1999 – I’m writing this column under duress. I’m writing while conducting a conflict test. I’m also kicking myself for not doing this test before I dropped my excellent editor and publisher, Dan Knight, a note this week saying that Claris Home Page appears to break with Mac OS 9. Both Dan and I are avid Home Page (and Claris Emailer) users. Dan posted a warning on Low End Mac based on my report.
Upon seeing my observation in print, I was immediately embarrassed. What I should have said is, “Home Page crashes under OS 9 when you access the spell checker with exactly the extension load on exactly the same machinery that I run!”
Okay. Here’s the problem. With my extension set on my machine, I get a crash in Home Page when I try to use the spell checker. There. That’s the problem in a nutshell.
Home Page, or at least its spell checker, is dead with OS 9. But – isn’t there always a but?
With extensions off, the problem wasn’t reproducible. With Mac OS 9 Base (under Conflict Catcher 8.0.6) the problem wasn’t reproducible. Umm. I’m getting worried! And, with Mac OS 9 All (again under Conflict Catcher 8.0.6), no problem. Now I know I’m definitely in deep do-do.
Time to start a real conflict test.
First, turn on my “Mac OS 9 Standard Set” again and crash my Mac (Arrrrh, I hate doing this part) to make sure there really was a problem. The problem occurs when I select either Check Spelling or Check Selection under the Edit menu’s Spelling item.
Restart 1: Problem not reproducible (spell checker caught my misspelling of reproducible!).
With restarts 2 through 4, I couldn’t open Home Page (or Sherlock 2), because the app couldn’t find >>OTUtilityLib>>. Once the story was over, I never did find the file, either visible or invisible, with Sherlock 2 or Norton’s Fast Find.
Restarts 5, 6, 7, and 8: (I kept telling CC the problem existed after fruitlessly hunting for the missing extension.) Whammo, again.
Around restart 6, after lots of app quits and full system lockups, it occurs to me that while I have a jim-dandy backup of my Mac OS 8.6 setup, I’m naked when it comes to OS 9! Repeated crashes aren’t something that exactly enhances your chances of escaping disk corruption.
Restarts 9 and 10: I’m holding my breath as we’re down to just three possible culprits. Conflict Catcher says the Acrobat PDF Writer, the Emulator Update Extension for MacsBug, or MacsBug itself is the culprit. I pick Mrs. White in the dining room with the lead pipe! Whammo. I think Mr. Green just got me in the back with the revolver in the computer room.
I’m thanking Charles W. Moore right now for this week’s excellent column, MacsBug 6.6: Apple’s Free “Crash” Utility, which has made this test considerably easier – providing I actually get an answer.
Conflict Catcher zaps MacsBug on restart 11, and, voilà, the problem is gone! I go on with the conflict test to make sure MacsBug is the culprit. Conflict Catcher informs me MacsBug is definitely the culprit and asks if I want to disable the offending member. I agree and go through the restart process.
But, believe me, I need MacsBug! I also suspect I want Home Page more. Or is it that I want MacsBug but need Home Page. Either way, for now I’m going to have to do without one or the other.
The really good news, though, is that I can use OS 9 while using Home Page. Wouldn’t it be great if Apple would revise MacsBug, or even better, if FileMaker would put out an upgrade for Home Page?
I can wish, can’t I?
Update from the publisher: Would you believe that we continued to use Claris Home Page until early 2013, when we began our transition to the WordPress content management system? Not bad for a 1997 app that was the one reason we kept using OS X 10.4 Tiger and Classic Mode!
Keywords: #clarishomepage #macos9 #conflictcatcher
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