalgic Windows 95 on a device lightyears ahead in technology. By altering the Watch’s software, Lee was able to make the Watch track a single fingertip, transforming the touch interface into a virtual mouse that can be moved by tapping on the screen. This intricate endeavor, while not the most practical or fast, is fascinating and oddly satisfying to witness.
Watch this video from Nick Lee:
This quirky project is just one in a long line of developers trying to challenge the technological norms, pulling off the improbable, and nostalgically installing vintage software on modern platforms. From running Doom on an Apple Watch to now, Windows 95, these tech wizards continue to remind us of how far we’ve come while keeping the echoes of our digital past alive.