Backdrop - Distraction-free tool for classic Mac OS

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by AphoticD, Jul 13, 2017.

  1. AphoticD, Jul 13, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2017

    AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

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    #1
    Hi all,

    I was going through some of my old backups from 2001 and found a simple utility I wrote to give the classic Mac OS a type of distraction-free presentation mode.

    Introducing Backdrop, resurrected from the vault and tested on various Mac systems.

    ** EDIT - Version 1.1 released 14th July, 2017**

    I have put some time into porting the app to Mac OS X and rebuilt to run natively on 10.2 through to 10.5. (Snow Leopard 10.6 on Intel is also supported via Rosetta).

    Download Backdrop v1.1 for PPC Mac OS X
    Download Backdrop v1.0 for 68k/PPC Classic Mac OS

    Mount the image file and drop the app into Apple Menu Items for quick access on Classic Mac OS.

    I hope someone finds it useful. Happy zombieware!

    -AphoticD

    P.S. I just posted this over at macos9lives.com as it seemed more appropriate there. But seeing as it does run well in Tiger, Panther and Jaguar under Classic, it may be useful for someone here too. (It should also run on Puma, Cheetah and Public Beta, but I don't have any way of testing)

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  2. KawaiiAurora macrumors 6502

    KawaiiAurora

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    #2
    That's pretty cool :) For future reference, this forum is for anything relating with PowerPC Macs so you can post OS9 stuff all you want.

    I'd suggest you upload it to MacintoshGarden or MacintoshRepository :)
     
  3. AphoticD thread starter macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

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    #3
    Good idea and thanks. I haven't see much in relation to classic Mac OS on here.
     
  4. SuperKerem macrumors 6502a

    SuperKerem

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  5. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #5
    I am not a fan of OS9, but I welcome any development that benefits the PowerPC community as a whole.

    Nice app and good work. Thanks!
     
  6. AmazingHenry macrumors 65816

    AmazingHenry

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    #6
    This will be a great tool for my iMac G4 on Tiger!
     
  7. AphoticD thread starter macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

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    #7
    Thanks. I've ported to Mac OS X and released this native version as v1.1. See edit in OP or jump to the Backdrop micro-site.

    -AphoticD
     
  8. pochopsp macrumors 6502

    pochopsp

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    #8
    My beloved PowerMac G4 is 850 kilometers away from me for a while now, but I can grant you that as soon as I turn it on again I'll immediately try your apps/forks!
     
  9. bobesch macrumors 65816

    bobesch

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    #9
    @AphoticD: found "Backdrop" today. Great, many thanks!
    Get's instantly onto my iBook-G4, which serves as a beamer companion!
    With the Dock automatically faded-in/out, "CMD+Tab" to first activate Backdrop and the switch the Apps and "Moom" to position the windows via key-shortcuts the iBook is great tool for presentations.
     
  10. reukiodo macrumors regular

    reukiodo

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    #10
    Any plans to open source so others could learn from and/or modify it?
     
  11. Jubadub macrumors regular

    Jubadub

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    #11
    Nice app! I can see myself using this, especially under OS 9. (All hail!) :)

    Rather than adding it to Apple Menu Items, however, I may include it on the much-faster FinderPop! (AKA the single best application ever made for any system ever. Also on OS X! As unbelievable as this may sound at first, in the end the dock is just clutter!)
     
  12. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #12
    I rarely use the dock and am a longtime fan of FinderPop.

    However, at a certain point I became an even bigger fan of Quicksilver. I was never really interested in launchers, particularly using Spotlight that way, but over time they (Quicksilver and Spotlight) have worked into my workflow.

    I'm also a heavy user of CMD+TAB.
     
  13. Raging Dufus macrumors 6502

    Raging Dufus

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    #13
    I love the OS X dock. I can't say it's because of its usefulness, I suppose there are better ways of launching things; it's more of an emotional attachment for me. It reminds me I'm using a Mac, and I like that.

    I suppose if I'd come up through the Mac since the early days of "classic" operating systems, the dock might be inconsequential to me. But coming from years of Windows frustration as I did, straight into Mac OS X (I dabbled in OS 8 & 9, but not enough to get really attached), seeing the dock there meant something to me. It was the most obvious visual manifestation of the "new" and certainly better way of doing things that I'd embraced.

    I don't even like to hide it. I'll admit it's irrational, but I want to see the dock!
     
  14. Jubadub macrumors regular

    Jubadub

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    #14
    I understand and can completely relate to that. Even if it is "irrational", wanting the dock because it gives comfort on a psychological level is a very rational decision. The effect is real. You're totally spot on on those views.

    I still choose FinderPop and both minimize and hide the dock, but I'm also attached to it and the whole of the OS X GUI and user eXPerience, so I can deeply relate.

    @eyoungren Quicksilver, huh? I have come across the app years ago, but never tried it. I"ll try your suggestion with patience, and see how it goes!
    And yes, CMD + TAB is a must.
     
  15. eyoungren, Aug 11, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019

    eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #15
    Yeah, it grew on me. The other thing is that with it running you can set shortcuts to do certain things. For instance, I have it set in there that CMD+Q does not quit apps on my 17" PB. I am forever hitting CMD+Q on that keyboard when I meant to hit CMD+W to close a window. So, it takes a focused concentration, meaning I most certainly desire to quit an app, to use CMD+OPTN+Q.

    I also have it set on most of my Macs to bring up EasyFind, because I've disabled Spotlight on those Macs.

    But really, keyboard shortcut, maybe two letters of the app name and then enter and boom - app opens.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 11, 2019 ---
    I came to Mac from MS-DOS and PC. I hated Windows and did not use it until about 1998-99 and then not because I really wanted to.

    Work had OS9 Macs though and, OMG, I still cannot handle that OS. As much as Windows was a PITA, it wasn't crashing on me all the time.

    Some time around 2001 though that flipped and OS9 finally became robust enough to not crap out on me every time I saved a QuarkXPress document.

    I embraced OS X, but not the dock. You see, your experience was with the Windows Task Bar apparently. I had a similar negative experience with the OS9 Control Strip. It was moveable and you could minimize it of course, but it was always in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    So, for me the dock was an intrusive control strip. Then I learned I could hide it, scale it down and customize it. So, I pretty much made it dissappear.

    I still don't use it much. My point in all this is that while I did come through OS9, I did not have the experience you seem to indicate should have happened.
     
  16. Raging Dufus macrumors 6502

    Raging Dufus

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    #16
    That's just my best guess why I love the OS X dock and someone else might not, but what do I know?

    There was a lot I hated about Windows, the task bar didn't really stand out as a sore spot. In all fairness though, it seemed Microsoft really got their act together in later service packs of Win XP, and Win 7 was a really, really good OS. Of course, there was that dumpster fire known as Vista in between. I've been using 8.1 Pro for business-related things lately, and despite the hate that Win 8 gets generally, I really like it. I won't use Win 10 unless I absolutely have to (and unfortunately sometimes I do, but never on my own hardware).

    As for the OS 9 control strip, I never really got used to it. Ended up minimizing it by default and using, what else, A-Dock!
     
  17. Jubadub, Aug 11, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019

    Jubadub macrumors regular

    Jubadub

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    #17
    Funny to see the contrast in each other's experiences. I personally completely adore OS 9. I can imagine it being a pain using at work, especially when not acquainted enough, though, because depending on what's installed, it can lead to the system being unstable, and if more than 1 person shares the computer, even worse. But with enough familiarity, and because of OS 9's extremely modular design, you can troubleshoot things little by little and wank out or move whatever is causing the problem (i.e. conflicting extensions), but I love the lightweightness and speed in it, plus the UI and the whole user eXPerience, much of which has in common with OS X. I also like how the window closing button and the maximizing button are on opposite sides of the window, and I really like the window shade "minimizing" option (which can be brought back with Application Enhancer in OS X).

    You can enable and use a keyboard shortcut to hide/unhide the strip. I generally hide it, unless I want to switch resolution or color depth, generally-speaking. It's also possible to move and drag it with Option+Click IIRC. Also, it's important to highlight that FinderPop 1.9.2 is OS 9 (and 8) compatible! It actually feels a bit more responsive in OS 9 somehow, or so it seemed to me from personal use (I occasionally get the spinning wheel in OS X).

    The guess to people liking the dock better by having not experienced "classic" Macs beforehand is reasonable, as I think it is partially-applicable to me. Though at the same time, it is so nice, and the system is overall so robust, that I wasn't really all that bothered by it.

    But argh, I apologize, I have completely derailed the thread! I will have to make up for it by installing Backdrop, today.
     
  18. RhianB, Aug 11, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019

    RhianB macrumors 6502a

    RhianB

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    #18
    My experience is very similar. Coming from years of MSW, I was always tweaking my GUI with apps to add docks, custom themes etc. It makes me laugh asI was adding a dock to my windows gaming boxes before I ever used OSX or its dock lol. The first time I discovered OSX & its dock, I was completely hooked. Folks might consider it gimmicky but whatevs. I don’t hide my dock love either. The dock has been an intricate part of my GUI computing experience well before my transition to OSX. Ah, good ol’ A-Dock. When I met my now wife, she had a imacg3 running 9.2.2 & my first thought? No dock? -Woof. I immediately went hunting for a os9.2.2 Dock & I found A-Dock. Awesome little app.

    If anything, I wish OSX would let you have more than one.
     
  19. z970mp macrumors 68000

    z970mp

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    #19
    And that's why TenFourTrim doesn't disable Spotlight. :)
    --- Post Merged, Aug 11, 2019 ---
    This is a common sentiment among Mac people.

    Would there be something in particular that makes this so?
     
  20. AphoticD thread starter macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

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    #20
    I did do a rewrite in Cocoa that I could release as open source... it supports multiple monitors too :cool:

    The original build was a very simple Realbasic project. There can’t have been more than a few lines of code in there!
     
  21. Raging Dufus macrumors 6502

    Raging Dufus

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    #21
    Win 7 was the first version of Windows - in my experience - that was rock solid stable. XP was pretty good, and certainly much better than all that preceded it, but with 7 I could leave my computer on for sometimes weeks without the necessity of rebooting. Even then, it wasn't usually because of a problem I encountered, typically it was some update from Microsoft that required a restart.

    Win 7 was also aesthetically pleasing, something MS achieved with Vista but Vista was such a steaming pile of garbage that one couldn't get past its difficulties to appreciate its beauty. The Aero desktop environment achieved its apex in 7, and was the first Windows effort to come close to competing with Aqua on OS X. Mac people generally appreciate such things, and I think this accounts for the popularity.

    Win 7 is a very "forgiving" OS. Program conflicts, missing or misplaced files, etc., that would have brought its predecessors to a screeching halt, generally only caused minor inconveniences on 7. I'm not sure of the technical term, "sandboxing" maybe, but Win 7 seemed to isolate most such problems and keep them from crashing the whole system. And if you had a problem you couldn't resolve, Win 7 had the first really good implementation of Windows System Recovery so you could roll back your system to a time before the problem occurred. Win 7 also seems to play well in a mixed environment with Macs.

    So there's a few reasons, or at least that's what I think. It's a shame MS didn't build more on the successes of 7 and instead chose to take the dark road of "Windows as a service", subscriptions, invasions of privacy and forced updates that's become Windows 10. I really like 8.1, but won't go near 10 if I don't have to.
     
  22. Jubadub macrumors regular

    Jubadub

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    #22
    For one thing (among millions of them), Windows 10 comes with a keylogger. It made its way into 8 and 8.1, as well. If you fully update Windows 7, it's also there, so under 7, one has to be careful with what updates are installed (I simply have always used an unupdated SP1 version of 7, with no problems whatsoever). This sort of stuff is part of why I also prefer PowerMacs: no processor-level backdoor, which is installed on 100% of all Intel Mac machines ever made. In practice, it can be argued none of this really matters, but I still enjoy avoiding such crap.

    And, it's not just "Mac people": Windows 7 is, today, "unanimously" the most well-accepted Windows system of all time almost regardless of user background.

    Incidentally, Windows Vista started off as a horrible system (not Windows ME level of horrible, though), but if you install every single little update that existed for it, it becomes surprisingly robust. It seems it had some interesting features that even 7 lacks, like some searching features. It's just that the initial trauma was, understandably, too much for everyone.
     
  23. RhianB macrumors 6502a

    RhianB

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    #23
    My personal experience was that w2k was cleaner & more solid than XP as a platform for gaming but I do also like w7 for this purpose. My current gaming box is running w10 which is fine & as I’m doing nothing but fragging peeps with it, I don’t care much for the streak of big brother that it has.

    Windows vista was a train wreck. I recall when it was released here in the US, many of the brick n mortars held a midnight release party lol. Fun times :D
     
  24. Raging Dufus macrumors 6502

    Raging Dufus

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    #24
    I forgot about Win2K, that was a great one. By far the best and most stable performer for VirtualPC on a Mac, too.

    IIRC, there was a split after Win95. Win98 continued being DOS-based and then became WinME which completely sucked; while Win95 continued along the NT branch becoming Win2K, then WinXP. Or something like that.
     
  25. Jubadub macrumors regular

    Jubadub

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    #25
    Basically, Windows NT was a new operating system, while Windows 95, which came a bit later, shared a lot in common with the 16-bit Windows 3.1. The Win95 family, of which Win98 was part of, died off with WinME, while NT took over the overall Windows market starting with Windows 2000 and then XP. The rest is history.
     

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40 July 13, 2017