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Classilla, a New Port of Mozilla To Mac OS 9

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the old-ways-are-best dept.

170

oberondarksoul writes "Every now and then, you hear about a new port of Mozilla to one of the lesser-used platforms. Recently, a new version of Mozilla has been released for Mac OS 9 — an operating system no longer sold or supported, and with no new hardware available to buy. Dubbed Classilla, it aims to provide 'a modern web browser running again on classic Macs,' and the currently-released build seems to work well on my old PowerBook 1400 — despite being a little memory-hungry."

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Who cares? (-1, Flamebait)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 5 years ago | (#28643519)

I mean, seriously, who cares?

Re:Who cares? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28643617)

Indeed. Maybe next there'll be an Amiga port.

(Well actually, I've always loved the Amiga - but the point is I'm not expecting to see a story on Slashdot about it these days, and if there was, you can bet there'd be all the "whocares/letitdie/deadhorse" comments. Why should an old OS like MacOS be any different, especially when Apple themselves moved on years ago?)

I see that the mods-who-can't-stand-any-criticism of Apple have already got to you (although I'm not sure why even they would defend MacOS - come on, even Apple themselves ditched it and had to replace it with something that was up to the job).

Re:Who cares? (4, Informative)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 5 years ago | (#28644375)

There is a team working on Amizilla [sourceforge.net] which is the AmigaOS version of Mozilla web browser. But it was last updated in 2006.

The other project is AMozillaX [amiga-news.de] which was announced but no code or web browser was released and it seems to have vanished off the Internet.

Re:Who cares? (4, Insightful)

Old97 (1341297) | more than 5 years ago | (#28645181)

If indeed he was mod'ded down then perhaps it was because he didn't contribute anything rather than it was that he criticized something Apple. Any idiot can respond to anything with "who cares?" or "WTF?" or similar, but that's just a lazy dismissal. It's even more lazy and less helpful than a good troll or flamebait. How are you supposed to even respond to that -- "I do!" - ? It's a totally useless comment.

A more insightful response might have been along the lines of, "I had no idea there was still a market for new browsers/applications for what I assumed was a dead or near dead operating system. Could someone enlighten me on the value proposition of MacOS 9 in today's world?"

Now I'd give such a response 2 mod ups for interesting or something.

Re:Who cares? (1)

AmigaMMC (1103025) | more than 5 years ago | (#28646165)

>next there'll be an Amiga port

Finally! ;-)

Re:Who cares? (4, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#28643669)

I mean, seriously, who cares?

Somebody will. Most of the projects I work on at home come under the category of "because I want to". I am currently building a digital clock which has been in the planning process for twenty years.

The software I work on in my day job is much older than MacOS 9. A lot of my work involves shoehorning modern stuff into it so this type of project is of interest to me.

Re:Who cares? (4, Insightful)

adolf (21054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28644103)

I would've cared.

I picked up a free G3 iMac awhile back, just because I've never had an Apple computer, nor does anyone that I know near here.

All I wanted to do with it was turn it into a handy Internet browsing machine. But I couldn't find a decent browser for it. I thought about upgrading to OS X, especially since I found some more RAM for it, but the process (involving a strange shamanistic incantation of multiple serialized firmware and OS updates) was scary.

Right. So, I put Ubuntu on it. Works fine, of course, but it's really not very much of an Apple anymore. A newer Firefox would've helped that.

Re:Who cares? (5, Informative)

Zarel (900479) | more than 5 years ago | (#28645823)

Have you heard of iCab [www.icab.de] ? It's the only Acid2-compliant browser that runs on Mac OS 9, and is much more standards compliant than Gecko 1.3 (the version used in Classilla).

Although iCab is no longer maintained for Mac OS 9, its last release for Mac OS 9 was in 2008, far more recently than Gecko 1.3 (2002), and the Mac OS 9 version is still a full-featured modern browser with tabbed browsing, built-in AdBlock, excellent standards compliance (iCab was the first browser with an Acid2-compliant public build) - the only thing it's really missing is CSS3 opacity, and all that good stuff.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28645857)

For the record, it isn't a stock Gecko 1.3 -- see the patch list: http://www.classilla.org/releases/ [classilla.org]

Re:Who cares? (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28646191)

No. I never heard of iCab.

But I don't have install media for this computer, either, and the usual sources [thepiratebay.com] don't really have a clean or easy way for me to turn this back into a Mac.

So it is, unfortunately for me, just another Ubuntu machine. Not that such a thing is bad in any particular way, but it's not a Macintosh. :-/ Maybe if the hard drive barfs at some point, I'll revisit it.

I implore the mods to up your score for your reference of iCab, though -- MODS! Pay attention. Someone has offered something which is actually CONTEXTUALLY MEANINGFUL, and helps folks solve the problem described in the article by alternative means. Please mod him up for doing so.

Re:Who cares? (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 5 years ago | (#28646391)

I would've cared.

I picked up a free G3 iMac awhile back, just because I've never had an Apple computer, nor does anyone that I know near here.

All I wanted to do with it was turn it into a handy Internet browsing machine. But I couldn't find a decent browser for it.

Dude! I did the exact same thing... I wanted to get a feel for how the classic Mac OS worked (both from a user standpoint and a developer standpoint)... But it really didn't seem like a terribly friendly environment for someone who didn't want to put a bunch of money into the machine. I had an old Mozilla on there for a while, but eventually it was just wasting space and collecting dust, so I sold it at a flea market for $20.

It's actually a bit of a drag that I didn't make it work out. It's frustrating sometimes, thinking about what it takes to really learn about an OS that you're interested in, but not interested in enough to really embrace. I wanted to learn from these different environments - but it seems like that requires too much of an investment.

Re:Who cares? (4, Interesting)

Pandrake (1513617) | more than 5 years ago | (#28644275)

I've got three MacOS 8.6 that are the main production line for our company. Nice to know I still can use a web browser on those machines for solutions made to be used by all other computers (WinME, WinXP, MacOS X, etc..) since IE 5 crapped out a long time ago and nothing else would run half as well as it on the old Macs.

Re:Who cares? (4, Interesting)

sugarbomb (22289) | more than 5 years ago | (#28643807)

schools ... you would be surprised at the number of elementary school class rooms that still have OS 9 apps and machines that run them ...

Re:Who cares? (5, Informative)

SammyIAm (1348279) | more than 5 years ago | (#28644531)

You're definitely right there, sugarbomb. I used to work at a school district a while back, and although the computer labs were mostly OS X, the older computers from the labs were often pushed out to classrooms for teachers to use. I can't tell you how awful it was to be reduced to using IE (I don't even remember what the last version of OS 9 was) to download drivers or updates if Netscape has been deleted from the system. Though using Netscape 4 to get things of some of today's image/css/flash heavy websites wasn't a cakewalk either. In many cases, the computer is only used to check webmail and browse the Internet, and a modern-browser would go a long way to extending the life of these machines.

Re:Who cares? (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 5 years ago | (#28645293)

At least until I get assigned to those schools.

Then, 3rd world countries usually get them. So they would care about Classilla.

Re:Who cares? (4, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 5 years ago | (#28643825)

I mean, seriously, who cares?

Not everybody can afford to throw away old computers and buy new hardware. If you're a teacher at an elementary school in Mexico, and all you have in your classroom is an old mac, then this could be very important to you. It turns that mac from something that can't surf the web (or can't do so securely) to something that can.

No, I'm not an Apple fanboy. I run linux.

Re:Who cares? (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 5 years ago | (#28643871)

Or just put one of the Linux or BSD distributions on there. They're certainly more usable and more stable than Mac OS 9 ever was.

Re:Who cares? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28643967)

No kidding. Then you could get some modern software on these machines as opposed to waiting around for someone to compile something on top of an old version of Gecko.

Re:Who cares? (2, Insightful)

randomchicagomac (809764) | more than 5 years ago | (#28643973)

Or just put one of the Linux or BSD distributions on there. They're certainly more usable and more stable than Mac OS 9 ever was.

I will not feed the troll, I will not feed the troll, I . . .

Are you out of your mind? The point other commenters are making is that a non-trivial number of folks, with an emphasis on schools and other educational institutions, have old hardware that runs Mac OS 9. It might be that, in some abstract, general sense, Linux or BSD is more usable and stable than OS 9 (although I disagree), but the question is what's more usable on the hardware available to these folks. As somebody who spent too much time in college (computer science program, university known for computer science) trying to get linux to run on apple hardware of this era, I can assure you that getting other OSes to work is nigh-impossible, and that few, if any, of the institutions that are *still* using this hardware could realistically take that option. So this is great for those users.

Re:Who cares? (0, Redundant)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 5 years ago | (#28644221)

Are you out of your mind? The point other commenters are making is that a non-trivial number of folks, with an emphasis on schools and other educational institutions, have old hardware that runs Mac OS 9.

Name me one school that still uses old Macs, especially ones in Mexico where the price disparity between a Mac and non-Mac computer is amplified.

It might be that, in some abstract, general sense, Linux or BSD is more usable and stable than OS 9 (although I disagree), but the question is what's more usable on the hardware available to these folks.

Can't really argue against someone who doesn't believe in facts. For example, Mac OS 9 did not have memory protection or preemptive multitasking. It crashed a lot. I know from experience.

As somebody who spent too much time in college (computer science program, university known for computer science) trying to get linux to run on apple hardware of this era, I can assure you that getting other OSes to work is nigh-impossible,

Then you obviously suck at installing free unixes on these machines. Any Mac with Openfirmware can have a free unix installed. It is trivial to install with new world Mac machines. There are some quirks with old world Macs. And that's about the range of hardware that Mac OS 9 will run on anyway.

and that few, if any, of the institutions that are *still* using this hardware could realistically take that option. So this is great for those users.

Again, name me one school that still uses old Mac hardware to any significant degree.

Re:Who cares? (4, Interesting)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#28644451)

Name me one school that still uses old Macs, especially ones in Mexico where the price disparity between a Mac and non-Mac computer is amplified. A couple weeks ago I saw a couple power macs running OS 9 (or maybe even 8) on a local news fluff piece. I think they were being used for the school a/v program.

Re:Who cares? (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28646019)

I did some temp work in a (fairly well-off) district in Northern NJ 2 years ago.

Some of the teachers there wanted machines at their desks to check e-mails and perform other basic tasks with, and were given the OS9 iMacs that were formerly used in labs and classrooms. They fulfilled their (very simple) purpose quite well, and I believe are still in use.

I also still administer an old Xenix system that drives a series of B&W serial terminals and line printers via a DigiBoard. 'Administer' is a rather loose term, as it hasn't needed attention in about 3 years -- easily the most resilient and cost-effective system I've come across.

About 4 years ago I helped dismantle a lab of Apple ][es at a small college, where they were still being used to teach typing, and perform a few basic word processing tasks. The machines had been in use for over 20 years at the time of their retirement.

Every now and then, I'll run across a machine running DOS, Windows 3.1, or Windows 95. I haven't seen a Win98 machine since it fell from widespread use. Win2000 is also surprisingly scarce, considering how long NT4 lingered around. Haven't seen a Windows Me! machine since a few months before it was discontinued (and for good reason).

Re:Who cares? (5, Insightful)

iron-kurton (891451) | more than 5 years ago | (#28644793)

I have to side with the GP here. I love linux just as much as any other slashdotter, but the knee-jerk reaction to ANY problem around here is "JUST INSTALL LINUX."

There are a gazillion reasons that it's not as simple as that in all of these cases, first and foremost is COST. Who is going to pay for these installs, who is going to do the research to find someone able and willing to do these installs, who is going to pay for that? What about legacy software you CAN'T run on Linux, what about dongles, what about the network, etc etc etc. What about the cost of training the unionized teachers to use something completely new and unfamiliar as opposed to the same old "window thingy" they used to access their email?Does anyone around here even realize how much of a bureaucratic process it is to something "simple" as installing a new operating system in publicly-funded schools??

Undoubtedly, I'll get modded down as troll of flamebait for pointing out that a solution to a technical problem is not "just install linux" because there are other non-technical factors to consider in each scenario.

By the way, I think it's very cool that there is still active development going on for a legacy system, and that it has an active community, and I am in no way, shape or form trying to take away from that with this post.

Re:Who cares? (4, Informative)

MacTO (1161105) | more than 5 years ago | (#28645443)

Name me one school that still uses old Macs

Does a fairly affluent school that is two blocks north of a prominent Canadian university count? Some teachers love making computers available to the children that they teach. Unfortunately, when board policies only allocate two per classroom and place the rest in computer labs, teachers often have to scrounge for what's cheap or free.

While on the note of obsolete technology in the classroom, I recently donated a Pentium 90 to another school in an affluent neighbourhood. In their case, the teacher actually wanted that extraordinarily old computer because many of the good educational games were designed to run on 486's or early Pentiums.

Mac OS 9 did not have memory protection or preemptive multitasking. It crashed a lot.

Just a note here: cooperative multitaking may cause a system to become unresponsive, but it won't cause a system to crash. In both the case of cooperative multitasking and the lack of memory protection, the stability issues were caused by applications rather than the operating system (in virtually every case). As such, it was quite possible to choose applications that did not affect the responsiveness or stability of the system as a whole. Granted, that was virtually impossible to do for web browsers in the case of the classic Mac OS.

Re:Who cares? (2, Insightful)

AtariKee (455870) | more than 5 years ago | (#28645679)

Just a note here: cooperative multitaking may cause a system to become unresponsive, but it won't cause a system to crash. In both the case of cooperative multitasking and the lack of memory protection, the stability issues were caused by applications rather than the operating system (in virtually every case). As such, it was quite possible to choose applications that did not affect the responsiveness or stability of the system as a whole. Granted, that was virtually impossible to do for web browsers in the case of the classic Mac OS.

It was usually 68k apps running on PPC machines that would cause the more catastrophic crashes, as they were more likely to corrupt the system heap. The classic OS's main stability issues were with extensions, which were mostly fixable with Cassidy-Greene's Conflict Catcher. Reordering the extension loading usually fixes any issues.

I've found that with any PPC-native program, if it becomes unstable and causes the machine to stop responding, force-quitting would usually bring it back from the dead without causing the entire machine to go down. I still tend to reboot after such an event, to clean up memory. But the crashes are few and far- between with PPC- native apps.

Re:Who cares? (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 5 years ago | (#28644295)

Or just put one of the Linux or BSD distributions on there. They're certainly more usable and more stable than Mac OS 9 ever was.

I would definitely agree that MacOS 9 was a bad OS. It was by far the worst computer operating system I ever used -- much worse than earlier versions like MacOS 6 or 7, much worse than MacOS X, and much worse than Linux or FreeBSD.

The problem is that installing, say, Linux on an old mac is not something that a lot of people (e.g., my made-up Mexican elementary school teacher) are comfortable doing. It's true that installing Ubuntu on a vanilla x86 desktop machine is getting pretty darn easy -- but I don't think that applies so much to an old mac. I'm also not really sure what WM would be practical to use on an old mac. I certainly don't think you'd want to try Gnome or KDE. Maybe xfce? I'm not sure if there's any non-empty intersection between the set of WMs that will have acceptable performance on an old mac and the set of WMs that are easy enough for my fictional Mexican school teacher to figure out if he/she's used to MacOS 9.

Re:Who cares? (2, Interesting)

retiredtwice (1128097) | more than 5 years ago | (#28645927)

The latest version of OS9 was 9.2. It was pretty terrible. Supposedly an update to make it more compatible with running in a box alongside OSX.

BUT, if you stuck with 9.1, it was the most solid of all of the early Mac OS's. I dont think OSX approached its stability until the later versions of 10.3. And I ran lots of extensions and oddball programs on it.

And yes, you can drag out all the technical reasons why OSX architecture is so much better but the reality is, where the rubber met the road, OS9.1 worked just fine.

I preferred 9.1 over all of the early versions of OSX and interestingly enough it was the lack of an updated browser that became the main problem. I did take a couple of machine backwards from 9.2 to 9.1.

I am currently resurrecting an older G4 Mac to run OS9 so I can muck around with some of the games. It will share a monitor with my W98 system but you end up needing Mac specific keyboards/mice so the KVM will be a bit underutilized on that position.

Old Edu software and games (1)

ThrowAwaySociety (1351793) | more than 5 years ago | (#28645845)

Or just put one of the Linux or BSD distributions on there. They're certainly more usable and more stable than Mac OS 9 ever was.

There's a lot of really good old educational software and simple games that run under the Classic OS. I'm thinking mostly of old Broderbund titles (half of it was crap, but half of it was, well, classic) but there is a huge old library of abandonware in schools. Much of it was never ported to OS X, to say nothing of Linux. Some of it was never even ported to Windows. (For that matter, lots of old Apple II programs never had Windows or Mac equivalents, so lots of schools kept their Apple IIes and IIgs's long after they'd become staggeringly obsolete, because teachers still used them for some odd thing or another.)

Alongside those old programs, you could still run old versions of Photoshop and Office 2000. There are situations when those old apps are more usable than even current versions of, say, Gimp and OpenOffice are, and many more when it doesn't matter one whit.

Out of all the things OS 8/9 is missing, lack of a good modern web browser is probably the biggest. This fills a niche.

Re:Who cares? (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#28644911)

If you're a teacher in Mexico using an old Mac, this is of no interest to you. You don't have Internet access anyway. Nice try though.

Re:Who cares? (4, Interesting)

niktemadur (793971) | more than 5 years ago | (#28645981)

If you're a teacher in Mexico using an old Mac, this is of no interest to you. You don't have Internet access anyway. Nice try though.

Nice try indeed. Harking back approximately two decades, Mexico became the first country in the American continent to begin installing fiber-optic telephone wiring for widespread use, even before the United States. FYI, this happened in Baja California.
Nowadays, the majority of Mexicans hooked up to the Internet do so through the telephone monopoly Telmex, Telnor in the Northwestern states (both owned by one of the ten richest men in the world, Carlos Slim). A minority hook up through TV cable services, fewer still via satellite (Starband), usually in remote rural areas where Telmex or Telnor have not arrived yet.

Nationwide, junior high schools in rural areas have adopted a teaching system via satellite known as telesecundaria, which can easily be adapted for Internet access and may have already done so.

Now, if you go to any urban area in Mexico and peruse the secondhand stores with electronics, chances are that you'll bump into an early generation iMac in working condition, and be able to purchase it dirt cheap, as the casual Mexican computer user has only used Windows in his/her entire life, so these things may sit on the shelves for awhile. As anecdotal evidence, a friend with a graphic design business once found and bought three iMac Graphite models in one swoop, a five hundred dollar deal, at one of these stores.

Therefore, if you're a savvy teacher in Mexico, or just plain a Mac user with a penny to pinch and a little luck, Classilla could potentially be a godsend.

Re:Who cares? (0, Redundant)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 5 years ago | (#28643899)

Seriously. I mean, when are they going to port Mozilla to the Commodore 64? Oh, there'll be cheers that day...

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28644251)

http://noname.c64.org/csdb/release/?id=30400

Re:Who cares? (4, Interesting)

jmenezes (100986) | more than 5 years ago | (#28644457)

I care.

My daughter is getting old enough now to use a computer, and I've dug out an old iMac G3 DV that was given to us by a friend, and loaded several older pre-school games my mom had lying around from when my brothers were little.
Now, not only can it be a great little preschool computer for her, but it can also be used online in a pinch.
Or perhaps letting her have access to several of the show based sites that have content for the kids
(Sid the Science Kid, Sesame Street, and several other PBS, Disney and Nick JR. shows)

I could now let her go to those, without having to worry about what she could get into on my computer.
(she decided to rename a good chunk of my songs last time she sat on my computer)

Bottom line:
Is it state of the art, the next big thing? of course not.
but it did just make some older equipment just that much more useful.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28644773)

Pretty sure you can install Mac OS X in that thing. Not saying you have to, or if those games are compatible with it, but if you wanted to...

Re:Who cares? (2, Informative)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 5 years ago | (#28646409)

Pretty sure you can install Mac OS X in that thing. Not saying you have to, or if those games are compatible with it, but if you wanted to...

In my experience, "old" versions of Mac OS X (like from five years ago) are very nearly as much of a pain in the ass to deal with, in terms of getting reasonably modern software on the thing, as Mac OS 8 was when I tried it several years back. OS 10.3, for instance, is now old enough that most new software doesn't support it. OS 10.4 is very nearly at that point as well.

Re:Who cares? (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#28644935)

Yea, cause that machine will run Firefox the memory/cpu hog nice enough to actually be able to stand browsing.

Of course it won't, browsing even simple pages will be mind numbingly shitty because you're trying to shoehorn modern software into a machine far too old to run it.

The proper thing to do is use a browser from that machines age, no one is going to exploit your shitty old mac anyway, more so, you're not likely to find any of those exploits in existence now days, you're more likely to find a Linux exploit than a page exploiting a browser on that thing.

Re:Who cares? (1)

Insightfill (554828) | more than 5 years ago | (#28645015)

Or perhaps letting her have access to several of the show based sites that have content for the kids (Sid the Science Kid, Sesame Street, and several other PBS, Disney and Nick JR. shows)

I tried pressing a tangerine iMac G3 (450MHz, I think) into service and found that those PBS sites - frankly: any Flash stuff - would bring it to its knees. I had tried a fresh install of 10.3 (debated 10.4) and even tried a Ubuntu installation, but Gnash wasn't quite up to their Flash version detection tricks.

But: even under Mac OSes, the Flash sites would kill the poor thing. CPU would be completely pinned and the screen still couldn't update fast enough to make some of the games playable.

Re:Who cares? (1)

pauljlucas (529435) | more than 5 years ago | (#28645079)

I [don't have] to worry about what she could get into on my computer (she decided to rename a good chunk of my songs last time she sat on my computer).

Why didn't you give her her own user account?

Not with that computer (2, Informative)

CyberSnyder (8122) | more than 5 years ago | (#28645551)

Those sites use Flash extensively and it runs like a dog on my daughter's hand-me-down iBook G4. I don't think you'll be happy with the results on a G3. Flash isn't written well or at least with the same optimizations as the Windows version.

Re:Who cares? (1)

BZ (40346) | more than 5 years ago | (#28646519)

> Now, not only can it be a great little preschool computer for her, but it can also be used
> online in a pinch.

I wouldn't use Gecko 1.3.x (which is what this is) online unless you're ok with the machine being exploited. Oh, and unless you're ok with a somewhat crappy user experience. Just for comparison, Firefox 1 shipped on top of Gecko 1.7....

On the other hand, the chance of exploits actually targeting Mac OS Classic is pretty low, I guess.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28644875)

I do, since I have an original 233MHz Bondi Blue iMac with 64MB RAM.

Re:Who cares? (1)

deepdarkhole (1595101) | more than 5 years ago | (#28645441)

I've got a souped up Performa 6360, upgraded with a 400 MHz G3, 136 whopping MB of RAM, 80 GB HD, 32 MB Radeon 7000 PCI video card, external SCSI CD burner, 19" LCD monitor, and MacOS 9.2.2. So I care since Netscape 7 for Classic sucks, Opera is kinda usuable but really drags ass, and I don't care for iCab much at all. I'm looking forward to this. MacOS Classic sure ain't OS X but 9.2.2 is not that bad to use for a less used system.

Re:Who cares? (4, Informative)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 5 years ago | (#28646099)

My district till has well over 400 OS 9 iMacs. There are some education software packages with no PC equivalent, no OS X equivalent, and NO replacement. Most of my job in maintaining the districts macs is 60% legacy support, 40% new system support and server management.

I could have really used this... (1)

daemonc (145175) | more than 5 years ago | (#28646151)

about 4 years ago.

Does anyone even use classic anymore? (2, Informative)

Diabolus Advocatus (1067604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28643581)

Seriously though, does anyone even use it? If I still had a Mac that old, I'd rather run 8.6 to be honest. 9 added nothing much more than bugs while running slower...

Re:Does anyone even use classic anymore? (1)

Diabolus Advocatus (1067604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28643605)

And judging by how long it's taking for anyone to even comment, I assume the answer to my above question is no...

Re:Does anyone even use classic anymore? (4, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 5 years ago | (#28643753)

If you have the mirrored doors edition of 9, it added LBA48 support. Now that the smallest drives on the market are about 160 gigs, being able to use the portion of your ATA drive above the first 128 binary gigs is a pretty significant benefit. That OS version only shipped with one Mac model, though (the mirrored doors G4).

Re:Does anyone even use classic anymore? (-1, Offtopic)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 5 years ago | (#28644381)

Where's my Sinclair and Osbourne support?

Re:Does anyone even use classic anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28646645)

That OS version only shipped with one Mac model, though (the mirrored doors G4).

Well, I think the MDD G4 was only the first Mac to ship it.
And I think it was the last change made to OS 9 before OS 9 booting support got discontinued in January 2003. And unfortunately it wasn't documented very well, though one thing about it that was documented was that Mac OS 9 partition sizes was still limited to 200 GB.

Re:Does anyone even use classic anymore? (4, Interesting)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 5 years ago | (#28643785)

We do at my office (publishing)

Well, we're down to only having 3 computers that solely run OS9, and more that still run apps in classic though.

We use Quark Xpress 4.5 and a particular set of XTensions. Quark's upgrade path, to put it bluntly, sucks. Quark5 and 6 were IMHO utterly useless and Quark 7 is basically "as good as" Quark 4.5 in my book. We do use quark7 but the problem is that Quark7+the extensions we need run far SLOWER on the quadcore macs than on 800mhz g4s/g5s etc. Sad. Has nothing to do with the merits of OS9 versus OSX, it's just because the newer versions of the apps we need and use on a daily basis, well, suck.

The writing is on the wall though, we're one or two hardware failures away from being Os9/classic free.

Re:Does anyone even use classic anymore? (2, Interesting)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 5 years ago | (#28643849)

There's always hardware emulation to run OS9

Re:Does anyone even use classic anymore? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 5 years ago | (#28643917)

There's always hardware emulation to run OS9

Yeah, wasn't there a nice port of SheepShaver or something specially for Intel Macs?

Not sure how fast it is, though - but maybe Quark running in Rosetta might be the problem. I seem to remember Office for Mac being a real dog until the last major release.

And there are still plenty of PowerPC Macs around - old PowerBooks and Mac Minis still populate eBay regularly.

Re:Does anyone even use classic anymore? (2, Interesting)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 5 years ago | (#28644005)

Yes, there is sheepshaver and I did give it a try awhile ago, though perhaps I should try again. Worth looking into. Thanks for the tip.

Quark7 is a universal binary, as are the XTensions. They're written in LISP actually--kinda neat. From talking to the developer, the issue lies with architectural changes within quark that makes the XT run slower (can't vouch for this). The XTension takes marked up text and creates processed pages complete with columns, images, and footnotes, etc, optimizing line spacing, character spacing, space around heads, etc to make visually appealing pages. The part that is so much slower now is after the XTension (which communicates with a remote server) performs all the calculations, when quark goes page by page and redraws each one.

The only improvement in Quark since 4.5 that we actually make use of is having multiple undos :) There's still no "search backwards" feature!!

Re:Does anyone even use classic anymore? (2, Insightful)

Phroggy (441) | more than 5 years ago | (#28645067)

Not for the software my mom wants to use with her music students, there isn't. Sure, you can cobble something together that is technically capable of running the application, but unless the timing of both the sound and video is perfect, it's completely useless.

Re:Does anyone even use classic anymore? (1)

Spit (23158) | more than 5 years ago | (#28645451)

I miss Cubase VST32 and Protools 5 on OS9. ;_;

Re:Does anyone even use classic anymore? (2, Interesting)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 5 years ago | (#28644321)

the fact is, for single dedicated apps OS 9 was a robust operating system. heck 8.1 even 7.5.5 were dang good! I still have one 68K box I run 7.5 on but mainly that is to provide a network path for an older Apple IIgs I use for certain dedicated tasks (Yes Apple IIs still live)

Re:Does anyone even use classic anymore? (2, Funny)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28644369)

I'm not sure that "robust" is a word I'd use for an OS lacking memory protection.

As for only running a single app, the rest of the computing world moved away from that model in the 80s.

Re:Does anyone even use classic anymore? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28644519)

Who fucking cares.

Re:Does anyone even use classic anymore? (1, Informative)

mrgiles (872216) | more than 5 years ago | (#28644955)

Quark, to put it bluntly, sucks.

There. Fixed that for ya.

Re:Does anyone even use classic anymore? (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 5 years ago | (#28645255)

I can't totally agree... I think Quark 4.5 was a really great product. Every release since then has gotten bigger and more bloated and slower and added very few (if any) new features, while keeping bugs--the basic quark XTags (their own little markup language) parser in Quark7 crashes if it hits several kinds of malformed tag for instance--Quark 4.5 handled these errors without crashing. That's the kind of sucktitude I'm talking about. In Quark8 they decided to pull a Office2k7 and redesign the UI...just what we needed.

We'd certainly consider switching to Indesign which gets better reviews, but our workflow works really damn well right now. It would take a lot of time and money to overhaul it and get back to where we currently are.

Re:Does anyone even use classic anymore? (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 5 years ago | (#28644009)

Ironically enough, I was running Classic mode on my PowerBook G4 just a few hours ago. There are a handful of old games that don't run natively on OS X that I still like to play from time to time (in fact, my two favorite games ever are in this category). But I don't use it on a day-to-day basis by any means. As for booting into OS 9, the last time I would've done that would have been a year or two ago, I should think. Probably around the time I upgraded from an even older PowerBook G4 to this one, and I was running a few applications and utilities on the old one to test them out before sending them over.

From TFA: Runs on 8.6 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28644063)

"Classilla requires any Power Macintosh with at least 64MB of RAM (virtual or physical), 50MB of free hard disk space and OS 8.6 or higher. A G3 with 128MB of physical RAM and OS 9.1 is the recommended minimum. (It will run on OS 8.5, but due to various bugs in that release we strongly advise updating to 8.6.)"

This actually makes me happy. I'd like to make use of my Rev. A Bondi iMac, but openSUSE 10.3 is being a scrum-bum.

I have two joysticks and a build of MacMAME. This will seal the deal!

Re:From TFA: Runs on 8.6 (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 5 years ago | (#28644195)

OpenSuse? Why not YDL? Yeah, I know the YDL community is pretty much mostly those running it on PS3's these days, but that's pretty much the case with all the PPC Linux distros

Re:Does anyone even use classic anymore? (1)

m1ss1ontomars2k4 (1302833) | more than 5 years ago | (#28644265)

I'd just use iCab. It probably has just as good compatibility as Gecko 1.3.1 and it's been stable for a long time.

Re:Does anyone even use classic anymore? (1)

SizzlinSaguaro (1314117) | more than 5 years ago | (#28644445)

My boss and two other engineers where I work all use os9 daily. They use a ancient CAD program called Ashlar Vellum (reminds me of a glorified verison of MS Paint) to make engineering drawings all day long. Up until a year ago they even used netscape 4 for www and email and seem to be content in their own little world. They now have PC's sitting next to them for internet use, but they still use their os9 mac's for "real" work...

Neat, but... (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 5 years ago | (#28643643)

Neat, but it would have been even cooler to see WebKit ported to MacOS 9. I'm not keen on the idea of Mozilla's performance on the classic MacOS.

May God Have Mercy on Our Souls (0, Troll)

penguinstorm (575341) | more than 5 years ago | (#28643647)

What hath man wrought?

This seems likely to lend new fervor to the "Mac SE 30 was the best Mac ever" argument, one that I've been tired of every since...well...colour.

Re:May God Have Mercy on Our Souls (2, Informative)

GrahamCox (741991) | more than 5 years ago | (#28645487)

This seems likely to lend new fervor to the "Mac SE 30 was the best Mac ever" argument, one that I've been tired of every since...well...colour.

The SE/30 had colour - you just needed an extra video card and external monitor to see it. That's how I used mine...

weird (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 5 years ago | (#28643653)

I think a port of the gecko rendering engine would be great, but I'm dubious about the performance of a XUL-based browser on such an old platform.

Maybe someone could port gecko to my System 6-based Apple IIGS?

IIIGS (5, Funny)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28643971)

Maybe someone could port gecko to my System 6-based Apple IIGS?

No, but Apple ported Safari to the IIIGS.

Re:IIIGS (1)

imamac (1083405) | more than 5 years ago | (#28644779)

Mod funny/insightful. I had to think about that one for a sec...iPhone 3GS.

Wasilla (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28643671)

A New port for quitters.

macbook 180 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28643681)

will it run on my macbook 180?

good news for faggots (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28643731)

they got a new web browser.

Old Mozilla not Firefox (2)

PineHall (206441) | more than 5 years ago | (#28643767)

It is old code. From the FAQ:
the decision was made to split Gecko off at 1.3.1

Re:Old Mozilla not Firefox (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 5 years ago | (#28645699)

AFAIK, the last version of Firefox for OS 9 was 1.2.1.

First OS9 story in 7 years (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28643901)

Wow. This is the first OS9 story [slashdot.org] on Slashdot since this one [slashdot.org] from February 2002. Incidentally, that one is the *only* other one.

Well, either that, or the Firehose is broken.

Re:First OS9 story in 7 years (2, Interesting)

timothy (36799) | more than 5 years ago | (#28644809)

Might well be that it is the only other one! I was pleased to have good reason (at least, I thought it was good) to use that icon ;)

timothy

Re:First OS9 story in 7 years (1)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 5 years ago | (#28644921)

Are you implying it's possible that a Slashdot 2.0 feature is broken? Nonsense!

Re:First OS9 story in 7 years (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 5 years ago | (#28645531)

Mac OS Classic was always under-reported on this site in the "olden days" (i.e. when it was relevant to everybody else.) I have no idea why, since it was the most successful non-Microsoft operating system for, what, 15 years?

Re:First OS9 story in 7 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28646113)

Because it was even worse than Windows having evolved little technically since the early 80s.
That said the original MacOS GUI is still unbeaten as far as GUIs go.

The Answer Lies In Your Web Server Log Files (5, Interesting)

MichaelCrawford (610140) | more than 5 years ago | (#28643985)

If you analyzer your logs with a tool such as Analog [analog.cx] , you'll find that a significant number of your web sites' visitors are still running Explorer or Netscape versions 3 or 4. At least that's what I find for my sites - and it's been that way for a long time.

There are lots of reasons for this. Some people cannot afford the new hardware required for Mac OS X. Some of those who could buy the hardware have a big investment in software that uses Apple Desktop Bus (ADB) dongles that wouldn't work on OS X even if the newer Macs were equipped with ADB - they haven't been for years.

Some software has been discontinued, with the vendors out of business, and so will never be ported to OS X-native. If the software is useful enough to the end user, then they'll keep running Mac OS 9.

Finally, some people simply don't know how to upgrade. Until very recently a relative of mine was running Internet Explorer 5.0 on Mac OS X 10.2 - no doubt riddled with well-known security holes, but she simply didn't know better. I bought her Mac OS X Tiger for Christmas (Leopard won't run on her G3), then visited soon after and installed it for her, then downloaded and installed all the updates.

All of these are reasons that I plan for Ogg Frog [oggfrog.com] to support the Classic Mac OS.

(And there are many Macs out there that are too old to run Mac OS 9; they'll be running 8.6 or some such.)

Re:The Answer Lies In Your Web Server Log Files (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28645457)

Most of those log entries are probably bot traffic not real users.

Re:The Answer Lies In Your Web Server Log Files (4, Interesting)

merreborn (853723) | more than 5 years ago | (#28645689)

Out of 2.9 million hits from IE browsers on our most active site since the beginning of the month, roughly 5200 are from versions of IE older than 6. That's about 0.1% of our IE users, and 0.05% of our total users.

Also, I've caught obvious UA spoofing in our logs -- one script reported a different, random UA with every request -- many of which were browsers you'll never actually see in the wild -- like "Lotus Notes web client"

What's more, even the biggest sites don't offer an A-grade experience for older browsers. Hell; I remember not being able to access microsoft.com using IE 3 in 1998! If microsoft dropped IE 3 support a decade ago, surely most of the web can as well. Even Yahoo offers a limited experience [yahoo.com] to users using old browsers, and facebook throws "get a better browser" messages up if you visit with IE6.

In the end, it's just not economically feasible, in many cases, for developers to spend time supporting 0.05% of browsers, especially when those browsers are so old that they support only a fraction of modern standards. I salute your efforts to make your properties accessible to _absolutely_ everyone, and I'd love to do the same, but we just can't justify the development cost, for the sites we run. We'd be spending thousands of dollars to support a number of users we can count on one hand, to the detriment of our tens of thousands of users on modern platforms. Frankly, if any of our frequent contributors are on older platforms, it's almost more cost effective for us to buy those few stragglers modern netbooks.

This is true of all software. Sure, we could write everything to run on DOS and Mac OS 7, but it'd be expensive to develop and test on so many platforms; there'd be minimal, if any gain in adoption; and we wouldn't be able to take advantage of more recent technology. In the end, taking the "support absolutely everything" philosophy just isn't a sound business decision.

It is not as up to date as Firefox 3.5 (4, Informative)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 5 years ago | (#28644307)

and not supported by the Mozilla Foundation, but it is a Mozilla 1.3.1 based web browser.

Too bad it does not support the 68K MacOS 7.5.X environment, there are a lot of people running Mac 68K emulators and that is the version of Mac System that Apple allows to be downloaded legally for free.Usually the Basilisk II [online.fr] Mac 68K emulator, which seems to be popular.

At least they try for PowerMac Mac OS 8.6 compatibility, which is good for those PowerMac users who cannot upgrade to Mac OS9.

Re:It is not as up to date as Firefox 3.5 (2, Informative)

AtariKee (455870) | more than 5 years ago | (#28645597)

8.6 compatibility is very good... so far. I'm testing the browser on my Cube, a Bondi iMac (running 8.6) and a Performa 6400 (ditto). It's definitely faster than Mozilla, Netscape, and WamCom, and fairly stable. Only certain sites make it crash, such as Alltop [alltop.com] (if you hover over a link), and it has some rendering and scrolling bugs (such as on Blogspot [blogspot.com] ). But on the whole, it's much more stable than the older browsers. And Slashdot [slashdot.org] no longer crashes either :)

I jumped on as a tester fairly early in the project; discussion started on the OS 9 list sponsored by Low End Mac [lowendmac.com] about a modernized browser for the classic OS; as I still use my OS 9- running Cube daily, and got tired of WamCom crashing on me.

It's also old, but Netscape 7.01 for OS 9? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28644491)

It may not be the latest and most fantastic of browsers, but Netscape 7.01 is still available from evolt.org, works on OS 9 (and earlier), and does a better job of rendering most pages than IE 6 does.

Not going back to OS 8/9 thank you... (1)

mergy (42601) | more than 5 years ago | (#28644571)

I spent enough time with; -OpenDoc -Desktop Printing -Chooser -Extension Manager -Cleaning out corrupted preferences -Playing with RAM allocation for Adobe apps for clients -PPP dial-up accounts with hacks No thanks. I don't think my fingers have ever healed from putting memory into the PPC 7100s or 8100s and getting continually sliced-up. Ugh! Bad memories indeed.

Re:Not going back to OS 8/9 thank you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28644803)

But Steve Jobs said that Apple Macintoshes are like the Mercedes of the computing world! Do you mean that he was lying when he said that, and that it is really like working on an old vintage Packard Bell, with it's poorly trimmed solder joints hanging off riser cards, and with sharp sheet metal edges inside just waiting to lacerate your wrists for daring to venture beyond the candy colored exterior!?

For SHAME!

Re:Not going back to OS 8/9 thank you... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28645331)

Thank you, thank you. Amongst the worst operating systems ever. My roommate was a CS major and told me that his OS prof told the class that if someone turned in MacOS for their final project, he would fail them, because they clearly didn't understand how a modern operating system should work. This was in 1993.

Look and Feel (3, Insightful)

butlerm (3112) | more than 5 years ago | (#28644871)

One reason might be that the people who can still run Mac OS 9 like the look and feel better than Mac OS X. I certainly do - the new "shiny" / hyper-animated look and feel is one of the primary reasons why I have little current interest in getting a Mac. I feel the same way about Vista, but at least there I can turn it off.

User interfaces should not be "exciting" - they should be functional, and minimize eye strain and unnecessary distractions, especially for the people that have to use them eight or more hours a day.

Of course few things are quite as bad as trying to read an online article when an animated ad is flashing away in the next column...

Re:Look and Feel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28645281)

You're kinda old, huh?

Re:Look and Feel (3, Insightful)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 5 years ago | (#28646111)

Boring does not equal functional. I'd say that the improvements made in OS X were all worthwhile. Easier to use and easier on the eye. It's like having air conditioning in your car. It's not absolutely necessary but at the end of the day you feel so much less tired.

Re:Look and Feel (1)

SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) | more than 5 years ago | (#28646181)

Shiny and hyper animated? I take it you haven't used Leopard or know where the preferences are? Currently, OS X is more neutral and minimalistic that OS 9, IMHO. And the animation is more informative than flashy (perhaps we can exclude the dock). The only really shiny parts left are the buttons and the dock (once again). But even so, it's been toned down a lot since the candy and pin-stripe days of 10.0.

What's old is new again - or maybe not (3, Funny)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#28644897)

the currently-released build seems to work well on my old PowerBook 1400 -- despite being a little memory-hungry.

Some things never change.

To the "Just Install Linux" Crowd... (2, Informative)

airbatica (743048) | more than 5 years ago | (#28645071)

If you've never tried to install Linux on an Old World Mac (any PowerPC,PCI based mac older than a Blue and White G3 or iMac G3) then you're in for a treat. Think slamming your balls in a car door fun. Almost all the modern Linux distributions have dropped support for BootX (the MacOS Linux loader) and Oldworld machines. Why not boot from Openfirmware you ask? Because it flat dosen't f*****g work. The details of why escape me, and I don't care enough to look it up. Throw hardware upgrades into the mix (like a modern IDE controller, and a decent graphics card) and really pull your hair out. Needless to say, I dumped the Powermac 6400 off at the recycling center years ago, picked up a cheap, stripped and working Blue and White G3 and never looked back.

Re:To the "Just Install Linux" Crowd... (2, Informative)

cm5oom (603394) | more than 5 years ago | (#28645213)

Netbsd supports booting from openfrimware on old world macs just fine. I believe it's the only OS that does.

Re:To the "Just Install Linux" Crowd... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28645619)

Then again, NetBSD'll run on a toaster. That's not quite all that remarkable.

Great - when is the Atari 1040ste port? (3, Funny)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 5 years ago | (#28645749)

Oh, but never mind - the processor is slower than the connection - the computer itself would be the bottleneck...

:-/

RS

Classilla ? (1)

frenchbedroom (936100) | more than 5 years ago | (#28646583)

Why did I immediatly translate this name as Clbuttilla ? [google.com]
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