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Optimizing the Classic environment Classic
[Editor's note: Read the following if you're interested in making your Classic environment work as quickly as possible under OS X ... Sparky has some solid thoughts on how to make Classic work better, and I'm sure there are others that could be added to the list.]

ok, since I did several things at once, any one of them could have helped or the combination. What happened is that Classic software that used to take 8 or 9 bounces to start now bounces once and opens immediately! woohoo!

[Read the rest of the article for a step-by-step description of what Sparky changed in Classic...]

Things Sparky changed:
  1. booted from Classic's system 9.1 folder (I have it alone on its own partition).
  2. went into control panels and toggled Appletalk OFF.
  3. Went into apple menu options and toggled OFF hierarchical menus, as well as turning OFF remembering any recent documents, apps, or servers.
  4. Went into extension manager and duplicated the 9.1 all set, and only added ATM 4.6.1.
  5. restarted, and REMOVED the entries of all fonts from known font them back in.
  6. Booted from OSX and rebuilt the classic desktop from within OSX system prefs/classic controls.
  7. Ran xoptimize to prebind while classic was up.
  8. Booted from OSX CD and ran disk utility to repair both my OSX partition (now on an HFS+ partition due to good advice I found elsewhere) and my classic partition.
Rebooted, and WHOAAAA.... the speed increase is phenomenal now!

Now, when I open up freehand, for example, which used to take 8 or 9 "bounces", it bounces up once, down once, and immediately enters the splash screen for starting up. Photoshop 5.5 starts even faster now in classic than it does under a normal 9.1 volume.

I just wanted to let you guys know. woohoo!

Sparky the wonderpig
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Optimizing the Classic environment | 20 comments | Create New Account
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The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
rebuilding desktop...
Authored by: etwoy on Apr 14, '01 07:30:29PM

man.... I'm rebuilding the desktop now, and it's taken about half an hour and still isn't finished....

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What works...
Authored by: etwoy on Apr 14, '01 07:52:05PM

Well, I just did all of those things apart from:

* running Disk Utility
* the font stuff
* the apple menu stuff.

As well, I didn't just run the "9.1 All" extension set, I removed all the firewire, DVD and modem stuff.

And I've got a significant speed increase in launching classic apps...

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What works...
Authored by: claudej on Apr 17, '01 09:12:23AM

If you are already in OSX just switch to OS9 (start a Classic App)

2. went into control panels and toggled Appletalk OFF.
3. Went into apple menu options and toggled OFF hierarchical menus, as well as turning OFF remembering any recent documents, apps, or servers.

A Restart

BBEDit which was taking 9 bounces to start, just take 1 bounce now

Great ..

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What works...
Authored by: bholm on Jan 23, '02 08:56:19PM

How do you access the Apple Menu and Control Panel in Classic (in OS X)?
There is no Finder window in Classic...that I'm aware of.

Please respond directly as I don't always go to the web for responses.
I'm at:


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can you tell me how to....
Authored by: agrant2002 on Aug 21, '01 10:56:14PM

partition my HD and what the best os configuration is
just got my quicksilver and want to speed it up as suggested

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classic optimizing
Authored by: aljo on Sep 15, '01 11:58:49AM

I tried to figure out what you ment with the font entries ,i really don't know.Can you tell me where the items are so i can do you trick.

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xoptimize ?????
Authored by: vistra on Oct 18, '01 09:15:54AM

some of these hints have helped to speed up considerably - great!!

forgive my ignorance..... what is xoptimize ?????


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xoptimize ?????
Authored by: 128K Mac on Apr 01, '02 04:56:40AM

XOptimize is a an app with an OS X GUI for running prebinding. It or Spellbinder are the simple, non-geek ways to run prebinding is you're afraid to type:

sudo update_prebinding -root / <return>

into Terminal. Geeks of the world may find it humorous, but some with limited computer experience who have only used only a GUI environment (and even then are afraid to try certain selections) make up a fair percentage of the computing population, especially in the student and "compute at home" groups.

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Extensions in Classic
Authored by: reverie on Nov 03, '01 09:45:53PM

I still haven't figured out how to run update_prebinding properly (there's no command called xoptimize in my path, so I have no idea what that means), but I've managed to speed up classic *considerably* by turning off almost all extensions. If you go into the extensions manager, you can select "as Packages" from the View menu. I started by turning off everything except for the ones listed in "Classic Compatibility Environment", and then turning on a few extensions at a time until all my applications worked.

My final list (other than application-specific extensions) includes everything in the Mac OS 9.2.1 section that has an icon like two hands holding a book (that's the shared library icon) or a gear icon (that's InputSprockets, which you only need if you're playing games in classic), USB Device Extension, ProxyApp (looks important), and Quicktime (because IE complains about it not being there). I have a Lexmark printer which won't work at all while Classic is running, so you may need some additional extensions to get printing to work.

I added in Kaleidoscope with the Aqua III scheme, Power Windows for live window dragging, and the Classihack for window buffering, and now Classic is almost indistinguishable from OS X, plus it's fast as hell! The only problem I've run into is that I have to force quit classic, as it won't shut down nicely from System Preferences.

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Extensions in Classic - xoptimise or update_prebinding
Authored by: salty on Feb 10, '02 08:22:57AM

I just typed 'update_prebinding -root /' and that seemed to work, repeat with 'update_prebinding -root /volumes/[name of other hard disk]' for any other hard disks or partitions you have that contain applications. for instance I have a secondary drive called c-3po so I type 'update_prebinding -root /volumes/c-3po'

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Download xoptimizer here
Authored by: macupdate on May 18, '02 10:10:54PM

Xoptimizer can be downloaded from MacUpdate at:

There are also two other utilities that perform the prebinding task at:

-Joel Mueller

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List of Control panels and Extensions
Authored by: metafeather on Feb 27, '02 07:38:03PM
I haven't seen this available by others so far, but here is a list of my current Control Panel and Extensions configuration for Classic.
Runs like a dream.

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Optimizing the Classic environment
Authored by: Graham Haultain on Mar 21, '02 10:38:06PM

An excellent hint for me to try but I am caught on "ran xoptimize to prebind while classic was up". Pls explain, thanks.
Graham Haultain

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Optimizing the Classic environment
Authored by: robg on Mar 22, '02 01:17:58AM

I think xoptimize is a piece of freeware that does the "sudo update prebinding" thing...check on VersionTracker or macosxapps.


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Authored by: unxmaal on Mar 31, '02 06:08:35PM
There's this thing called Duh Internet, and on it you'll find this other thing called Google, and you can use it to search for things on Duh Internet. Things like xoptimize, which is a FREEWARE APPLICATION THAT YOU DOWNLOAD AND INSTALL.

Try researching before you post.

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Authored by: Peganthyrus on Mar 31, '02 08:10:02PM
Try not being a patronizing butt-head.
It's quite easy to assume that mysteriously-named tools such as 'xoptimize' are obscure UNIX commands that your installation is mysteriously missing, if you don't have an intimate knowledge of both UNIX and Apple's custom extensions to it.
XOptimize and info about it can be found here.

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Authored by: unxmaal on Mar 31, '02 09:34:19PM
There are many things in life that are much more obscure and mystifying than UNIX commands.

Every one of them can be researched via Google.

Who is more helpful: someone who points out that people need to do research before requesting assistance of others, and who provides those in need with a method to perform that research, as well as a simple solution to the problem, or a person who criticizes the first person for his tactics, without presenting any other valid solutions to the problem?

Some people need to be clobbered first, just to get their attention.

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Authored by: autrefois on Jul 11, '02 11:05:21PM

This is my first time using macosxhints, so I felt almost compelled as a new user to comment on your reply to Graham Haultain who asked what seems to be a valid question to me. Even tho this apparently happened a couple of months ago (and perhaps not coincidentally it was apparently the end of the thread) it's an important point I think.

"I am caught on "ran xoptimize to prebind while classic was up". Pls explain, thanks. "

Saying that he should have searched Google to find out the answer completely defeats the purpose of this site. If you read the "About MacOSXHints", the creator of the site himself says

"I'm also hoping that, with everyone's help, this can become a key resource for quickly finding the answer to a question. I was personally getting somewhat frustrated at having to jump all over the web to find answers to OS X questions. There are some excellent sites out there (make sure you check out the OS X Web Sites link!), but none that seemed to focus specifically on providing how-to's in a quick, easy-to-use format."

The whole idea of this site is so that people don't have to spend their time searching all around on the Internet to find answers to their questions. I read all the posts in this thread, did the Google search and even downloaded the software and read the "ReadMe" and I'm still not exactly sure about what Xoptimize does, and I read English perfectly well and am more knowledgable than the average computer user about how many things work...just not about UNIX unfortunately.

Mac OS users do not necessarily know anything about UNIX, and a topic about how to make Classic run better would not make me automatically assume that I need to know UNIX and prebinding in order to participate in the forum. One of the good things about OS X is that you don't usually need to know what's "under the hood" (as Steve Jobs says) in order to do almost anything the average user needs or wants to do.

A good way to get new users to *not* use a forum is to have them see that if they ask a question they will get insulted. I fortunately see that other post-ers are more polite than you were in this thread. So I hope I will be able to get hints/help from this site and, if I ever get knowledgable enough, share tips as well. I believe that's the purpose of this forum.

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Re: Xoptimize
Authored by: prime on Apr 05, '02 12:11:45AM

Why don't YOU read posts before you reply in anger? He DID talk about X Optimize. If you didn't spend all your time insulting people, then maybe you would have noticed that.

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Re: xoptimize
Authored by: cpatch on Oct 15, '02 03:21:51PM

unxmaal wrote:

> Some people need to be clobbered first, just to get their attention.

I believe that approach died with the stoneage. Nevertheless...

There's this thing called Duh "Mac OS X Hints", and on it you'll find this other thing called "The Forums", and you can use it to search for help on Duh Mac OS X.

Try showing compassion before you post.

(Consider yourself clobbered.)


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