Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 12th Feb 2006 21:27 UTC
Apple A few weeks ago, I did something crazy and shelled out 50 Euros for a G3 iMac. It was a 333Mhz G3 iMac with 96MB of RAM. It came with a copy of MacOS 9-- and that was what I bought it for. I wanted to experience first hand what OS9 was like. I did not expect I'd use the machine much. However, I was in for a rather pleasant surprise. Note: Read more on the meta blog about the new Sunday eve column!
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RE
by Kroc on Sun 12th Feb 2006 22:06 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

Also, OS9 is no longer supported on Macintels so it is a dying breed. It's good to see that it is still very usable even today.

Reply Score: 2

RE: os9 + macintels
by macisaac on Sun 12th Feb 2006 22:20 UTC in reply to "RE"
macisaac Member since:
2005-08-28

that's actually one of the things about the macintels that would turn me away from them. there's a good deal of older (and not so old) software, particularly kid's software, that only runs in classic mode. osx-only would be a lot less useful to me.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: os9 + macintels
by Kroc on Sun 12th Feb 2006 22:49 UTC in reply to "RE: os9 + macintels"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

That only creates a new market. First person to make a Macintel OS9 emulator has themselves their own market.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: os9 + macintels
by nimble on Sun 12th Feb 2006 23:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: os9 + macintels"
nimble Member since:
2005-07-06

First person to make a Macintel OS9 emulator has themselves their own market.

PearPC? It works on PPC-OSX as well as x86-Linux, so getting it to run on x86-OSX shouldn't be too difficult.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: os9 + macintels
by Arkus on Mon 13th Feb 2006 00:14 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: os9 + macintels"
Arkus Member since:
2005-07-06

PearPC isn't gonna cut it unless someone has bothered to try and get OS9 to run in it. Last I heard is that it only runs OSX still (which is was specifically designed to do).

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: os9 + macintels
by DeadFishMan on Mon 13th Feb 2006 03:51 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: os9 + macintels"
DeadFishMan Member since:
2006-01-09

PearPC isn't gonna cut it unless someone has bothered to try and get OS9 to run in it. Last I heard is that it only runs OSX still (which is was specifically designed to do).

Hmmmm... Isn´t PearPC a PowerPC emulator? I believe that people have been using it to emulate Linux on PPC. The fact that we can run OSX PPC edition on it is a nice bonus, I guess... :-P

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: os9 + macintels
by re_re on Mon 13th Feb 2006 20:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: os9 + macintels"
re_re Member since:
2005-07-06

there is always QEMU, it needs some work, but ppc is well on its way to being supported, all they would have to do is compile it to run on OSX. (which they may already do, i'm not sure)

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: os9 + macintels
by dhazeghi on Tue 14th Feb 2006 01:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: os9 + macintels"
dhazeghi Member since:
2005-11-18

@nimble:

SheepShaver's the only game in town for now, and I suspect quite for quite some time.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: os9 + macintels
by locohijo on Mon 13th Feb 2006 12:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: os9 + macintels"
locohijo Member since:
2006-01-03
RE[4]: os9 + macintels
by Sigfrodi on Mon 13th Feb 2006 15:37 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: os9 + macintels"
Sigfrodi Member since:
2005-07-06

BasiliskII cannot emulate PowerPC so you cannot use OS9 with it. However, it is a great to emulate a 68k Mac with OS8! ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: os9 + macintels
by locohijo on Mon 13th Feb 2006 23:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: os9 + macintels"
locohijo Member since:
2006-01-03

Ah yes. Was thinking of Classic environment ;-)

Anyhow, these two projects are currently in a very active status, and will no doubt be the first to bring classic on Mactels.

Reply Score: 1

E-mail client
by Riba on Sun 12th Feb 2006 22:11 UTC
Riba
Member since:
2006-02-12

I am quite suprised that you found Outlook Express on OS9 a very satisfying email client - not because it isn't good, but because I'm pretty sure that one of the OS9 apps that Mac users miss the most is the legendary Claris Emailer. I still consider it the best and most elegant email client ever, although I ahve to admit that it is fading in my memory. ;)
In any case try to find a copy and make sure you give it a go!
I still enjoy working in OS 9 just to remind me how different it was from everything else. I just wished for memory protection...

Reply Score: 4

b/w g3
by macisaac on Sun 12th Feb 2006 22:18 UTC
macisaac
Member since:
2005-08-28

I had tried much the same thing, except mine had a ton of ram added to it (512 I think). Ran it for a while, but the dog slowness of the thing, particularly if you try to do more than one thing at a time, got to be a rather much. Plus, I found it would just lock up on a number of occasions. I ended up not long ago putting debian on it instead, and while not lightning fast by any means, is much more usable.

I realize it's an old system of course, but I don't recall windows 98 on my old k6 being that slow...

Reply Score: 2

Mac OS X on iMac G3/233
by amit on Mon 13th Feb 2006 21:58 UTC in reply to "b/w g3"
amit Member since:
2006-02-13

I set up Mac OS X 10.3.9 Panther on my old iMac G3 233 160MB ram and gave it to my Dad. This baby just keeps on getting better, each release of Mac OS X makes this thing prettier.

Although it is a bit slow when running multiple apps but just for simple browsing and email it is perfect. There are no viruses or spyware so my dad has no complaints.

Reply Score: 1

other programs
by Mellin on Sun 12th Feb 2006 22:21 UTC
Mellin
Member since:
2005-07-06

BBEdit
Carracho
DiskWarrior®
PlusOptimizer™
DivX Doctor II
DragThing
Eudora
File Buddy™
Goliath
Hard Disk Toolkit™
iCab
icWord
iTunes
JustOgg
mAC3dec
MacMPEG2Decoder
Mactracker
MT-NewsWatcher
NetFinder
SoundApp PPC
Toast Titanium
WhatRoute(Classic)
Windows Media Player 7
xRes™ 2.0 S.E.
yEnc TZ Classic

Reply Score: 3

os 9
by sp29 on Sun 12th Feb 2006 22:23 UTC
sp29
Member since:
2006-01-04

I went from Win 98 to OS 9 when I switched to my first mac. I still miss using OS 9.

Reply Score: 1

Proggies
by Sykil on Sun 12th Feb 2006 22:39 UTC
Sykil
Member since:
2005-07-11

I know a few people who still use OS 9. Mostly they use Netscape, Eudora for mail (version 6.1 supports OS 9), and NetFinder for FTP.

Reply Score: 2

Time for vMac ;-)
by mini-me on Sun 12th Feb 2006 22:54 UTC
mini-me
Member since:
2005-07-06

I have System 6.0.8, 7.0, 7.5 and 8.0 on vMac - brings me back to the days of my first mac! :-)

Now if only I could run 9.2.2

Reply Score: 1

Not for me…
by elmimmo on Sun 12th Feb 2006 22:57 UTC
elmimmo
Member since:
2005-09-17

I am sold on OS X. I could not stand OS 9 one bit. Sure it did have some neat things, such as cool system icons (and damn easy to use custom ones), Extensions Manager, and easy to install and uninstall apps.

But OS 9, on all machines I have tried it on (quite a few), was so keen on crashing with the fatal bomb (equivalent ot Blue Screen of Death, i.e. total crash) with no need at all of any user input. You could boot the computer, leave it still for ten minutes and still have the bomb just because. If one app crashed, you had 95% of possibilities of it taking the system down with it, and the "Force quit" dialog was a complete joke, and only worked 1% of the times.

And what about memory management. What an utter crap! Say you had 512MB of RAM, 90% of it unused. You had to tell the f--king apps how much they were allowed to use, and so you found yourself many times with loads of unused RAM, and the stupid apps telling you they did not have enough of it (because their default behaviour did not allowed them to take more). In order to be able to give them more you had to quit the app!

Take the opposite case: you tell one app to be able to use 400 MB of RAM, although it is only using 30. The rest of the system cannot access all that wasted RAM. The swap file's size was fixed, wether you had plenty of hdd space or not, and if you wanted to change the fixed size (which you wanted to when your apps started to complain about not having enough RAM), you had to reboot; probably not the best moment to do so. Calling that "memory *management*" was a bad joke.

OS 9, although damn pretty and fast, was a complete pile of shit in a supposed-to-be productive environment, IMHO.

Edited 2006-02-12 22:59

Reply Score: 4

RE: Not for me…
by Tom K on Mon 13th Feb 2006 02:47 UTC in reply to "Not for me…"
Tom K Member since:
2005-07-06

And I tried to tell people this back in the OS 9 days, but the Mac zealots screamed that OS 9 was more stable and used memory better than any version of Windows anyway.

Ahh, the about face. They were saying the same thing about PPC vs. x86 up until recently as well. :-)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Not for me…
by renox on Mon 13th Feb 2006 07:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Not for me…"
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

Well no need to be a zealot to ignore contradiction: Windows or Linux users tend to do it also.

I remember having seen (in the Linux word but I expect Windows to be the same):
- hey you don't have feature XXX
- who cares? Feature XXX is stupid, etc.
And some times later, everyone is "Hey someone created feature XXX, cool!"

Windows is the same about security for example: Windows is only insecure because it has the highest number of users.
Ignoring that they are basically forced to run with admin rights.. (I've had to use restricted rights and it's painful)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Not for me…
by TomB7 on Mon 13th Feb 2006 18:18 UTC in reply to "Not for me…"
TomB7 Member since:
2006-01-03

In the days of OS 9 I GREATLY preferred it to Win2000, which I was using at work. But OSX is so far beyond "Classic" I've never looked back. I even have a certain feeling of "freshness" because my fairly new "Mini" is Classic-free. The only thing I don't like about OS X is that certain aspects of the UI are more Windows-like. Specifically, Finder windows these days are too busy, with al that useless clutter up the left side.

By the way: I thought 9 was plenty stable if your were VERY careful about only using well-behaved apps. I agree that the multi-tasking capability was fairly limited.

Reply Score: 1

iTunes on OS 9 rules!
by stew on Sun 12th Feb 2006 23:01 UTC
stew
Member since:
2005-07-06

There's one feature that iTunes on OS 9 gets from the OS that OS X doesn't provide for newer iTunes: It knows disks by names.

Scenario:
I burn my mp3 collection to a series of CDs/DVDs.
Then I add every disc to my iTunes collection, one by one, without copying it to the iTunes library (there's an option in the prefs).
Then I double-click a random file in the iTunes Library.

Result on OS 9:
iTunes asks me to insert the disc that contains the mp3 I selected, telling me the name of the disc.

Result on OS X:
iTunes tells me that it couldn't find the file and asks me if it should remove it from the library.

Reason:
OS 9 knows what a disc is, that it's not a folder, knows that discs can be removed from the computer, and remembers them by name.
OS X, being everything-is-a -file-even-if-it-isn't-UNIX has no idea whether the file iTunes asks for was in a folder, on a CD, a network drive or a keyboard (it would even accept /dev/null).

Reply Score: 3

An alternative
by JLF65 on Sun 12th Feb 2006 23:10 UTC
JLF65
Member since:
2005-07-06

Those old G3 iMacs are nice, but rather than OS9, try a nice new modern linux install. Ubuntu or Fedora Core run rather nice on old G3 iMacs. I use FC4 on mine. You'll find yourself happier with the selection of available software, and you have all the modern features OS9 lacks.

Reply Score: 2

RE: An alternative
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 12th Feb 2006 23:18 UTC in reply to "An alternative"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Those old G3 iMacs are nice, but rather than OS9, try a nice new modern linux install. Ubuntu or Fedora Core run rather nice on old G3 iMacs. I use FC4 on mine. You'll find yourself happier with the selection of available software, and you have all the modern features OS9 lacks.

Yeah sure, run a modern Linux distribution on a 333Mhz G3 with 96MB of RAM... And all the crap that comes with managing a Linux install on anything else than an x86 machine.

Linux ain't the answer for everything-- esp. since there is no problem to solve in the first place. Did you read the column? This machine is mostly used as an emailer, I do not NEED 'modern' stuff.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: An alternative
by bornagainenguin on Sun 12th Feb 2006 23:55 UTC in reply to "RE: An alternative"
bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

I'm not one to push Linux on anyone who doesn't want it, however in his defense I will say that you were asking around for a way to get Firefox.. This is one way...

That said I'm happy to read how smooth your experience with MacOS 9 has been. It gives me hope that I'll still be able to use the older hardware with its recommended OS for my parents once their Win98SE install dies again. Although to be honest I may just spring for something more recent if the price is right...

--bornagainpenguin (who has been eyeing the Xandros and Linspire as well as the Ubuntu Linux OSes as possible replacements on my parent's box, with the downside being the need to ensure their modem works with Linux..)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: An alternative
by kameron on Mon 13th Feb 2006 00:26 UTC in reply to "RE: An alternative"
kameron Member since:
2006-02-13

I run linux on a 250mhz G3. If you use a lean window manager it runs much better than OS9. Like 'elmimmo' said, the bomb problem always sucked -- it just wasn't a stable operating system. Managing linux on something other than an x86 machine is simple, I don't see a problem. This way you also get recent packages. He could've used gaim or amsn, any number of e-mail clients, and firefox without a problem. You may not 'need' modern stuff, but it sure is nicer, IMO.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: An alternative
by wazoox on Mon 13th Feb 2006 09:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: An alternative"
wazoox Member since:
2005-07-14

I just installed a beige G3 running mac OS 9.2 at grandma's yesterday and it works just fine! It never crashed on me (except when I tried to start a game which is known to work only on M68k macs) and is still a fine machine... very usable.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: An alternative
by pingswept on Mon 13th Feb 2006 03:50 UTC in reply to "RE: An alternative"
pingswept Member since:
2006-02-13

Hi Thom,

I've been installing Xubuntu on old iMacs, and I'd definitely characterize it as a "pleasant surprise." Xubuntu is a version of Ubuntu that uses the XFCE desktop-- like a fast version of GNOME with fewer features. We've been running Xubuntu next to OS 9 in our computer lab, and Xubuntu has come out the winner.

I notice that you say you don't need modern stuff. I think that's reasonable, but I also haven't found a browser for OS 9 that doesn't crash hard on an hourly basis. The best I've found is Netscape 7.0, and that locks hard on Gmail is less than 30 seconds.

Anyway, enjoy the OS 9.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: An alternative
by thmcmahon on Mon 13th Feb 2006 06:39 UTC in reply to "RE: An alternative"
thmcmahon Member since:
2006-01-10

I don't think that he was neccesarily responding to your "problem" (or lack thereof), but saying that an old iMac might be better used with linux, than OS9. Sure OS 9 seems nice through the rose tinted glasses of nostalgia, but see the post on memory management. Some parts of OS 9 truly sucked.

I am typing this on an iMac G3 400 Mhz (admittedly with 350 mb RAM) running Ubuntu Breezy. It is really nice, sure it's too slow for a few things and has no 3d acceleration. But for browsing/email/word processing/music, it's a great little machine.

So I think your response was possibly a little harsh seeing as I think the original poster was just trying to give some good advice.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: An alternative
by cato_minor on Mon 13th Feb 2006 23:13 UTC in reply to "RE: An alternative"
cato_minor Member since:
2006-02-13

I run GNU/Linux on much older machines. Once I helped to set it up on a kitchen-cooler-sized Apple Network Server. But rather than flaming about the operating system, I'd like to point out that you can put WindowMaker/GNUstep on it and feel like at a NeXT again :-)

No modern software, ok, but if you want an emailer, I'd expect you to want a Bayesian spam filter and security updates for your program, too.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: An alternative
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 13th Feb 2006 23:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: An alternative"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

No modern software, ok, but if you want an emailer, I'd expect you to want a Bayesian spam filter and security updates for your program, too.

As if someone will go through the trouble of creating a virus or something similar to infect my OS9 machine. And my spam is all filtered at my ISP's, using about 25 different filters. They are nicely tagged with a {SPAM!} prefix and redirected on all my machines to /dev/null. Metaphoricaly speaking.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: An alternative
by dhazeghi on Tue 14th Feb 2006 01:31 UTC in reply to "RE: An alternative"
dhazeghi Member since:
2005-11-18

I agree with Thom on this one, and also more generally.

When it comes to Linux, particularly non-x86, you need to have a pretty fast, RAM-supplied machine, because there's so much stuff that has to be built (or rebuilt), not to mention needing to play around with lots of different versions of various packages to get things working. Much as I like Linux, rebuilding X on 600MHZ PowerBook is just no fun at all, especially once the fan kicks in. And all that just so that I don't get screen corruption each time I exit X.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: An alternative
by JLF65 on Tue 14th Feb 2006 02:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: An alternative"
JLF65 Member since:
2005-07-06

When it comes to Linux, particularly non-x86, you need to have a pretty fast, RAM-supplied machine, because there's so much stuff that has to be built (or rebuilt), not to mention needing to play around with lots of different versions of various packages to get things working.

Incorrect. Many linux distros don't do any building at all. Both Fedora Core and Ubuntu don't do any building - you just install from binary repositories. These same repositories make it considerably easier to install whatever you need to run.

I run a plain FULL install of Fedora Core 4 using the Gnome DE on a 128MB 450MHz iMac G3. It runs at a speed similar to OS 9.2, and faster than OS X 10.3.9 (also installed in a separate partition on the same machine).

I'm not saying everyone should be running linux on older iMacs, but it you need newer software like the latest Firefox or Thunderbird or many other packages, don't be scared to try linux. It might just surprise you.

By the way, OS 9.0.4 was the last version of MacOS Classic that I'd reccomend. Changes were made to later versions to allow them to run inside of OSX which made them run slower. 8.6 was the fastest version of Classic OS. If you REALLY need the best speed from your old PowerMac/iMac, try to get 8.6.

Reply Score: 1

RE: An alternative
by Ronald Vos on Mon 13th Feb 2006 01:53 UTC in reply to "An alternative"
Ronald Vos Member since:
2005-07-06

What's even MORE fun is getting OS X to run on oldworld Macs ;)
(I got a Powermac 7600/120)

Although with just 2.5 GB allotted to it, it can be a bit painfull, since it doesn't even want to update itself.

Maybe one day I should write an article about multibooting Macs.. ;)

Reply Score: 2

Agree
by zizban on Sun 12th Feb 2006 23:42 UTC
zizban
Member since:
2005-07-06

OS 9 on older Macs (G3s) simply flies. I use FrameMaker on my iBook G3/233 and its very pleasant and easy to use. I tried Linux on it but it didn't do half od what OS 9 on the same hardware.

Reply Score: 2

The new Apple
by pauls101 on Mon 13th Feb 2006 00:35 UTC
pauls101
Member since:
2005-07-07

I was one of the guys chanting "Emperor's new clothes" when OSX first came out (I'd doing it louder about XCode / x86 nowadays, but I've pretty much stopped developing for Mac anyway.) I moved fulltime to OSX when it first became usable (10.2.8) and I do enjoy using it, but more for the software available (particularly unix utilities; I don't use any IM, and iLife very rarely) than the advertised reasons.

I have Windows at work Linux at home: OSX is overwhelmingly better in pretty much every area for daily use. I really can't say there's any way in which I prefer it to OS9, though:
- It took a dual G5 to finally match the speed (in most areas) of an 800Mhz Powerbook running OS9;
- I generally still prefer the OS9 interface, especially the Finder, and most of the few good OSX changes can be added to OS9 with system extensions (a fair number of which I used to write);
- I've never had a problem with OS9 stability: e.g., writing software on OS9 means more reboots, but CodeWarrior's debugger is so much slower on OSX that I found I could work faster overall on an OS9 machine. I always used to do as much Carbon development as possible on OS9 and then test on OSX for that reason.

OSX is not just a new OS: it's a completely new attitude at Apple. It's good for stockholders (I am one) but the fun aspect is just not there any more. The machine I used to love and evangelize is now the one I prefer to use for practical reasons, made by a company I don't really feel good about. Other than product quality (which I willingly pay extra for) why are they better than Dell other than not being stuck with Windows?

Reply Score: 2

OS 9 is cool
by Fuji257 on Mon 13th Feb 2006 00:46 UTC
Fuji257
Member since:
2006-01-24

I have an old G3 mac I use it on too.

I found OS 9 to be VERY stable if you simply turn off virtual memory. Of course some apps require it, but I just always avoided those ;-) then with VM off and a buttload of real memory, even multitasking ain't that bad (and it boots a lot quicker).

Hell, if it had a more modern browser and could use a newer version of Quicktime, I'd use it A LOT more.

Reply Score: 3

email
by AdamW on Mon 13th Feb 2006 01:30 UTC
AdamW
Member since:
2005-07-06

Thom, why not run an IMAP mailserver (courier, whatever) on one of your machines, do all your filtering with procmail, then just use your favourite mail client's IMAP mode? That way you don't have to keep re-setting everything up every time you use a different machine for email. My desktop fetches my email from various accounts, filters it through procmail, then servers it out via courier-imap and the squirrelmail webmail system - that way I can access my nicely filtered email with a full mail client from any machine in the house, and via a simple web interface from anything with an internet connection and a web browser.

Reply Score: 4

Dedication
by hraq on Mon 13th Feb 2006 02:08 UTC
hraq
Member since:
2005-07-06

Alot of old machines out there can do pretty good job if we dedicate it to limited jobs (1 or 2). You can make such machines for internet browsing, or documents reading or folder sharing or other simple jobs. So don't trash such machines, and use it to the last drop.

Reply Score: 1

Something I miss
by zephc on Mon 13th Feb 2006 02:21 UTC
zephc
Member since:
2005-07-06

I liked the OS9 interface, and I liked it even more in Rhapsody, especially when the added tear-off menus - an oft-used menu item which had no command-key equivalent, was just a click away. OS X Cocoa menu objects are just Carbon front-ends now (used because of other more robust features), and I doubt we will ever see them again. (here's a good screenshot: http://graphics.stepwise.com/StepwiseGraphics/DR2SneakPeek/admin.jp... )

Reply Score: 4

RE: Something I miss
by Tuishimi on Mon 13th Feb 2006 03:01 UTC in reply to "Something I miss"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

Kudos for the screenshot. Beautiful stuff. Really wish NeXTSTEP/OpenSTEP survived as OS X in that form.

Ah well.

I remember OS 8 and 9 being quite zippy on the old 333mhz machines (someone above mentioned they remembered it being slow) and rarely had crashes. But I used it mostly for surfing and email only. I remember my bondi blue iMac fondly. We still have a "snow" iMac. My daughter (2 yr old) uses it. It is running OS X 10.4 very nicely, or at least nicely enough for her.

My wife and I have iMac G5's, and my son is the black sheep of the family with an IBM NetVista. My wife wants me to get him a mac as well because of the "child mode" accounts for kids in OS X. You have very good control over what apps they can see, and how they access them. I am not sure yet, he seems to be doing well enough with GNOME/Edubuntu. But it could be just the excuse I was looking for to pick up a core duo. ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Something I miss
by helf on Mon 13th Feb 2006 16:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Something I miss"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

I run osx server 1.0 on a 8500/120 .. it runs pretty well actually. i have rhapsody dr 2. just havent installed it on anything yet. ;)

I also have a NeXTStation turbo running nextstep 3.3 ;) one of my all time favorite OSes..

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Something I miss
by Tuishimi on Mon 13th Feb 2006 16:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Something I miss"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

Nice! So many good OS's lost in time because the people who created them can't run a business. ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Something I miss
by RenatoRam on Mon 13th Feb 2006 13:27 UTC in reply to "Something I miss"
RenatoRam Member since:
2005-11-14

Hey, that's NextSTEP 1:1!

Just use OpenSTEP! :-)

Reply Score: 1

Dave_K
Member since:
2005-11-16

Mac OS X is a great OS, but OS 9 was very fast on limited hardware and in a lot of ways the UI was more refined and elegant than anything around today. It's just a shame that the underlying OS was so primitive and unreliable. I'd have been very happy with classic Mac OS if they could have made it more stable and capable of better multitasking, but I can understand why switching to a UNIX based OS with a new UI was the best option for Apple at the time.

I think older computers like that are capable of a lot more than people give them credit for today. Don't forget that people were doing high end professional DTP and graphics even on the old 68K Macs that are far, far slower than a G3. With mature software (i.e. not beta tests of web browsers, or bug ridden games and multimedia apps) it was quite stable. I don't remember many crashes when running mature apps like Photoshop and QuarkExpress on Mac OS 8/9, and I found 604/G3 harware perfectly usable for very complex work.

Reply Score: 4

My first
by ValiantSoul on Mon 13th Feb 2006 02:57 UTC
ValiantSoul
Member since:
2005-07-20

My first OS 9 Mac was a 400MHz G4 iMac. Although I can say I do miss using OS 9 (which is saying a lot more than I can say about any Windows system), OS X is just better.

Reply Score: 1

Cute, but
by marcushe on Mon 13th Feb 2006 03:50 UTC
marcushe
Member since:
2005-09-30

Cute story, but I don't know how he's web browsing happily. IE for OS 9 can't render anything now without freezing the machine for seconds at a time. Netscape Communicator 4.8 is also unstable with rendering problems. The now 3-year old Mozilla build renders correctly, but unexpectadly quits every 5 minutes. Not to mention all these browsers take 2 minutes to render a page, if it does. Good use for e-mail though, I guess.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Cute, but
by TomB7 on Mon 13th Feb 2006 18:22 UTC in reply to "Cute, but"
TomB7 Member since:
2006-01-03

I think there were some excellent Mozilla builds for 9, if I remember correctly. Stable and fast.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Cute, but
by elmimmo on Tue 14th Feb 2006 13:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Cute, but"
elmimmo Member since:
2005-09-17

I think there were some excellent Mozilla builds for 9, if I remember correctly. Stable and fast.

Fast? Mozilla 1.2.1, the last build for OS 9 was a mandatory to have app, just because the next browser any decent at rendering web pages was Internet Explorer (which was heaven at that compared to its main competitor, Netscape 4, which should have never existed).

However, no one in their right mind would choose Mozilla over IE on their daily browsing basis. IE was fast, and considering the alternatives, quite standards compliant. Mozilla beat it on the latter, but crawled like shit compared to whatever other OS 9 app you can think of.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Cute, but
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 14th Feb 2006 16:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Cute, but"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Don't talk nonsense. I'm running Mozilla 1.3.1 on my iMac G3, and it NEVER has crashed. Page loading is more than fast enough. Only first boot is slow, as I said in the article.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Cute, but
by elmimmo on Wed 15th Feb 2006 20:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Cute, but"
elmimmo Member since:
2005-09-17

That must be a typo. Mozilla 1.3.1, AFAIK, did not exist (publicly at least) for Mac OS 9.

Slow is a subjective term. However you put it, though, IE flied compared to Mozilla 1.2.1, the last build I knew for OS9, and considering the alternatives by the time, the former was a fairly good browser. If you got used to its speed, switching to Mozilla was simply unbearable (note: wether or not its rendering speed was faster than IE's did not really matter if you did not have a powerful enough machine for Mozilla, being the resource hog it was, to feel at ease, and an iMac G3 333MHz with 96 MB of RAM surely was not).

BTW, I am not sure that yours is a reply to my message. I did not state that Mozilla crashed (I could not know, since, as I said, could not stand it feeling like a resource hog and did not use it very often).

Edited 2006-02-15 20:47

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Cute, but
by JLF65 on Wed 15th Feb 2006 22:58 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Cute, but"
JLF65 Member since:
2005-07-06

1.3.1 was not official - you get it from the Unofficial Mozilla for MacOS web page here:

http://www.t3.rim.or.jp/~harunaga/mozilla-macos9/

Reply Score: 1

Classic Macs
by Zoidberg on Mon 13th Feb 2006 03:51 UTC
Zoidberg
Member since:
2006-02-11

I bought a beige G3 desktop on eBay last year and upgraded it to 512MB of RAM and a G4 processor. I'm running OS 9.2.2 and it's very fast in my opinion. It has the personality card installed with all the audio/video inputs and outputs so I'm using it as an entertainment center. I can play DVD's and music but more importantly emulators for all my favorite old consoles like the NES. They are still nice little machines and I much prefer the classic Mac OS interface to the candy-a** OSX interface.

Reply Score: 1

I miss classic Mac OS
by CharAznable on Mon 13th Feb 2006 04:01 UTC
CharAznable
Member since:
2005-07-06

I miss the simplicity of it. It seemed that you could fully understand your directory tree and the files in it and that you could randomly choose any file from your filesystem and you would know exactly what it was for. As a matter of fact, the directory tree was so simple that spatial browsing made perfect sense, since you weren't really nesting more than three levels deep. I miss that.

Reply Score: 2

Running Classic on Mac OS X Intel
by PowerMacX on Mon 13th Feb 2006 04:20 UTC
PowerMacX
Member since:
2005-11-06

I haven't tried it (don't have an Intel Mac nor any personal interest in running Classic), but this may be useful for people interested in OS 9:

http://www.gibix.net/dokuwiki/en:projects:sheepshaver

Edited 2006-02-13 04:24

Reply Score: 2

Nostalgy aside
by Pliep on Mon 13th Feb 2006 07:01 UTC
Pliep
Member since:
2006-02-05

I can understand that a lot of people think "back to the old days" and remember OS9 with a smile for the sake of nostalgy.

On the other hand I think OS X is much much better, more stable and easier to use in every respect. I would never recommend using OS9 to anyone, either a new switcher or a mac user.

OS9 is last century, it's like recommending Win 95. Mac OS X runs fine on any iMac G3 with more than 256 MB RAM. OS 9 is dead, non-supported and NOT recommendible for anything other than OS freaks.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Nostalgy aside
by Kroc on Mon 13th Feb 2006 08:32 UTC in reply to "Nostalgy aside"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Did you read the article at all?
That was a rhetoric question if you were thinking of replying.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Nostalgy aside
by S.P. on Mon 13th Feb 2006 10:16 UTC in reply to "Nostalgy aside"
S.P. Member since:
2006-02-13

OS9 is last century but OSX has not reached the level of OS9 perfection yet. OS9 is still more usable for desktop publishing than OSX. Installation of OS9 is still the easiest of all other much talked systems as Linux, Windows etc. You can install one one machine OS9 + your favourite programmes copy it on CD, USB keydrive, DVD and than installing command for other machine in the office will be only copy and paste to a new drive. Repair on the fly. OS9 is virus free as well. If you want to use your computer for Internet and e-mail than install FreeBSD or Linux OS9 is not cut out for that.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Nostalgy aside
by thebackwash on Mon 13th Feb 2006 14:46 UTC in reply to "Nostalgy aside"
thebackwash Member since:
2005-07-06

OS 9 is dead, non-supported and NOT recommendible for anything other than OS freaks.

You DO know who you're talking to, right?

Reply Score: 2

How could you do that to yourself?!
by ApproachingZero on Mon 13th Feb 2006 07:41 UTC
ApproachingZero
Member since:
2005-11-10

Thom, you're running OS9 on a CRT iMac, and you're doing it deliberately? Have you spoken with a psychologist at all about these massochistic tendencies?

Reply Score: 3

Isn't it slow?
by Stappjarv on Mon 13th Feb 2006 09:59 UTC
Stappjarv
Member since:
2006-01-26

I have a PowerBook G3, 233mhz and 96mb RAM. Last fall when my desktop crashed and I was out of cash, it took me thru almost the entire semester. I found it to be painfully slow, especially since the multi-tasking of OS9 is, should we say, a bit lacking... Using mozilla was a masters test of patience, IE at least gave an impression of moving forward. =)

On the other hand, the simplicity of beauty is really nice. You can have a complete OS9 install in like 15 megabytes. The system fonts are lovely and the configuration tools are a wonder of logic and efficency.

A standard desktop linux, aside from the fact that they don't even support "oldworld" macs, is totaly out of the question for a machine like this. 256mb of RAM and several gigabytes of harddrive is a bare minimum. A minimal install of debian, with enlightenment or *box and a carefully selected set of software on the other hand, actually is perfectly usable.

Abiword is fine, rxvt is a nobrainer (because I use Kile for my essays, I have konsole installed, it takes like five seconds to start on this rather speedy P4 of mine, and like 15 on the mac). Dillo actually works for 80% of my web-needs, and I can bare the utter slowness of firefox for the rest of it. XMMS plays background music nicely on those integrated stereo speakers, as long as you give it a little priority boost. Xchat is no problem. Xpdf works nicely and is much, much faster than acrobat on OS9.

An old powerbook with debian makes for a perfect "year-2000-typewriter". The typing part is no problem, and you can access most internet services needed for inspiration and reference.

Reply Score: 4

OS 9 in one sentence:
by stew on Mon 13th Feb 2006 10:26 UTC
stew
Member since:
2005-07-06

The UI was right, the kernel was wrong.

Too bad Apple decided to replace both.

Reply Score: 3

Classic
by Cymro on Mon 13th Feb 2006 13:33 UTC
Cymro
Member since:
2005-07-07

I almost resent calling it OS 9, as OS 9 was probably the worst non-free upgrade in 15 years of that OS. Apple were a bit cheeky to charge for it IMHO. OS 8 and 8.5 on the other hand, were essential upgrades.

Anyway, my experience of going back to Classic wasn't so good. The interface locks up all the time. Switching between apps and windows is real pain. OS X may be slow on old hardware, but it's predictable.

Although 8.0 and 8.5 had modernised things, the user-interface really shows its age now - the AppleMenu and Chooser were always bad. Also, the Control Panels had grown out of control. Settings are scattered around between them with no real thinking behind it. It must have been difficult for a new user to fathom.

There's a few niceties and I like a spatial Finder, although it spawns too many windows (I always wanted it hold down the Option key so didn't have to)

All in all, it hasn't aged so well for me.

Chris

Reply Score: 3

OS9
by trezzer on Mon 13th Feb 2006 15:01 UTC
trezzer
Member since:
2006-01-05

If you know Mac OS pretty well, it's easy to set up for friends or family. I gave my Powercomputing Powercenter 150 (beefed up with G3, ATI Rage 128 etc) to my mom who used it happily for a couple of years with OS9. Eventually she needed a couple of things where it made more sense to switch to OS X, so now she's got a 333MHz iMac with some 250-300MB ram and 10.2. I've only had to help her out with the OS 9 machine one time where it had locked up completely and she needed to reset it. However, since I had configured the various apps to reasonable memory settings before handing it over to her, it was actually very stable.

It really sucks if you want to multitask (for instance you'll time out on IRC if you try to write a cd), but to be honest.. I'd still rather use OS9 than Win98. One of these days I'll set up the Powercenter again. It was actually a pretty good gaming rig (used to play Sim City 3k, Quake 3, Total Annihilation on it - all ran smooth like butter). Next time I move house I'm setting up a command central - an entire living room all decked out with various computers. I'm tired of not having all my toys within easy reach ^_^

Reply Score: 1

8 still works
by Sphinx on Mon 13th Feb 2006 15:04 UTC
Sphinx
Member since:
2005-07-09

Os8 on my mac II still works great too, the back porch screen door it's holding open never blows shut.

Reply Score: 1

Eureka!
by kadymae on Mon 13th Feb 2006 18:21 UTC
kadymae
Member since:
2005-08-02

It came with a copy of MacOS 9-- and that was what I bought it for.

Thom has gone nucking futs.

That is all.

Reply Score: 1

Still unsure what Thom was getting at.
by snozzberry on Mon 13th Feb 2006 18:52 UTC
snozzberry
Member since:
2005-11-14

I bought a 7500 PowerMac back in 1995. It went through upgrades of every OS except 8 (I was recommended to wait until 9), and with affordable HW upgrades (G4, RAM, HD, USB card, all still cheaper than purchasing a new Mac BION) it went all the way to Jaguar. If the patch software had been available early enough, I might have considered upgrading to Panther instead of buying a dual G5 with it onboard.

That said, I tend to agree with most other posters here that the consistency/simplicity of the UI was the best thing about Classic. The interface, not the underlying cruft of a legacy OS attempting to manage reverse compatibility with future memory management and user security. We have a well-known OS for *that*.

The original Mac UI was designed by three people, only two of which knew anything about computers. It was a far cry from the Xerox UI, and Bill Atkinson's Polaroids document how it evolved. With Classic, you had enough consistency in the UI that for the most part you could reuse existing paradigms to guess how a new application's interface and features worked. You could also skin the Finder's choice of fonts and colors.

OS X is a collection of warring ideas on UI; dialogs are no longer modal, but desktop widgets are. The green expand button's behavior is left to the developer's whimsy. One application is aqua, another brushed metal, and neither are skinnable. The Finder is confusing enough to encourage development of third-party commercial navigators. X11 won't talk to FOND resource fonts which constitute the majority of the default OS X install (even though freetype 2 already supports FOND).

All of that said, OS X is stable. OS 9 was stable when apps had fairly modest overhead and requirements, and the average executable was under 1.5M; these days are largely dead.

There are a cadre of early PowerMacs in my employer's surplus department which are useless as desktop machines: Ethernetless, USBless 6xxxx and 7xxx machines with 601s that can't be swapped out, 7xxx machines with 601s for which the cost of an upgrade board wastes your money, and a handful of Old World G3/G4 8xxx machines which would fight with *buntu as far as detecting/supporting HW is concerned. The world they lived in was smaller and the number of HW vendors willing to support that architecture far vaster.

For a moment, try to imagine a Sourceforge project where OS 9 is reverse engineered and all its memory/crash/security problems are ironed out. It sounds like BeOS to Zeta, only cooler.

Now, go back to the late 90s. Amelio-era Apple itself, armed with all of its own source code, was completely unable to do this. Unable to the point of asking Microsoft, Be and NeXT to utterly replace the OS for them.

OS 9 was created for one reason only: to provide a 2-year bridge for developers and users to OS X. OS 9 introduced Carbon, application packages and many OS Xisms under the hood which would allow it to run inside OS X later.

OS 9 was what Vista is now: a transitory OS to a future stable *nix-like OS that makes just enough compromises to make backwards compatibility possible until the official weaning.

For a moment, imagine it's 2012 and someone's publishing an article about buying a smudgy first-gen 2007 EFI dual-core PC with Vista running on it, then devoting the rest of the article to the dearth of multithreaded AI applications for it, how many patches it takes to emulate 2012's 4DGL vector processing in software, the absence of drivers for 2012 hardware (to say nothing of the lack of modern jacks) but boy did it have a cool interface compared to the current Windows.

Thanks for the article, Thom, but those of us who went through the evolution view that time as a matter of necessity, not of wonder.

Reply Score: 2

Mac OS 9 Still Better than Windows ME
by d4rkn1ght on Tue 14th Feb 2006 20:57 UTC
d4rkn1ght
Member since:
2006-01-02

I am posting this from my Power Computing PowerBase Mac Clone with Mac OS 9.1.

For all those that talk about crashes and the bomb, it is important to remember that OS 9 was at the same time Windows ME was around.

I had OS 9 at the same time my roommate had Win ME. My roommate at the time had so many problems with Win ME that he had to install Win 98 back. Windows ME crashed ten times more than OS 9. Count how many Blue Screen you get vs. Bombs!

I never had those problems with OS 9. I'm still using it full time with no serious problems.

Right now I have several old Macs running OS 9. I have even one as a Web Sever! That Mac is been on for seven months without a reboot!

On my main Mac I have:

iCab
Outlook Express
Mac Messenger
ProTools
PhotoShop
Office 2001
iTunes

Just to mention a few!

I also have a G4 with Mac OS X Tiger, but I don't use it as much as my OS 9 Mac!

People just need to understand how to use the classic MacOS.

Reply Score: 1

JLF65 Member since:
2005-07-06

People just need to understand how to use the classic MacOS.

This is a pretty important point as it applies to just about any OS. I read posts from people who say they can run Windows XP for a month without a crash... and it's true - if you use it a certain way.

I used to use XP on my Operton system. I could usually go three or four days without crashing. My brother would come over and it would crash on him three or four times in twenty minutes. He'd cuss and I'd tell him not to do something. He'd cuss some more and demand to know why he couldn't do it this way. Because it would make it crash.

People learn to avoid doing things that cause the OS to crash. I was subconsciously adjusting my XP use to avoid things I learned crashed the system. I used to do the same with MacOS 7/8/9. I did the same with Windows 98. I do the same with Fedora Core (although I must say that it's easier to avoid crashing FC than other OSes once you learn how).

The point is you have to use an OS enough to learn it's quirks and foibles. It's why I ignore any reviews of OSes by people who tried XXXXX for the afternoon. You really need to use it for a month or two.

Reply Score: 1