Sunday, 28 October 2007

The Last Classic Mac OS - A Tribute

Officially deceased but won't lie down yet!

The release of OS X 10.5 Leopard on 26 October 2007 marks the end of Apple's support of the classic Mac OS. Leopard no longer supports PPC Mac Classic mode, so anyone who still relies on a classic Mac app is out of luck with Leopard. So here's my modest tribute to a legend.

Although Classic has been less and less useful as time goes on, there are sure to be some PPC Mac users out there like myself who still need to run classic apps, either because an update or replacement doesn't exist, or because they can't find a suitable replacement for a much loved classic app. I'm likely to upgrade to Leopard sometime, but it will be on a separate internal hard drive alongside Panther, for dual-booting. I can't bear to be parted from Panther, just yet, for reasons such as these classic apps:

- all the Mac Tomb Raiders up to The Last Revelation (TR 4). None of these (7) games have been confirmed yet for Carbonising by Aspyr, but although I'm not hopeful I've not yet ruled it out. These alone lock me into Panther for some time yet!

- Claris Home Page, which was discontinued in 2001 with v3. There may be better WYSIWYG website design packages these days, but I'm happy with the utility and ease of use of Home Page. It may be very basic by today's standards but what it does it does well and has been running this site since day one. Anyway, who needs templates or rollovers :)

- SoundApp PPC, which was a very useful freeware audio converter, capable of handling one of the widest range of formats at the time. The developer, Norman Franke, moved on to other things and the last release was v2.7.3 in late 2000. Although there are other audio utilities for OS X, none to this day have the simplicity or practicality of SoundApp PPC.

- The older F/A-18 Hornet flightsims, of which only F/A-18 Korea can be run in Classic with the help of MacGLide. The later F/A-18 OIF may be OS X native but for sheer flightsim fun on a Mac nothing can beat Hornet Korea. Well, except for Hornet 3 which won't run in Classic...

- I also have occasional use for a few odd things like my old GME97 Encyclopaedia (and some other references) and my faithful old Agfa scanner. Unfortunately the Agfa scanner will only work by booting into OS 9 as the SCSI connection doesn't work properly in Panther.

So the end of Classic support by Apple is, for myself and many other long term Mac users, an event to rank up there with the last PPC Mac. Hence my modest tribute to an operating system family that may not have always been cutting edge, but will always be fondly remembered.

RIP Classic Mac OS
24 January 1984 - 26 October 2007

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