Still Using OS9?

To all those folks out there who are still on the rather old version of Apple’s operating system known as Mac OS9, why are you still using it? Nothing is being developed for it. What things that exist for it aren’t terribly stable. And lastly, isn’t the machine you’re running it on about to die? I’ve seen a lot of them go, so I only ask out of concern.

Mac OSX has been around for nearly six years now. I think it may be time to consider upgrading, because it’s been stable for at least like maybe two of those years. Sure, there are still bugs in it and probably a whole slew of new ones with the shift to Intel processors, but OS9 certainly has its fair share of bugs, including that little bomb thing that would always hose the last thing I was working on.

I only bring this up because I still see a couple of hits to various sites that I run which come from OS9 machines. Invariably these folks are all using Explorer 5.23 which was the most stable browser for OS9, but also incredibly poor in how it implemented HTML. I don’t develop for it. I don’t test on it. I refuse to use it due to how poor it is. The reson being that in the past I would struggle countless hours to get a site working on it that pulled up fine on Explorer for Windows. Naturally, Mac Explorer was never as bad as the horrid Netscape 4 series, but it was close. And… oh yeah, it’s not even available from Microsoft anymore. It really is dead software.

So I beg of all you OS9 people, please, for the sake of the web, upgrade to OSX, or Windows XP, or hell, Linux. If for nothing else, than to use Firefox which does a brilliant job with sites.

3 Replies to “Still Using OS9?”

  1. Hello: Coming to you from the WamCom build 1.3.1 of Mozilla on a PowerBook G3 Wallstreet 300 MHz running OS 9.2.

    It has an upgraded hard drive, 300+ MB RAM and wireless internet via a PCMCIA card, because all that stuff from the PC world works in these things and it’s really cheap now.

    Wanna know why? Because new Mac laptops cost $1200 and up. Because OSX on these older Macs is unusably slow. If all you need the computer for is web surfing, and email, and photo editing, and running MS Office, and oh hmmm… come to think of it, this tired old machine is pretty damn useful, ain’t it? I’ve written, edited, and sent in entire magazine articles, including the photo editing, from this machine that sits on my wireless lap here, watching TV.

    Yes, OS9 is old. But still mighty useful.

    And don’t get me started with CD and audio file handling. I have a pile of freeware apps from days of old on this OS9 machine that can rip files off my CDs and make mp3 files, without that wretched, bloated, iTunes crap being on my machine. I can capture audio right from my old analog vinyl and encoder it to mp3, courtesy of the built-in mic input on the sound card, which all new Macs have deemed “unnecessary” (morons).

    I can search for files on the drive without that Godforsaken SPOTLIGHT crap getting in the way and “helping” me by not finding half the files that are actually there.

    It’s about money, convenience, and usability.

    I have an OSX machine. But I’m
    not about to throw out these two nice G3 Wallstreets. Hell, they’ve survived 9 years and that’s pretty phenomenal for any laptop.

    My only regret is that the WamCOM Mozilla 1.3.1 is finally starting to be unable to display some controls and things on some websites, mostly because the web designers are obsessed with finding complicated slow ways to display something like a button or a dropdown box. After all, why do it with lean, simple HTML when you can do it with slow, bloated, animated JavaScript, or worse, some crap Flash animation that I wish would burn in Hell for all eternity.

    Sooner or later, the web browsing is what will do these machines in.
    That’s a pity. Because from where I sit, sites like Yahoo! etc have only become slower, bloated and tedious (yes, even running FireFox from Windows). They aren’t better. They have only succeeded in making the web harder to use.

    1. All very good points and given how bad the reviews of the latest OSX have been, it seems like a good idea to stay away from it for some time. Just like how I am staying away from Windows Vista.
      Of course, there are some things won’t run on OS9, such as Firefox, which I like a good deal. In general, I never much liked the OS9 software, like Netscape 4, which is why I got off of an OS9 Mac as soon as I possibly could.
      I agree that there are a lot of web developers making things more difficult, but an application like Google Maps would simply not be the same without AJAX working it. And yes, I hate all the Scriptaculous stuff as well that gives you fancy dropdowns and whatnot, but people really want it and if they’re your client, you have little choice.

    2. You know, you seem to be quite a decent, stand-up guy. I’m glad I found your blog. Personally, I hate NetScape 4. It’s just so nonconformant and crash-happy that it’s unusable. FireFox is my browser of choice, too, on machines that can run it. Too bad it’s not out for OS9.

      I have strived to create my website (it’s about my model train stuff) so it works on anything (except NetScape 4 which is just a lost cause). And I’ve busted my rear to make sure it passes the w3c conformancy validator and even makes iCab’s checker “smile” (and there ain’t many sites that do that).

      I have a Google map embedded in my site. It’s very nice, very handy. Iit does indeed display correctly on my old Mac with Mozilla 1.3.1, albeit slow.

      This is coming from my work PC using NetScape 7.1. That gives you some idea of how my soul works. Once I have an app that works, something really obnoxious has to come along to break it before I will bother switching. Those jerks at Yahoo! just made their page refuse to load unless you have FireFox or IE, so I spoofed my NetScape 7.1 browser (to announce itself as FireFox) just to prove that their page works under it and they are just being obnoxious.

      I think the whole world would be happier if we gave up this rush to install the “next great thing.”


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