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Just Updated 4/7/2001

Using OSX for a week: Well I thought I would give you all a little bit of my first week of using Apples latest greatest operating system, OSX. Many of you may have read on other sites about all the shortcomings it has at the moment? Well they are right :( I have tried to use it as my main OS since it came out but for at least the first 5 days, I was unable to even get a good running Classic mode (OS 9.1 in OSX). So I lost a week of work while trying to get everything straightened out and find out what all the bugs were in OSX. I think I have it all figured out now, for at least my system :) Here is how it went.

  • Bought OSX on March 24th but did not install it till March 25th. I didn't have any time on the 24th :(
  • My HD was already partitioned into 4 sections but I wanted to have both OSX and 9.1 on the same partition due to the ways I thought the multiple users environment of both operating systems would interact. I didn't want any duplication of data and info. So I ran the installer and it crashed after it rebooted to the CD in OSX? I tried again and it crashed again? I then realized I was using my Voodoo3 card and remembered that OSX was not very compatible with them. So I moved the monitor to an ATI VR Rage128 card I had. It then booted fine and proceeded to run the installer. It was a very nice opening to an installer I have ever seen! It had the words WELCOME flash by in many different languages and there is a continuous water ripple affect on the left side for the entire install process.
  • So I finished entering all my settings and told it to continue. If you have internet access and set that up during the install, it will immediately send your registration data to Apple. If no then it will wait for the first time you access the internet to send this data. There appears to be no way to not register OSX? For those of you that hate sending personal data over the internet, I suggest you enter bogus data. Although this may not be the wisest choice when it comes time to call Apple for tech support!
  • Now I am in AQUA. Its very nice and pleasant looking. I have to admit that I have been using the AQUA Theme under OS 9 for some time now :) It is no comparison to the real thing! The only interface issue I don't care for at the moment is not being able to pick a system wide font size? On my PB G3 running the public beta, I felt as if I lost a lot of screen space :( But on my B&W I can increase the monitor resolution to help alleviate that problem. I am now running at 1280x1024 on a 19" monitor instead of 1024x768. Basically everything seems the same as my old setting but with a super high resolution and full screen anti aliasing of fonts and windows, It all looks gorgeous and I see no pixels!
  • This comes to the biggest complaint on the web right now. All this smoothing or fonts and windows may be slowing the reaction of the OS to a crawl at times? To me, everything moves pretty quick except for the live window resizing. It does not track the mouse at all and is very slow at updating :( I hear Apple is working on this right now.
  • The DOCK is another issue on the web. Some people love it, and others hate it. I don't hate it but I also don't love it. I have figured out how to use it like I use to use the Apple Menu but its still not as easy to use as the Apple Menu. I use to have an alias to a folder had aliases of all my applications, games, utilities, etc. I then could get any app I had placed in there very quickly, just like MS Windows Start Menu. But the Dock just seemed to store single icon images for apps? This was going to get cluttered fast! So I found away around it. I first tried just dragging the aliases of the folders I had already created to the DOCK but it doesn't seem to want to place an icon of an alias in it? I guess it doesn't want to make an alias of an alias :) So I created another folder for my OS 9.1 apps and one for my OSX apps and created subfolders in each for apps, games, utilities, etc. Now I created aliases off all my apps again but in these folders. Separating the ones that run natively in their corresponding folders. I then dragged these 2 main folders to the DOCK and it worked. When I right click (or click-and-hold for the single mouse button people) I get a menu of the items inside and can choose my apps this way just like from the Apple Menu except for one thing. Both folders look the same and there is no text printed until you move the mouse over their icons? OK a slight draw back but I can fix that. I noticed that the system folder for OSX is a blue folder with an "X" on it. I also noticed that the system folder for the classic OS 9.1 has a blue folder with"9.1" on it. Now the cool thing is that OSX still lets you copy icons just like classic OS so I copied and pasted the icons onto my 9.1 apps and OSX apps folders. Now I can tell which is which just by their icons. Pretty cool huh :)
  • Well after all that comes the part that slowed me down :( Getting OS 9.1 to run as classic. The first time I tried selecting my 9.1 folder on the same partition as OSX, it would attempt to load classic but just disappear just as it was about to finish loading? Then the 9.1 selection in the system pref panel said it was not started? After trying many different combinations of extensions including all off, I decided to install 9.1 on another partition. First just by dragging my original 9.1 folder to it. That didn't work either? So then I did a clean install on the other partition and that worked. So why not my normal everyday use 9.1 system? I tried copying items from the clean install to my old install but still nothing? Then I hit the web and searched all the different forums on OSX. I found my answer! Several actually. It turned out to be a couple of problems with my system folder. For one Classic won't launch if you have Action GoMac installed. I use that heavily but it had to go :( Next I read that if you ever made a HOST file for your TCP/IP control panel that you would toss that. If you don't know what I am talking about then you don't have it. This is a file that you create yourself and can be named anything and placed anywhere you want. It is like you own little DNS server located on your own Mac and tell the TCP/IP control panel where to find it. Anyway, I trashed that too. The last thing I found was that if you have a bunch of files in the Navigation Services folder found in the 9.1 pref folder that this may also cause problems. So I trashed everything in that folder. And BAM! Now my original OS 9.1 system folder can be used as Classic in OSX :) YEAH!!!!!!!!!
  • You may be asking why I tried so hard to get it working even though I had a clean install working. Well, besides not having to worry about having the right extensions in both system folders, I use OS 9.1 Multiple Users and it creates USER folders for each person with all their settings. Now I figured if I had set up MU in OSX as well that they may share the same user folders in both OS's. I was right, to a point? If you use the same names for your users in both OS's then they will share the same user folders in each OS except for one issue. When running a classic app in OSX, the classic environment does not recognize your multiple user settings? This I found very odd! Why would Apple make MU in OS 9.1 and MU in OSX share the same folders to make everything work seemlessly and then not allow Classic to recognize MU settings? So if I am booted into OS 9.1, my users each have there own environment. If I boot into OSX, each of my users have their own environment. If I launch Classic in OSX then the Classic settings are shared with all! So unless you actually install a 9.1 system folder for each OSX user. They will each share the same 9.1 system folder when run in Classic mode. I don't like that since I have been use to having MU turned on. I don't think businesses or schools will like that either if they have been playing around with MU before. I hope Apple fixes that as its all setup to work this way. It just doesn't :(
  • Now that I have Classic running I can actually use OSX as most all my apps are still Classic only :( But now comes the point where OSX cannot be used all the time for me. I use to many features in OS 9.1 that don't work in OSX which slows me down to much in OSX at the moment. Here are a few of them.
  • No labels in OSX - there is a column for labels in the finder but no way to choose any? I use labels highly in 9.1 to let me know which files I update so I know which need to be sent to the server when I update my web site. This makes it easy to figure out which are new and which are old. I hope Apple gets this working soon!
  • Double clicking on a file does not open the file all the time - I hate this! The first time an application is launched by double clicking on a file it works as expected. The app is launched and the file is opened. If you wish to open another file in the same app by double clicking, only the app is brought to the front and the file is not opened? There are 2 ways around this I found. Either quit the app each time before opening a new file (works great with small apps like simple text) or use the apps OPEN command from the file menu. This is slow and not the only way an OS should work! Apple needs to fix this.
  • Items downloaded from the net not showing on the desktop for a long time if ever - there seems to be some issue with items being displayed on the desktop. If you drag an item to the desktop, it shows right away. But when you download an item to the desktop, it may not show up right away or every? It will be in the desktop folder found in your user folder but not mirrored on the actual desktop you see? This is annoying.
  • Icons and window settings never stay where you want them - this is a big pet peeve for neat freaks like myself :) I like to be able to place my icons in windows where I want and expect them to stay that way. Same goes for how I view a window (in icon view or list view, or whatever). This does not always work in OSX :( most of the time items stay where I want them but I may not get the same view (icon or list) when I open the window. Also the window size may not stay the way I left it last depending on how the window gets opened. If you double click on a folder to view its contents, many different ways of that folder being displayed can reconfigure you view. This all depends on if you have the Finder set in Classic view with no tool bar, list view in the previously opened window, icon, view in the previously opened window, table view in the previously opened window and any modifier key you may hold down while opening the window. This is very confusing since you settings don't always stick, you never know how your window is going to look when you open it. This reminds me of MS windows :( This is very unMac like! Also when you resize a window from dragging the lower left corner of the window in OS 9.1, your window resizes and if icons get covered, they get covered. In OSX if you do this, your icons will move to try and fit in the new window size. Hence the term "Live window resizing" This just ruins any layout you try to configure :( I hate it!
  • Native apps and Classic apps not really acknowledging each other - This is another problem I am having where I use MS Entourage for email (classic app) and IE 5.1 for web surfing (Carbon app). If I click on a link in IE to email someone, I get the OSX Mail application opening instead of my choice of Entourage for email. I even have Entourage set for email in the OSX System prefs under Internet? Same goes the other way. If I am in Entourage and I click on a web link in an email, I get IE classic launched instead of IE carbon? Very frustrating. I just gave up on IE carbon as it has other issues and just use IE classic for now. This works as expected but not they way you want to use OSX :( This may get fixed as more apps become carbonized so there is no need to run anything in Classic. Till then I guess I am stuck with this issue :(

There are a lot more issues when you start to get in to games and apps that need hardware control so I will stop here. Basically 3D games, or any game that uses Apples input sprockets as the only way to set up your controllers, won't work. And most any app that needs direct access to hardware may not work.

I don't want to discourage people from buying OSX, but its just not ready for the heavy computer user. For email and web access its all there and wonderful if you use the carbonized apps. For really working on your computer, I suggest you stay in OS 9 or earlier until Apple get things worked out. It will happen and I will be there when it does :)

PS: if you have an AQUA Theme for OS 9 then keep it when using it as Classic. Classic uses the OS 9.1 Appearance manager so every Classic app still looks like, well, Classic. You don't get the cool OSX look in Classic apps :( But OS 9.1 Themes and Kaleidoscope do work! So you can make it less noticable if you keep the AQUA Themes turned on when running Classic. This is just a suggestion :)

More Sonnet info on OSX: A reader of mine was sent the following letter from Sonnet Tech support. It states the current state of Sonnet on getting OSX to work on the L2 G3. Which is there haven't started yet :( I hope this isn't true!

[ OS X won't work with or without our card. Your machine isn't supported by Apple so the installer won't recognize your machine and it won't install. We plan to provide support but I know we haven't started on it yet for the G3/L2 family of products. It's going to be a tough piece of software to write and we're working on the easier support first to get that out of the way.


Sonnet Customer Service

A reader got a bad card from Sonnet: A reader who had issues playing VCD's when his Sonnet G3 was enabled just sent word that replacing the Sonnet card fixed everything. Thanks for the info.

[Aloha Tom,
I wanted to touch bases with you and let you know that I received my replacement from Sonnet. And guess what, the VCD's all play fine. No stability issues so far, all afternoon I have not had a freeze or had to restart my 6400. When no attempt to play a VCD without locking up (half movie on one disk) ever. Today I viewed three full movies with no problems at all (6 disks!).

I have worked on a few large Photoshop files this afternoon and have been using multiple programs switching between them has not been a problem. In fact I haven't had a problem all afternoon.

I can't believe my first card was a lemon. I remember what you said about quality control. hmmm.... Well, I'm glad it is all working out, I hope, I am still paranoid from the last episode and am going to be watch it for anything cropping up.

Your site is invaluable to me and my quest to maintain and upgrade my Performa 6400.

Thanks so much for all your help.]

This is not the first time this has happened either. I have had other readers report that getting a replacement card solved problems for them as well. I don't know if this is due to poor quality control from Sonnet or bad handling of the cards by the customer?

RamDoubler and Startup Disk control panel 9.2.1 are incompatible: Here is some info I found on MacFixIt awhile ago. It seems that Apples new StartupDisk control panel that is needed for use with OSX, somehow disables RamDoubler? The only fix is to use an older version of the Startup Disk control panel. Not a problem if you don't have OSX, but if you do?

[Startup Disk 9.2.1 and Ram Doubler conflict? A reader found that after updating the Startup Disk control panel to 9.2.1 on his Power Mac 6400 with a 400 MHz Sonnet G3 card, Ram Doubler 9.0.1 would no longer load. Changing the load order did not allow Ram Doubler to run, however, reverting Startup Disk to 9.0 did. We have not confirmed if other users have seen this problem. (Thanks, Tom Kostes)

Update: David Patrick Pabian writes: "My Ram Doubler 9 also generated a 'Ram Doubler failed to load because it was disabled or

removed'message after installing Startup Disk 9.21, as it does if I modify or replace the Finder for any reason. Reinstalling Ram Doubler solved the problem. (7300/200 w/NewerTech 400 card.)]

Loud fan noise from a 6500: Linda was having an issue where her 6500 had a very loud fan noise. It turned out to the little CPU fan on the mother board. Thanks Linda.

[I solved my own problem, as is evidenced by the fact that I am posting this message using my QUIET 6500.

The Radio Shack catalog # for the micro fan is: 273-240. It costs $9.99 and is available on-line, in stores, and by calling 1-800-THE-SHACK.

I also purchased a small tube of heat sink grease. The catalog # for that item is: 276-1372, and it cost $1.99.

It was easy. The only semi-difficult part for me was wiring the new cord to the old plug, due to my very poor vision. With patience, I was able to do even that. And it all runs great now.]

Kingston ethernet card not compatible with 6360?: I just got this from Chris who's wife's 6360 was not booting with a kingston ethernet card installed. I don't know which OS version was running or if they had the latest drivers for the card. This is just a heads up.

[I just got through removing a Kingston ethernet card and drivers from my wife's 6360...turns out it was locking up the whole system so it wouldn't finish starting up...locked at the time display opening...replaced it with a Comm II, runs ok now.]

Painting your 6400/6500: Andre sent me some pics of his 6400 with a very cool paint job. He also sent some instructions on how to do it. Thanks Andre. Click here for more info.

Andre's 6500 image

I would love to see any other decorated 6400/6500's out there as well :) Thanks

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CD containing The 6400 Zone plus past history for sale 9/3/1999

I was wondering if anyone would be interested in purchasing a CD with my entire up-to-date site as well as my 6400 Take Apart Manual? Plus, many of the past Just Updates included! I think this would be a great idea for anyone who hasn't been able to keep up or never saw my site until recently. Also for those of you with Sherlock the CD is even better cause you can tell Sherlock to index the CD and then you can do a search on any topic, and if I ever talked about it, you'll find it! I have info as far back as mid 1997. I'm asking $15 which includes shipping for US residents (not sure what the price for international shipments would be yet?) and I will even include a few surprises! To make this offer even juicier I can add some download that you've been trying to get but just couldn't for some reason. Lets put my cable modem to work :) I will accept personal checks but I won't mail out the CD till it clears.

Please include your shipping address and email so I can let you know the CD is on its way.

amazon.com, books and more 7/2/98

I found a great way to earn some money while getting great deals to you on Macintosh books and software plus they have all kinds of other books, music, and more. Please click on the amazon.com link on the top of this page whenever you feel like purchasing something to help sponsor this site. If you're unsure of what you want and wish to get a list of Mac related items, just type Macintosh in the search field on their home page and you will be presented with many choices to select.

The 6400 Zone is created to help you gain access to useful software updates and great shareware programs that add functionality to your system. It is also a one stop road map to other informative sites for answering your questions. Most of the info here is geared towards the 6400, but it is useful for all PCI Performa models and even the 6500 and all-in-one Macs based on the same. It's even useful to other MAC systems. I will be referring to my 6400/200 clocked to 220Mhz as just 6400/220, OK.

I will keep it updated as often as I can but I don't have much free time to work on it, so I suggest you check back at least once every a week. That should be sufficient. If you don't see something you would like to see here or have your own software / web site that would benefit the Mac community, please write to me at zone6400@mac.com and I will check it out.

I use a Performa 6400/180 OS 9.0.4 and ASIP 6.3.2, Performa 6400/220 OS 9.0.4, B&W G3/350 OS 9.1 / OSX, PowerBook G3/233 OS 9.1, PM 6100 G3/240 OS 9.0.4, and a PowerBook DUO 270c OS 7.5.5. All of the software updates posted here are currently running on one or the other with minimal problems. If I do encounter a problem, I will post it for all to read and respond to. If you are having any problems and would like help just email me and if I can answer it I will, or I will post it here for others to read and respond to.

If any of the links do not work properly, please send an email to me the Site Master
This page last updated 4/7/2001

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