Dumb Classic question


Maybe I'm missing something, but switching between classic and OS X seems a little weird.

The way my system is now, I have Casedy and Green's Spell Checker starting up on OS 9.2. When I launch Classic, I see Spell Checker's icon in the dock and this is the only visible indicator that Classic is up (this has been my sloppy way of getting to my OS 9 Apple menu). If I quit Spell Checker, there is no way (that I can find) to get an OS 9 set of menus (there is no Classic icon on the dock - should there be? - though of course Classic is still on). I can launch various OS 9 applications through aliases, directories..., but I thought there must be some way to just "go to classic."

Is this because the OS 9 finder just doesn't exist in Classic mode? It makes sense that you can't have two finders at once, but it seems there needs to be a more clear indicator - some kind of visual feedback saying, "Hey bud, Classic is on."
The only way I've figured out to see if Classic is running or not is to go to the "Classic" control panel and check.

The Classic environment is meant to run non-OS X-native programs in OS X. It's NOT meant to emulate OS 9 like Virtual PC emulates Windows. It's simply meant to run OS 9 programs. I wouldn't suggest mucking around with control panels, finder settings or extensions while Classic is booted, anyways...

There's no way, that I've found, to get the OS 9 desktop with hard drives, etc. to show up under OS X, which is what I'm assuming you'd like to do. Just simply meant to run the programs.
I have read that there is a way to get the classic app Finder to launch as any other application under OSX. This would give you access to the OS9 finder. I think the hack involved opening Finder in a resource editor and changing a flag (making it look like a normal application that can be launched). You might try searching for this on google, I'm not sure where I originally read it or if it's still compatible with the latest versions of OSX.
Thanks - this is what I thought. I got it - Classic is not an emulator. I can manage it and it isn't a big deal for me or especially for any of you Macosx.com hotshots, but I can't imagine how less savvy Mac users (or even new users who buy their first Mac) are going to understand this. It's just weird!

I may not be a full fledged "power user," but I do know something about usability, and modes are a dangerous thing for users. Classic is much like a mode that can be switched back and forth to, but if modes aren't clearly indicated, people are justifiably confused. Microsoft is famous for abusing modes. Given that Apple has produced some really thoughtful GUIs, this whole Classic thing must be a major headache for them, especially when it comes to luring new Mac users. Of course this will be less of factor when more apps are written for OS X, but I can't help but think this could have been handled better from a usability perspective - either more transparent or more obvious?
Transparent? I don't think it could be any LESS transparent! Load up Classic, and it's there -- yes, it'd be nice if there was a menubar icon to notify you when it was running, but even still... launch a "Classic" application, and it loads up just as if it were loading in OS X. OS X-native applications and Classic applications running side-by-side, able to switch between them seamlessly... now that's what I call transparent!

Virtual PC would be a good example of non-transparent implementation. You have to physically switch between "environments" to run programs, and it's difficult to say that they run transparently along with your native Macintosh applications...

I, personally, believe that Apple did a wonderful job of implementing the Classic environment. I can see how it would be difficult for someone used to "emulators" to get used to this sort of implementation, but I personally believe it is a much better execution that something along the lines of Virtual PC.

I think the whole idea of the Classic environment was meant to ease the transition from OS 9 to OS X... it enables you to run almost all your old applications while still working under OS X, allowing the user to still be productive while getting used to the new operating system. I think that Classic will always be around, but the fact that it's here lets us work primarily in OS X while waiting patiently to phase out the Classic apps.