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Two Roads to Mac OS 9

On pre-Intel Macs, you can return to Mac OS 9 in either of two ways. Here’s a summary of the pros and cons of each method:

  • Run Classic. The program called Classic is one of the crowning achievements of Mac OS X. You can think of it as a Mac OS 9 simulator or emulator. It runs automatically whenever you double-click the icon of a pre–Mac OS X program.

    At that point, the Classic (Mac OS 9) world takes over your screen, looking exactly as though the old Mac OS 9 you used to know (or not know) is starting up. There’s the old startup logo, the parade of extensions across the screen, your old menu, the non-striped menu bar, and so on. Once it’s running, you can run almost all of your older Mac OS 9 programs without a hitch.

    Classic is the reason Apple recommends that you install Mac OS X only on Macs with at least 256 MB of memory. When you run it, your Mac is running two operating systems at once, which requires quite a bit of memory.


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