DragonOne – A GREAT Software Resource for Vintage Macs

DragonOne - A GREAT Software Resource for Vintage Macs

As regular readers of this blog will know, not too long ago I acquired a Power Macintosh 7300/200 and loaded it up with Mac OS 9.1 and lots of my favorite applications. For an upcoming post pitting the performance of the 200 MHz PowerPC 604e powering the 7300/200 against a 200 MHz Pentium Pro equipped PC, I ran a number of benchmarking tests. Along the way, after measuring some scandalously slow performance numbers, I began to wonder seriously whether some of the programs I was using for testing were not PPC programs at all, but rather 68K programs running under emulation. This would readily explain their less than stellar times.

68K or PPC

From a far, dusty corner of my mind, I recalled that once upon a time I had seen mention of an application called “I Love Native”, that promised to tell you whether a particular executable was 68K, PowerPC or a FAT binary. Reaching even farther into that dusty corner, I remembered that I had seen this utility mentioned at Frisky’s Mac OS freeware archive (http://www.cornstalker.com/freeware/archive.php).

I navigated over to that archive, quickly found I Love Native in the System Tools area, and clicked its URL. Regrettably, like most (if not all) of the URLs at Frisky’s, the I Love Native URL was simply a link to a long dead web site, no longer occupying bits in cyberspace.

Knowing the name of the utility I was looking for however, I was able to turn up a valid source for I Love Native after some creative Google’ing around. This was valuable enough of and by itself, but even more valuable, that source turned out to be the site of the original author, who had been, and still is, a prolific creator of shareware. Best of all, to this day that site maintains a Software Archives area, where all of their older “abandonware” products are still available for download. In short, a fine new resource for Mac OS software!

DragonOne - Software Archives

This new resource is DragonOne Shareware, at http://www.dragonone.com. Their software archive contains a moderately sized collection of incredibly useful utilities for Mac OS. Among the ones that I immediately downloaded were:

  • I Love Native – Show you whether an application is 68k or PPC. Also, strip the 68K or the PowerPC portions out of a FAT binary to save disk space.
  • 7tuner – Tune various finder and system parameters, Mac OS 7.x
  • 8tuner – Tune various finder and system parameters, Mac OS 8.x
  • 9tuner – Tune various finder and system parameters, Mac OS 9.x
  • AppTab – Use a hot key combination to bring up an Application Tab. Switch between open apps or kill one or more apps, all without having to make the mouse trip up to Application Menu.
  • ClickCopy – Finder-based Copy and Paste for files!
  • EveryHour – A grandfather clock for your Mac!

I am really pleased to have stumbled upon DragonOne, and I want to thank the author (Jerry Du) for maintaining a web presence for the older utilities. Very, very few software authors bother to do this. Thank You Jerry!

So head on over to http://www.dragonone.com and browse through the [Downloads, Software Archives] area. I am certain you will find something of interest there.

Bringing this post back to where it began, and finishing out the story, what about I Love Native? It was perfect. It did exactly what I wanted, telling me directly whether the file I was curious about was a 68K or a PowerPC executable, and providing lots of additional details as well. It is the perfect tool for the job. Thanks DragonOne!

I Love Native

One last note. Friskys was not as far off the mark as I initially thought. Having stumbled upon DragonOne via the entirely different route described above, I went back to Frisky’s, just to see where their link pointed to. Much to my surprise, I found that it did in fact point to DragonOne after all! Clearly the organization of the site has changed over the years, and the folder path in the Frisky’s URL no longer matches the structure of the site today. As a result, following that URL results in an error page instead of the desired software download page.

This is unfortunate. In the absence of prior knowledge that I Love Native is a product of DragonOne, a user referred from Frisky’s would have no way to know that they were in fact at the right site, just the wrong folder path. Still, kudos to Frisky’s for at least getting their readers to the right site!

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