Charles Moore's Mailbag

More on the Best Classic Mac OS Browser and Video Capture Options with Mac OS 9

Charles Moore - 2006.06.28 - Tip Jar

WaMCom Is the Best Classic Mac OS Browser

From Ken Watanabe


I had the same impressions as you when I recently booted my Mac back into Mac OS 9.1 (just for fun), except I was using the version of Mozilla 1.3, and not Netscape 7. (Download WaMCom here.)

Also, I do not think there was ever a release of Netscape 7.1 for the Classic Mac OS. The last one I remember was 7.0.x, and going to the Netscape legacy download page does not provide a "Mac PowerPC" version for 7.1, only up to 7.0. However, if this was a "secret limited release," I'd like to know how to get a copy.

I like WaMCom best for the Classic Mac OS. I stuck with Mac OS 9.1 for a few years longer and transitioned to a more mature Mac OS X (Panther), because it was around for my browser needs.

As always, I enjoy reading your content on LEM.

- Ken Watanabe

Hi Ken,

You're perfectly correct about Netscape 7.1 for the Classic Mac OS, and I was in error (subsequently corrected in the article). Netscape 7.0.2 was the last Classic-supported version.


No Netscape 7.1 for Classic

From Tom Gabriel


Excellent article!

I have Netscape 7.01 on my G4 presently running OS 9.2.2, and I echo your remarks right down the line, with one proviso: I passed on downloading Netscape 7.1 because it did not seem to support any OS for Mac other than X. Am I missing something?

Internet Explorer began its downward slide a long time ago, and I got more and more irritated with it until I just trashed it and went to iCab and Netscape 7.01, finding myself using Netscape most of the time.

I've found that if you have RAM to burn, giving Netscape far more memory than it asks will speed things up and even contribute a bit to its stability.

By the way, is there any way to install any version of Macromedia Flash Player on iCab? It makes quite a difference with Netscape, but its installer doesn't recognize iCab at all.

Thanks for a great read!

God Bless,
Tom Gabriel

Hi Tom,

Thanks. Glad you liked the column.

You're right. Netscape 7.0.2 is the last version that supports Classic. I made an error in the original draft of the column, which has now been corrected.

As for Flash, as far as I know iCab is unsupported. This my be more a Macromedia issue than an iCab one.


OS 9 Video Capture with HackTV and BTV

After reading Video Capture with OS 9, Michael Samarin says:

Dear Charles,

In response to Tim Larson's question regarding video capturing software for Mac OS 9 (Misc. Ramblings from 2006.06.05), I'd like to recommend two applications. First is Apple's own HackTV that used to be and still is excellent sampler application for developers that demonstrates how to utilize video capturing architecture of QuickTime on classic Mac OS and OS X. It is free and even comes with full sources. On the Apple developer's site you can find carbonized and Mac OS X version. However, pure classic version still exists in their archive and here is a direct link.

Despite it's simplicity, it covers most capturing needs: You can specify your video and audio source, select compression and size of target movie. During the capturing process, live video monitor is not updated in realtime to save CPU, however final video file on disk is always okay. Just in case, here is another link to the old QuickTime related software that is free from Apple:

Some of the software is real treasure.

Another application that has lots of advanced features for video capturing in classic Mac OS and OS X is BTV and it's more complex brother BTV Pro from Ben Bird. It is shareware and well worth the price.

As a side note, looking at the recent articles at Low End Mac and around the Web it is interesting to see rising interest and lot's of activities in the area of old Macs and classic Mac OS. I've been a weekly reader of LEM since 2000, and I think it is not my imagination. People are literally digging out their old Macs and starting to use them again for different purposes. Old Macs were built like tanks and still work. Just change CMOS battery every three years :-)

Yesterday I booted into OS 9 on my Quicksilver Power Mac and was shocked yet another time how responsive the GUI is. It is a very nice experience to do it from time to time to realize how bloated and over-weighted the user interface of Mac OS X is.

As a developer, I keep OS 9, Panther, and Tiger on my Mac to check compatibility of software I make, and every time booting into OS 9 is like [a breath] of fresh air or returning home. It also places you into a very interesting philosophical mood: Do we really need all the modern features of Mac OS X and recent Macs?

I even starting to think like should I release some of my software (like web camera and surveillance application) for the classic Mac OS. There are so many AV enabled Macs out there that just collect dust in the closet and can be used to protect our homes.

Anyway, hope my links can help Tim.

Michael Samarin

Hi Michael,

Thanks for the tips and links. Forwarded to Tim.

I agree that booting into OS 9 after using OS X is like the afterburners or a turbo cutting in. The responsiveness, even on a slow old machine like my 233 MHz WallStreet or Umax SuperMac S900 (200 MHz 604e) is amazing.

However, on the balance, I have to say that OS X justifies its sluggish response most of the time. Support for better browsers is a biggie, and preemptive multitasking is another.


Video Capture Software for OS 9

From Michael Emery

In response to Tim Larson's need for video capture software, I recommend that he drop in at Version Tracker and enter the search term "video capture" - or just use this link.

BTV works well, I happen to know. Hack TV is unfamiliar, but the street says it gets the job done as freeware.

Good luck to Tim!

Michael Emery

Hi Michael,

Thanks for the tips and links. Forwarded to Tim.


Video Capture with OS 9? Use a DVD Recorder Instead

From Brian Gray


This is in response to Mr. Larson's question:

I faced the same video conversion issue from analog to digital. I had one VHS tape I wanted to bring into iMovie and edit and burn to a DVD. I tried many, many ways to get that video into iMovie, but none of them were ultimately very practical or successful.

My suggestion is to go with a regular DVD recorder. They are simple to use - just plug in the source and record! Some are as cheap as $100. Mine was $100, and I've been very satisfied with it - I just pop in the VHS, put in a blank DVD, and record.

I know Mr. Larson wants to use the Beige G3 to convert the video (that's what I would do, if I had one!), but the DVD recorder is much less painful and much less time consuming.

Good luck to him!


Hi Brian,

Thanks for the insights and advice. Forwarded to Tim.


OS 9 Video Capture? Use a MiniDV Camcorder

Regarding Tim Larson's question in your Miscellaneous Ramblings column,

I've had experience editing video in 0S 9 from the same beige G3 he's talking about, and the best advice I can give is - don't. A G3 is easily overwhelmed by the task - which could mean lots of stops and starts with skipped frames, etc. Capturing from S-video is possible, but the parts required (mostly PCI-based) are arcane and hard to find these days, the drivers even more scarce, and they were never reliable to begin with. And most important, he should keep in mind the sheer size of uncompressed video - something like 8 gigs for 10 minutes. Transferring them to the G5 will be a serious pain.

The best solution for his needs would be to find a MiniDV camcorder with analog or "line in" - the Canon ZR series is a pretty good example, but there are many more. They're pretty cheap if you buy new, and even cheaper used (I would bet you could find a decent used model for under $200.) It's trivial to transfer the analog to MiniDV, then to iMovie on the G5 via FireWire. He might even find the MiniDV is a better camcorder for his purposes in the future. Yes, it'll cost a bit of money, but it will make certainly make his life much easier.


And again, thanks for the advice. Forwarded to Tim.


Go to Charles Moore's Mailbag index.

Join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Google+, or subscribe to our RSS news feed

Charles Moore has been a freelance journalist since 1987 and began writing for Mac websites in May 1998. His The Road Warrior column was a regular feature on MacOpinion, he is news editor at and a columnist at If you find his articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

Links for the Day

Recent Content

About LEM Support Usage Privacy Contact

Follow Low End Mac on Twitter
Join Low End Mac on Facebook

Page not found | Low End Mac

Well this is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it?

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching, or one of the links below, can help.

Most Used Categories


Try looking in the monthly archives. :)

Page not found | Low End Mac

Well this is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it?

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching, or one of the links below, can help.

Most Used Categories


Try looking in the monthly archives. :)

Favorite Sites

Cult of Mac
Shrine of Apple
The Mac Observer
Accelerate Your Mac
The Vintage Mac Museum
Deal Brothers
Mac Driver Museum
JAG's House
System 6 Heaven
System 7 Today
the pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ

The iTunes Store
PC Connection Express
Macgo Blu-ray Player
Parallels Desktop for Mac

Low End Mac's store


Well this is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it?

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching, or one of the links below, can help.

Most Used Categories


Try looking in the monthly archives. :)

at BackBeat Media (646-546-5194). This number is for advertising only.

Open Link