11 years later... how is Mac OS 9?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by dandeco, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    #1
    I distinctly remember using Mac OS 9 back when I was in high school (this was around 2002-2006). There were a few computer labs (mostly in the Fine Arts building) that all had old B&W PowerMac G3 computers. In my graphics class, we of course used Macs. At the time I was still mostly into Windows, and I thought the Mac OS 9 operating system looked obsolete compared to Windows XP (I didn't first use OS X until I was in college). But it was still pretty interesting to use a computer that wasn't a Windows machine, and there were virtually no problems compared to PCs.

    Fast forward to today. The high school has since gotten rid of the B&W G3s; the main classrooms and computer labs now use Windows PCs with XP, but the Fine Arts building mostly has 2006-2007 17" Intel iMacs running Mac OS X Tiger, including in the graphics lab (the digital audio/music lab has mostly eMacs running Tiger or Leopard, but one was also replaced with an aluminum 17" iMac. Since I graduated, I mostly forgot about Mac OS 9, and became hooked on OS X when my college's TV studio acquired some Mac towers (a Mac Pro that still runs OS X Tiger, and some PowerMac G4 QuickSilvers that had Panther). I thought OS X was nicer and more stable than OS 9, and it looked cleaner and had more cool applications. (I didn't use Leopard until we upgraded the G4s, which ran the OS very smoothly; now we have since replaced those G4s with 24" iMacs).

    But recently, I acquired a PowerMac G4 QuickSilver that I upgraded and customized, with an 867 MHz processor, 1 GB of SDRAM, two hard drives (one 40 GB and one 80 GB) and an HP DVD-writing drive and AirPort card. I figured since it was an older Mac and had the opportunity, I made it a dual-boot system of Mac OS 9.2.2 and OS X 10.5.8 Leopard!
    I have to say, OS 9.2.2 runs very nicely on this machine, probably due to the G4 processor and 1 GB of RAM. It performs even better than my high school's old G3s did! I even went and installed Photoshop 4.0 and Final Cut Pro 1.0 on it so I could do "classic" digital media editing on it. Even though I still definitely prefer Mac OS X, sometimes using OS 9 can be fun depending on what your needs are.

    Any comments on this final "classic" Mac operating system?
     
  2. macrumors member

    XaPHER

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
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    In the Underworld
  3. macrumors 6502a

    PowerGamerX

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    #3
    I much prefered the user interface of OS 9 to OS X. I'd love it if they re-did it and allowed it as an option for theming... but ha, like ole' crazy Steve would ever give us a choice.
     
  4. macrumors 68000

    Hrududu

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Location:
    Wichita KS
    #4
    If Mac OS 9 had protected memory, it would have been just about perfect. The Finder was so fast and responsive and didn't hog system resources. You're right, it is really fast on G4 and many G3 systems.
     
  5. macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #5
    I remember I had Mac OS9 when I was 6-10 years old ;) On the good ol' Preforma!
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    mgartner0622

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    #6
    If we had a modern web browser (or maybe there is, I'm not very educated about this) Mac OS 9 would be perfectly usable. I still play around on my 700MHz G3 iBook with OS 9, Internet Explorer, and iTunes 2.
    Even Mac OS 9 seems recent to me, as until my parents bought a G3 iMac when I was growing up, we previously used a Performa with only a floppy drive and OS 7, which was later upgraded to OS 8.
    We then bought a Windows 98 PC as well because my parents used a program that they thought was a virus on the Performa! :O
    Anyways, to the original topic, Mac OS 9 was great, the only thing I like better in today's modern OS X, is how it's easier to control some aspects of things, especially in system preferences versus the older control panel. All in all though, when compared to a Pre-Windows 2k Windows PC, I really liked Mac OS 9 better. Game support was even pretty good back then, (Especially for me as a kid :D ) but it kind of died until recently.
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    lbro

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    #7
    Why?
     
  8. macrumors 68000

    Hrududu

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Location:
    Wichita KS
    #8
    If you haven't yet, you should check out Classilla for your Classic OS web browsing. Its based on the Mozilla build that came out years ago, but the guy making it is rebuilding it and keeping it up to date. I find it runs quite nicely and is easily the most recently updated web browser in existence for old Mac OS.
     
  9. macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #9
    can vouch for that, classilla works , remember to use flashplayer 6 ;)
     
  10. macrumors member

    XaPHER

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Location:
    In the Underworld
    #10
    Yeah, classilla is working pretty good. I started to use this navigator 2-3 years ago
     
  11. macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #11
    Mac OS 9...

    IMHO, the ONLY advantage of Mac OS 9 (or System 9...) is the fact that the GUI is blazingly fast.
    For the rest...? No protective memory... no multitasking... no multi user support...
    The GUI was so fast was due to the fact that the GUI had nothing to do. Not so many colours, no preview mode, no indexing, no fancy 3D stuff...
    System 7 was even faster! :rolleyes:

    Really, Mac OS 9 on PPC was lagging far, far behind. Buying a Dual 500 MHz G4 on one single 100 MHz FSB 2 years after the initial 500 MHz G4 was introduced, running Mac OS 9 with hardly any apps which would even utilize the 2nd CPU... wasn't the best investment..
    Luckily Steve got Apple (as computer maker) back on track: Mac OS X, and later the Intel switch.

    But, must admit... I like firing up my dearest "classic Mac": a B&W G3 400 MHz, 768 MB RAM, 60 GB 7200 rpm HD, Voodoo 5500 PCI grfx :)
    Ya know... stroll along memory lane.... playing with older games... etc.
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    raysfan81

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #12
    Ah, I remember the days when I was in kindergarten going to the computer lab to use kid pix on the iMac g3's :) They had some bondi blue ones, some tangerine, ruby models complete with the matching hockey puck mouse and keyboard . They got some Snow and Graphite models a little later. They were brand new then in '99. I didn't know how much of a treat using a Mac was back then.
     
  13. macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #13
    They have iMac G3s with KidPix on them at my old primary school ;)
     
  14. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    #14
    Maybe is not the proper thread

    Apple had a winner policy in the past. It allowed hardware upgrades upgrades and this was a winner.

    Now not only there are no upgrades but the hardware life span is ridiculously short.

    I've bought my first Mac when it came out in 1983 and I have a huge collection with different machines. All of them work for what they are meant to do at the time they designed them and with the specific system they came out with. From the original 1983 Macintosh and further down the line.

    Some allowed easy soft and hard upgrades so I have about 20 different old macs still working fine with everything up to system 9. This include the first colour MAC II wich I upfraded to the FX motherboard.

    Not Apple policy changed but the hardware quality sucks. Also every single machine has a sysgtem specific installer, and if the installer doesn't work for a varity of reasons, one can only move forward upgrading with the latest system or any retail system deigned after a substantial update.

    Made in China does not mean bad quality because Chinese work badly, but because they get paid so very little they need to save on something to make any minimal profit at all. This is not only true of computers but in general.

    If anyone can find it the China Blue PBS documentary tells many things about western companies making their product in Asia, and why these products cannot be up to their required standards.

    Example: I have the latest dual bootable G4. made In Ireland and it is a high class piece of equipment. However time goes by and some things go wrong for a variety of reasons. Yet as my original installer set got stolen with my car and I can no longer use the machine for the reasons I decided to buy it. The hardware works fine but rejects any retail sys 9 disk and I can only use it with sys X. I bought it to boot in sys 9 and work with a fast dual processor. They advertise this model as such. But I cannot use it as Apple is unable to supply the system replacement. Trust me I really tried and spent serious money in international phone calls throughout the world and Apple stores.

    I have some software which never converted to System X and system X cannot understand at all. Now I have hundred of DV footage files sitting in my back up drives. Specifically they are the original EditDV-Cinestream files. The first and still best video editor for the Mac I have worked with.

    I can concert the media (AKA the original films files as imported) but I lost all the editing I already did, therefore I must redo it all in Final Cut.

    Edit DV went bankrupt after Apple's final cut pro entrance in the market. Apple doesn't like competitors. Cinestream was parts of a deal with Autodesk a windows company and soon Cinestream-Edit DV died.

    Apple SHOULD keep a database for all the machines they built with their own bootable system specific files allowing customers to purchase them.

    CDs abd DVDs are not eternal devices. They might break for a variety of reasons. Even because the customer is stupid or careless. Greed cannot lead very far. Looking back at history we're all aware of it.

    While I still update, upgrade and buy newer machines because I use the new options each of them gives me I still want to be able to use what I paid for in the past beyond the needs of Apple's policy. I don't want it for "free" and a software database which recognizes which model comes in, or which model we hope to rescue is a service they should create with little effort.

    I tried for months to get the backup installer for the dual boot I finally managed to get one through a nice soul at the Apple Store. I paid well over 250 US but the Disk was unusable as it reached my home, maybe poorly packed, or badly copied and I gave up.

    Sad

    Sad they don't.
     
  15. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #15
    I still use OS 9 for non-production and hobbyist work, apart from the frequent system crashes while running Final Cut, its brilliant :D - When im not at uni I still use my G4/450 under 9.2 with AppleWorks to get Work done, and its fantastic! (I mean I cant get anywhere near as much done on it as I can on my Pro, but I love it to death, the old machine is still rocking 11 Years later :D)
     
  16. macrumors newbie

    #16
    Yep, I do indeed!

    I have a Quicksilver 2001 Power Mac G4 which I have all sorts of supplementary computers for. To start, I have a G4 Cube Living Room Extension (just $60 from Craigslist), a Graphite iMac G3 600MHz 384MB 40GB CD-RW Summer 2001 Secondary Desktop Extension ($25 from Craigslist, the G4 Cube and iMac G3 Graphite together were only $85, something I considered a steal and snapped up), a Graphite Clamshell iBook G3 Portable Extension, a pair of HP LaserJet 4000 Series PostScript Network Laser Printing Extensions, a HP DeskJet 832c Secondary Color Printer, and the 4 G-Series Macs in question all use Mac OS 9.2.2.

    There is also a Performa 6400/200 Optimal Kitchen Extension (still running stock 200MHz 603ev PowerPC chip) with System 7.5.3 Revision 2.2 and Mac OS 8.6 on dual 6GB hard disks with Apple ROMs. The 6400 Kitchen Extension has a video input card and TV tuner ready for a cable box (since we have cable service.)

    I need a Comm Slot II Ethernet Card to connect it to the network so it can print to the network printers, that will come for Christmas most likely.

    They all run the Classic Mac OS solely, except for the Quicksilver, which does have X but only for bridging purposes. (I have two Snow Leopard Macs and X 10.1 + 10.3 do come in handy for bridging Mac OS 9.2.2 and lower to X 10.6.) But only for that. Other than that it's a Mac OS 9.2.2 Mac to the core as well.

    Thanks so much and have a great day all!
     
  17. macrumors 6502

    Madd the Sane

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Location:
    Utah
    #17
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    I usually use SheepShaver for my OS 9 fix (well, 8.6 fix). I occasionally boot my G4 into 10.4 or 9.2 when I have a game that just doesn't work on SheepShaver.
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    #18
    I still have an iMac G5 that I hardly use, but I need to keep a machine that runs OS9/Classic. I still have Corel Word Perfect files that have not been converted into something Pages can read! So until I convert them all (plus all the AppleWorks files), I'm keeping the machine.

    But I have to say, OSX is so much better. I like having Terminal, multitasking, protected memory. I don't miss assigning the maximum memory I allocate Photoshop or Illustrator, or using RamDoubler (which managed virtual memory better). I miss OS9 as little as I miss the SCSI interface :).
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    mabaker

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    #19
    Mac OS X has YET to match the snappiness of the original Mac OS. There are also many things I do adore from the classic OS that have not been implemented into X.

    The irony is here that Apple is kind of pulling even more features off X in favor of simplicity. I am almost afraid of "Lion". :eek:
     
  20. Cox Orange, Jan 26, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011

    macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    #20
    I liked the possibility to just drag and drop your whole system to clone/backup it.


    btw: can someone explain/translate to me what protected memory is (is this something like ECC)?
     
  21. macrumors 68000

    Nameci

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Location:
    The Philippines...
  22. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #22
    Not quite. Its basically a different and much safer way for the Operating System to handle what memory is doled out where, and which Processes can modify whats in that memory. See here for a longer more detailed explanation.
     
  23. macrumors 65816

    macgeek18

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #23
    Funny, I'm typing this on the exact machine you have. I love my G4's under OSX. I had OS9 before and it was unusable to me. I'm running Leopard and Tiger on my QS G4 and have no problems with it. I love my G4's. OS9 I could install it but my other question would be why?
     
  24. macrumors 6502

    Madd the Sane

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Location:
    Utah
    #24
    Games :D
    Other than that, there are still some apps that don't have Mac OS replacements, I'm sure. They are few and far between, but one that comes to mind is sewing.
     
  25. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #25
    Another one is Claris Home Page - completely standardless, but reliable.
     

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