Mac OS 9 is still alive and kicking… And that’s not a bad thing

So what can you do with it? Well, let’s first address the elephant in the room – the internet is still lousy on OS 9. Despite Cameron Kaiser’s genius effort put into his Classilla browser project, he’s pretty much squeezed every ounce of usability from the now 20+ year old underlying networking frameworks. A lot of websites still render “ok” in the browser, but most of the modern web will simply cause it to spit back an error. Also, file sharing with other machines on your network takes a bit more forethought these days as OS 9’s implementation of AppleTalk will only work with OS X versions up to 10.4 Tiger. In Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) and later, AppleTalk will not function at all without some difficult technical workarounds, so a “bridge” Mac is generally recommended (for those not familiar with that term – bridge Macs are machines that can handle both legacy and modern technologies and can be networked between both old and new hardware). It is also possible to wring out a bit more usability by setting up a web proxy such as macHTTP and running a small Netatalk server on one of your modern Macs (this is something I’d like to feature in the future).

↫ Adam Goff at Low End Mac

Running Mac OS 9 today has become somewhat of a rite of passage for retrocomputing and operating system nerds (…2006), and every few years a new article about the experience makes the rounds. For good reason, too – OS 9 is fun, quirky, has tons of software to play around with, and still looks and feels great.


  1. 2023-12-21 1:55 pm
    • 2023-12-22 11:10 am
  2. 2023-12-24 12:01 am