mac os classic

System 6

was still widely considered to be the best system software version for the Macintosh. Cooperative multitasking made its Macintosh debut 1985 with a program called Switcher, which allowed the user to launch multiple applications and switch between them. However, many programs and features did not function correctly with Switcher, and it did not come with the operating system, so it had to be acquired from Apple separately. System 6 featured a much more seamless approach called MultiFinder. Multitasking under System 6 was optional — startup could be set to Finder or MultiFinder. If MultiFinder was selected, the Finder and its functions continued to run when an application was launched.


System 7

featured built-in cooperative multitasking, virtual memory, personal file sharing, a slightly 3D looking interface taking advantage of colors, QuickTime for video capture and playback, and QuickDraw 3D for 3D graphics. It introduced also a new Fonts folder, allowing users to organize their fonts in the Finder. With System 7.5 came the Extensions Manager enabling the user to turn extensions and control panels on and off and a hierarchal Apple menu which shows folders within the Apple Menu Items folder expand into submenus showing their contents. System 7.5.5 was the last System 7 release that can run on 68000-based Macs such as the macintosh portable or powerbook 100. 7.6 and later required a 68030 processor.


Mac OS 8

earliest release still supported "first generation" Macs with Motorola 680x0-family processors; its later releases ran on PowerPC G3 systems such as the powerbook G3 wallstreet. It introduced the new, optional HFS Plus file system format (also known as the Mac OS Extended Format), which supported large file sizes, longer file names and made more efficient use of the space on larger drives due to using a smaller block size. Mac OS 8.1 also included an enhanced version of PC Exchange, allowing Macintosh users to see the long file names (up to 255 characters) on files that had been created on PCs running Windows 95. It is the earliest version that can run Carbon apps. Mac OS 8.5 was the first version of the Mac OS to run solely on Macs equipped with a PowerPC processor.


mac os classic


April 1988

68000 processor or later,

1 MB of RAM


May 1991

68000 processor or later,

2 MB RAM and 4 MB HD


October 1992

68000 processor or later,

2 MB of RAM and 4 MB HD


September 1994

68000, 68020, 68030, 68040 or PowerPC processor, 4 MB (68k) 8 MB (PPC) of RAM, and 21 MB HD


January 1997

32-bit clean 68030, 68040 or PowerPC processor, 8 MB of real RAM and 40 to 120 MB HD


July 1997

68040 or PowerPC processor, 12 MB of real RAM and 195 MB HD


January 1998

68040 or PowerPC processor, 12 MB of real RAM and 195 MB HD


October 1998

PowerPC processor, 16 MB of physical RAM and 150 to 250 MB HD


May 1999

PowerPC processor, 24 MB of RAM installed and 190 to 250 MB HD


October 1999

PowerPC processor, 32 MB of physical RAM and 190 to 250 MB HD


January 2001

PowerPC processor, 32 MB of physical RAM and 320 MB HD


June 2001

PowerPC G3 (original PowerBook G3 not supported), 32 MB of physical RAM and 320 MB HD

Mac OS 9

was the last version of the "Classic" Macintosh Operating System (Mac OS) released before being succeeded by Mac OS X. Mac OS 9 was considered by the most functional version of the original Mac OS. While Mac OS 9 did not include such modern operating system features such as protected memory and pre-emptive multitasking, lasting improvements include the addition of an automated Software Update engine and support for multiple users. Apple billed Mac OS 9 as "best Internet operating system ever" and heavily marketed its Sherlock 2 software, an improvement over the original Sherlock which extended the tool to many online resources. Sherlock 2 boasted a 'channels' feature for different kinds of searches and a had QuickTime-like metallic appearance. Mac OS 9 also featured integrated support for Apple’s suite of Internet tools then known as iTools (now known as iCloud) and included improved Open Transport networking.