Archive for the 'tips' Category

Web Browser for Mac OS 8/9 Users

Tuesday, October 24th, 2006

It appears Comcast just modernized their web email site and in the process broke support for older browsers such as Internet Explorer for Mac OS. I have a few clients who still haven’t made the transition to Mac OS X yet (if it ain’t broke…) for whom this is a significant problem. Mozilla requires 10.2 or later, so the question was whether this is a deal-breaker or is there another “modern” web browser that still support pre-OS X Macs?

The answer happily is Yes! It turns out that iCab provides a version that works on Mac OS 8.5 through 9.x and displays the new Comcast web site just fine. It even brings other niceties such as tabs to the table.

At some point these folks will have to make the switch to OS X but at least for now it won’t be because of web browser compatibility issues!

2007-Jul-24 Update

1000x thanks to Gerry for his comment pointing me to WamCom:

When iCab doesn’t work I suggest trying the WamCom Mozilla 1.3: http://www.wamcom.org/latest-131

The person who has been using iCab for Mac OS 8.6 called complaining that it was not rendering some of his web pages very well and so far he’s very happy with WamCom.

He had one problem, it locked up when he tried to open Preferences. He’s increased the Preferred Memory size which we’re hoping will fix that.

Fix for Classic Audio That’s Too Fast or Too Slow

Wednesday, October 11th, 2006

Just resolved a tech support issue that highlighted what seems to be an undocumented aspect of Mac OS X’s Classic support, in particular how it handles Classic audio.

Someone reported that suddenly all sound from Classic apps was playing slower than normal, like a 45 RPM record played at 33 1/3 (for those who remember life before CDs.) This started happening after a Mac OS X with sound input support crashed after recording a sound. All Classic applications were effected but sound produced by Mac OS X applications was just fine.

It turns out the answer was in the Audio MIDI Setup application that lives in /Applications/Utilities, in particular the Format setting of the Audio Input section for the Built-In Audio device. The crashing application left the sampling rate set to 32000Hz instead of the default value of 44100.0Hz. Resetting it back to 44100.0Hz fixes the problem.

The Mac OS X Classic support code must provide a virtual sound driver that routes all sound to the Mac OS X built-in audio source at a 44100Hz rate. When that input is set to any other rate then Classic sounds will be either speeded up (for higher rates) or slowed down (lower rates.)