Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is a protocol used for securing information sent between a web browser, and a web server. HTTPS is standard HTTP served over an SSL connection. This creates an encrypted connection between the two systems. HTTP was the standard protocol used before encryption became necessary on the internet.
HTTPS was still new when Mac OS 9 was released (1999), and was used increasingly towards the late 2000's. Most of the internet is now inaccessible to Mac OS 9 users due to the the lack of HTTPS support in older browsers. There was an effort made in the early 2000's to bring modern browser support (Classilla) to Mac OS 9. Classilla was excellent throughout the early 2000's but development has been inactive since 2014.
Unfortunately early Mac OS users are out of luck when it comes to modern web browsing. Google is still accessible over HTTP, but almost all results come from HTTPS sources. Web design standards are often changing and older browsers have not been able to keep up. This results in modern websites not being displayed correctly, or not at all.
The following tips can improve browser performance for older Mac OS systems:
- Increase the memory allocated to your web browser
When the older web browsers were released websites were much more basic and required very little system resources
Support for Java was ancient and most scripts will crash the entire browser or prevent pages from loading.
- Disable Style Sheets (CSS)
Most modern websites won't display correctly, disabling CSS will tell the browser to load text only.
- Create Custom Style Sheets
There are several browsers that let you create custom style sheets that override all websites visited. This can help if you prefer a minimalistic/custom browsing experience across all websites.
- Disable Images
Images on modern websites are not optimized for browsers of the 90's and early 2000's. Oversized images can cause the browser to run out of memory and crash.
Known sites served over HTTP
- Mac Attic
- Macintosh Garden
- Mac OS Today
- The Vintage Mac Museum
- PowerPC Liberation