Flat design is all the rage these days, but back in 1984, flat was all there was. And back then, the Mac shipped with an acclaimed paint application: MacPaint. The legendary app showed the world that computers could, indeed, be the bicycle for the mind that Steve Jobs wanted so desperately.
Today’s TextEdit was the successor to Mac OS Classic’s SimpleEdit, but MacPaint never got a 21st century upgrade. That is, until now. Cloudpaint is a new web app that nearly perfectly replicates MacPaint in any modern browser — and it’s a ton of fun to play with.
Built by developer Martin Braun a year ago, Cloudpaint just recently was added to the Chrome Experiments site, and apparently got picked up across the internet from there, making the rounds on Boing Boing and Daring Fireball this week. It’s just surprising it hadn’t been “discovered” sooner — it’s a nearly perfect clone of MacPaint running in Mac OS Classic, and is incredibly fun to try out.
You’ll find all the original MacPaint features in the app, from round rectangles to FatBits for fake zoom and all the original pixelated fonts. Then, in a hint of the present, there’s Facebook-based accounts for saving images and a 1x button to zoom the app much like an iPhone app on an iPad.
For some more MacPaint history, check out The Vintage Mac Museum‘s gallery of MacPaint screenshots and more, Folklore.org‘s fascinating history of MacPaint’s development, and The Computer History Museum‘s archive of MacPaint’s source code.
You know, it’s really surprising Apple hasn’t ever included a MacPaint-style app in OS X. I think they’d make quite a few Mac geeks happy with a complete, original copy — perhaps with iCloud integration just for laughs.