16-bit reminiscence

A few roads away from the hotel where I stayed in Paris was a tile based mural of  Sesame Street character Oscar the Grouch as he was represented in Eric Shapiro’s application which pimped the rubbish bin of early Macintoshs.

Oscar the Grouch

The mosiac brought memories of vintage computing flooding back. I had an Apple PowerBook 165 which I used in college and immediately after to apply for jobs. It had 16 shades of greyscale for the display and was a toddler in terms of multimedia capability. Oscar was one of the first changes that I made to this laptop in order to give it a more person feel.

The Oscar application became extremely popular, there was even anecdotal evidence of pre-school children dragging every document and application from a Mac into the trash can and empty it in order to hear Oscar sing.

Stephen Gilman’s reinvention of Oscar the Grouch is not as nearly slickly packaged as Shapiro’s original work and the low profile of Gilman’s work is probably the only thing protecting him from the business end of a DMCA court action.

2 Replies to “16-bit reminiscence”

  1. Yep — I loved the Oscar extension. The only problem that I recall was that the young children of friends would (if not watched closely) while away happy hours dragging important documents and folders to the trash then hitting the “empty trash” command.

    Neat.

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