That thing that Noms is doing

So, I’ve been using MacOS 8.6 as my daily OS since my laptop died … Christ three years ago now! Besides some issues with modern web browsing, I’m actually surprisingly productive.

One bad thing about Classic MacOS is that there are many, MANY design UI standards at work; System 6 style, System 7, OS 8, OS 9 (with transparency, ooOOoo) all competing together on the screen.

I’d had enough of that in 1999, and now it’s 2022 and like heck am I going to put up with it.

So I’m remaking every single icon in Classic MacOS to one consistent style. Just one.

So far I have made custom system icons for (almost) every Mac before the Return of Jobs, and when I get bored of that I stop and make an application or document icon.

I just got finished making the TV tuber icon. I am exceedingly pleased with it for a number of reasons, the most nerdy of which is that the icon is using Test Card F, a piece of broadcasting history, and there is enough detail to make it out :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: — the second thing I’m most happy about is that the 1-bit version has Test Card A (known as the BBC Eye), again with enough detail to be clear.

Cathode tubes are the best displays.

Here’s a pic of some of what’s finished :grin: Is it obvious I’m a pixel-art doodler?

What do y’all think? Nerdy and fun, or weird and compulsive? :laughing:


Classic MacOS icons were, generally a fun way to personalize your machine.

There were certainly abuses against good taste possible in that era even with the 32px square size. I’m sure there were ‘adult’ icon sets passed around, although my personal style was always slightly classier.

The IconFactory got their start in that era and I’m glad they’ve turned into a reputable resource for professional UI design. They started based on being the go-to for everything from folder icons textured to look like leather to icons based off various pop culture aspects.

And the OS (especially sometime around System 7 if I remember correctly) made it easy. Replacing icons was simple and fun.

I think it’s actually tougher to do in the current MacOS. I remember replacing a drive icon and it doesn’t alway ‘stick’ so wasn’t really worth it.

The MacOS Classic era had a lot of UI elements but I feel like they rarely clashed. It felt like an evolution.

There was an era of OS X where they tried to have icon styling be meaningful but I don’t think it really stuck.

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It’s amazing how much computing has lost its fun over the years. You used to be able to tinker, now you have a glass slab that phones home to auto-void your warranty if you plug in a third party charger :laughing:

Nothing impresses a teenage boy more than breasts so pixellated they’d pass the censor before the watershed!

That’s essentially what I’m doing now. Folders are horizontal, documents are vertical, applications have the diamond behind them, and hardware is all in my nice quasi-⅓-perspective chunky style, etc etc

It’s a lot of fun and while I get your point about the icon styles feeling like an evolution, I’m starting to get thrown by the odd SS6 style folder hiding amongst OS8 ones or trying to remember where something is by its shape only to be thwarted by having installed version n which has a different icon…


One of the things you could do on the Amiga that I don’t think any other OS did was you could make icons in different sizes. Same-sized icons became the standard after a while. Theoretically, there would have been enough resolution to make ones that wouldn’t pass the censor.


RISC OS (from Acorn, the “British Apple”) allowed two sizes; most things are 34x34 while drive icons can be 48x34.

The default hard drive icon being a blank box save for three vertical lines on the right…

hehehe. I can remember the days of dial-up when you downloaded a GIF and it came down slo-o-o-o-o-o-o-wly only for you to find out she have miff bewbs :rofl:

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You always hoped they’d been made with ImageReady so they’d download interlaced rather than single line at a time…

…I mean what? No, not me, the innocent Catholic schoolboy :innocent:

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hehehe, or when your transfer protocol does not support error correction, and all you see is a pretty face and the rest is garbled noise…

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How about when you had to take your buddy’s word for it and print it on the dot matrix to see?

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@CaffeinatedNoms as a classic MacOS aficionado myself, this is great! My particular penchant is System 7 but I do have an iMac G3 333mhz and a PowerBook Pismo (both running 9.2.2) that this project may suit…

Also: ( . Y . )

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I’m aiming it more at pre-candy Macs for the hardware icons (no curves, no weird pixel shading required haha), but you could always sub one in :smile:

I’m trying my best not to just make the MSOffice icons just a white letter on a coloured background but then why should I put in more effort than Microsoft? :stuck_out_tongue:

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A little from column A, a little from column B

As a former teenage boy I can confirm. :slight_smile:

I think a lot of this is because computers and tech in general have become so much more mainstream. A lot of folks really don’t care what goes on under the hood. They just want it to work. So companies cater to the lowest common denominator.