Talk:Mac OS 8

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I've removed the comment about Kaleidoscope being spawned by Mac OS 8.5. Kaleidoscope pre-dated Mac OS 8.5 by just over two years, and may have been one of the reasons themes were dropped. I remember that there was a controversy because Apple at one point demonstrated a Kaleidoscope theme importer. --Steven Fisher 01:51, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

Does anybody know how to Linux onto a powerpc running mac os 8=0))(

Monolithic or nanokernel?[edit]

The article said that the nanokernel was introduced in 8.6 but I don't believe this is true. The nanokernel has been around since at least OS 8.1. The nanokernel is an integral part of the boot sequence for NewWorld architecture machines. The first NewWorld machine was the iMac 233 which shipped originally with OS 8.1. This would suggest that the nanokernel existed in 8.1.

The iMac 233 was able to run a retail copy of Mac OS 8.5 - suggesting that the retail version of 8.5 included a nanokernel.

Here is a developer reference for the PowerMac G3 (Blue & White).

This article has the following quote.

"The previous version of the NanoKernel has code that is processor-specific to create data structures. With the NewWorld architecture, the Trampoline code creates these data structures from information in the Open Firmware device tree."

This suggests that the nanokernel was around post-NewWorld architecture. Also, the Blue & White originally shipped with Mac OS 8.5.1 and so this would suggest that the nanokernel was present. This article was last updated in January 1999, around 4 months before 8.6 was introduced.

Here is an article describing the NewWorld boot sequence.

Note that in the article the nanokernel was mentioned and this article was last updated in March 1999, 2 months before 8.6 was released.

All reference material on the Apple Developer Connection regards NewWorld and the kernel refers to it being a nanokernel. The only sites I've seeing referring to a nanokernel as being something completely new in 8.6 are non-Apple sites. Many of them are Wikipedia pages or pages where text has clearly been borrowed from Wikipedia.

Mac OS 8.6 definitely introduced changes to the nanokernel but I think it's wrong to say that the nanokernel was first introduced in 8.6. The MP Nanokernel was introduced in 8.6, not the concept of the Nanokernel. See this article for more details.

This article from 1998 also refers to a nanokernel

I could be horribly wrong here so would appreciate someone with some more real-world low-level developer knowledge confirming or correcting this.

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Thepreacher (talkcontribs) 18:16, 31 May 2006 (UTC).

Planning Revision to Introduction[edit]

I don't think the current introduction properly summarizes the history and significance of Mac OS 8. Here are the main points I think need to be addressed:

  • The most apparent change to the system was the adoption of the Platinum theme
  • Early versions (8.0 and 8.1) support the 68040 processor, however 8.5 required a PowerPC processor
  • Mac OS 8 revitalized interest in the Mac platform, introducing many technologies which were being developed for Copland (which was originally intended to be Mac OS 8.) This allowed the Mac platform to remain viable as Apple developed Mac OS X.

The fact that Copland is currently omitted from the article is huge! This was Apple's biggest stumbling block for years. Copland was originally planned as Mac OS 8, and the Mac OS 8 we now know was in direct response to the failure of Copland. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Zachlutz (talkcontribs) 21:23, 29 March 2007 (UTC).

Cool. Please source your edits though, per Wikipedia:Attribution AlistairMcMillan 22:55, 29 March 2007 (UTC)


This probably doesn't deserve it's own section heading, seeing that it was such a minor update and the content is limited to a single sentence. If there are no objections, I'd like to merge it into the 8.5 section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Zachlutz (talkcontribs) 10:18, March 30, 2007

HFS+/Extended Notation[edit]

I'm not sure where others stand on this, but I have no problem with allowing both notations of HFS+ and HFS Extended in this article. As far as I'm concerned, they're interchangeable. I would like to see HFS+ denoted as such, however, as opposed to HFS Plus, because, as far as I can tell, that isn't an official notation. Zachlutz 11:53, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Apple uses "HFS Plus" on the official technote. AlistairMcMillan 11:57, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Several Things Wrong With Image[edit]

There are a couple of things wrong with the Mac OS 8 image. First of all, the color depth of computer this screen shot was taken on was set to thousands of greys instead of thousands of colors, as you can tell by the gray Apple image. This isn't good because, not only could most computers not support thousands of greys (only older ones did) but nobody ran their monitors at that color depth anyway, as it was exactly the same as thousands of colors, except for some irregularities (such as the grey Apple logo).

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but this appears to not even be Mac OS 8, but rather System 7 with the Appearance Manage installed. Clues to this are the incorrect hard drive icon (it is System 7 style instead of Mac OS 8 style), and the small System 7-style scroll bar slider, which on Mac OS 8 would be longer to represent the length of the document that was not visible (Apple's web page was certainly not long enough to warrant that small of a slider).Dpaanlka 20:21, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

I'm assuming you are talking about this image. I took this screenshot myself and it is definitely a Mac OS 8 screenshot. The System 7 style icon is there because this was originally a System 7 that was upgraded to Mac OS 8 and when I did the upgrade the icon didn't change. About the colour depth I'm confused, the screenshot quite clearly includes colours, why do you think the depth was set to "thousands of greys"? About the scrollbar thing, if you look at other screenshots of Mac OS 8, the widget/thumb/whatever is always that size. Looking around it seems like OS 9 includes a scrollbar widget that changes size to represent document length, not OS 8. AlistairMcMillan 10:47, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
I say thousands of greys, which does not literally mean a thousand grays, but was a color option on earlier Power Macs and PowerBooks, which essentially was thousands of colors with some minor differences, one of which including the black Apple Menu logo, which should be a rainbow. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dpaanlka (talkcontribs) 16:47, June 24, 2007
Perhaps it might be better to take a screenshot that is more representative of the "stock" Mac OS 8 UI? 07:49, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. I want to see how the OS 8 actually appears, without a giant browser window blocking the view. ----- 18:50, 9 April 2009 (UTC)


Didn't Mac OS 8.6 introduce USB support to the Macintosh? And if not, why do all those USB peripherals always say "requires Mac OS 8.6+?" Thanks. ---Ransom ( 21:36, 10 July 2007 (UTC))

Screenshot improvements[edit]

Hi, I was just browsing here and there and fell upon the Mac OS 8 page, and after seeing the screenshot of 8.1 immediately thought "I have the OS 8.0 CD here, I could change the screenshot to 8.0!"

You could then move the existing 8.1 shot down the page, to the actual 8.1 section.

Just a thought. Oh, and since I've never done anything like this before (this is indeed my 2nd "contribution" to Wikipedia) I'd appreciate a link on how to update/change/whatever-is-applicable the image(s).

PS. Please note that although I have the 8.0 CD, it was given to me by a friend (I'm slightly interested in Mac history) however I don't actually own a *real* Mac so I'd be running the CD on my PC using Basilisk II or SheepShaver. Just so you know. *doesn't mention where he got the ROMs from*

Dav7 03:40, 9 September 2007 (UTC)


There ought to be a mention of CarbonLib, the set of APIs and libraries that replaced the old toolbox system calls. The purpose was to eliminate hardware dependencies, eliminate the practice of applications accessing private system data structures, and provide forward-compatibility to future versions of the operating system. I don't recall which version of 8.x it was introduced, but it was a significant transition between the classic MacOS and MacOS X. (talk) 11:37, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Where's 8.2, 8.3, and 8.4 OSes?[edit]

The article should address why they are missing. ----- 18:49, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Mac File Transfer Faster than Windows NT[edit]

"Copying files over a network was faster than previous versions and Apple advertised it as being "faster than Windows NT"[citation needed].". This was demonstrated on a Keynote (which one I don't know). Phill Shiller and Steve Jobs actually had to do it twice since the Apple Computer froze during the first try. -- (talk) 15:19, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

Why was the infobox and image removed?[edit]

This article doesn't really look like a proper article for a major operating system anymore because of it. Want to change back to previous revision, but not sure why they were removed in the first place.StrangeApparition2011 (talk) 10:51, 5 September 2015 (UTC)

The infobox was broken in an edit by an anon user. I've restored the code to restore the infobox. Thanks for pointing out the problem. AlistairMcMillan (talk) 23:16, 5 September 2015 (UTC)