I run Classic apps very rarely and often forget to quit the Classic Environment when I quit the Classic application. I didn't want to add a permanent icon to the menu bar or dock to indicate Classic status; I only wanted some way to be notified if Classic was currently running. If you make the following changes, Classic will now show up in your dock as if it were a regular app. You can even quit it from the Dock! Best of all, it doesn't require a third party piece of software, just a change to how Classic reports itself to the system.
The instructions below will tell you how to turn off the 'background-only' flag in the SIZE resource of the Classic Support application in your System Folder. If you understand what I just said, you probably don't need the following instructions.
When I was moving from OS 9 to OS X, I needed to work once in original 9 (not Classic) and then in X, and have the same data in applications (Entourage, iCab). I found that when preferences and settings are in the same format, I can use them under both systems. I just have to replace the preference folder/file for the chosen app under OS X with an alias to the same preference folder/file under old system. It works for Entourage and iCab at least. Entourage I run under Classic, so data are equal. iCab has also the same preference files, so it also works nicely. I have not tried other programs, but it should be applicable on a wider basis.
[robg adds:A previous hint discussed sharing IE's preferences between OS X and Classic...]
I found out something that I thought I would share to help anyone else in the same boat. For Classic OS 9 keyboard layouts, when I moved to a new Mac with OS X 10.3, I couldn't get my Modern Greek keyboard layout to show up in the Classic Keyboards menu. Try as I might, they didn't show up at all. I also tried to reinstall the Unicode scripts and Unicode keyboards into OS 9 to see if that would work (it didn't).
The solution is that you can't just drag keyboard resource .rsrc files to the closed System Folder like the instructions all said. The files aren't moved to the correct locations any more, so they sit loose in the System Folder not doing anything. So I found an Apple Knowledgebase doc that describes what to do:
How To Install Files Into the Classic System File.
It seems things change between OS X 10.3.x and 10.2.x, and the article explains the differences...
This is probably fairly elementary for most experts here, but I've written up the detailed steps that can create an automated freeware PDF distiller for Classic apps, using Panther's built-in Folder Action scripts. Full details at this WordPerfect for the Mac support page.
The details that refer to WPMac are easily adapted to any Classic app, I think.
Have you noticed that every once and a while a "Desktop Folder" folder will appear on one of your hard drive partitions. You delete this Mac OS 9 relic only to see it reappear again in the future. What causes it to be created I am not sure of, but I did find a way to make it permanently disappear.
The folder needs to be marked as invisible. I used the "Get File/Folder Info" menu item in ResEdit to do this. The problem is that ResEdit does not display the "Desktop Folder" in the open dialog box. It's there, you can see it in the Finder, but ResEdit filters it out. The trick is to make an alias of the "Desktop Folder". Then select "Get File/Folder Info" in ResEdit, and you can select the alias. When you open it, it will open the actual "Desktop Folder." Now check the "invisible" checkbox and save changes. Log out and log back in and the "Desktop Folder" folder will no longer appear. It's still there, it's just invisible.
Apple's new machines do not boot into OS 9 any more. So there is no way of installing HP Printer Drivers in OS 9 (the way HP suggests). There have been hints about that, but I found another way:
Control-click on the installer icon and select Show package contents. Then navigated to Contents -> Mac OS. There is the installer program. Now again control-click on it and select Show info. Now enable the "Open in Classic" checkbox in the info window. Finally, double-click on this installer program inside the package -- it opens in Classic and installs the driver like a charm.
I tried this method only with the new version (6.3.4) of the HP PSC 950 driver. This one works fine in Panther here, but you may have to switch to an English language system once.
A recent upgrade from an older Powerbook G4 to a Powerbook G4 17" revealed a problem with an HP PSC 750 (Printer/Scanner/Copier). HP's installer does not support Classic from within OS X. I gathered this information from their support technicians for a mere $25.
I wasn't able to set the Mac up as a dual boot so I could install the software from OS 9. I did install a full working copy of Mac OS 9.2.2 as a clean system to replace the Classic that came with the machine. Because I couldn't install the software, I had to copy all of the components from the old Powerbook G4 System Folder into the new G4 System Folder in order to get it to work. I pulled files from Extensions Folder, Preferences Folder, Startup Items Folder, and Printing Preferences folder from within the Preferences Folder. I also copied HP's All-in-one Folder from the Applications:Utilities Folder to the new Mac. Once all these components were in place, everything worked fine. I hope this helps somebody because it was an annoying experience. I can supply exact directories and files upon request but I believe this is will only be helpful for this type of printer.
I got a call from a client: their G4 running 10.2.8 was pinwheeling at the Finder desktop on startup, for no apparent reason. We tried various things over the phone, but I was starting to get that sinking feeling you have when you're in Cardiff and your client's in London, in a noisy record shop and none too technically-minded, and things aren't going the way they ought to be.
So I put down the phone and had a bit of a think, and then called back and started on a new tack. At which point I got him to check the CDROM drive, and out popped an Illustrator 7 CD - and then the G4 started up normally.
So, if you've got a Mac without Classic, and you stick a Classic Mac OS autostart CD in it, you may encouter some difficulties as the OS gets sent off to do a task it will never accomplish (I'd like to know how this affects 10.3).
Apart from anything else, yet another reason to ensure that you have a working installation of Classic on your Mac OS X machines.
I discovered that if I am running Photoshop 6 in Classic, and start a font-editing task like editing a block of text, it may cause problems if I switch to a Carbon or Cocoa app and try to do a font-related task. Once I complete the Photoshop edit and hit the check box, all is okay.
[robg adds: Can anyone confirm this and/or shed any more light on the issue?]
In Panther, there is now a Classic Status menubar icon. If you enable it (via the checkbox on the Start/Stop tab of the Classic system preferences panel), you'll get an additiona menubar item that allows you to turn Classic on and off, etc.
As seen here, this menu also contains a link to your Classic Apple Menu, which you can navigate through the heirchal/nested folders that appear (of which there seems to be no maximum number you can access). It's like having your old Apple Menu back in OS X!
[robg adds: I haven't used Classic in quite a while. In testing this hint, I was impressed at how much nicer it's gotten in the last couple of years. The Apple menu is a nice touch, and the startup sequence has been greatly improved -- it's not only faster, but the dock icon is used as a fancy meter to show launch progress. Check out this short video clip of the Classic dock icon if you'd like to see what I mean without actually launching Classic.]