Tuesday, September 6, 2016


One of my periodic "drop by now and then" sites is System7Today, extolling the virtues of System 7 to those people still rocking 60x-series Power Macs (that's Mac OS 7.0 through 7.6.1 for those of you who only know Mac OS as starting with a lower-case m, and also, get off my lawn), and I was disheartened to see that the System7Today forums are going read-only. I regretfully understand his reasoning though one wonders what will happen to the rest of the site. It hasn't changed in years, but it hasn't had to, and I love the frozen-in-time mockery of the Apple front page from at least a decade or so prior.

The only Macs I have still running System 7 are all running 7.1 (not counting the NetBSD 68K systems, which just use System 7 as a bootloader): one is my IIci with a 50MHz DayStar '030 and a MacIvory Lisp card, another is my recapped SE/30 looking for a job to do, and the last is my super-cute Mystic Color Classic. I like 7.1 a lot more than 7.5 or 7.6, and you can transplant lots of the 7.5 CDEVs and such back to 7.1 for a slimmer but still feature-filled experience. That said, I have to confess that I jumped to OS 8, and then OS 9, whenever I got the chance on my Power Macs. Part of this was that I upgraded those systems aggressively -- all of my Old World Power Macs in regular use have G3 or G4 upgrade cards, including my beloved PowerBook 1400, so they all run 9.1 or 9.2.2 -- and part of it is to run Classilla, but the biggest reason was just that OS 8 looked nicer and felt better, and 8.1 and 8.6 were still pretty speedy. I still run OS 8 on my PowerBook 2300c and Quadra 800.

But still, nostalgia dies hard. (No doubt being a TenFourFox user, you'd empathize.) While I've got lots of classic System 7-era software backed up for posterity on the Floodgap gopher server, it just doesn't have System7Today's throwback vibe and playful attitude. I'll miss it dearly pending its inevitable slow-motion decommissioning, most of all because it remains a great example of doing the most you can with the little you've got. Typing this blog post on a 2002-vintage 1GHz iMac G4, us PowerPC holdouts are still living in that spirit today.

Watch for 45.4 later this week(end).


  1. I have a IIci at home that I saved from the 'Sad Mac' years ago.

    System 7.5.8. It's got old versions of QuarkXPress and Photoshop on it that I use if I need to.

    What's nice here (for me) though is that I run Kaleidoscope on it with a Platinum theme so it appears as if it's running OS9.

  2. Speaking of the classic Mac OS, I've found a way to run classic apps on my G5 with Leopard; Use Basilisk II. It's not fast, perfect & (ironically) can't run PPC apps, but at least I can run Pathways into Darkness & Masters of Orion.
    It's also worth noting that the guys over at the QEMU project have finally got OS 9.2.2 running in emulation. It's not hardware accelerated yet and rather unstable at this state, but hey, it's a pretty impressive feet (especially considering that Sheep Shaver is only capable of running up to 9.0.4). Assuming it's still build-able on our old machines by the time it stabilizes, Leopard users will have a full fledged replacement for the Classic Environment.


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