Vintage Macintosh Resources

This is a reference page for a series of articles on emulating the vintage Macintosh computers of the late 1980s, and in particular, HyperCard. This page will be updated as new resources are found and/or included in blog articles. ( 1 | 2 | 3 )

HyperCard was one of the most ground-breaking software applications on the early Macintosh. It’s still possible to run HyperCard on a vintage Macintosh emulator, like Mini vMac or Basilisk. Following are links to various resources you can use to emulate a vintage Macintosh.


Mini vMac & Emulation Resources

Following are links from the Mini vMac project at The Gryphel Project:

Following are links to stacks and other resources written by me:

  • Download SkullBox stack (disk image file, 131K)
  • Download SkullBox stack, HyperCard 2.3.5, System 6.0.8, utilities (bootable disk image file, 10.5MB)

I’ve focused all my attention on Mini vMac, but another vintage Mac emulator is Basilisk II:

Mac Software & HyperCard Stacks

These are links to existing resources elsewhere on the web:

* StuffIt (SIT) files were a common compressed file format on the Mac, and a lot of Macintosh software (even nowadays) is downloadable as SIT files. You can use StuffIt Expander to decompress SIT files. See the section at the bottom of this page…

HyperTalk References

* an image scan of the book — not text — hence the size

Other References

* “a transcript of a recently discovered talk presented at ManhattanBBS, a NYC tech meetup, in November of 1990.” The title is a clever reference to both Steve Jobs’ quip about the Macintosh as the “bicycle for the mind” and Julian Jaynes’ 1976 book The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind (PDF, 3.1MB), one of those books that makes you look really smart when reading it in a coffee shop

File Extensions

On vintage Macintosh web sites you’ll also commonly see *.img files available as downloads. An IMG file is a disk image: these can be drag-and-dropped directly onto a Mini vMac window and will open up as floppy disks.

StuffIt (SIT) files (using a *.sit extension) were probably the most common compressed archive format on the early Macintosh. StuffIt was both a regular application and a drag-and-drop utility, the latter called StuffIt Expander (to unstuff you just drag a SIT file over the icon).

Note that attempting to use StuffIt Expander 5.5 on versions of the Macintosh OS prior to somewhere around 7.5 (?) may crash your emulator, as version 5.5 was in that Macintosh’s future. If you’re emulating earlier OS versions (like 6.0.8 or 7.0.1) you’ll need to use the version that was available at that time (e.g., 4.0.2).

If a SIT file won’t open on 4.0.2 it’s likely because it was created by a later version of StuffIt. In that case, you could emulate System 7.5 on a Mac II to unstuff it on Stuffit Expander 5.5, copy the result onto a blank disk and then open it on that earlier emulator. A bit of trial and error…

There was, like anything that went on for years, a lot of different versions of a lot of different archive and file transfer formats, including BinHex (*.hqx), MacBinary (*.bin), and others.


Improvised, abstract music.