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Quickly access Classic control panels Classic
This hint comes from the new Macworld OS X Special Issue that I mentioned a few days back. It was listed as hint #34 in the booklet of 50 OS X tips...

If you use Classic a lot, you may often need to access Classic control panels. You may have also noticed that the only way to do that is to first switch to a Classic application, and then go look under the Apple menu for the one you want.

A simpler solution is to drag the Control Panels folder from your OS 9 System Folder onto the right side of your dock. Now if you control-click (or click and hold) on that folder in the dock, you'll have instant access to the Classic control panels without first activating a Classic app. You could also paste a custom icon (for example, the "Classic Startup" OS 9 logo in /System -> Library -> CoreServices) onto the folder first to make it easily identifiable in the dock.

Although this is a somewhat basic tip, if you spend much time with Classic's control panels, it can be a real time saver.

[More hints coming this evening...]
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A couple of Classic management tips Classic
Some applications don't open properly (such as Photoshop, which sometimes has an empty menubar) when they are the application that causes Classic to launch.

The standard way around this is either to have Classic running all the time, or to start it up first from System Preferences, which is at least a two-click process.

Instead, I launch Classic once, and when the start-up application appears in the Dock, I click on it and select "Keep in Dock." That way, I have a one-click access to it in the future. I also have a little freeware app called Classic Spy which shows the status of Classic in my menubar.

Perhaps these are not hint-worthy strategies, but they work for me.

[Editor's note: Seems like good advice to me, and I'm not sure we've ever published the "Classic icon in dock" tip. It's possible it was buried in another hint at some point in time, but the collection of tips to search through keeps getting bigger and bigger!]
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Speeding up Photoshop in Classic Classic
I have noticed that when zoomed into an image in Photoshop, grabbing it with the hand (spacebar) results in varying response from the program. Sometimes the image moves smoothly within the window, re-rendering the newly exposed portions quickly. Other times, movement is jerky and re-rendering is much slower. I discovered today that when I expanded the window, response was slower.

Then it dawned on me. Expanding the window placed a portion of it under the Dock and this is what slowed Photoshop down. So I did some tests and sure enough, as long as the active Photoshop window was not obscured by the Dock, everything worked quickly and smoothly.

I haven't tested this with other Classic programs but it seems reasonable that you should get better performance from all Classic apps if you keep the bottom edge of Classic windows some distance from the Dock.
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Create a silent-launch Classic script Classic
This came out of personal research on the best way to "renice" apps using AppleScript, and was inspired by the posting on increasing Quake3 performance with a script. I came up with a good AppleScript to do that as well, but more on that later...

Following the example of the Quake3 script, I set it up to cd to:

/System/Library/CoreServices/Classic Startup.app/Contents/Resources/

and had it launch "TruBlueEnvironment". The cool thing about doing it this way is that it launches quietly in the background, with no progress bar or bouncing icon. This seems to make launching Classic faster.

I also wanted to set up the script to "renice" Classic to speed it up (I use it mostly just for "Baldur's Gate" ;). I at first tried to only use the new "do shell script" feature of AppleScript, but ran into a problem where it would hang the script until after Classic/TruBlue quit, even when I sent it to the background with '&'. After much experimentation and tweaking, I found the solution.

Read the rest of the article for the script (as well as a generic app launcher and renicer script)
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A couple of Classic management scripts Classic
From a contributor who wishes to remain anonymous, here are two scripts for dealing with Classic. The first script, "Classic Permissions", pops-up a dialog box that enables or disables future Classic launches. This can be handy if you're tired of Classic launching when you double-click an icon that is associated with Classic.

The second script, "Classic Single Serving", enables Classic, launches it, waits for it to finish launching, and then disables future launches.

Read the rest of the article for the scripts...
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Reduce RAM allocation in Classic to reduce crashes Classic
If you are having Classic programs quitting on you, you might want to try reducing the the amount of memory allocated to that program.

I had problems with Photoshop, either it would quit on start up or it would quit right after that. So I played around with setting when I brought the memory back down, it was running great again. I don't think X can't handle more memory than 300,000 allocated to it.

I hope this helps.

[Editor's note: Anyone have any further info on this? How does Classic handle programs which request their own blocks of memory within Classic? I'm not too clear on this one, other than I was under the impression that Classic operated in a 1gb virtual address space. Can anyone provide any further detail on how Classic RAM allocation issues are resolved, and whether reducing RAM allocations could help with Classic application stability?]
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SSH port forwarding and Classic Classic
So, in expectation of many folks heading to MacWorld, I thought I'd post my experiences in ssh port forwarding and the Classic environment. This comes about because I still prefer Claris Emailer over Apple's Mail.app, and my employer uses FirstClass, which only exists in Classic. Since I have to fire up Classic anyway for the work system, there's no incentive to ditch Emailer yet. I really wish they'd release the source and let somebody carbonize it... ;-) Note that if you're using Apple's Mail app, or some other OS X native mail app, you'll want to do your forwarding in the OS X environment, which is documented in this MacOSXHints article. Read on for more on the Classic side of the equation...
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Eliminate jagged X / Classic desktop transition Classic
Got this tip from the new tome 'Mac OSX Unleashed':

Sometimes when toggling between Classic and X, you might notice a jagged, not fully redrawn desktop around the dock area.

The problem as I understand it is that you are seeing the 9.X desktop pic during the switch. The solution: simply make sure your desktop pic is the same in both environments.

[Editor's note: I haven't experienced this behavior on my machine; Classic to X and back are smooth, and there's definitely no way I have the same desktop pic, as I have mine set to rotate in OS X. Still, if you're having this problem, this is a potential solution.]
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An AppleScript that checks on Classic Classic
At present, the only way to tell if Classic is running or not is to open the System Prefs panel and look at the Classic pane, or double-click a Classic app and see if Classic launches. In response to a question on the X4U mailing list, David Nelson created a very slick little AppleScript that answers the question in a much nicer way. With his permission, I'm reposting the script here.

Open ScriptEditor and paste in the following lines:
-- Start Script
tell application "Finder"
if (name of (every application process)) contains "Classic Support" then
say "Classic is running."
else
say "Classic is not running."
end if
end tell
-- End Script
You could skip the commented lines, obviously. After creating the script, select "Save as Run-Only" from the File manu and change the format to "Application" and save the script.

Once saved, just double-click the script and your Mac will audibly tell you whether Classic is running or not. Place the script in the dock or a Finder toolbar for fast access.
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Finding and removing fonts from Classic Classic
This morning, while experimenting with a font issue in Word v.X, I noticed something about how Classic creates its font list for use in Classic and Carbon applications. I think most everyone knows that the font list is created during the launch of Classic, hence any changes to installed fonts require a restart of Classic to take effect.

What I noticed this morning, however, is that OS X does not pay any attention to which OS 9 folder you've specified (in the Classic prefs panel) when creating that font list. I was trying to remove a font from my system, and had thought I had done so -- it wasn't in my Classic system's Fonts folder, and it wasn't on my OS X partition in any of the Font folders. And yet, when I looked at the font menu in Word v.X, I was quite surprised to find the font listed (even after restarting Classic).

A little bit of detective work found the font installed in another OS 9 system folder (my 'real' OS 9, as opposed to my 'Classic' OS 9). Only by removing the font from all OS 9 font folders could I get Classic to launch without laading the font. In short, Classic scans all OS 9 folders for fonts during Classic launch, which came as a surprise to me.

So if you're trying to get rid of a troublesome font, or just trying to trim down your font folders, make sure you check any installed OS 9 Fonts folder, not just the Classic Fonts folder.
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