OS 9 Software

Dharumanyo

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Original poster
Sep 24, 2018
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I've been using OS 9 a lot lately, mostly on my PowerBook G3 (Lombard) and eMac, and I was wondering if anyone had some software recommendations.

I have Classilla for a web browser, and I'm not sure for everything else. I was looking mostly for an IRC client, a torrent client, and an email client. But I would appreciate some advice on other software. For instance, is Quicktime the best media player for OS 9 or should I look for alternative? Is Apple Works better than Microsoft Office? Is iTunes the best available music player? And are there some optimisations that I should consider?

I have had a look around on various abandonware sites, so I know some of the software. But I'm not sure of what's really worth installing. Is OS 9 worth trying to use as a general purpose system, or would it be better to just stick to OS X and use OS 9 for specific applications?
 

iTurbo

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Sep 9, 2008
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Back when I was still using my PM 6500, I was using Ircle for an IRC client and Audion for a music player. For email I used Outlook Express.
 
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Dharumanyo

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Original poster
Sep 24, 2018
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Australia
Back when I was still using my PM 6500, I was using Ircle for an IRC client and Audion for a music player. For email I used Outlook Express.
Ircle has been one I've heard a bit about. It seems to be between it and Snak for the best IRC client.
I remember Outlook Express always having a pretty negative reputation, but would it still be useful for sending and receiving email? I've heard that it no longer works.
 

eyoungren

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Aug 31, 2011
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Ircle has been one I've heard a bit about. It seems to be between it and Snak for the best IRC client.
I remember Outlook Express always having a pretty negative reputation, but would it still be useful for sending and receiving email? I've heard that it no longer works.
I haven't used OE in a very long time, but it's what I used way back when (once I discovered it).

Unless there is some proprietary thing that I don't know about, it should just work with IMAP and POP accounts. I never used it with an Exchange server which might be what no longer works.
 
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Dharumanyo

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Sep 24, 2018
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I haven't used OE in a very long time, but it's what I used way back when (once I discovered it).

Unless there is some proprietary thing that I don't know about, it should just work with IMAP and POP accounts. I never used it with an Exchange server which might be what no longer works.
I'll try it out. I'm also going to try using Classilla for email, since it has a client that looks promising.
 

AphoticD

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Feb 17, 2017
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Back when I was still using my PM 6500, I was using Ircle for an IRC client and Audion for a music player. For email I used Outlook Express.
These would also be my recommendations. I always liked Ircle over Snak and Audion is a brilliant piece of software. SoundJam MP is another skinable music player. I think it had support for Winamp skins.

If you really want to explore some abandonware, hook into one of the few remaining hotline trackers with the HL Client (google: preterhuman tracker).

I always like Eudora back in the day, but I don’t think it ever supported HTML formatted emails, so everything would be limited to plain text- which might be preferred anyway.

If you haven’t already, I would recommend signing up to the macos9lives forum. They have a few members-only downloads and instructions for getting specific programs running.

I have to say that I have tried to make myself use OS9 (and 8.6) on my G3’s and a couple of G4’s in a usable way, but often hit the wall in terms of limitations. I always find myself going back (forward?) to Tiger or even Panther.

What I once claimed to be an advantage of Mac OS, I now don’t know how I would live without it; A powerful command line interface!

Why did we believe the Type/Creator codes were smarter than file extensions? And that seamlessly stitching a resource fork onto a flat app binary was clever... Thank goodness for modern App bundles!
 
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bunnspecial

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May 3, 2014
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I'm not a heavy Appleworks user(actually, I'm not sure if I've ever used it, even though I have a copy of it), but then I'm also not wild about Office '01.

I keep Office on my OS 9 systems for compatibility reasons, but at the same time, it's increasingly limited since XML compatibility is somewhat expected now on modern documents. I don't THINK there's a XML plug-in for Office '01(you can get them for Office '04 and X, which are OS X only) but I'd be happy to be proven wrong on that. I haven't experimented with how much those let you use macros and other functions in Excel and Powerpoint also.

Of all the common word processors available, I like Word Perfect 3.5e. Of course, it also has compatibility issues if you save in the default formats, but you can save to the universal .rtf(rich text format) which works in any modern word processor. I THINK it will also handle .doc files, just not .docx.

As something of a "gateway", be sure you have a copy of Stuffit Expander installed. Many Macs came with it pre-installed in the OS 9 days, but if not you'll need it as many programs you download will be in .sit format.

Also, whether or not you have a CD burner, I STRONGLY suggest installing a copy of Toast. There again, when you download and unstuff many programs you'll find a .toast image rather than the .smi file that OS 9 can handle natively.

Remember that OS 9 has a seamless and effectively invisible 68K emulator-in fact I've been told that the OS 9 codebase was such a mess that certain parts of the OS actually relied on this emulator for the OS to function properly. What this means-in practical terms-is that any Macintosh program written for anything from system .95 up to 8.6 will run without missing a beat on OS 9. In fact, I've noted that-using Classic Mode-a G5 Quad that shipped in 2006 could run ALMOST any Macintosh program ever written(the only ones that wouldn't work were those that required an ADB HASP to work). There are a lot of really great programs out there that may take some digging, but work great once you find them.

As an example, a few years back our then scientific instrument specialist at work(I hold that position now) dug up quite a powerful program for offline processing of FT-IR data. It was mainly meant to work with data on which the fourier transform had already been performed, but COULD do the FT if you fed it an interferogram. He asked me about running it, as it was written for and only "guaranteed" to work on a Mac II running System 6. I ran it on my 512Ke, on which it was quite slow and cramped(too little screen space) but ultimately got it set up in my office on a G3 beige that had been upgraded with a 1ghz G4 and a lot of other over-the-top upgrades. It ran like a greased pig on that computer. The only "hiccup" is that the FT-IRs we have(Mattson, running their now very dated WinFirst software and a newish Perkin Elmer ATR-FTIR running Spectrum, along with a Nicolet I'm trying to get going and running Omnic) can output the now defacto standard .csv. This is a comma separated value ASCII file, and is a defacto spreadsheet format(Excel and mos other spreadsheet programs will open it as such). The ancient program wants a now mostly obsolete tab separated vae, but fortunately it was easy enough to bring a .csv into Excel and save it as a .tsv...
 

Dharumanyo

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 24, 2018
26
22
Australia
I always like Eudora back in the day, but I don’t think it ever supported HTML formatted emails, so everything would be limited to plain text- which might be preferred anyway.
I like the sound Eudora, just as I'm reading about it. I definitely prefer to use free software, rather than freeware or shareware. I might make a new virtual hard disk in Sheepshaver and test out all the software I can before I actually install it on my machines. Will be easier to clean up afterwards.
What I once claimed to be an advantage of Mac OS, I now don’t know how I would live without it; A powerful command line interface!
This is one thing I really miss when using OS 9. With Tiger or Leopard I can always fall back to Lynx for web browsing, Mutt for email, and Weechat for IRC when I don't want to tax the system.
 
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bobesch

macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2015
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Here's my basic setup / my recommendation for os9 : #6 and #30
Classilla was the only email-client, that was able to deal with the current email-account-settings (but I didn't give Outlook a try).
I use Office'01 on a regular base, since I keep my documents in the Office'97-04-file format. It can also deal better with low-res screens than Office'04 and '08
AppleWorks6 does also look great and offers a lot of options, but I didn't use it for work yet.
No ideas about IRC- or Torrent-clients.
iTunes is fine to listen to internet-Radio.
[Edit]Bypassing music from an external device through "Sound-In" to Internal speakers works fine and can be easily switched on via the Control Panel. Works the same way to record audio.
AirPlay through iTunes2 does not work - for a Multi-Room-Speaker installation with old AirPortExpress-units, it is necessary to boot into OSX.
As others mentioned assuminglingy only MP3s are supported.

image.jpeg

With video-compression and resolution above 240p your machine will probably struggle but your question makes me curious, how video would play on e.g. a dual-core PM-MDD with os9.
iMovie2 was made for capturing/editing DV-video on os9. I'm looking forward to give that a try myself with old DV-footage from 2000 ... I've already 'saved' old family DV-tapes using iMovie'06/Leopard/PB-G4. Export/conversion from DV/avi to MPEG2 really took a while on the G4, but it was not too bad. Wonder how that will perform with os9/iMacG3/400MHz or lower.
The old machines really met their tasks of their days, but processing power for the current video-compression/resolution is a challenge.

A crazy walk through Mac history, starting with a G3 (and probably os9) is here: :D
 
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Dharumanyo

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 24, 2018
26
22
Australia
Of all the common word processors available, I like Word Perfect 3.5e. Of course, it also has compatibility issues if you save in the default formats, but you can save to the universal .rtf(rich text format) which works in any modern word processor. I THINK it will also handle .doc files, just not .docx.

As something of a "gateway", be sure you have a copy of Stuffit Expander installed. Many Macs came with it pre-installed in the OS 9 days, but if not you'll need it as many programs you download will be in .sit format.

Also, whether or not you have a CD burner, I STRONGLY suggest installing a copy of Toast. There again, when you download and unstuff many programs you'll find a .toast image rather than the .smi file that OS 9 can handle natively.
Word Perfect looks very good, actually. Hopefully compatibility is good. Thanks for the suggestion.
That's something I've noticed, .toast files are very common. They will install fine without having to burn them to a CD, right? I have a CD burner, but I would rather not use CDs when I don't have to.
 
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eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
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That's something I've noticed, .toast files are very common. They will install fine without having to burn them to a CD, right? I have a CD burner, but I would rather not use CDs when I don't have to.
He's suggesting Toast because Toast will allow you to open these files in the same manner Finder allows you to open disk images and have them mount as disks on the desktop.

Without Toast you can't do that.
 
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bobesch

macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2015
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I like the sound Eudora, just as I'm reading about it. I definitely prefer to use free software, rather than freeware or shareware.
EUDORA was my favorite mail-client on my Windows-machines back in the 90s.
Unfortunately I didn't succeed in getting Eudora to login into my iCloud/Google/Outlook IMAP accounts.
Classilla had been the one and only among a lot of sophisticated os9-mail-clients.
Maybe/hopefully anyone can proof me wrong!?
[doublepost=1539541058][/doublepost]
(...) I'm not a heavy Appleworks user(actually, I'm not sure if I've ever used it, even though I have a copy of it), but then I'm also not wild about Office '01.
I keep Office on my OS 9 systems for compatibility reasons, but at the same time, it's increasingly limited since XML compatibility is somewhat expected now on modern documents. I don't THINK there's a XML plug-in for Office '01(you can get them for Office '04 and X, which are OS X only) but I'd be happy to be proven wrong on that. I haven't experimented with how much those let you use macros and other functions in Excel and Powerpoint also.
(...)
I didn't get a clue about the benefit of the XML-format ... collaborate working? Well, I don't know.
So far I keep or convert all my documents in/to the office '97-04 (pre-XML) file-format to make them compatible with all my machines: new Office as well as old Office2k(PC), Office'01(os9), Office'04/'08 (PPC) and Office'08/'11 (intel). All those versions are available as 2nd-hand purchase and at a fair price.
For PPC/OSX there's the free "MS Open XML Converter" to convert XML to Office97-04 file format. Needs any small OSX version to run in dual-boot, if an email-attachment arrives in XML-format. OSX 10.2/Classic would certainly do a good job an will fit into a single partition.
Does anyone know, if anything like that XML-converter does exist for os9?
 
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