If you’re a Mac person, remember how great it was when they got up to OS 9 and it hardly ever crashed? When the conflict catcher was built in and things really ran prettty smoothly? Now, of course, it seems like as primitive a system as possible, just six or seven years later, but man, at the time it was like a godsend to those of us who started back in System 7 days.
Why am I bringing this up? ‘Cause I got to install OS 9 again the other day. Our poor old iMac was the last kid picked for dodgeball, not just because it was slow and small, but because it was stuck on system 10.2 when everything else in the house was on 10.4, unable to print reliably or share files or access the iTunes library. Without a DVD drive, I thought I couldn’t put Tiger on it — but it turns out I was wrong. Workaround, patch cords, target drive, mumbo jumbo — point is, I found a way to install Tiger onto the iMac and bring it into the late aughts. BUT before I could do that, I had to upgrade the firmware. And the only way to do that was to turn on the wayback machine and boot into OS9. And the only way to do that was to set up a separate OS9 disk. And the only way to do that was to back up everything off the iMac, partition the disk, install OS9, then install OS 10.4, then restore every file I took off, then pray the whole thing hung together. Which it did.
That and a sudden change of location, to a new desk (made by yours truly) upstairs outside the bedrooms, and a sudden parental concession on the instant messaging issue, and suddenly the 7-year-old ruby iMac is the belle of the ball, the computer they fight over access to. (Wait’ll they find out it’s getting a memory upgrade!)