Retro Mac Theme

It’s impossible to overstate the influence of Steve Jobs on technologists, particularly his passion for beautiful, usable products. We work harder and have higher standards because of the bar set by Apple’s experiences, and I don’t know what WordPress would look like today if not for the inspiration he gave all of us. As the shock at his premature loss has given way to a celebration of his life it’s been amazing to read all of the personal anecdotes of those lucky enough to have known him.

Yesterday one of the tributes I noticed was the website Boing Boing switched their theme to one reminiscent of the original Macintosh interface, one of the several times Jobs would make a ding in the universe through his work. It seemed fitting, and we wanted to make it available to all of you, so our theme team worked through the night and here it is:

Dress up your blog with retro, chunky-grade pixellated graphics and evoke some serious computer nostalgia. This theme is a whimsical homage to the days in black and white, celebrating the magic of Mac OS. It displays your menu items, year archives, and categories as folders and icons on the evoked desktop.

For all the memories it brings — and its throwback design — this theme has modern functionality under the hood. Create your own custom menu to replace the first set of icons in the sidebar, upload a custom header image to display below the blog title, or set a custom background. Also included are two footer widget areas and a full-width page template that drops the sidebar.

Originally created by Stuart Brown, Retro MacOS is now available in your dashboard. You can activate the theme there as usual, from Appearance → Themes, or directly from the Theme Showcase.

I want to leave you with two quotes:

We think the Mac will sell zillions, but we didn’t build the Mac for anybody else. We built it for ourselves. We were the group of people who were going to judge whether it was great or not. We weren’t going to go out and do market research. We just wanted to build the best thing we could build.

When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.

And finally:

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Do something great.

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  • Oct 7, 2011 @ 2:01 am
  • Themes


Comments are closed.

  1. Lance Willett

    We also have two other neat Apple-inspired themes available for blogs: Notepad: and Sapphire:

  2. pltprincess

    LOL … this retro theme really takes me back. I was the proud owner of one of those early Macintosh and almost everything since.

  3. Ma Sang Ji

    I prefer Notepad to Retro Mac theme.

  4. Michelle

    Rest in peace, Steven Jobs. You’ve been taken away from this world way too soon.

  5. Melanie Jongsma, Wordsmith

    Wow, those chunky graphics and old fonts actually brought a tear to my eyes! In a sense, it’s hard to believe the Mac has been a part of our lives long enough to inspire a retro theme, because each day is so fresh and fun. So it’s somewhat startling to see where it all began and realize how far Steve brought us.

  6. praheladprajapati

    Thanks for getting and giving a beautiful invention to the world.

  7. Sajib

    I never used an Apple product, I still miss Steve already.

  8. kensbackhome

    I’m not sure I would ever actually use this theme, but it was fun to take a trip in the way-back machine.

    Almost makes me want to pop in a 3.5″ diskette for old times’ sake – if I had a place to put it… ;-)

  9. NQB

    Thanks, Matt. Terrific post, and the quote from Steve’s Stanford commencement speech should be engraved in each of our minds.

  10. Rosedale Gardens

    For my gardening blog, I’ll keep Twenty Ten. Chunky just doesn’t go with flowers.

  11. trailsnet

    A fitting tribute to an incredible person. Steve Jobs truly changed to world… for the better.

  12. Dr. CaSo

    Cool, thanks, I’ll use it for a few days. :)

  13. afirmin

    This is a wonderful idea. Nice work! Legend. RIP Steve Jobs 1955 – 2011. Probably the only man who could go to heaven and improve things.

  14. Camilo Molfino

    Great! Love the idea, brings me back lots of 80’s good memories. :) Steve deserves it so much.

  15. Stephane Daury

    Stephane Daury reblogged this on tekArtist and commented:

    How could we not?

  16. phoxis

    this is a classy theme.

  17. The Soaring Eagle

    Steve did what he loved most, and died young. But the soul doesn’t die.

    If you find yourself in a job, or a relationship, that prevents you from doing or being your best, from leaving your mark, no matter big or small, then leave while you still can.

    The Soaring Eagle


    Steve gave following to THE WORLD:
    1) Employing thousands of iOS technical engineers.
    2) Entertaining millions of iOS users.

    We are fortunate that I am part of above both.

  19. Mike Petrowski

    What a flashback, that was a huge contrast, everyone else was looking at green screens.

  20. wildmanwrites

    Totally cool. Love it.

  21. itservicesny

    Sure, I missed Steve. You are a great man…

  22. hmmwendt

    Thanks for giving a beautiful invention to the world !!

  23. Pingback: Retro MacOS Theme Enabled « Raanan Bar-Cohen
  24. kap10bob

    a wonderful tribute fitting for a wonderful man… Steve Jobs.
    his 56 years of existence is worth over 1000 years.

  25. rachit8th

    It seems like that we have gone in evolution of technology. Its good to activate it……… some thing different. Peace to Steve

  26. J Besonia

    This man is inspiring. Thanks WP for the theme and thanks Steve for everything you made.

  27. meegan parkee

    I remembering playing games on that same computer at my cousin’s when I was 7 or 8 (their dad worked for Apple in Australia) and I thought it was THE coolest thing. I was lucky that by the time I became a graphic designer Steve Jobs was back making Macs.

  28. Brenda K

    I’m still trying to process it all. I have vivid memories of that ancient mac in the picture. SDSU (San Diego State University) where my dad worked for most of his professional career as a journalism professor and from where I graduated, got the macs as soon as they came out, and my dad had one in his office. It replaced the archaic manual typewriter that preceded it. Oddly prescient for a state university! RIP Steve Jobs – we miss you <3

  29. Luso Travel & Tours (@LusoTravelTours)

    A terrible loss for all of us – technology lovers …
    I still have my first computer: a Macintosh, from 1986!
    May God be with you, Steve!…
    Ana Miranda

  30. cherylboomerblog

    In the ’70’s and ’80’s, I thought computers were toys, like Pong. I thought I could never understand them, until I took a Mac class. Finally, doing stuff on it seems logical and possible. I feel today kind of like I did when John Lennon died–part of my youth is gone.

  31. Bosstiger

    hallo Lance Willett, the new mac inspired theme is good, but the Notepad theme is better, this is my opinion, sapphire is good too.

  32. alichakery

    Rest in Peace Steve , we will always remember you by your great products.

  33. nanbush

    What a perfect tribute! Thanks.

  34. Betsy Everett

    How amazing! A great theme. Yesterday when I heard the sad news of Steve Jobs’ death I got my old Macintosh Classic out of the attic – I bought it in the mid-80s – to photograph and put on my blog. I can still remember those pre-Windows days when little folders and documents that looked like real pieces of paper, and a waste bin icon, and a little smiley face on start-up on my brand new Apple Mac told me that the computer in front of me was my friend, not an enemy to be battled with. Steve Jobs said “Never trust a computer you can’t lift.” I would say “Never trust a computer you can’t love.” I loved my Apple Mac MO4020 even though a few cables and bits are now missing. When Windows came along a friend (a computer scientist) used to say: “Windows ’95, Apple ’84.” RIP Steve; you changed the world.

  35. hoppinharleybikergifts

    I never used an Apple product but I admired his imagination and determination to do something great.

  36. sadhuvedantmuni

    he was the man of revolutionary in the field of information technologies. we will remembered him .he is a unforgettable personalities of present era. his contributions are most valuable for man kind.

  37. Godric (@SheriffArea_9)

    I’m looking at my Iphone as I write, what a great piece of tech, so easy to use and more importantly it looks great. RIP Steve Jobs, a great man and a visionary.

  38. marjulo

    I remember a PBS documentary about new trends in companies that praised the attention evident in every Apple (as the computers were called in those days). The technicians who worked on the Apple signed their names inside the computer! Such personal investment in quality impressed me so much. I received a Macintosh as my own personal computer (to take back and forth to work if necessary) and keep on my teacher desk. It amazed me how much more planning I got done with a computer and network at my fingertips. I’ve never been without a Mac since! Thank you, Steve Jobs! RIP

  39. syaifullahiskandar

    May you rest in peace Steve.

  40. zee2025

    R.I.P. Steve Jobs.

  41. Intelligent Challenge

    Great tribute

  42. pinkunderbelly

    Matt, this is fantastic! I think Steve Jobs would approve of y’all staying up all night to create this in his honor. You have indeed done something great.

  43. mschristiner

    love the theme! and really enjoyed reading the quotes too :)

  44. Kathrine Roid

    *stares* Do you have any idea how many young teen bloggers are completely confused right now?

  45. kaderitohri

    I like this, I’ll try to use it in my free time, good job

  46. aRVee

    Another great innovation from another man of innovation, Matt… This is very tempting!

    My sincerest condolences to the families of Steve Jobs and Apple..

    Thanks Matt! :)

  47. myritingboard

    To do what we want to do, to follow our hearts. Sounding so simple yet so hard. We live in a world where hurtles are high, climbing and slipping falling off to the side. We yell and call out but it does us no good, they step over us or around us leaving us as they would.

    I am sorry your friend has passed, I didn’t know him or even his name. But he is plastered all over my laptop and Steve is his name.
    I know he will live forever through his themes and beautiful color.

  48. fusr2

    I love this clean & minimal … the clarity he bought to the use of technology so often wrapped in the mystique of the control freak computer druids.
    A great tribute .. and for one with a butterfly mind it has made me focus on my content rather than a glossy superficial appearance. I never met the man but he changed my life in so many ways and made me a better designer. I feel quite humbled that I am touched by his genius every moment of the day in the palm of my hand … and yes in heaven too I’m pretty certain he will do a lot to improve the place … if not, just the packaging of the concept. :)

  49. Brian James Freeman

    I always loved this Think Different ad:

  50. Nicole Nahra

    Thank you, Matt & team. Both very thoughtful and extravagant an offering.

  51. simonnurse

    Lovely theme. Fascinating person. Thanks for sharing.

  52. chiibeji

    RIP to the wonderful smart Steve.

  53. Sudarshana Bhattacharya
  54. La Félix

    I love it! It took me back to the first essay I wrote. :D

  55. wordsfallfrommyeyes

    The style looks very nostalgic indeed. I loved the quotes, most especially no. 2. I’ve really lived by my heart, I can definitely say.

  56. lerouxenterprises

    We are all saddened by his passing, and he will be remembered well into the future.

  57. Blogger

    This is a good retro theme!

  58. helenscribe

    Brought it all back! The excitement, the delight, the playful spirit. Thank you for replaying the nostalgia.

  59. Sarah Doyle

    I wrote my thesis on a Mac exactly like the one pictured. I can’t imagine being happy using such a small screen today! And so I am reminded to set my standards high. Sorry he had to go so soon. He certainly seems to have kept going up until the end. My sympathy to his wife and family.

  60. thethethemary

    It would be a great theme for National Novel Writing Month. I love it. Great job thinking differently. : )

  61. warrenlevine

    Great job on this, WP peeps. As usual. Don’t know quite where to put it to use yet, but kudos just the same. =)

  62. Tyler Smith

    Wonderful theme, and wonderful article!

  63. Raise Expectations

    Wow. Very retro and very first, 60’s computer style. Reminds me of when John Cleese did those commercials for Compaq.

  64. mthoffman

    This is awesome!

  65. Betsy Everett

    Sorry – I just had to comment again to say THANKS so much for this brilliant theme. I love it.

  66. TheChronicR

    I really like this theme. Although I won’t be using it for my own site, I still find it very respectable that WordPress is paying such a homage to such a great individual. May his soul rest in peace.

  67. stormz328

    Cute, but I won’t change my theme from what I have now. But it does look good.

  68. Charles The Undecided

    I’ve got mine.

  69. thisblindman

    *tips hat off to one of the greatest human being of our time*

    Rest in peace, Steve.

  70. J is for journaling

    Thank you theme team, for making this available.
    Thank you Steve Jobs, for all that you did.

    “You’ve got to find what you love … Don’t settle.”
    -also from Stanford Commencement

  71. tenbrokenbullets

    Love it, and such a wonderful flashback.

  72. HH

    Thank you Mr. Steve Jobs from the fountain of our hearts, and thank you Matt for the quotes.

  73. amybrantphoto

    Nice theme. Good tribute to Mr Jobs.

  74. corneliamladenova

    Awesome and stylish :)

  75. parrotheadrasmus

    Heh heh… this is awesome! Great way to remember Steve.

  76. whiskeykick

    Like the retro! Brings back memories!

  77. Kale

    It’s really sad and tragic, isn’t it, Jobs leaving already?

  78. jessiethought

    Wow! Everything looks old!

  79. max b

    I was not alive when computers looked like this, but it is very cool to see how far we have come in a short time. Steve Jobs was an innovator that changed how the world works and made an everlasting impact on us.

  80. Gary Lesperance

    Ah-h-h, yes. What wonderful memories. In 1985 I co-authored a book that was created entirely on an original Mac. It was called “Computers Simplified & Illustrated”. We only sold a few hundred copies, but had a great time creating it!

  81. bakuman30angpao

    This is awesome!

  82. gerard5819

    That was a nice send off. The quotes have a lot of meaning we all agreed with. The only difference, he was not afraid to live what he said. In the end who better to summed up this extraordinary man, than himself.

  83. ristinw

    Thank you for your post and inspiration! It lights up my day! :D

  84. holdeman

    Everyone in our office had one of the original Apple computer’s. What fun it was to be a part of the begining. In the end, I felt I had lost a son when this incredible man died. He was like one of the family. I admired him so! It amazes me that I could feel this way about the owner of one of the largest companies in the US.

  85. Mormon Soprano

    I especially loved the quotes :) Thanks for a trip down memory lane. Three cheers for Steve Jobs! I like to imagine he’s working hard on redesigning heaven’s operating system now. The angels have been saving up lots of projects for him over the years. The pearly gates will finally be automated with wing recognition, and he finally has an unlimited budget and no overhead!

  86. yeah778

    You are awesome… thank you for creating this theme… we’re remembering to Steve Jobs…♥ Thank You ♥

  87. rickkellner

    Great Blog, Really took me back! I remember using one of those computers! RIP S.J.

  88. sonnymoon42

    Great idea!

  89. Methew Symonds

    Steve……… never be forgettable. We always admire and remember you. By the way Retro is really a nice theme and I’ve been thinking to use it. Thanks mate :)

  90. Senhor Ron

    If there were a contest ‘The Ugliest WordPress Theme Ever’ this theme would be a sure winner…

  91. idrewmylife

    Love this theme! It has a really nice feel it it, especially with the Steve Jobs (may he rest in peace) header on top. Great job.


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