Classic Environment: The Oldest Applications You Run?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by IJ Reilly, Nov 10, 2006.

  1. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    Some say the Classic Environment is dead. Apple would like to think so. But is it really? Probably a lot more of us are running old Mac applications in Classic than we'd prefer to admit. So the questions are:

    1) What really ancient Mac applications are you still keeping alive and useful under Classic, and why?

    2) Is the lack of Classic Environment support on the Intel Macs an impediment to you buying a new Mac?

    My answers:

    1) I'm pretty sure the oldest application I still use regularly in Classic is Family Records 2.1, the genealogy application distributed for free by LDS church. It's from 1988 and still works fine in Classic. I keep it going because I haven't found a substitute that works quite so intuitively, let alone for free.

    2) Yes. For years we used the late great WriteNow word processor in our business. I think I bought every version until it was discontinued in 1994. We must have written hundreds of old documents in WriteNow, which no current word processor opens AFAIK. But WriteNow still runs in Classic. To give up Classic would be to give up access to these documents, which just won't do. For now, I can't figure out how to do without Classic.
  2. Dane D. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 16, 2004
    I still use MS Office 98 (work), ClarisWorks v2.1(home), Linocolor scan software for an Heidleberg scanner(work), Photoshop v5.5(home), Avid VideoShop® 3.0.2(home), HyperCard Player 2.3.5(home), Painter Classic v 1.01(home), and many kids games made before 2001(home). My game of choice only works in OS 9, UT GOTY edition. I like OS 9 and other old OSs, there is a special place in my heart for them. Besides, when you collect old Macs, your choice for OS is limited to the era in which they were produced. Sure I like OS X, it is great for the internet, email, Adobe CS suite apps, QuarkXPress, iTunes, Quicktime, to name a few, but when you have files produced in 1994 or before, OS X doesn't cut it.
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I guess I'll chime in the balancing (1) none and (2) none answers? :eek:
  4. TDM21 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 7, 2004
    1) Newton Connection Utilities. I use a Newton and despite all the effort to bring compatibility to OS X, NCU is still the best option for backing up data from the Newton and transferring notes with embedded drawings.

    2) Classic isn't what is keeping me from converting to Intel right now; finances and the lack of some important universal apps (Photoshop and MS:Office) are. In a few years I will may finally convert. Then I will probably be able to use a Classic emulator (Basilik II probably) and run NCU that way.
  5. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    I 'm not using any apps under classic.....I understand your situation with the WriteNow files though. Years ago I had to abandon a bunch of documents that had been created on ......I'll prob get the name wrong as it years ago.....a DecMate computer that had its own word processor program. I'm not going to let that happen again if I can avoid it
  6. roadapple macrumors regular

    Oct 21, 2004
    1) Photoshop 6.0 (but recently upgraded to CS2)
    2) No, just waiting for 10.5, iLife '07 and Vista before dropping the large for a intel mini :D
  7. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    Here's the main ones:

    - Claris Em@iler (Not ready to change to another program yet).
    - Fullwrite Professional (my main word processor)
    - Scanner software (not available under Mac OS X)
    - A10 Attack (Not available for Mac OS X)
    - Newton connection utilities
    - Hypercard Player
    - Microsoft Office 98
    - SuperPaint
    - Converter (Some software that I wrote)
    - Air Combat (Not available for Mac OS X)
  8. jsalzer macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2004
    My three

    Mac-81 (a computer version of the TI-81 - I really wish TI would do the same under OSX for the TI-83)

    Adobe Photo Deluxe (though I've just broken down last week and bought Photoshop Elements to take its place - I was tired of moving the photos to the old computer, booting classic, adjusting the photo, and moving it back to the MBP.

    As long as I'm there - gotta play with the utility that puts Isaac Newton's picture in the lower left of your screen and makes the Apple fall on his head. Someone HAS to figure out a way to write that one for OSX. :D

    Has it stopped me from upgrading? Well, my work got me an MBP to use, so my Pismo is officially retired. I do still have my home iMac G5 when I need to see Isaac get one on the head.

  9. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    I state proudly that I run Classic apps.

    FrameMaker 7.0 When FullWrite Pro bit the dust, I felt it necessary to switch to an application which allowed me to produce commercial-quality documents composed of text and graphics. I still use documents that I created back in 1992.

    FullWrite 2.0.6 I have numerous documents in this format.

    Canvas 3.5.6 I am the not-so-proud user of Canvas X, but the older app plays much nicer with other Mac applications. Copy & Paste from all versions after Canvas 3.5.x into documents produced using other apps suck. It continues to work beautifully with Canvas 3.5.6.

    Cricket Graph 1.3.2 I have data and graphs in this format.

    CA-Cricket Graph III 1.5.3 I have data and graphs in this format.

    No Mac user should ever apologize for using Classic apps. They work beautifully and, alas, many work better than the MacOS X apps available today. Consider the full-featured word-processor category. In the early 1990's we had Microsoft Word, Corel WordPerfect, Claris MacWrite II, FullWrite Pro, and Nisus Writer. Each was unique, but each was also familiar because it adhered to Mac conventions. What do we have now? We have Microsoft Word and a bunch of opensource Word clones.

    I will eventually replace my Power Mac G5, but I am in no hurry to do so. Even after I buy an Intel-based Mac, I will keep a PPC-based Mac around for my Classic apps.
  10. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    1) What really ancient Mac applications are you still keeping alive and useful under Classic, and why?
    First, I don't use Classic much in Mac OS X (I use Blue Box in Rhapsody more), I tend to use these apps on a couple systems that have Mac OS 8.6 installed on them. Here is a list of apps that I use that are pre-Mac OS X (that I don't have a Mac OS X version of):

    Adobe Distiller 5.0
    Adobe Acrobat Catalog 4.0
    Adobe Dimensions 1.0
    Adobe Illustrator 8.0
    Adobe PageMaker 6.5
    Adobe PageMill 3.0
    Adobe Premiere 5.1
    Adobe Type Manager Deluxe 4.6
    ClarisDraw 1.0
    Corel PHOTO-PAINT 8 LE
    Corel WordPerfect 3.5e
    CorelDraw 8 LE
    Fetch 3.0.3
    FileMaker Pro 5.0
    Fractal Design Painter 5.0.3
    Macromedia Flash 5.0
    Mathcad PLUS 6
    Mathematica 2.2.2*
    MetaCreations Bryce 3D
    PiXELS 3D Studio 3.7
    QuarkXPress 4.11
    SoundEdit 16 2.0.7
    Strata VideoShop 4.0
    StrataVision 3D 4.0
    Theorist 2.0.1*​
    As for the why... I don't subscribe to the belief that software loses it's ability to function with age. Software does what it was designed to do, and all that software does today what it did years ago. Unless a newer version has an overwhelmingly important new feature, I see no reason to spend money on upgrades.

    I use Photoshop constantly... so it was important to have a Mac OS X version (which I got with version 7.0), but there were no compelling features in Photoshop that have been added since around 5.5 that would have made me pay Adobe more money.

    Similarly, Illustrator hasn't made any incredible leaps (from my perspective) since version 8... and add to that the fact that I can do much of what I would have done in Illustrator (and QuarkXPress, PageMaker and InDesign) in Create (which I get free upgrades for life), and there is no major reason to upgrade to even a native version for Mac OS X.

    Acrobat was more like Photoshop, but Adobe made Acrobat 5.0.5 Mac OS X native, but left Distiller a Classic app... so I moved to PStill (which like Create, I get free upgrades for life).

    Better yet, I can buy older versions of apps at places like ebay for a fraction of their original cost (or the cost of the current versions), and a majority of the features/functionality/abilities of these apps are the same as the current versions. This means I can learn a lot about a ton of software without spending thousands of dollars in the process. :eek:

    2) Is the lack of Classic Environment support on the Intel Macs an impediment to you buying a new Mac?
    My newest computer is six years old... I have no doubt that I'll be using an Intel Mac six years from now, I don't have a good reason for buying one currently.

    So no, processor type (or lack of Classic) hasn't played any part in my current lack of justification for new hardware. While hardware is more likely to wear out than software, I still need new hardware to have an overwhelming reason for spending the money on it.

    Everything I own has paid for itself many times over, if something doesn't promise those types of returns (in the form of price to return ratio), then I don't buy it. My old "hobby" systems more easily qualify than a new Mac would in this respect. And I'm far more likely to buy a used Mac than a new one for the same reason.​

    * Note: I did recently get Mathematica 4.1.5 and LiveMath Maker 3.5, both of which are Mac OS X native, but I only have them installed on a single system.
  11. snickelfritz macrumors 65816


    Oct 24, 2003
    Tucson AZ
    This app cost me $1000 when I purchased it in 1997, and is by far my favorite for basic 3D/animation work.
    Unfortunately, it was orphaned years ago and will never be ported to OSX.
    My next Mac Workstation will be the end of using this killer app.

    BTW, the installer is hybrid, and at one time would install on either MacOS or Windows. Unfortunately it will not run under WinXP SP2, so that's not even an option.
    Oh Well.
  12. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    I wonder, am I still the winner of the dubious distinction prize by running an application created in 1988? Sounds like we have some old ones out there but nothing going quite so far back.
  13. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
  14. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    At the Clinic there is one computer which has all the instrument scoring software... there are still scoring programs we use that run in MS-DOS shells within Windows! :eek: :(

    Sometimes I'm slightly surprised we're not still using CP/M in the clinic though! ;)
  15. GeeYouEye macrumors 68000


    Dec 9, 2001
    State of Denial
    1. Missile 2.3, Tetris, Armor Alley, the classic Sim games, Star Trek 25th Anniversary, ClarisWorks 4.0.4, ResEdit.

    2. Yes, but also finances have been a major obstacle. If I knew I could get SheepShaver to work with all of the above, I'd probably get an Intel Mac.
  16. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
  17. HHS macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2006
    Claris MacWrite 4.5; 5.0

    I have a lot of old files written in MacWrite 4.5 and 5.0 (got my first Mac in March '84). Now have a G4 iBook and am wondering if there is any way I can access these files. I installed Claris OS 9.2.2 and it will open the old MacPaint files, but all I get when I double click the Write files is a brief flash of the Claris logo window.

    I'm a complete newbie to this forum.

    Thanks, gentlemen, HHS
  18. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    I presume you mean Mac OS 9.2.2? Is the Classic Environment starting up?
  19. mcmadhatter macrumors 6502


    Sep 6, 2005
    Bath, UK
    How about running it under Win98 on parallels?
  20. dpaanlka macrumors 601


    Nov 16, 2004
    What about our computers that do not run OS X? Or does this only apply to classic mode?
  21. Dunepilot macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2002

    My dad's school still does all of its administration and billing using a Hypercard stack written by a member of staff in 1988. A few of the menus behave strangely under classic in a way that they didn't under OS 9, but by and large it still works, and they haven't yet been able to find a suitable substitute that they could get working quickly. They've been looking at web-based systems, but have been put off by the lack of proper billing systems (it's a private school).
  22. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    I don't have any Classic environment applications running. I have another machine that can't run anything above Mac OS 9.1 to do all that. It's specifically there to have access to my extended size (8.5x14 inch) scanner and various other older equipment.

    Everything else I have is Mac OS X-native, including the marginally native Photoshop 7 and Illustrator 10.

    I have a bunch of games that would be good in Mac OS 9, but not in Classic.
  23. skunk macrumors G4


    Jun 29, 2002
    Republic of Ukistan
    The guys at Computer Warehouse in Brentford all use OS9 on the Macs on their sales counter. Weird.
  24. Mookamoo macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2006
    I still use Quark 5 in classic quite regularly.

    Most stuff is now printed via PDF, but you'll be surprised how many small printers still use Quark 4 and will need to get into the file to make some last minuite text amends and can't open my Quark 6 verisions.

    I also sometimes dig out Illustrator 5 as I had some cool KTP plugins which don't work in later versions.

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