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Ask Max: Running Music Apps In Classic

Asked on 10/02/2008:

I just bought a nice notebook G3 with OS 10.3.9. Classic does not work because OS 9.1 or later is not installed.My reason for buying an older notebook is to have something to run my old software in since my Performa 6115 is getting tired. I have a many music programs that I loved to use way back in the time. I also have The Pianist software by PG Music, which is not available anymore.

To run this I will need to connect my midi device to the USB port. Do you know if this will work okay with Classic? Any reasons I should not buy OS 9.2.2 to do this, i.e. is 9.1 or 9.2.0 better choice?

My only other choice would be to get an even older notebook (I prefer a notebook due to space and noise limitations) since most of my SW was made for System 6 or above.


An alternative to running the Classic environment is to dual boot your system. When you have a PowerPC-based Mac, like you do, that is pre-Airport Extreme, you have options for running older applications. You can use Classic, which runs OS 9 and OS 9 applications in a virtual computer contained in Mac OS X. This lets you use both OS X and OS 9 applications side-by-side each other.

Dual booting lets you start the computer in OS 9 or OS X. Both versions of the operating system live on the same drive but you can only use one at a time. This is less convenient but lets you run many hardware specific applications that could fail in the Classic OS 9 environment. Try it in Classic but do not be afraid if it does not work for you. You can always boot the computer up in OS 9 via the Startup Disk system preference and try booted up in OS 9. It will likely work one way or another.

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