It’s not too often that a piece of software is regarded as being “the best program ever written,” but Don Knuth believed that MacPaint was fitting for the title back in January 2004. While the claim is obviously open to debate, programmers everywhere can attest that studying the source code for MacPaint would be beneficial.

The consensus is that the software bundle was one of the most efficient software packages ever created because it was so cutting-edge that it required optimization to even run. It pushed the boundaries so far that it revealed bugs in the operating system, because it operated on the edge of available memory.

It took approximately twenty-four man years to create MacPaint.

It’s taken over five years, and a personal request to Steve Jobs to get the application donated to the Computer History Museum, but it’s finally happened. You can now download the source code and examine the assembly code, if that’s your kind of thing.

Article Via MacRumors