10 Things We Miss From OS 9

Anonymous's picture

10 Things We Miss From OS 9

 

 

Come on Apple, bring this to OS X

 

Print Window
It’s not necessarily a daily task, but there are plenty of times when the ability to quickly print the contents of a Finder window comes in handy; however, Apple inexplicably removed this feature when making the move from Carbon to Cocoa. It has since included a hidden, cumbersome way to accomplish this simple task, but after six major versions of OS X, Print Window has yet to reappear. (Here’s how to do it: Open the desired Finder window; press Command+Shift+4, followed by the space bar; move the camera cursor that appears until it highlights the open Finder window; click the mouse once; double-click the document that appears on your desktop or in the Documents Stack to open it in Preview; and finally, press Command+P. Easy, right?)

 

 

Pre-Safari

 

Internet Explorer
OK, bear with me on this one. Back before I bought my first Mac, I did all my writing and researching on a used laptop running Windows 95. Once I scraped together enough money to foot the bill for a PowerMac, I ditched the ThinkPad and dove head first into the Mac desktop experience, which was a little daunting at first. It may sound strange, but it was comforting to see the blue Internet Explorer icon in a sea of unfamiliarity --- and I think today’s switchers would appreciate the same friendly face.

 

 

Uh oh

 

Bomb
When OS 9 crashed --- which was far more frequent than we’d like to remember --- a dialog box popped up informing you of the need to restart. To ease the pain of losing whatever you happened to be working on at the time was a silly graphic of a bomb seconds away from going off. Apple’s OS X answer is an unsettling full-screen picture of a power button, with a cascading multi-language message imploring a restart. We prefer OS 9’s cute, little exploder.

 

 

Moof!

 

Clarus the Dogcow
Like die-hard fans of any professional sports team, Mac devotees have a tendency to latch onto little things that set them apart from the rest of the crowd. Enter Clarus the dogcow. Introduced as one of the dingbats in the Cairo font suitcase way back when, Clarus soon found a home in the Mac OS page setup box, where she skillfully showed the paper’s orientation, “moofed” when clicked and inspired legions of geeks to print a little more often than necessary. She even had her own theme song, found in Macintosh Technical Note #31:

 

A dogcow is what I want to be.
Pictured in dialogs,


Running through the weeds,


In and out of advertisements,


Loving my naughty deeds.
Feeling in black and white.
Over the edge of cliffs,


Out with the tide in the sea.


Living life to the fullest,


Sweet survival in 2 D.

 

And if anyone at Apple is reading this, we all miss her dearly.

 

 

This may take a while

 

Coffee Breaks
With the dawn of OS X, proper multi-tasking on the Mac was finally born. No longer did we have to wait for a 1MB Photoshop file to render before we could begin working on another project. Gone were the trips outside for a cigarette while a video compressed, or to the vending machine while a disc burned. Of course, we appreciate the increase in productivity, but how are we supposed to catch a cat-nap while a progress bar slowly moves across the screen now?

 

 

Editors Note (AKA Robbie): Thanks to a few keen-eyed readers, we realized that a wonderful Stickies apps resides near the bottom of our Applications folder in Leopard. Let's just say we've written a few unprintable words on our newly discovered desktop Sticky. Still, we're not about to hide our mistake. Check out the Stickies item below.

 

All the convenience, none of the adhesive

 

Desktop Stickies
There’s no arguing that Dashboard is one of the most useful apps to come out of Cupertino’s labs since iTunes. With breathtaking effects, striking graphics and dozens of practical applications, Dashboard opened up the Mac desktop to a world of mini Web apps available at the stroke of a key. They’ve undoubtedly made our lives easier, but there is at least one that we OS 9 users would like to see return to OS X proper: Stickies. Dashboard Stickies are certainly useful, but Post-It notes work much better when they’re in plain view. UNIX tinkers can fiddle in Terminal to trick the Stickies Widget (defaults write com.apple.dashboard devmode YES), but most Mac users will be forced to enter Dashboard to read their important notes.

 

 

What do you miss from OS 9? Tell us in the comments below.

 

127

Comments

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Pekingduk

What is with the icon shuffle? My desktop icons never stay where I put them? I have 5 drives, and some folders, and they are all over the place every time I start up. Has anyone made a shareware app called Icon Glue yet? If they do, they'll make a mint!

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sonnymoon42

There were several things in the classic Mac OS that I miss. Some have been mentioned: windowshades and the "print window" feature most significantly (both are available through third party software developers). I was a big fan of the Launcher, although the Dock is just as good. Also, being able to customize extensions was a nice touch, either via the Extensions Manager or just dragging them in or out of the Extensions folder.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is FONT MANAGEMENT. Back in the olden days (well, at least since System 7.1), all user fonts were kept in ONE folder in the System Folder; they were much easier to keep track of, and prevent "font creep" (Microsoft and Adobe have a habit of installing fonts whether you want 'em or not). And, you could add or discard individuak bitmap (or TrueType) fonts from within their suitcases. True, you needed Adobe Type Manager to get smooth onscreen Postscript fonts, but all in all it was a simpler way organize fonts.

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erik

I liked dragging my boot partition to a new disk...instant backup.

I liked creating my own boot cd.

I hate not being able to share the folder I want to share.

I miss chooser.

I miss AFP.

I hate that those are gone.

And when are they going to give me a control panel for when I close the lid on my PowerBook?

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Anonymous

I miss extensions and being able to make my system run faster by disabling stuff I never use.

I miss how the system memory was managed without virtual memory. There are so many bloated apps now.

I miss the speed of OS9. OS X is a stupid stupid beast of an operating system. The apps just keep getting slower as does the interface keeps getting worse.

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Eric H.

.sony

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Ted

I really miss the zippy responsiveness of OS 9.2's GUI. Tiger sure is pretty, but it lumbers and stomps around while 9.2 raced through dialogs, menus -- OH YEAH, AND ANOTHER ONE:

Apps like Photoshop -- under 9, had the option to turn off previews in the File/Open box. In X, if you don't have it set for list view, you're in for a long wait as X renders a preview. I've sat thru more beachballs and lockups since upgrading to X.

I'd really like to get rid of the fancy Aqua, honestly.

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Anonymous

I miss Kaleidoscope and Kineticons very much.

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Andy

I didn't notice this item by anyone else and it's a big oversight by Apple.

With OS 9 a person could easily list the contents of a window by merely highlighting the contents, select COPY, then paste into any text document. This is invaluable when making various discs (backups, archives, send to friends, etc.) and wanting to include the contents in a sleeve or the disc label.

There's no way to do this in OS X and I miss it very much.

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joAnn

Is the issue that you don't get icons & file types? If you copy & paste you do get all of your file names in Text Edit...

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Anonymous

I like to send people lists of file names, and I can do it now without copying them one at a time.

Why did this great feature disappear???

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Anonymous

Though you can't simply copy and paste the contents of a folder into text edit you can use a program such as "Capture Me" to accomplish this task. Capture Me is useful for taking screen shots and where it differs from the simple screen shot feature provided in OS 10 is that it opens a window that can be easily moved over the item you want a screen shot of & resized so that you get only the portion of the screen you are wanting a picture of. Then you can print the screen shot and slip it in the disc jewel case to show the contents of the disc. That's the way I do it anyhow. It's simple, fast and free, although they do ask for a donation which you can either give or select donate later and continue to use the software for free.

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Mike

I use it everyday as it still works fine in my book!!! Making talking scripts for start up and shut down is cool, although not unique as this can be done in OSX as well, really does not work quite as well in OSX (my opinion based on OS10.1.5). I have a Mac Book Pro with OS 10. 5. 2 so I am up to date. I started using Macs back in the days of OS6 with a Mac Plus and had a following up with every upgrade to come along, with the exception of 10.3. Took a small break as my old 2001 iBook would be streched by OS 10.3. I think I like them all and there is something neat with everyone of the Mac OS systems that make them a cut above!!!

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san diego graphics guy

I worked 12+ hour days/ 7 days a week with OS 7.5-9.2 for years doing catalogs. I consider those the dark years for Apple. The pre OSX system was so problematic! I got so tired of crashes and the "bomb". Plus, viruses! Managing Extensions was hell. I was so happy when Steve Jobs came back with excellent computers and OSX. The Apple computer experience is so much better now... I could list hundreds of reasons why OSX is better than OS9.

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Anonymous

I wont argue the fact that there was virusses for System - Mac OS.

But i must say not any of them ever infected my Mac's, all of them had hardly virus protection though Disinfectant ran occassionally on them, never a virus was found. Later during Mac OS 7.5 or later , i did protect my Macs against the autostart worm or something, which was catched once or twice in it's early days, later i never encounter it again.

And lets face the fact for every 1 Mac virus there was atleast 10000.. Windows Virus.

Also many virusses where defect in later Mac Os versions, there really wasn't a lot of them affective on the latest versions of the Mac OS

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Andy

Things I miss that were discontinued with OS9

- the ease with which you could put stuff in the Apple menu.
- ResEdit to change texts in menus etc. I could call things by the name that suited me if I didn't agree with the developer's way of putting it. I used to help elderly people with their computers and they often appreciated me renaming stuff by the names they used.
- the cool low-footprint screen savers such as "can of worms" or "puzzle" or "flying toasters"
- you physically couldn't remove a volume without unmounting first. With USB drives you can no longer stop people doing that and it causes a lot of problems for those who have difficulties remembering that stuff.

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Guavaberrie

I miss the Launcher.... I had 5 or 6 categories and under the categories all of the programs on the computer. There is not enough room on the dock to put everything. I really had a hard time getting used to OS X but but now am wowed by what it is capable of and how very clean it is. I have a couple of old macs that I have left OS 9 on so that I can play all the games that became obsolete when X was rolled out...
Remember when........

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R. J. Campbell

I miss the "buttons" feature for the icons.

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Steve J.

This article is a piece of crap. I mean, come on, you miss stickies in OSX, do ya? Then freakin' launch stickies.app.

Poorly researched, dishonest article.

How pathetic...

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Jamie Kahn Genet

No sense of humour? Why are you taking everything so seriously? Sheesh... get a life.

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Alan

Beside some of the features mentioned by other readers, I miss OS 9's ability to align icons once and for all. In OS X I will place a document or folder, but if the folder inside which these reside moves on screen, then the icons no longer align properly. In other words, OS X is inconsistent. Drives me nuts.

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Tanner

Though I like the memories of using OS 9 (some of em anyway) but I think it was a as early as last year I booted up a G3 iMac with 9.2 on it and in a practical sense I don't really miss anything. I always liked the sound effects though wouldn't mind apple returning those without paying for xsounds or whatever it is as a sub par replacment

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HG

The platinum sounds, little clicks, pops, dragging, and trash-emptying sounds are what I miss most about the classic Mac OS.

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Anonymous

Yeah! I installed the 'water' sound set on every Mac I used, and got a lot of comment on it :)

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Anonymous

I miss the launcher most of all. The dock in os x is definately cool but I would rather organize my programs by category instead of having just a line up of of apps

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Gt1948

NOT A DARN THING........live in the future not the past

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Ted Hoofar

Umm, don't you mean live in the present?

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Anonymous

I miss the ability to take the system folder and simply and easily drag and drop it, to back up my whole system . I had back up after back up.

Backing things up on OS X frankly is a mish mash of 3rd party options, of which each individual has their favorite and claim to fame.
True Apple has after 7 years come out with Time Machine, which is going through it's own growing pains but I assume will be a good system. But then again, Apple has a long history of adding software and then just when you have it down and integrated, they pull the plug.

I have wasted more time over back ups and trying to retrieve information in X, then I ever did in system 8 to 9.2.

I love the power of X, the ability to bring in new software and it's core system makes it a hands down a winner. But come on Apple, just how hard is it to make simple back up, as the majority of software and all their files are associated with the system, these are lost if the system goes down in a crash and burn . While the system is very reliable, the lack of easy back up is the achilles heal and one that is not properly addressed

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PaulG

There is shareware software that will enable you to Print Window as in OS 9 also in Tiger or Leopard here:

Print Windows 4.0.1
http://www.searchwaresolutions.com/

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Anonymous

I miss TASKMENUBAR. One of the best classic shareware apps.

I also miss how just being able to change an icon or folders shade with the label feature. Why that isn't in OS X is a mystery to me.

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axl

Moof, Internet Explorer, Coffee Breaks and Bomb? Are you serious? If you do not have 10 things just write 6 ones. Are you getting paid by word? I do not miss this s***-system at all. Almost everything under the GUI was bad and worthless. NC > Want back Quickdraw? You must be kidding. OpenGL is standard and gives Mac OS X many apps the would never be on the plattform otherwise. Richard > Ever heard about fsck i Mac OS X? What do you mean "You just rebooted" Mac OS 9 did not have any built-in repair app. Frank Tano > Text clippings is still there... People, don´t say Mac OS 9 is better when you can do the same in Mac OS X but you just do not have the knowledge. Newbies..

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Pekingduk

If they remember using OS 9, then doesn't that mean they are NOT Newbies? If you don't like what you are reading, buzz off, no one is forcing you to read this. Some of us who grew up through the systems, 6, 7, 8, and 9 have a right to be a little nostalgic about these systems, and our beloved Macs. So, if you want to throw a tantrum, go somewhere else and let us be nostalgic.

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Anonymous

You must be a very angry man. There is nothing wrong with being a little nostalgic for a simpler time. There is no reason for being so nasty and rude. And if we are nostalgic for OS 9, we are not newbies, we have been around awhile. I have been playing with macs since 1988. Be nice....

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Anonymous

Damn the trolls. Good article even though you missed the stickies, honest mistake, but if you hadn't made it you wouldn't be enjoying stickies at this moment! I love stickies so much I install various versions of it on my linux and windows systems.

I miss the all inclusive System Folder too. Having to spend 2+ hours installing an OS on a computer that cannot be used while installing has become the standard. Backing up a system has become more confusing and difficult as a result.

I miss the old BMUG newsletters and vast selections of Shareware apps and games. I also miss MacAddict magazine and the CDs full of software and video. This is probably because of broadband internet, but there does not seem to be as much shareware as there used to be.

Oh yeah, old school Bungie games, anyone??? Marathon??? Halo just doesn't measure up.

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David

It's nOObs, btw. ;) This article was - I am sure - written with a retro smile, so no use getting all worked up axl... no, what I really miss is the old MacAddict! Then you would have spotted the tongue-in-cheek right away. :D
MacLife is so streamlined and square, we want MacAddict back!

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Anonymous

Man, what a dumb article. Can't believe I wasted my time reading this.

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Anonymous

and more time replying to it...

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Don

I use WindowShade X from Unsanity. Yes, it's a hack but it works perfectly and restores the window shade function. It's cheap, too!

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DCataneo

I miss Casady & Greene's Conflict Catcher for Extensions ----- NOT.

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Richard

I can't believe that no one has mentioned this one:

*** Disk repair built into the OS ***

Remember being able to run disk repair when you old classic Mac was acting flakey? You just rebooted -- you didn't have to dig up an optical disk in those days.

BTW, Windows XP can do this. (I'm just trying to shame Apple into fixing this terrible deficiency.)

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Pekingduk

Yeah! I remember being able to run disk repair while using the machine. I hate having to find a system disk, or repair disk! ARG! I installed Applejack, and that works great. I run it at startup about one a month, and I don't have to dig out a disk. But, that is one thing that I'd like to see changed.

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Scott

This is pretty sloppy. So, if you missed it so much, you apparently never used it. This article is a sham.

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Mike

Yeah, I know. Pretty dumb. We'll be fixing it shortly.

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Anonymous

I miss the talking Moose.

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Anonymous

http://www.zathras.de/angelweb/moose.htm

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Samuel Caezar Porcalla

actually, what i actually miss in OS 9 is the extension for the trash... no other than "oscar the grouch".

"i love it because it's trash!" :)

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DrOct

Oh man! I miss Oscar too!

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Nan

Yeh, what a great toy for the easily amused.
I kept a colorful folder on my desktop
called STUFF TO FEED OSCAR.
It was full of tiny files so I would drag one to the trash when I needed a brain break.

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roystonlodge

Ok, it isn't animated, but you CAN have a singing Oscar the Grouch in your Trash.  I posted a walkthrough of how I did it at my website www.stephengilman.ca.  No need to download anything special (other than Gimp, Audacity, and something for converting WAV files to AIF.  I used Switch.)

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Matthew

I miss:
1. The "Put Away" command in the Finder file menu
2. The ability to change label colors (without hacks)
3. Trash on desktop (without hacks)
4. Changing applications with the application menu (upper right corner)
5. Custom Apple Menu
6. Accessing particular control panels from the Apple Menu (instead of the system 6 behavior of an all-in-one system preferences-type of control panel)
7. Simplicity of the System Folder (copy to a new drive and you can boot--no permissions required)
8. Optional file extensions (not forced)
9. The General Control Panel preference to auto-hide other applications
10. The ability to put anything anywhere.

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Matthew

I miss:
1. The "Put Away" command in the Finder file menu
2. The ability to change label colors (without hacks)
3. Trash on desktop (without hacks)
4. Changing applications with the application menu (upper right corner)
5. Custom Apple Menu
6. Accessing particular control panels from the Apple Menu (instead of the system 6 behavior of an all-in-one system preferences-type of control panel)
7. Simplicity of the System Folder (copy to a new drive and you can boot--no permissions required)
8. Optional file extensions (not forced)
9. The General Control Panel preference to auto-hide other applications
10. The ability to put anything anywhere.

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