Classic Apps Not Launching?

While OS X Beta is a truly remarkable piece of software, the system still has some "beta-ish" quirks that need to be worked out. Among the most troubling is the systemis inability to deal with file pointers, or aliases, if the original application is moved.

For example, when installing OS X Beta, a series of programs will be found in the Applications folder. While this makes sense, the Applications folder becomes unwieldy after installing just a few programs beyond what is included with Beta. If, like us, you are more into organizing programs into more relevant categories, such as Internet, Utilities, Graphics Apps, etc., then you may want to completely reorganize the default Applications folder.

In most cases, this will not be a big deal. However, there are a few programs that OS X "looks" for in the Applications folder, and chokes rather loudly when it can not find them there. One such application is Classic. OS X Beta has the ability, when clicking on an OS 9 application, to first launch the Classic Environment, and then the program in question. However, if you remove the program from the "root" level of the Applications folder, OS X no longer knows how to deal with launching classic applications.

If, for example, you have Microsoft Word in the Dock, and move out of the Applications folder, or even nest it in a folder WITHIN the Applications folder, clicking the Word icon in the Dock will result in, well, nothing. Word will not launch, Classic will not launch, and you are left wondering what went wrong.

If you again move out of the Applications folder, or nest it within another folder within the Applications folder, double-clicking an OS 9 program in the Finder will result in an error message. This is again because OS X is expecting to be at the "root" level of the Applications folder, and becomes confused when it does not find it there.

If you are indeed getting these errors, check and see if the program is in the Applications folder. You can check this by clicking the big "Apps" button at the top of a Finder window, and seeing if the Classic application, with the big orange "9" over a faded Happy Mac face icon, is in that folder. If not, move it back to that folder. If you can not locate Classic, open Sherlock and search for it, then move it back to the Applications folder. This should fix the "confused" OS, or at least fix problems with launching Classic applications.

If you are suddently unable to launch the Address Book from withing the Mail.appis "Compose" window, you have also probably moved the Address Book application out of the Application folder.

At this point, Beta does not respond very well to even moderate customization, and one can only hope that by the time OS X 1.0 is ready, problems such as this will be corrected.

Stay tuned as will will periodically be offering more Mac OS X tips and tricks.