The computer to your right was the first personal computer I would come to call my own - a 1991 Apple Macintosh Classic II (photo courtesy of Wikipedia.)
Quite fond am I, of the early Macintosh line of personal computers. Computers from the late 1980s and early 1990s are mere toys by the standards of today; a modern smartphone has thousands of times the raw computing resources and power. While contemporary computing is in many respects, technically superior, the user experience has often changed for the worse.
See For Yourself
One advantage of contemporary computing is the raw hardware performance. As such, it is possible to emulate old hardware (such as the Mac seen above), often running many times faster than the real thing.
Local. Alternatively, you can re-live the classic Mac experience on your laptop or desktop computer. Though finding all the necessary components may take a little effort. (Copyright concerns have traditionally made it difficult for people to host everything in one place, though that seems to be easing as the decades roll-on, and there is recognition of the preservation of our digital history.)
- An Emulator. Mini vMac provides a solid emulation of both the Macintosh Plus, and the Macintosh II (minus the Floating Point Unit). Builds are available for Mac, Windows, Linux x64, and Linux ARM (for the Raspberry Pi and similar SBCs.) The Mini vMac website also provides access to quite a bit of useful software, some documentation and useful utilities.
Alternatively, there are a number of other Mac emulators, including: Basilisk II, SheepShaver (PPC), Qemu and PearPC. Basilisk II is designed to emulate machines of the same ilk as the venerable Macintosh Plus and Macintosh II-series, whose heart was a Motorola 68000-series CPU. For emulation purposes, such machines will typically run System 6 through 7.5.5. Meanwhile, SheepShaver is designed to emulate the more recent, but equally defunct, PowerPC-based Macintosh series, running the Mac OS 8 and 9 system software.
- A Macintosh ROM. You will need a Macintosh ROM, a small copyrighted file which was originally a tiny piece of silicon and plastic in an original Mac. The Internet Archive has a collection of such ROMs, as does The Macintosh Repository, otherwise, Google is your friend!
- System Software. You need a copy of the Macintosh system software. For Mini vMac, Basilisk II and other 68k emulators, anything from System 6 through System 7.5 will run nicely. For SheepShaver and other PowerPC emulators, anything from MacOS 8 through 9 should run nicely. You can find such software at MaxFixer, the Macintosh Repository, Macintosh Garden, and elsewhere. (System 7 was legally available from Apple's website until very recently. I suspect few people at Apple even know what it is at this point, its so old.)
- Old Software. Old applications, games, utilities and HyperCard stacks can be found on both Macintosh Garden and Macintosh Repository. You can also find software at The Vintage Mac Museum, on the InfoMac Archive, Low End Mac, Vintage Apple Mac, and a variety of other websites dedicated to the scene.
- Friendly Advice. The Emaculation website provides a wealth of advice, documentation and discussion around the topic of vintage Mac emulation.
There is a wealth of documentation now available, online, from the period. VintageApple.org has a long list of digitised old manuals and user guides. In the early days of personal computing, most documentation took the traditional 'dead-tree' form.