Introduced on the stage by Steve Jobs during the May 1999 WWDC Keynote, the “Mac OS Anthology” was a collection of many Mac OS operating systems to aid (registered) third party developers in testing their software for compatibility.
It was presented originally in the form of a boxset of 4 DVDs which included all of the releases of the Macintosh operating systems since System 7 ’til the current one which at the time was Mac OS 8.5.
The DVDs were chosen for their archival capacity and featured all of the international localizations of the systems, up to 25 languages.
According to Applefritter the back of the first four DVDs reads:
Worldwide System Software for Developers
From System 7 to Mac OS 8.5 and beyond
This DVD-ROM set is the first DVD offering from the Apple Developer Connection. The DVD format was selected because it delivers so much useful data on one convenient and easy-to-use medium. This collection is designed to assist you in extending your product’s reach into international markets and environments.
From an archived copy of the Apple website we also know the sale price: 199 USD, and just 149 for those ADC members who ordered a copy before May 14. In 2000 the price was discounted to just 99 dollars.
Volumes 5 and 6 were devoted to Mac OS 8.6, just introduced at the aforementioned 1999 WWDC so the contents of the DVDs, which by the way are not bootable, at the end of the year became as follows:
Disc 1: 7.0, 7.0.1, 7.1, 7.1.1, 7.1.2, 7.5, 7.5.3, 7.5.5 Update, 7.6.1, OS 8.0
– Disc 2: OS 8 (continued), OS 8.1
– Disc 3: OS 8.1 (continued)
– Disc 4: OS 8.1 (continued), OS 8.5, OS 8.5.1
– Disc 5: OS 8.6
– Disc 6: OS 8.6 (continued)
Later, in February of 2000 Apple offered to ADC developers two more volumes for Mac OS 9 (in 15 languages) collecting the other four in a new, second boxset labeled “2000 edition”.
After that, in 2001, the Mac OS Anthology again grew to include two more DVDs. These were to be the last additions, featuring Mac OS 9.0.4, 9.1 and the first Mac OS X and brought the grand total to 10 discs.
There are many misconceptions about the Macintosh before the arrival of Mac OS X. One of them is the absence of a shell, a command line interface.
Although it is true that until 2001 Apple never provided one out of the box, there have been many ways to obtain such an interface, including Apple’s own MPW package for developers and a plethora of third parts applications and utilities. Among these was an AppleScript command interface for the System 7 called CLImax that was developed around 1996 by Drew Thaler.
Since we interviewed Drew a while ago about his work for Apple we also asked him to tell us the background story about this peculiar shell for the so-called “Classic” Mac OS.
Drew Thaler: I was in university at the time, and everyone in the engineering department spent a lot of time using the command-line interfaces on Unix systems. (SunOS, HP-UX, Apollo, etc.) The Mac had a few types of command-lines — MPW, MacPerl, and so on – but there was no reason to use most of them, because really the way you interacted with the Mac was through GUI apps and that’s where your data was kept.
But there was a text-based way to talk to the GUI applications on your Mac: AppleScript.