Latest Panorama Classic version for Mac OS 9.2.2?

Hello everyone, pleased to join you here on the Panorama ProVUE forums.

I imagine this topic will be a bit of an oddity and a “curve ball” for seasoned Panorama users and developers, but I hope that, if nothing else, many of you will find the very nature of this thread amusing or interesting.

I am looking for a Panorama (Enterprise) “Classic” installer, to install a version of Panorama that is still compatible with the original Mac OS, that is, the “Classic” OS that predates Mac OS X, OS X or macOS. In particular, I was seeking a version with compatibility with the latest Mac OS version, named “Mac OS 9.2.2”, which is exclusive to PowerPC-based Macintosh hardware.

The reason is that I’m a huge Mac OS hobbyist and software archivist in general, but also a software developer by trade. So once I learned about Panorama and its rich, Mac-centric history, I naturally became very interested.

Currently I see a 2013 Mac build of Panorama 6 available from here, but I’m assuming, as an Universal binary, it is exclusive to Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger ~ macOS 10.14 Mojave (much like SuperCard), so I hoped to find a slightly older version that might have the compatibility I seek. I know that Panorama 5 from 2004 was compatible and available for OS 9 as a Carbon app, but I don’t know what was the latest version number or build number. I also know there’s Panorama 5.5 from circa 2007, but I have no idea if that is compatible, or where I could find it.

Any help pointing me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated. I was/am a big fan of RAM-based solutions, and use RAM Disks as much as I can for anything, so I really like the idea of Panorama’s approach, on top of everything else mentioned previously.

Well,you got me to check what I’ve got. The closest is a bunch a Panorama floppy disks covering version 1.5 to 2.12. I saved them but apparently trashed all the CD’s that came later. I did find my original Mac OS floppy from 1984, along with MacPaint and MacWrite - and OverVUE. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I’m not 100% sure, but I think the last version of Panorama that would run on MacOS 9 was Panorama 4.0. Or, maybe 5.0 would also run? I don’t remember any more.

Either way, those versions aren’t available from ProVUE. I suppose we might have a copy somewhere on an old computer that might or might not work, but I definitely don’t have the time to try to get old machines working and search for old software. Even if found, then it would be another project to get it onto a modern machine.

An additional hurdle is that you would need a serial number to operate the software, and we no longer have the ability to generate those.

Also, you mention Panorama (Enterprise), but that is the server version, which I think was not available until 5.5. That definitely will not run on MacOS 9.

Anyway, ProVUE is still a going concern and we are focusing our efforts on the modern version of Panorama!

From the QNA dated 6/18/03, subject: “A new adventure begins (Panorama V)”

it does work quite well on both OS X (native) and OS 9.

For many of you the big news is that Panorama V runs as a native
application in OS X, but there are a number of other cool new features
for both OS X and OS 9 users.

You believe that guy? :rofl:

Thank you for the replies. It does seem that Panorama V (5.0) is most likely indeed as far as Panorama can get in the venerable, vintage Mac OS.

I looked things up further, and it does seem you are right @admin about the “Enterprise Edition Server”, based on this archived URL, which explicitly lists its existence for version 5.5, but not earlier.

@JamesCook My archivist side does get intrigued by the prospect of securing such old versions that, in fact, are too old to run even on Mac OS 9. Fortunately, I do see that other fellow archivists have already secured those exact two versions (1.5 and 2.1.2), however nothing in-between. If you do have any other version, including anything in-between these two, and are willing to, I would gladly accept a copy. :slight_smile: Even if we don’t have any licenses to activate them, securing old binaries as a way to preserve them for archival would already be great.

I was actually able to locate two installers for Panorama V at this ancient page and I did personally confirm they install and run fine under Mac OS 9, but I think it’s extremely probable that neither download is the latest, final version or update of the Panorama V family. That website claims one installer is for version “5.00” and the other one, confusingly-enough, “4.97” (even though the software inside calls itself “Panorama V”), but I assume small, misc. patches and updates must have been available, increasing either the version number (5.0.1? 5.0.2?) or build number, so I’m still on the lookout for those, either in the form of an update, or a whole, full installer.

I’m itching to try Panorama out one way or another, though, but with the lack of licenses for Panorama “Classic” as a whole, there might currently be no way, but I understand it’s the business reality. :cry: I’m glad that at least I can still check out Panorama X through its 7-day trial, though, even if not as a hobbyist, but rather as a “traditional” software dev who is otherwise used to just SQL and “NoSQL” DBs.

By 09/19/03 the website was offering V as a Preview version

In July the ProVUE home page had no mention of it
Wayback Machine

My QNA Archives have an announcement of the official release on 11/18/04.

The Preview versions were all called 4.9. something, and there were several incremental updates to those. It would appear that once the official version 5.0.0 was released, Jim began work on the server and version 5.5.

Returning to my QNA Archives, I see an announcement of the 5.5 preview on 12/20/05 and an answer to a question 4 months later that begins

Could some one tell me what the current version is that is shipping?
Is it 5.0 or 5.1?

The latest is 5.0.0, there is no 5.1.

In a previous post from June of 2022 I listed some of the version release dates.

In the same Panorama Journal dated Summer 1994 there was a notice of a minor update to version 2.1.3. The journal also mentioned that a new PowerPC version was in the works with a tentative release date in the first half of 1995. My old Panorama 3 Real World Programming book has a copyright date of February 1996. I also have an early beta hand made mock up CD of Panorama 4.0 that Jim sent me in 2001. He jokingly wrote “Perhaps someday the enclosed package will be a collector’s item - we can always hope!”.

Wow, that’s great detective work from everyone here, thank you, that answers a lot of the questions. It would seem that the 5.0.0 installer that I found and linked to is most likely already the latest “Panorama V (5.0)” version. That’s great.

As an extra milestone, though, I see there’s mention of a “Deluxe” download/version of Panorama 5.0 (and 5.5), and I’m not yet certain if the installer I linked to corresponds to that, or a “lesser” version. So my search might not be over just yet.

Panorama V (5.0) aside, if there is still one thing I wonder about with regards to Mac OS compatibility, it is the exact compatibility of Panorama 5.5. I understand that, with Panorama 5.5, the “Enterprise Server” version was finally introduced, and that was developed for Mac OS X, and not the original Mac OS. But there’s still the “regular”, non-Server Panorama 5.5, and so I ask myself: “Could that have been accidentally made compatible with Mac OS 9?”. The reason I ask myself that is because I have seen that happen before.

To test out that theory, one usual requirement is that the app has to have been distributed as a PPC-only binary, rather than PPC-Intel universal. This seems to have been the case, and while a universal version of it was promised for 2008 and later postponed for 2009, it seems that only Panorama 6 was circulated in PPC-Intel universal form, while 5.5 seems to always have required the Rosetta PowerPC emulator in 10.4~10.6 (and mention of 10.3 compatibility was dropped, although it was still, perhaps, present).

There is a very small, if not zero, chance that the inner executable contained inside the 5.5 app package is Mac-OS-9-compatible, if you open the inner executable directly under the OS instead of double-clicking the app package itself, which is easy with a tool like FinderPop 1.9.2. Such an unusual workaround has been the case of very few Carbon apps such as “Decode da Code 1.6”.

Now I hope to locate a Panorama 5.5 installer, as well as the “Deluxe” version of Panorama V (5.0).

Edit / Update: Upon closer inspection of the Panorama V (5.0) installer and application, although the file for download is titled “Pan500Basic_MacOS.sitx”, the installed application does have a “Wizards” menu, and within a “Documentation” submenu, and within a “PDF Documentation” item. This would imply that the installer I used matches the definition of what consists of a “Deluxe” install. Quoting the archived website I linked to earlier:

If you’ve installed the deluxe download of Panorama 5.0 or 5.5 you can access the PDF documentation from from the Documentation submenu of the Wizard menu. […]

So now the only remaining question is where to locate a Panorama 5.5 installer.

Nope, it’s a zero chance. The “server” and “regular” versions have the exact same executable binary inside. Just some of the resources are different.

By the way, I am the author of all versions of Panorama, and OverVUE before that. So theoretically I should know the answers to all of the questions you are asking, but as we have seen on this thread, some of the details have become a bit fuzzy over a couple of decades.

My recollection is that Panorama 1 thru 4 were pure “classic” MacOS applications. Panorama V, 5.5 and 6 were “Carbon” applications. Panorama V had the ability to run on both “classic” MacOS and OS X. Even though Panorama 5.5 was a “Carbon” application, it did not run on MacOS 9. My recollection is that Apple deprecated the binary executable format that was compatible with Mac OS 9, so we switched to the more modern format.

Panorama X, of course, was a complete rewrite using Objective-C AppKit. There are a few hundred lines of C that made it from Panorama 6 to Panorama X (with some modification), but other than that all of the code is completely new.

By the way, I think that for @Dubba’s purposes you won’t need a serial number. Most “recent” versions of Panorama will run without a serial number as long as you don’t use a database with over 250 records (I think this started with v4.0, so not all that recent). Since it sounds like you just want to play with it, this should work for you. In fact, you could use larger databases, but it will prompt you to purchase when you save or print. But if it’s 250 records or less, it is fully functional.

@admin Thank you for the insight, that was an interesting read. Indeed, I located a Panorama 5.5.2 (Basic) installer, and was also generously provided a pre-installed 5.5.2 binary for testing on my side. The result was that, to my surprise, the installer and the app both actually have run without giving out any error message about incompatibility as it usually happens, but, nonetheless, they completely crashed the moment the splash screen showed up for a brief moment, and then the OS itself completely froze. Even the Force Quit prompt couldn’t be invoked.

For the heck of it, I also tried running the final Panorama 6 version, just to see what would happen. In that case, the “.app” package wasn’t even recognized as anything but a folder, and the internal executable binary was not even runnable with a double-click. Both with the installer and the pre-installed app.

It’s great to know that, as long as I keep it small enough, I can give the app a “full” try! Like you guessed, yes, just playing around with it will be more than enough for me for now.

On the topic of trying it out, the two versions that caught my attention the most are both Panorama V and Panorama 4. V because it is the latest vintage version, and 4 because on top of it being PowerPC-native (unlike 3 and earlier), it is also Macintosh-Toolbox-API-based, instead of Carbon-based. This is potentially relevant because besides even greater compatibility with older Mac OS versions that cannot install CarbonLib 1.6(.1), Toolbox apps tend to be many times faster, if not always faster, as long as the rest of the codebase is the same (i.e. Sigma Chess). Conversely, of course, a Carbon app with a newer, improved codebase sometimes overcompensates and becomes better than an older, less optimized Toolbox app despite the performance handicap (i.e. StuffIt Expander 7.0.3 vs. 5.5.1: it is slightly faster, better cooperative multitasking, more features and has some good bug fixes). So in that sense, it would be interesting to compare Panorama 4 and V. I’m looking forward to that.

As far as Panorama 4 is concerned, it seems to me that, unlike V and 5.5, there was no division of “Basic” and “Deluxe” versions, and anything “extra”, like documentation, was to be downloaded separately or found in the CD distribution. The final version of Panorama 4 seems to be 4.0.2, which seems to be circulated “out there”, although not sure if pre-installed or in the form of a pristine, untouched installer.

With regards to the Panorama V 5.0.0 installer I located earlier and linked previously:

It turns out that, although the official description seemed to imply I found the “Deluxe” version, it turned out I didn’t: the actual Deluxe version has further install options and a few extra options are available from the resulting Panorama V install. I located it on the related “iPod Organizer” website archives, as " Pan500Deluxe_MacOS.sitx".

That same source also has the “Basic” 5.5.2 version (Pan552Basic_MacOS.dmg), although the “Deluxe” equivalent was unfortunately not archived, even though it is still linked to in an old, leftover official page, seemingly in a file named “Pan552Deluxe_MacOS.dmg” meant to be found at “”. Also curious is that the equivalent Windows version is a bit more up-to-date, being at version 5.5.3 instead of 5.5.2.

To close this long “archeological” write-up, somewhat related to Panorama, I noticed Butler SQL 2.5.3 also used to be downloadable from ProVUE’s website (as I believe the tool had some integration with Panorama), but that unfortunately has not been archived, and the latest version I was able to locate “in the wild” was 2.5.2. It would be great if that particular, final release resurfaced somewhere, somehow.