Talk:Classic Mac OS

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Untitled[edit]

In many ways System 7 can be considered the worst mistake in Apple's history. By defining a new and very large set of OS features, the possibility of running the Mac OS on top of a kernel became impossible for years.

Huh? --Brion

argh. too many non-existent subpage links. also: someone who actually uses a Mac want to add something on OS X 10.2? --AW


You left out System 7.5.2, quite possibly the worst computer operating system in history. I'm sure Apple thanks you for it, though. John


According to History, and Apple, System 7 ran well through many many upgrades on their lowest models. ( you could strip the color information out, and run comfortably on a Mac Plus w/ System 7.5.5. ( and as John so notes, the first system for the PCI Macs 7.5.2 was as bad as it gets . Im sorry you were there.). — Preceding unsigned comment added by 107.36.107.208 (talk) 06:55, 29 August 2011 (UTC)


'Mac OS has been pre-installed on almost every Macintosh computer sold...'

'Almost every?'

No references for this.

It's likely due to widely held impressions/biases/notions that this would elicit a request for confirmation/reference. Kevin Trumbull (talk) 20:12, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
'The Network Servers were sold exclusively with AIX, in a version called "AIX for Apple Network Servers" with some Apple-specific features'
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Network_Server#Software
Furthermore, it's misleading to equate Mac OS with Mac OS X, simply due to the fact they're both owned and (previously) sold by Apple. Windows 2.0 has far more in common with Windows XP than Mac OS does with Mac OS X.

Footprint[edit]

An interesting thing to add to the tables describing each OS version is the footprint each takes. How many megabytes did an operating system take back then, how many now? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.170.228.122 (talk) 16:16, 6 January 2011 (UTC)


Dates[edit]

Some dates for the various releases would be nice. Dan100 16:59, Apr 10, 2005 (UTC)

I agree, I opened this page to suggest it, and found it already had been... anyone out there have a reliable source for these? I'm happy to add them to the article. Graham 05:08, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Can someone help me with System 3 in that regard (per my most recent comment)? Michael Sheflin (talk) 03:27, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Shameful[edit]

This is pretty shameful when compared to History of Microsoft Windows, we should all try and improve it to that standard. — Wackymacs 15:53, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

  • OK, well having said that not long ago, I decided to do some major edits myself. I've added screenshots of the major versions of the OS, added two lead paragraphs, added the Mac OS classic logo, added more details in the first history section and the System 7 section, added a see also section. I think its much better now, but there's still quite a bit of work left to do. — Wackymacs 17:25, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

OS 9 version bump[edit]

From the section on OS 9

In fact the only reason that the version was increased from 8 to 9 was to pave the way for the upcoming Mac OS X, rather than leave a gap in the version numbers which might have discouraged some to make the eventual transition from classic Mac OS to Mac OS X

I thought it was widely understood that the version bump from OS 8 to 9 was a way to get out of the cloning market. It was thought that all the cloners had rights to "MacOS 8", so Apple bumped the version to 9, so they wouldn't have to distribute it to the third party computer manufacturers. Nonetheless, the stated reason doesn't even make sense to me. All sorts of apps skip versions with impunity - and I can't think of why anyone wouldn't transition to OSX because there wasn't an OS 9 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.177.128.131 (talk)

It wasn't cloners; the cloning program cut off with Mac OS 8, not 9. Nevertheless, you're right in pointing out the speculation. I've removed it and plan on giving the article a closer look. -- Steven Fisher 05:32, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
No. The bump from 8.6 to 9.0 was to add all the features that 8.6 lacked that would have gone into 9. Mac OS 8.6 fixed a lot of bugs, and also made a speed improvement, as well as added a couple of technologies. ( it had the new nano-kernel ). See this: http://tidbits.com/article/5387
They were tired of version creep, but wanted to get as much out as possible, and give 9.0 a fresh start with both the new kernel, as well as the new features, and Sherlock 2.1 ). 107.36.107.208 (talk) 07:03, 29 August 2011 (UTC)--

System 5 did not technically exist[edit]

The section of "System 5" is I believe is technically inaccurate. No system named "System 5" was ever released by Apple. What has been referred to as System 5 was only ever referred to as "System Software 5.0" by Apple. It combined System 4.2, Finder 6.0 and MultiFinder 1.0. I think this section should be rewritten to clarify this situation. It does seem though that some people refer to System Software 5.0/5.1 as System 5, though I can find no instance where Apple ever used the name. As such it probably should be made clear that their was no system kernel version 5. --Cab88 18:16, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Well, the same applies to System 6. It only started to get called that when System 7 was on the horizon, and as far as I know not by Apple, but only by users. Apple released system releases as e.g. 'System 6.0.3' which included various different system and Finder versions, but this was no different from the earlier System 5 releases. However it's a convenient term to use in retrospect anyway. Graham 04:57, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

I've gone and change the refernces to "System 5" (and 6) "to System Software 5" (and 6) as it's the official name Apple used. While their does not seem to be an official Wikipedia policy on this, I think we should stick to the offical names of software used by the manufucaturers and not use nicknames or shortened names, even if commonly used by the software's users. --Cab88 19:11, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

System 7 paragraph[edit]

I am a Mac user but afraid I don't know quite enough about this period to rewrite the following paragraph in the System 7 section that really needs sorting:

Systems 7.1 and 7.5 introduced a large number of "high level" additions, considered by some to be less well thought-out than they could have been. Some of the most confusing were the reliance on countless System Enablers to support new hardware (which plagued the Mac OS all the way to version 8.1, after when the iMac introduced the New World architecture. Although the iMac itself requires a system enabler with Mac OS 8.1, as other Macs released at that time, Macs released after the iMac do not require a system enabler, and of course the iMac system enabler was included as part of version 8.5.) and various System update extensions with inconsistent version numbering schemes. Overall stability and performance also gradually worsened during this period which introduced PowerPC support and 68K emulation.
  • What are "high level" additions?
New versions of Quicktime, the font manager, Open Transport Networking, The component manager, the menu manager, both for the new version of quickdraw, written entirely in C++, and the legacy one hand coded in 68k Assembler.
  • Who exactly considered them to be "less well thought out"?
Everyone who lost work because of crashes, and features that just didn't work.
  • What "could they have been"?
Well tested software, as well as more robust.
  • Were those System Enablers literally "countless"? I doubt it!
There were at final count 151 enablers, as well as 40 secret updates bringing the absolute total to 191.
One enabler did only one thing, and that was to change the minor byte in the machine ID.
  • Did these System Enablers "plague" the Mac OS??
Worse, if one got corrupt or deleted, the machine would not boot.
  • What is the New World architecture? The wiki link given for New World goes to something completely un-technology related
The New World Architecture was a Hardware Abstraction layer to break free totally of the legacy code of the MacROMs and MacToolbox.
It was introduced with the first PowerMacs Pro G3. It based the ROMs on a forth interpreter that could be accessed with Cmd+Opt+O+F. ( The same as open firmware, except with more than just a bare bones environment )
  • Although the iMac itself requires a system enabler with Mac OS 8.1, as other Macs released at that time, Macs released after the iMac do not require a system enabler, and of course the iMac system enabler was included as part of version 8.5.) - this sentence is a mess, unfortunately I'm not sure I know enough about the subject to fix it. Why was the iMac system enabler included "of course" in 8.5??
Because otherwise the machine would refuse to boot with a 'This Machine is not supported by this system software'.
  • Also there's a lot to do with Mac OS 8 when this section is about System 7
System 8 continued this
  • Overall stability and performance also gradually worsened during this period which introduced PowerPC support and 68K emulation. - citation needed? Which period is being talked about?
The transition both from 68K architecture and to New World Hardware.

Sorry if this is a bit negative - I just feel this whole section needs a good going over but I'm not the one to do it (though I'll happily provide constructive criticism!) Heycos 21:19, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

It's more than just one paragraph; there's a lot of NPOV violations in the System 7 section. Observe:
"System 7.1 also introduced the hated System Enablers as a method to support new models without updating the actual System file. While a good idea, it was poorly implemented and the multitude of System Enablers needed reached absurd levels during the System 7.5 era."
Hated? Absurd levels? That seems to me about as non-NPOV as it gets for a technical analysis. It seems as though nobody has addressed the concerns Heycos raised above more than a year ago. Perhaps restructuring this whole section to be consistent with the flow of the System 6 section above would yield appropriate results for all concerns. Do other people have a view here, or should I just go ahead and take a crack at it? -- Scott Swanson 15:39, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Scott Swanson. The facts are that SOME Macs required an enabler for a particular version of System 7. The Mac Plus & Mac SE NEVER needed an enabler. As Apple added hardware the enablers are actually drivers that allow the hardware to work. At most, one enabler was needed for a particular Mac. Here is the official Apple document on enablers, but the Mac Classic, which replaced the Mac Plus did, as well as the Mac Classic. The Mac Powerbook 100 also, unless you were running with the Apple Pacific version of 6, 6.0.8L.

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=11491

Enablers are no different than Windows drivers for video, sound, network, firmware etc. The number of enablers for the Mac is quite small compared to the number of different drivers for Windows machines. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 198.5.167.61 (talk) 21:19, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Enablers are completely different than Windows drivers. They are upddated often, they fix things and they were often supported, and available. Some Enablers had secret upgrades, while others only flipped a few minor bits in the Machine ID.
Closer to enablers are PTF from IBM mainframes. ( Program Temporary Fix ) or ( Pray Till F**** )They were hacks.

System Enablers made life difficult for those of us who had to support Mac's during this period. Since this was during a time when the closest thing most computer techs had to the internet was a dialup account with AOL or Compuserve, if you ever found yourself with a machine that wouldn't start up because of a bad enabler file you were screwed without the original disks. So the original author of this section is probably not very neutral because of their experience with the enablers. I think it might be hard to find someone who knows enough to write about the enablers, but doesn't have bad memories of dealing with them. --Chrisndeca (talk) 19:54, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

I agree completely. I have bad memories from years at the BMUG helpline. If you tried to start a PowerMac 6/7/8100 without the PowerMac Enabler, it would not start, or worse you either would just get a system bomb, or the machine would restart continuously.

Someone might want to re-write this paragraph as a summary of what is on this page, as it seems to be a much more complete rundown of System 7 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_7 --Chrisndeca (talk) 19:58, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Atari port?[edit]

I seem to have stumbled across an image of an Atari port[1] of Mac OS 2. I can't find any more information about this, though. --StuartBrady (Talk) 14:21, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

As I understand it, Amigas and Ataris were able to run fairly speedy Mac emulators because they used the same CPU architecture. What you saw is probably not an official port, but Standard Mac OS running under some sort of emulation. You usually needed a card for the Mac ROMs to make these things work. See, for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spectre_GCR -- Forkazoo 21:28, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
You can see the Spectre GCR cartridge plugged in on the left in that picture, and its hookup to the disk controller port. Not so much a port as a completely unofficial third party hack. Basically MagicSac/Spectre GCR worked by taking real Mac ROMs and patch the hell out of them, basically patching in "drivers" for all the Atari ST hardware. Standard Mac OS was then booted on top of it. Spectre GCR also included some special disk controller hardware so you could use actual Mac formatted disks, where the earlier MagicSac couldn't. (The Atari ST used PC-compatible MFM encoding, and can't normally read Mac 400/800k disks for the same reason PCs can't) There's a history hidden behind a bad link here: http://www.geocities.com/clu-da-bard/gcrintro.html 24.179.139.229 (talk) 07:19, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Odd focus on Microsoft in introduction[edit]

Is it just me, or is the second paragraph bizarre:

In 1984, Apple partnered with Microsoft, in an agreement where Microsoft would create versions of Word and Excel (then named MultiPlan) for the Mac OS. For the majority of the 1980s, the Mac OS lacked a large amount of compatible software.

Compatible...with what? Now, I know this is original research, but personally, I found the "large amount" of Mac software I had to be fairly compatible with my Macintosh. For the majority of the 1980s. I guess that would be 1984 to 1989. Or, in my case, 1985 to 1989. Dammit, maybe he's right.
As for MultiPlan, Excel, et al, I do suppose it's a good thing that Apple somehow convinced Microsoft to make tons of money in WYSIWYG office software for the Mac instead of releasing exclusively on Windows Zero. ~ RVJ 21:16, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Back in the days, the word "compatible" was all over the place; I vaguely remember that even Apple Germany advertised the Mac as "compatible".
"Compatible" was the single word which meant "PC-compatible" - which in itself is a bit murky, it can mean "hardware-compatible" (like having an ISA slot, or a CPU with an x86-compatible instruct set), "binary-compatible" (it could run the same software on a machine code level), "software-compatible" (it wasn't an IBM PC, but for a few of the most important applications have been ported to the "compatible" machine) or it could simply read disks formatted under DOS (and also totally ignoring the fact that while most "PCs" ran DOS or Windows, there were also quite a few which ran XENIX, CP/M, Coherent or NetWare.
But for maybe 90% of the non-educated user, it all boiled down to "can I exchange Word/Excel files with other people (most of which would own some sort of an "IBM PC clone"), and that was what Apple also addressed in their advertising. --Klaws (talk) 07:30, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

"Mac OS X" is not the same 'name' as "Mac OS".[edit]

At present, the OS X section starts with "While it technically retains the same name as its predecessors, Mac OS X is largely independent." The name of the product, from 7.6 to 9.2 was "Mac OS". From 10.0 onward, it is "Mac OS X" (The server version has a proper name of "Mac OS X Server".) Then there is a version number, sometimes the version number is appended directly to the end of the name, sometimes it has "version" between the name and the number, this varies by version. This is a similar name, not the same. (As others have mentioned, before 7, the proper name was "Macintosh System Software" with a version number, then from 7.0 to 7.5.5, it was "System 7", which could be modified with the version number.) In addition, starting with 10.2, the 'cat' name became an official part of the name of that version number. The main product is "Mac OS X", the version number is, in the latest as of this writing, 10.4.10, and the name of the version is Tiger. That makes it Mac OS X Tiger, version 10.4.10. Also, 7.5.1 was the first version to say "Mac OS" on startup, but the name of the OS wasn't officially changed until 7.6.

So, as examples, we have "Macintosh System Software version 6.0.7", "System 7 Pro, version 7.1.1", "Mac OS 8.1", "Mac OS X Server version 1.0", "Mac OS X Panther 10.3.5" (Note that the Rhapsody releases were not 10.x numbers, "Mac OS X Server" was the name, and 1.0 was the version number.) Ehurtley 01:30, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Mac OS X Leopard free.png[edit]

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Fair use rationale for Image:MacOS 152mm 4c.png[edit]

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BetacommandBot 04:57, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Macintosh XL?[edit]

The Macintosh XL stands as a curious departure, having been sort of an internal clone in a way. However, the Mac OS history article makes no mention of the Macintosh XL at all, and the Lisa only as a historical precursor (or co-development, by certain implication). Since the Lisa actually was grafted into the Macintosh lineage at some point, it becomes a historical point for Mac OS. Should we not then include it somewhere? -- Scott Swanson 15:49, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

I agree. MacWorks is an important footnote in the operating system as it was the first time that both the Macintosh ROM and System were emulated on another computer. A major precursor to the infamous "Pink" port onto IBM PCs as well as subsequent third party emulators and ultimately Apple's own port of Classic into OS X and OS X's eventual cross-compatibility with PCs. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Woodwynlane (talkcontribs) 16:46, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Wasn't the Lisa/MacXL the required development platform for early Macs? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.248.248.11 (talk) 16:24, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't think the Mac XL has much place in a Mac *OS* history. MacWorks basically just made the Lisa look like a Mac, by loading Mac ROMs into RAM and booting them. From that point it was just running plain standard Mac OS. It belongs in a Mac *hardware* history. 24.179.139.229 (talk) 06:54, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Why No Links?[edit]

Why are there no links on this Wiki page, like every other Wiki page out there and encourage by "Wikipedia:The perfect article"? There are some excellent external links that help clarify the information here. Before I waste my time, I would like to confirm that they are welcome, given the age of this article.--Woodwynlane 16:51, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Mac OS 9 screenshot 2.jpg[edit]

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Image:Mac OS 9 screenshot 2.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

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BetacommandBot (talk) 07:01, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Notes/References[edit]

This is an excellent candidate for a split notes/references system as on this article Alcibiades.

Basically this introduces a letter system for indicating additional informational notes and the standard numerical system for source references. As this article expands, there is relevant ancillary info the should be included, but would otherwise be distracting or detract from the focus of the primary article. The notes are then organized in one section which make for stand-alone additional reading within the article (with back-references to the main sections) and keeps the source references which are otherwise not intended for additional reading, but expanding on source citations, in a separate easily skipped section.--Mac128 (talk) 19:28, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Dates[edit]

Moved this discussion from my talk page to the article talk page:

  • Do you think we should change system software release dates back to the month/year only, since (to me) it seems impossible to find references for each exact date. What do you think? — Wackymacs (talk) 06:47, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Hi all. I just tried trawling around Google's UseNet archive and didn't find much -- it looks like Apple treated the OS entirely as freeware for the first few years. People were probably not encouraged to upgrade in the spirit of "if it ain't broke." Apple was focused on delivering and supporting new products rather than maintaining an integrated OS. As such, why not focus on those products: "Apple delivered the Mac Plus in whenever, 1986, which was supported by the System file 3.0." Same with HD20, MacWrite 4.5, etc. There might not be great sources that the software wasn't released before those other products, but it certainly wasn't released after and "leaks" would be a historical footnote anyway.
  • As for explicitly "bringing" this article to GA/FA, I'd rather not, for exactly the reason WackyMacs states. Internal sources are unreliable, and no sources are better than unreliable sources. Online resources are thin because few have cared enough to build history websites. And those who do are not scholarly enough to match WP's standards. If you ask me, many details are trivial anyway. That said, there is an enormous body of print documentation because small details were important to programmers of the time. MacWorld and MacUser archives are relatively accessible, including to me :::*v), so I'll try & go to the library next week and check the appropriate months for software update announcements. Really it's surprising there were so few. But anyway, hurrying the development process on this article could do more harm than damage, because the required sources aren't all online. Potatoswatter (talk) 11:44, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Also, there's only so much that release dates can convey. This article also needs basic architectural information, such as the interplay between INITs, the System file, the Enabler, and the ROM, so the reader can understand the context of "releasing a System update." Potatoswatter (talk) 11:47, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
  • I agree. But I also think in the stated goals of Potatoswatter and Wackymacs everything included must have a valid reference. Whether one thinks any detail is trivial or otherwise is irrelevant. Cumulatively, such details for a picture which a researcher or casual user can use to formulate a complete picture: in much the same way specific dates in John Adams' life may seem trival to some, but important to others. And like the Adams' entry, only important dates get days. For the most part events in his life do not eve get months, but only years. As Wackymacs points out, the specific day is less relevant for these software releases since that detail does not relate to anything: was it the creation date, announcement by Apple, shipping date, or the street date? Month and day are sufficient and certainly easier to reliably source. But the months are important to show the rapid (or slow) changes in it's development, unlike Adams' who might spend three months just traveling one way.
  • Agreed! Month/Year only will make it a lot easier...at least for the old stuff. The newer stuff is really easy to find sources for (like OS 8/9/X). — Wackymacs (talk) 16:31, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Mac OS 8 non-neutral[edit]

I'm gonna go ahead and claim Mac OS 8 is non neutral. It seems to be written by someone who focuses very much on the underlying OS, e.g. implying very few significant new features. Who defines significant? To most of Apple's fanbase, Mac OS 8 was VERY significant. It showed that Apple could create innovative ideas. That they could produce a dramatic facelift. And that their new development was getting somewhere. Mac OS 8, had many significant new features. Take the ability to use a picture as a desktop background; this was something Windows 3.1 & 95 had, that Mac OS 7.6 didn't. Mac OS 8 did, and to an average user, putting a pic of your favorite band on the desktop is significant. Same with contextual menus, spring-loaded folders, or even new appearance controls. It made the Mac OS new. Sure, the core was still the same, but who knew about the core? It just did stuff in the background.Ryaxnb (talk) 20:49, 5 May 2008 (UTC) I have to agree. Wasn't Websharing introduced in 8.0 or 8.1 ? It was a huge thing. I ran a server with three lectures and a lab within no time. I can assure you that students were thrilled to print lecturenotes and just add to it during class.Mdenk (talk) 06:23, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with Image:Macintosh System 7.5.3 screenshot.png[edit]

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Timeline links don't work[edit]

Hello, the links in the timeline at the bottom of the page don't work. They lead me to a page that says "This wiki does not exist". Does anybody know how to fix this? Thank you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by LovesMacs (talkcontribs) 07:46, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Interesting development work that didn't make it?[edit]

IF this article is about the history of the OS including it's development rather than a catalog of old OS versions don't development efforts that did never made it into production under their own names deserve mention?

Examples include but are not limited to:

Copland, Gershwin, Nukernel, TalOS, OpenDoc, etc.

Note that bits and pieces of some of these did find their way into production system software. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.248.248.11 (talk) 16:35, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

Clarify toolbox section:[edit]

As I understand it the toolbox ROMs contained a bootstrap loader and application libraries but not the kernel or file system. That is, the system did not "boot from ROM" per se. Most of the OS was on disk.

This is not wrong in the toolbox section, but the way the section is written it's easy to incorrectly infer that the OS was in ROM and the machine booted from ROM.

No correction needed, just a clarification. The Toolbox article is better in this respect. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.248.248.11 (talk) 16:47, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

The Toolbox was distinct from the ROM.
There is no section named Toolbox or much discussion of ROMs so I don't know what you're referring to.
No particular part of the OS was called the kernel, but the ROM contained device drivers and necessary support for things like UI.
If I recall, the file system was kept in the System file and the boot blocks had to find the system file by "hard-coded" interpretation of HFS.
The ROM contained much of a functional OS but was usually redundant: the System file replaced most ROM code upon running, so the user experience reflected whatever OS was installed. Potatoswatter (talk) 17:39, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
Actually the Toolbox was NOT distinct from the ROM in Old World ROM Macs as explained in Inside Macintosh--BruceGrubb (talk) 02:46, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

Intruding images on section: Systems 1,2,3 and 4[edit]

The images on the right and left of the section "Systems 1,2,3, and 4" float above the table at the bottom at the section. Any ideas on how to improve this without removing any of the images?

Corbin Davenport (talk) 19:59, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

Proposal for credits and easter eggs[edit]

I would like to propose the creation of a section about credits and easter eggs in Mac OS software releases. It would describe the traditional presence, and eventual removal of credits upon the second coming of The Steve, and it would list as many contributors as we can find. I'd start with those for whom I've found wikipedia pages. This section could be linked to, from Easter egg (media)#Software and credits, with screenshots and movies of the easter eggs. I'll start a draft here, because I haven't looked for citations yet, but I know that they have existed. Maybe we could try to restore that cultural tradition, because there were countless minor contributors to Apple's software (quality assurance, etc) but which don't warrant mention in a book or in a distinct wikipedia article. Names can be culled from folklore.org, from Template:Apple_celeb, and from source code and mailing lists for Darwin. It could be a table format, with headings for their job title, year range, and product name. Steve Jobs could be at the end.

Apple's history of software development has seen a rich internal corporate tradition of the recognition of the contributing personnel, usually located directly inside of the software. Some forms of recognition existed in the form of easter eggs which were hidden at the risk of reprimand due to their extraneous exacerbation of the quality control process. Others were a straightforward list of credits which could often be found in the form of a text banner located, for example, in an About box. The legendary so-called "Secret About Box" was one prominent example of such cultural tradition of Easter eggs. One Secret About Box featured an entire video game -- a clone of Breakout, a game upon which Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak had collaborated prior to forming Apple. Another featured a toy which demonstrated the 3D graphics library called QuickDraw 3D. Another Easter egg series was comprised entirely of textual credits of the Blue Meanies, a former engineering group for the Mac OS 7 series.

Soon after Steve Jobs's return to Apple, the tradition was deemed a risk to the company, whereby foreign technical recruiters would be easily able to identify and target Apple's significant contributors to be recruited away from Apple. Thus, the tradition of individual personnel credits in software was officially ended under severe terms. Countless credits and stories may be found at Folklore web site.

Credits for the software engineering, management, quality assurance, documentation, and countless other roles of the production of Mac OS include the following: Darin Adler, Andy Hertzfeld, Bud Tribble, Bill Atkinson, Jef Raskin, Burrell Smith (citations of software contribution?), Dave Hyatt, Maciej Stachowiak, Lew Cirne?, Steve Wozniak?, Steve Jobs.

Smuckola (talk) 04:53, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Citation for System 3[edit]

I'm not sure exactly how to do this, but I have System 3 running on a Mac SE. I (obviously) can't take a usable in-screen screenshot, but would a screenshot (the About does say January 1986) qualify as a citation and if so how would I post it? Wikimedia Commons?

Michael Sheflin (talk) 03:27, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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"Mac OS" and "Classic Mac OS" pages[edit]

Please follow this link for the discussion about the restructuring of the "Mac OS" and "Classic Mac OS" pages and continue the discussion there to help us keep it in one place. Thank you! —Samvscat (talk) 20:44, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

Mac OS 8 picture with microsoft IE web browser suspciously up and front[edit]

provided by microsoft competitor to put a ding in Apple's reputation

the typical browser choice for microsoft and windows computers was NETSCAPE (before that, Mosaic) at the time. ie was nearly useless at the time, few features and highly unstable - as was most of the microsoft system until well into the years of 2000. Mozilla/Firefox also was spun off Mosiac.

Mosaic was developed on a Unix graphics desktop: microsoft didn't even have a graphics desktop at the time the first graphical web browsers were in use.

REMOVE IT — Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.219.207.25 (talk) 03:02, 29 January 2017 (UTC)

It was the default web browser on OS 8.[2] Therefore, the picture is representative of what OS 8 looked like at the time. It's irrelevant what the "typical browser choice" for Windows computers was at the time, or how useless it was. Even if that statement were true, this picture has nothing to do with Windows computers. The picture is supposed to be representative of a typical install. - Aoidh (talk) 03:25, 29 January 2017 (UTC)
The "web" was invented in 1989, Microsoft Windows was first released in 1985.
Also, Netscape Navigator was commercial software at that time (free for non-commercial use) - you had to pay for it when using it in a business environment (which was the reason that the original Mosaic was still in use in businesses; not all users were cool with running pirated software).
At the time of Netscape Communicator 4.x (note the new name for the former Netscape Navigator Gold Edition), it had grown so unstable and buggy that it became to a large extent unusable. The Internet Explorer had much less features and maybe wasn't as sexy...but it was faster, stable and reliable, compared to the Netscape product. I remember that, at that time, the use of basic functions like printing would crash either the browser or the complete machine.
And, as Aoidh correctly pointed out, the Internet Explorer was in fact the pre-installed web browser.

"Macintosh System Software"[edit]

The chart under "System 1, 2, 3 and 4" lists the "Macintosh System Software" version, but that's an artifact retroactively (and incorrectly) created by Apple. See The 'develop' CD and its spawn. The chart should look something much more like the one at Macintosh software releases. I'd change it myself, but I fear it would just get reverted unless there's consensus.  -- Calion | Talk 23:33, 27 September 2017 (UTC)

Reliable sources and neutral presentation will gain their own consensus. What you're proposing is surely going to be fine given that it's actually true, but it's going to take some thoughtful wording to communicate the ideas clearly. I suggest also looking for other resources beyond the one site you've linked to, preferably from the time period in question. There were a lot of Macintosh magazines and books in the 1980s and early 1990s, e.g., that could add a lot of strength to the information presented on the site you've linked. Most of the links in that site are now dead, BTW, as Apple has reorganized their support site and all the old article numbers have been retired. Thanks, Apple. Warren -talk- 03:33, 29 September 2017 (UTC)

"Macintosh System Software" vs. "System Software"[edit]

The intro says

The operating system integral to the Macintosh was originally named System Software, or simply "System", and referred to by its major revision starting with System 6 and System 7.

and later speaks both of "System Software" and "Macintosh System Software". Most of the "Macintosh System Software" references could be read with "System Software" as the name and "Macintosh" as an qualifying adjective applying to the name, but in the table of releases in the "System 1, 2, 3 and 4" section, the entries say "Macintosh System Software" rather than just "System Software", which, if the official name was "System Software", seems redundant.

Was the official name "System Software", "Macintosh System Software", or both (i.e., Apple used both phrases)? Guy Harris (talk) 02:14, 20 December 2017 (UTC)

It's pretty complicated prior to 1988 -- the operating system didn't actually have a name! The early version numbers come from the version number in the "System" file, but in those days, a lot of operating system was in the ROM, and that varied from one computer to the next. As an example, the original Macintosh Plus came with a floppy titled "Macintosh Plus: System Tools", which you would boot off of to get a desktop based on System 3.0. Later in its life, the Plus came with updated floppies called "Macintosh: System Tools", and that floppy had a version number of v1.0, v2.0, v2.0.1 depending on when the computer was manufactured. v1 includes System 4, v2 includes System 4.1. Meanwhile, the Macintosh 512ke originally came with "Macintosh Plus: System Tools", but a few months after introduction, Apple replaced that disk with a new one "Macintosh 512k enhanced: System Tools" version 1.0, which includes System 3.2.
Fun stuff, eh?
The term "Macintosh System Software" started appearing in the "Read Me" files included on the floppies in early 1987, but it didn't become an official marketing name until late 1987 when version 5 was introduced and they started printing a separate manual for the "Macintosh System Software". Only then did things start to make sense. But then, Apple published a support article in 1998 or so which retroactively renamed many of these older operating system versions, to names that were never used! For example, they refer to System 3.0 as "Mac System Software 0.7". And the whole table is titled "Macintosh System Software", but then they arbitrarily use the terms "Mac System Software" or "System Software".
Honestly, it's such a mess that I do wonder if Wikipedia can ever actually it all right. I'm happy to try, but I've already put a number of hours of research into this, and let me tell ya, published sources from the mid-1980s don't offer any kind of consistency on these naming issues either. Nobody cared about "version numbers" in the personal computer world before 1988. Your computer came with a floppy you booted off of (or not, e.g. Commodore 64), and that was really the end of it. Warren -talk- 04:33, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
It becomes less weird when you consider that, at that time, the operating system was usually sitting in a ROM (sometimes even soldered into the PCB, not socketed!) and was considered a permanent and integral component of the computer system. Operating system updates required physical replacement of ICs...but such things rarely happend. After all, the operating systems were much less complex than we used to nowadays and there were generally only very few bugs in there.
Perhaps an analog would be a classic pocket calculator. You turn it on, use it, and never ever wonder about the firmware version...or what the firmware might have been called by the developers. Okay, nowadays this has changed a bit, as the more powerful pocket calculator do have an upgradable operating system. --Klaws (talk) 08:36, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
"The operating system" presumably here refers to the operating system on a Macintosh (or, at least, to the Toolbox part of the OS). That was generally not the case for general-purpose computers; they tended, at that time, to boot the full OS from a disk. It wasn't even the case if you limit yourself to microcomputers. Guy Harris (talk) 18:05, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
The Operating System, such as it was, was a hybrid between what was on a floppy combined with what was in the ROMs. You could not do anything, not even Macsbug, without what was on the floppy (i.e. System and Finder) combined with what was in the ROMs (i.e. the ToolBox). For the most part, the ROMs were location non-specific. Anything having to do with a particular locale was on the floppy, in the System/Finder files. So you could boot with a North American English or with a European German floppy, on the same Mac Plus, but you might need a different keyboard for certain non-Roman characters. You could not run any apps, without both the System (on Floppy) and the Toolbox (in the ROMs). Some apps were capable (once loaded) to not need the System file to be mounted (the floppy to floppy copy app comes to mind). Cosmicray (talk) 22:04, 1 February 2021 (UTC)

Weird spacing[edit]

On my computer, I'm seeing a large gap between the title/hatnote and the start of the article. It seems to be related to the template I recently added/created: template:Classic Mac OS sidebar. To fix the problem, I tried mushing all the templates together onto one line, which seemed to at least reduce the gap, but this change was reverted by Guy Harris, who said Templates one per line, for cleanliness and for not having irrelevant changes mixed in with relevant ones in diffs. Any idea what's causing the problem, and is there another, better, solution to getting rid of it? WanderingWanda (talk) 23:51, 23 May 2019 (UTC)

Nevermind, figured it out. The problem, of course, was extra spaces in the template itself. WanderingWanda (talk) 00:14, 24 May 2019 (UTC)

Open Transport?[edit]

IIRC, the size of the system installer—concretely, the number of disks that the system installation was spread out over—"exploded" somewhere in the 7.5.x series of releases due to (it was claimed) the introduction of the Open Transport networking system. Notably: not at 7.5.0, but slightly after (IIRC). Since the physical size of the stack of install disks is something very tangible for people who dealt with it at the time, it should deserve some mention—maybe not in the main body text, but at least in the table of all the patch releases. 95.199.30.253 (talk) 07:49, 10 September 2019 (UTC)

Qemu Emulator[edit]

I think the Qemu emulator is missing in the wiki as this one is very good now in emulating Mac OS (including 9.2.2 and up to 10.4). --Roemeeeer (talk) 14:57, 9 January 2020 (UTC)

A Commons file used on this page or its Wikidata item has been nominated for speedy deletion[edit]

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You can see the reason for deletion at the file description page linked above. —Community Tech bot (talk) 14:23, 30 June 2020 (UTC)