Mac OS 9: still alive and kicking after 15 years

Filed under: Did you know that...

Apple introduced Mac OS 9, the last edition of the “classic” Mac OS line, in 1999 and buried it less than three years after in May 2002, at its WWDC (WorldWide Developer Conference).

During the WWDC keynote, Steve Jobs officiated a mock ceremony where he actually buried a giant box of Mac OS 9 in a coffin after a humorous and a bit irriverent funeral oration, complete with organ accompaniment.

And yet, despite its official sendoff, the “old” OS has refused to rest “in the great bit bucket in the sky” where the iCEO so hastily put it.

Mac OS 9 has not only been the main OS for quite a few years during the early and immature phase of Mac OS X’ existence, but there are users stubbornly and happily using it right now, in 2014. They are still making the most of it on supported Macs and some have even successfully hacked unsupported models harnessing all of the power of the PowerPC chips.

You see, at the time of Mac OS 9’s “death” Apple not only put all of its resources behind the newer OS, but also made it impossible to natively run the OS on its new Macintoshes, relegating it to the emulated Classic environment. Starting from 2003 Apple introduced new Mac which could only boot in Mac OS X. In 2004 this forced “transition” was a reality, also thanks to the fourth major release of OS X, Panther, which cut support for older Macs such as beige G3s and the “Wall Street” PowerBook G3s. (more…)

Thursday 15 January 2015, 4:00 pm
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The other new features of Mac OS 9

The most touted feature of Mac OS 9 was the new Sherlock 2 but there were lots of other new features, mostly related to the development and coming of the NeXT generation operating system, Mac OS X.

Mac OS 9 had multiple users, Voiceprint password, Keychain, automatic updating, encryption, Internet File Sharing, Internet AppleScript, and Network Browser. Many of these were direct equivalents of Mac OS X features which were concurrently developed or even backported.

The reason was of course to make the Mac OS more powerful and more modern but also to ease the transition to OS X, which at the time was believed to start in less than an year

Image taken from Toastytech.com

Monday 26 October 2009, 6:53 am
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Ten years ago: here comes Mac OS 9

Filed under: Software

On October 22, 1999 Apple launched Mac OS 9, its major new release of the Macintosh operating system.

Mac OS 9 boxThe last boxed edition of the “classic” Mac OS line carried a retail price of 99 USD (with a 20USD rebate for customers who owned Mac OS 8.5 or 8.6) and featured new Internet tools such as Sherlock 2, which was lauded by CEO Steve Jobs in the press release.

The updated version of Apple’s search tool was explicitly modified with a plugin system so that the new Sherlock could access search engines, websites, services and even follow auctions, helping the users with information retrieval but also shopping and online commerce.

To launch the operating system Apple Authorized Resellers (among which were chains such as CompUsa, Sears and Fry’s) held throughout the following weekend special Mac OS 9 “Midnight Madness” events, Apple Demo Days and in-store promotions.

Thursday 22 October 2009, 11:36 pm
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