It’s slow, not practical in the slightest, and it takes an hour to boot up, but it’s also incredibly cool. Touch controls vaguely work and it technically tells time still, just in the itsy bitsy bottom right-hand corner of the screen.
Nick Lee posted a video and explanation on Medium describing the process and why he did it in the first place. Lee says he was born in the ’90s and his first computer was a $3,000 PC running Windows 95 that his family bought. Now, he’s able to fit that $3,000 technology into a computer on his wrist, even if it’s not all that effective.
“With a 520 MHz processor, 512 MB of RAM, and 8GB of internal storage, the Apple Watch packs a lot of computing horsepower into a very small package,” Lee writes in his post. “On paper, its processor alone is about twenty-five times faster than the average 386, and 512 MB was the size of a hard drive in the mid nineties, not memory. As a result, I was feeling confident that the Apple Watch had the ability to run one of the most revered desktop operating systems Redmond has ever produced.”
He also can’t really wear the watch. Lee explains that the Apple Watch screen really wants to turn off when it’s not in use and it takes a while to come out of sleep. So, Lee crafted a small motorized tube that attaches to the Apple Watch crown and continually turns it. That’s why photos of the watch have it tied up in wires.
Lee says he was able to rig the device to track a single finger, allowing him to tap the screen to move the mouse and open all those great folders.
Needless to say, Lee’s warranty on his watch is pretty shot.