Most longtime users of
's Macintosh machines know their way around its venerable operating system, OS 9, pretty well.
But if they've purchased a new Mac or boldly installed OS X on an existing machine, they find themselves facing an almost completely alien computing environment.
For OS 9 users who have avoided making the transition, the day of reckoning is fast approaching. Until recently, most Mac users who had switched to the graphically appealing, much more stable OS X were the early adopters and power users like myself who feel compelled to have the latest thing.
Of the estimated 25 million Mac users in the world, only about 20 percent have moved to Mac OS X, according to Apple. The other 80 percent still are using some version of the original Mac operating system, the final version of which was Mac OS 9.
Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif., says the transition is on schedule, but most folks have no desire to change their operating system; some of it is inertia, some of it is fear: If it ain't broke ... .
But Apple's campaign to push OS 9 users over to OS X has grown more intense in the past year. Last January, it made OS X the default operating system on new Macs; in May CEO Steve Jobs declared OS 9 dead to developers; in September Apple said that Mac models introduced or upgraded in 2003 only would boot OS X.
Many OS 9 users fear upgrading because they know that when something does go awry in OS X, all their years of Mac experience will be almost useless.
They're right. Fortunately, a few tips I have gleaned from 16 months of using OS X should help hesitant OS 9 users become more comfortable with the new system.
First, a few troubleshooting tips from OS 9 still hold true: