While I’m on tenterhooks about my new Mac hardware waiting at home, a quick shout to System7Today, a site about using your pre-G3 Apple hardware to its fullest extent. (Pointer via the Cult of Mac blog at Wired.)
The site makes the cogent point that nothing much useful happened in the Mac OS world between System 7.6.1 and Mac OS X (with, of course, the major exception of early Mozilla builds). I mean, if I recall correctly, the only reason they moved to Mac OS 8 rather than System 7.7 was a marketing decision that Apple needed to put the years of vaporware around Copland behind them. But at the time there was such hype for all the new features as they were released: QuickDraw GX! OpenDoc! Cyberdog! Open Transport! The Control Strip! All of which of course are deader than doornails now.
But I grew up with that OS. My first computer related job involved managing some Macs at NASA Langley, which I upgraded to System 7. I was so thrilled when I could run System 7 on my first Mac, an SE/30. I made the PowerPC jump in 1995 to a PowerPC 7200/90, which ran systems 7 through 9, and held onto it for five years until I got my PowerBook G3 (FireWire) The G3 ran Mac OS 9, dual-booted the Mac OS X public beta, and then ran Mac OS X 10.0 through 10.2. The G3 lasted three years until I got the 1GHz G4 TiBook that is my main machine today, and has so far been the only Mac on which I have never booted into Classic. Of course that won’t be an option at all with the MacBook Pro.