Several days ago I installed System 8.0 on a partition, then upgraded it to 8.1. Unfortunately, MT-NewsWatcher 3.1
still wouldn't run. Luckily I was able to locate and buy an increasingly rare retail version of the System 8.5 Install CD, the lime green one that works with any capable model. I ran the installer today and upgraded to 8.6 with the free updater. I'm not sure if the OS is as slow as I feared it would be, although to be fair I haven't installed all the extensions and control panels I've accumulated over the years. I notice opening folders with several hundred items works without delay, and application crashes don't normally freeze the whole system. Mac OS now takes up more memory, but it's not much of a burden: I recently replaced a 32 MB DIMM with a 64 MB one, giving my computer 96 MB in built-in memory. I wish I could do everything in System 7.6.1 -- I still prefer that interface -- but now I can run those pesky Carbon applications.