Want to use a Mac OS X .dfont in your Mac OS 8 or 9 application? Convert it using these simple steps.
Download the utility called HexEdit, version 1.7.4 or later.
Copy the .dfont that you want to your desktop, under OS 9. Copy a regular TrueType suitcase, say Capitals for example, to your desktop as well. Make sure these are copies, not the original.
Using HexEdit, open the OS X .dfont file. Go to the Edit menu and choose Select All. Now use the Edit Menu and choose Copy.
Open the TrueType font from your desktop (in my case Capitals) and do and Edit menu > Select All. Now do an Edit Menu > Paste.
Now go to the File menu and Save. Close both files.
To see if your conversion worked, double-click on the Capitals file on your desktop (there will be one called Capitals~, just ignore it, it is the original). You should see the individual cases now inside the font suitcase for each type of font style, for example, I converted Optima first, so I see Optima ExtraBlack, Optima, Optima (bold), Optima (italic), Optima (bold, italic) inside the suitcase. Double-click on one of the cases to see the preview, if the preview works the font is okay.
Close the preview and font suitcase and rename the suitcase to match what is inside of it. Now place the suitcase in your System Folder, or Font Management folder where it belongs. Now you have the OS X font you wanted in Mac OS 9!
If someone is a programmer I think a utility would be great to do the conversion.
[Editor's note: I have not tried this myself, but it seems like a very useful tip! I would love to have access to a couple of the OS X fonts from Photoshop in Classic...]
For fast access to your classic apps, drag your Launcher Items folder (in your classic System folder) onto the toolbar in any OS X Finder window. It will add a "Launcher Items" alias next to your shortcuts for "Favorites," "Applications," etc. Now you can quickly launch any of the items in your 9.2 Launcher, from within the 10.1 Finder.
You can start the Classic Environment from the command line (i.e., the Terminal) by typing:
open -a /System/Library/CoreServices/Classic Startup.app
My default shell in the Terminal is bash, which supports aliases, so I have added the following line to my .profile:
alias classic='open -a /System/Library/CoreServices/Classic\ Startup.app'
This way, I can start the Classic environment from the Terminal simply by typing classic.
[Editor's note: If you use the default tcsh shell, aliases are also supported (search the site on 'alias' for a few articles). The alias command in tcsh would look like alias classic 'open -a /System/Library/CoreServices/Classic\ Startup.app']
WARNING: THIS HACK WILL NOT WORK WITH OS X 10.1.1 OR NEWER!!
Andrew Welch of Ambrosia Software, who posted a patch which enables window buffer compression, has done it again. This time, however, he's applied a similar patch to the Classic environment -- classihack. Here's what he said about the patch:
"classihack is a little hack that turns on Classic window buffering. The windows of your Classic applications will redraw instantly, instead of being painted white and then slowly updated. In addition to having Classic windows update more quickly, this has the added benefit of making window shadows work properly on Classic windows.
classihack activates a hidden feature in the window server. Apple likely left this feature disabled for a reason, however I have found that enabling it makes Classic work much better for me. Use it at your own risk.
WARNING: With classihack enabled, if you switch monitor color depths (say from Thousands to Millions) or if you switch monitor resolutions, the window server will crash. This has the effect of immediately quitting all of your running applications.
This hack is entirely free, and entirely unsupported."
It's hard to describe exactly how well this works without seeing it in action. Classic windows update instantly and the drop shadows from OS X apps are perfect when dragged across Classic windows. In addition, dragging objects over Classic windows is also much smoother.
When you double-click classihack, it applies the hack to your Classic environment. Subsequent launches of Classic (even from the System Prefs Classic panel) will have window buffering enabled. To disable it again, simply logout and login. I've been using it since yesterday and haven't noticed any problems yet ... but there may well be a good reason why Apple left it disabled, so use at your own risk!
I have a Belkin three-button USB mouse (connected to my iMac revB). I have no drivers of any sort loaded for this mouse, as I bought it once upon a time when playing with LinuxPPC. The right mouse button works great in OS X 10.1, but I noticed last night that it also works in MS Excel 98 running in Classic, giving me contextual menus.
When I boot into OS 9 directly, that is not the case. I have to use the control key to get contextual menus in Excel, so I assume that I get the additional functionality due to OS X/Classic. Nice bonus!
I recently bought a new hard drive, and wanted to install another copy of OS X on it. I figured I would just take my "Classic OS 9" and copy it from my current drive to the new drive. I did this while booted in OS X, and it copied over just fine. When I went to the "Classic" system prefs panel, however, I could not select the OS 9 I had just created - the volume was greyed out, as though there were no allowable system on that drive.
I could have rebooted into OS 9 on that disk and then back into OS X, but that seemed like too much work. Instead, I switched to the Startup Disk prefs panel. When I did that, the panel started the drive scan it always does to find bootable volumes ... and it noticed my new OS 9 folder on the new drive, and listed it as an avaialble startup disk.
I then went back to the Classic panel and was able to pick that same OS 9 as my Classic volume. Somehow running the Startup Disk panel 'blessed' the new OS folder I had copied, saving me a couple of restarts.
As part of installing OS X, I upgraded my Mac from OS 8.6 to 9.1. When I first booted into it, most fonts displayed improperly and none of the icons displayed on the Desktop, making the system virtually unusable. Bad.
I eventually had the bright idea to boot 9.1 with the "base set" of extensions, without all my customizations that were there before. Then I started added back in the extensions I really cared about a few at a time to find the buggy one (I haven't found it yet-- I've been exploring OS X instead. :).
I believe to accomplish this I booted into 9.1 by holding down the shift key to disable all extensions, and then used the Extension Manager Control panel to revert the extensions to the "OS 9.1 base set". After another reboot, things looked normal.
[Editor's note: Similar tips have appeared over the last six months, but it's important enough to repeat. If your Classic environment is not behaving as expected, check the extension set. You'll want to boot with the bare minimum required to support the apps you use regularly in Classic.]
This is something I saw somewhere else but cannot remember where.
If you disable all of the ATI extensions in Classic (which aren't needed if you're running OS X) then you seem to get better performance in some Classic applications.
[Editor's note: As an expansion of this theory, there's a bunch of stuff that I've disabled in Classic - nearly everything, in fact. I basically installed just the base OS with networking, and nothing else. Then I installed (running the "Classic" 9.1 natively) all my apps that put bits into the system folder (Office98, goLive, etc.). Then I restarted into X and set my lean OS 9.1 as my Classic volume. You can definitely improve performance and decrease loading time by thinning your Classic system -- which is another argument for having your "real" OS 9.1 on another partition, so you don't have to mess around with extension sets.]
I have some older games on my PowerBook G4 that require that the monitor be set to 256 Colors. The Displays settings in OS X do not allow me to switch to 256 colors, so I had to boot into OS 9.1 to run these older games. However, on a hunch, I tried switching colors in the Classic environment's Monitors control Panel, and it switched to 256 colors and the games ran just fine.
Aqua doesn't like running in 256 color mode, but it got the job done!