Bring iMessage to Mac

If you’ve invested in the Apple ecosystem, the joys of iMessage will likely light up your life. Your phone, desktop, and laptop sync all your messages. But what if your desktop is running Mac OS 9 or System 2? It’s here that [CamHenlin’s] MessagesForMacintosh is coming.

Unfortunately, it requires a more modern Mac to act as an access point to the larger iMessage network. The modern Mac implements an accessible GraphQL database. Then a serial cable connects your “retro daily driver” to a translation layer that converts serial commands to GraphQL commands. It can be something simple and network connected like an ESP32 or a program running on your Mac iMessage. [CamHenlin] has a second Mac mini in its demo, seen above.

[CamHenlin] leverages its library known as CoprocessorJS. It allows older machines to transfer complex workloads to more modern machines, allowing modern machines to act as a coprocessor. Getting a single binary to run on many different versions of Mac OS and system is tricky and there were a few tricks involved. Retro68 is a C++17 compiler which targets PowerPC and 68k architectures. Additionally, Nuklear Quickdraw is used to provide a graphical interface in a high-performance way.

It’s always a joy to see older hardware do new tricks, often with the help of a bit of modern hardware. Connecting your Mac to the Internet can be as easy as Pi.


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Steven L. Nielsen