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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Maintaining and Monitoring Classic

Maintaining a healthy Classic environment is the same as maintaining a healthy Mac OS 9.x installation. If you use Classic on your OS X computer, you're essentially charged with keeping two operating systems up and running.

Classic Health

Apple has kindly included two features in Mac OS X that help fix a common problem and speed up overall system functions. Figure 4.14 shows the Advanced tab of the Classic System Preferences panel.

Figure 4.14 Choose to rebuild your OS 9.x desktop or put the system to sleep.

Options such as putting Classic to sleep and rebuilding the desktop are available within the Advanced tab. Use the following advanced settings to gain greater control of Classic:

  • Put Classic to Sleep When It Is Inactive For—When Classic is running, it is using your system resources. The Classic environment continues to use CPU time even if you aren't running a Classic application. This is because Mac OS 9.x must keep up the basic system maintenance and monitoring processes that happen behind the scenes. If you choose to put Classic to sleep, it will stop using these resources after the length of time you choose.

  • Rebuild Desktop—Rebuilding the Mac OS 9.x desktop can help solve "generic icon" problems (files that should have custom icons show up as generic white icons in the Finder), as well as issues with documents that can't find the appropriate Classic application to open them. If your Classic environment starts to act in unusual ways, rebuilding the desktop is a good place to start.

Classic functions best when it is used as a means of accessing legacy applications and data. You should maintain as minimal a system software installation as possible. Extensions and control panels that are not needed should be removed. If possible, choose one of the base extension sets from within the Extensions Manager and stick with it.

Shut off any extraneous features of Mac OS 9.x, such as the Finder soundtrack (within the Appearance control panel) and talking alerts. These slow down system performance and can cause hiccups within Mac OS X.

If you have complex needs that Classic cannot fulfill, you can also boot directly into Mac OS 9.x. In many cases, this can save you from the headaches of dealing with the inconsistencies and incompatibilities of Classic, and provide greater speed and ease of use.

Monitoring Classic

Although it is possible to see the running Classic applications in the dock and in the Mac OS X process manager, a vital piece of information is missing. Because Classic relies on old-style memory partitions in order to run its applications, you need to be able to assess the amount of memory each is using in order to adjust their memory partitions appropriately. Previously, this information was available in Mac OS 9's About the Mac option under the Apple menu. In Mac OS X 10.2, Apple has reintroduced the feature in a new tab within the Classic panel.

With Classic running, you can click the Memory/Versions tab to display the processes that are active and how much memory they are consuming, as shown in Figure 4.15.

Figure 4.15 The Memory/Versions tab gives feedback on active Classic processes.

To display information about background Classic processes, click the Show Background Processes check box. Information about the version of Classic and its supporting software is displayed at the bottom of the panel.

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