Webmaster's Thoughts

Older Macintoshes

by Bobby Draves

Well...., MacWorld New York is over and new speedy computers have been announced. I am sure most of you would like to have one of these new computers sitting on your desk, but when you look at what the cost would be to replace the one you have now, you stop right there...

Before running out to buy one of these jewels you might think about what your computer is used for..... If you only use your computer for email and surfing on the Internet, older computers work great.. Granted it takes a little longer to get the mail or to get to a selected internet site for sure, but is that time worth worrying about.. We all know what we buy will be obsolete speed wise in a few months and there isn't much we can do about that but there is something we can do to get the appearance of Mac OS 8.0+ on our older Mac's running OS 7.5.5. and earlier..

I know you are thinking, sure I can wait a bit longer for my mail and for the sites I want to visit on the internet, but there is more to the new computers than speed... You may be thinking that you would like to be able to have a beautiful picture on your desktop like your Best Friend's or your Mom's, or that you would like to be able to move your windows as easily as the later systems allow and maybe you would like to have a few of the newer keyboard shortcuts found in newer systems while running your computer on OS versions before 8.0. Well there are Freeware and Shareware programs available that will just help you do just this...

I have listed a few of these programs below that I personally have added to a computer using an OS 7.5.5 system and they all worked great but I can not absolutely guarantee they will work as well on your computer. I suggest that if you do decide to try out these programs you add only one item at a time to your computer and then run it for a while to see if any type of conflict will arise.

Aaron 1.6 - Aaron is shareware system extension and font combination which brings part of the Mac OS 8 interface to your current System 7 Macintosh. This is the fat version of the Aaron extension but there is also a 68k version available. To understand every feature Aaron offers you will need to read the documentation in the Aaron application folder.

ClipS - ClipS is a freeware program that saves text, sound, and pictures on the Clipboard to either your Desktop or a folder in the Apple Menu as a clipping file, with just a click on the ClipS control strip module. This program works particularly well with programs that do not recognize Apples Drag and Drop feature. ClipS is especially useful when used with browsers.. (For folks using OS versions prior to OS 7.5.5 there is a program available at "macdownload .com" called "Desktop Strip" that will put a strip on your desktop. Desktop strip can use most current Control Strip modules including the Clips module..)

Decor - Decor is a small shareware free application and extension pair which will place a chosen PICT, GIF, JPEG(JFIF) or startup screen file on your desktop in OS versions before OS 8.0. You can also designate a folder from which to randomly choose the background picture. To change a picture on the fly, just drag and drop the new image on top of the Decor icon. Also supports tiling, scaling and cropping of selected images.

Hidden Finder Features - This control panel adds a few features to the finder that allows you to use:

Control- Drag to make an Alias, without the word alias being attached.

OA - R to reveal alias original

OA - Delete moves highlighted item to the trash

There is one more choice, but I did not use it when I was using 7.5.5, it has some thing to do with disabling Zoom Rectangles.....

There is a control panel but I think it is only to tell you what you can do. You do not need to use the control panel to use these features.

The following online site, Internet/Networking, offers many useful programs for older Mac's including many versions of Netscape including the latest working versions for both Power Mac's and 68K Mac's (Netscape Communicator 4.7 for Power Macs and Netscape Communicator 4.0.8 for 68K Mac's)... While there, why not take a look at the other pages offered at this site, you just might find something you have been looking for.

If you have not visited HIDACC's "Suggested Freeware and Shareware" page, perhaps this is the time to do so.. We have links to many interesting programs you might like to try.

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