Sebastian goes back to Mac OS 9

I tend to avoid using this blog as a “linked list”, but this story is the perfect example of what I mean when I talk about putting vintage technology to good use. Sebastian Patting, in his guest post at Low End Mac, talks about his bold decision: selling both his Intel Macs and returning to PowerPC hardware and to the good old Mac OS 9.

Back to everyday use: I found that I don’t need an Intel Mac to get my regular tasks done. That includes office work, surfing the Internet, emailing, light photo editing, MP3 and DVD playback, instant messaging, and games. Why should I buy an all new Macintosh if my old one is still just fine?

It took me a while, but finally I’ve learned to resist the “faster, higher, further” scheme of modern computing. For me, good old OS 9 gets the job done on the TiBook.

Sebastian has also been a past guest here on System Folder, in my not-exactly-successful The (Classic) Setup series.

As I said, Sebastian has made a bold, drastic decision, and perhaps some people won’t understand, but I do. Reading stories like his in these gadget-frenzy times is definitely refreshing.

5 thoughts on “Sebastian goes back to Mac OS 9

  1. I can’t say I agree with Sebastian as far as theming Mac OS 9 to look more Mac OS X-like, but I applaud his move.

    I have my original Bondi iMac (Rev. B) sitting in a box in a closet that I’ve been _very_ tempted to switch back to as my primary home computer. Those were the days. Just take a look at

    I’d miss a current browser, but, as a web developer, I have modern servers I could control remotely if need be and, as long as I have SSH, I can do anything. I’d rather an LCD display for the health of my eyes, but a Twentieth Anniversary Mac is out of my price range. My Mystic Color Classic is also collecting dust and becoming increasingly unlikely to be used as an everyday workstation as planned.

  2. Ugh… too bad. I thought that Aqua theme would look good, but it really doesn’t…

    I might have to go for this Kaleidoscope Aqua theme instead. Just have to find a copy of Kaleidoscope first…

  3. It’s ambitions and realisations such as these that make be (still) run AppleWorks 5 on an Apple IIGS… although I am cheating a bit—I am using an emulator rather than the real hardware, but the hardware itself is old—a Power Mac 7500 running at 200 MHz.

    I honestly think I am more productive (writing more pages of formatted text) running AppleWorks 5 for the Apple II on a 200 MHz PowerPC 604e processor Mac than I am running Pages 2 on my 2 GHz MacBook Pro. If I need the presentation quality, I can still migrate the data from AppleWorks to Pages, but most of the time, my writing stays in AppleWorks.

    The Apple IIGS emulated on the Power Mac runs more than 20 times faster than a real Apple IIGS computer, and the whole setup takes less RAM and disk space on the Mac than anything running Mac OS X. The Mac runs Mac OS 9, since it’s the best OS foundation to run Bernie ][ the Rescue on, and it’s the only operating system that Mac OS X 10.4 wants to network with as an AppleShare filesystem client.

    So why don’t I use something like ClarisWorks 5 on the Mac? Because I find that ClarisWorks 5 is still too unstable to use on Mac OS 9, and doesn’t bode well for the system’s uptime. Running Bernie and AppleWorks 5 for the Apple II sees a longevity from the time I get up in the morning until the time it shuts down at the end of the day… much better reliability than running ClarisWorks 5 on Mac OS 9 verbatim. And no, I don’t need the communications and graphics modules of ClarisWorks—the trifecta of word processor, database and spreadsheet is all I need, and makes good use of the old hardware I still have.

    Maybe one day when Pages for the modern Mac allows me to work as fast as this current AppleWorks 5 workflow will I make the switch back to the present!


  4. Funny thing, that I should find this post. I bought a Wallstreet off eBay for $1.00 + shipping, and I like it a whole lot better than the immensely more powerful MacBook my wife gave me last year. the screen’s easier on the eyes, it’s not wide-screen but has more usable real estate, and the keyboard is better. aside from wifi encryption issues and having to open the occasional .docx file, there is nothing I really need to do with the MacBook thast I can’t do in OS 9.2.2, with Clasilla, MS Office 2001, WP 3.5a (my favorite word processor) and so forth. The Wallstreet, a 266 Mhz model w/256 MB RAM, is actually faster for most tasks than the MacBook. What’s not to like?

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