If there's one neat thing about the "death" of Mac Classic (OS 9 and less), it's that I finally have, almost by definition, a stable platform. It's nice to have a computer whose apps run reasonably quickly and for which I'm not constantly trying something new. I'm currently using Outlook Express, Internet Explorer 5, Mac OS 8.6, AIM v4.3, and print66. When I fire up my old Mac (a StarMax 3000 with a G3 upgrade), the old apps are still there, waiting, doing exactly what I expect. The ImageWriter is still willing to spit out text quickly, Word98 still does a great job letting me word process, and with print66 I'm even sharing out that out printer to my Windows boxen.

It's also not like I'm lacking for some pretty robust applications. Transmit 1.7 runs well, and is free for Mac Classic now. I've not yet gotten the VNC client to tunnel via ssh, but apparently it can be done. SoundJam still plays mp3s quite well if I don't feel like messing with iTunes 2. VIm runs well on the box, and there's even an old version of Tomcat available. I'm beginning to feel the pain of programming in Java 1.1.x, but even there I have options. Quake 1 still runs well with my Voodoo 2, and Quake 2 is at least playable. Madden 2000 is still the best American Football game on any Mac as well. Nor must I wait for the Classic environment to boot up when I feel like playing.

In any event, I'll end the rambling lovefest. Sure, memory management still stinks (I've got virtual memory off, but with only 96 megs I run into trouble now & again, and one app's crashing still kills 'em all), but it's nice to come back to a well configured computer -- and one I won't be tempted to mess up anytime soon. Bizarre to think that my once mightly PowerPC, one heck of a step up over my Powerbook 150 back in the day, is a "low end Mac" now, though!