Living Life the G5/Tiger Way

Regular readers may have noticed that the pace of postings here at the Happy Macs blog has slowed down quite a bit. There is a reason for that. In January, I started a new job, and moved halfway across the country in the process. The Happy Macs lab was completely dismantled and packed up, and remains largely in that state. We have moved into an apartment for the short term, while we decide where in our new location we would like to buy a home.

I have a small “computer corner” in the new apartment and that is all. I brought two prized computers with me to the apartment and set them up in the computer corner: my Power Mac G5 Quad and my Power Macintosh 7300. Everything else is in storage until we buy and move into a new home (with the exception of an incredible Power Macintosh G3 and its accompanying AppleVision 850AV monitor that I picked up a short while ago, and have yet to begin work on – that will be another post at another time).

Power Mac G3 and AppleVision 850AV

Which brings me to the topic of this post. Note that I did not mention any current day computers. My “daily driver” up until the move was my 2012 27” iMac, a 3.4 GHz Intel machine. An excellent computer, but packed away in a box at this point I’m afraid. Before the move, I backed up all the contents onto an external hard drive and brought that with me. When I set up the computer corner, I restored that backup onto my Power Mac G5 Quad, and for the next six months or so, it will be my daily driver. This post is being composed on it right now.

G5 Quad

So, for the next many months, I will be living life the G5/Tiger way. It is almost like stepping back in time to 2006 when these machines were the shiny new state of the art. Back in 2006, the Power Mac G5 Quad was a kick ass machine. Know what? It still is. Granted, I have accelerated this machine a bit. The boot volume is an SSD, and the main disk is a fairly modern high speed 7200 RPM drive with a whopping 64MB of onboard cache. The computer itself is equipped with 8 GB of RAM, and sports the top end video card of the day in 2006, the nVidia Quadro FX 4500, itself equipped with 512 MB of video RAM.

nVidia Logo

So, the machine packs a punch, but it is still a 2.5 GHz PowerPC G5. By today’s standards, it would be considered pretty low powered I am sure. However, in daily use, I can honestly say that I don’t really notice that. In fact, the opposite is true. The machine feels crisp and fast and I can do everything on it that I was doing on the iMac before (with the exception of managing my most recent iPod, the 160 GB iPod Classic, which I purchased just before Apple discontinued them). As I have often opined, “older” does not equal “obsolete”. This machine is fully up to the challenges of the day, and I am thoroughly enjoying working on it once again.

In the meantime, as we get fully settled in, and I get fully up to speed on my new job, the pace of posting should start to pick up here again. There is lots to do! I am finally in a position to load up my Gopher based vintage Mac software repository and of course there is the Power Mac G3 and AppleVision 850AV to work on … All of this and more will be tracked here in the Happy Macs blog. Stay tuned!

9 thoughts on “Living Life the G5/Tiger Way

  1. I appreciate your effort in trying to contribute to the PowerPC universe, but this is about as lowest common denominator as it can get. You’re pretty much all but encouraging people with PowerPC hardware to rely on an 11 year old OS. What’s next? How to catch the flu and get an STD at the same time?

    Truly… I mean no offense, but you’re not really helping anyone do anything, and we need to see an Nvidia logo why? That logo puts it over the edge to being lowest common denominator geared. As if someone needs to see an Nvidia logo to understand the concept of your video card.

    Sorry, but this leaves me thinking that you think your readers are simpletons. My intelligence was certainly insulted by it.

    • Thank you for your comment. I appreciate all comments, positive or negative.

      To your main point, let me be direct. I am not “all but encouraging people”, I am DIRECTLY encouraging people to rely on PowerPC hardware and an 11 year old OS. A fundamental underpinning of this blog, and of my fascination with older Macintosh machines, is that “older” does not equal “obsolete”. Anyone who shares my fascination with these fine old machines (and I assume that this would be bulk of the readers of this blog) will resonate with this thought. It intrigues me that “obsolete hardware” and “obsolete software” are more than sufficient to meet most of today’s computing needs. At least for now, I *am* living life the PowerPC/Tiger way, and I am enjoying it thoroughly. I hope that others may too!

      • My main point to it being an 11 year old OS, is that it is no longer secure enough to use online, and neither is Leopard. I still use Mac OS daily on my machines, but not for any type of online activity.

        You seem to have no regard for your own security, let alone your readers security.

        Like I also mentioned… this is very lowest common denominator.

        It seems to me like your methods and practices have very low standards, and your don’t really show people how to do anything that the average person wouldn’t already be able to do.

        Do you actively want others to compute in the same backward and simple way you do? It really seems that way.

        Best of luck to you, and I hope that one day you will start challenging your own abilities, and it turn your readers. Because all you’re doing now is stagnating.

        Remember, no one needs help to be an Apple fanboy that never evolves their ability, yet that is exactly what you teach your readers – which goes back to my point that you’re not really helping anyone do anything.

  2. One final point I forgot to make…

    I am a huge lover and user of PowerPC hardware, but just because you have old hardware doesn’t mean you’re stuck with old software. UNIX and Linux are still developed for PowerPC, so there is no good excuse to limiting yourself to 11+ years old operating systems. Even someone who has no *nix ability or know how can easily use them for simple online tasks.

    Embrace Mac OS PowerPC for what it does well, like content creation, or really anything that doesn’t involve the internet.

    People already know how to be unenlightened fanboys with no real computing ability. They don’t need your help with that.

    • Thanks again for your ongoing comments. I fear however that we are speaking different languages. Steve Jobs famously positioned Apple products at the intersection of Technology and the Arts. It is the beauty of that intersection that still appeals to me today. This is not just a discussion about technology.

      Yes, you can run *nix on the PPC hardware. No, I don’t want to. It is the combination of the PPC hardware and Mac OS X that I find so appealing. I actually quite agree with you – in your blog, your piece “Claim your computing freedom”, you opine that “In terms of OS X, everything after Snow Leopard is covered in horrible.”. This is SO true, and I mean that sincerely. To my taste, Tiger was the most beautiful and functional piece of software Apple ever released, and I truly enjoy running it to this day on my G5 Quad.

      Yes, it is not the most modern, nor perhaps the most secure OS on the market today, but that is not what it is all about. It is about the beauty of the integrated experience – Apple hardware and Apple software, from back when they were still not “covered in horrible”. It is like driving a 1965 Ford Mustang. It is not the safest car on the road anymore, by a long shot, but the combination of the technology and the styling are irresistible. So it is with PPC + Tiger, at least to me. I practise safe computing, use a good external firewall and have never had a security issue with my older systems. They can be run in reasonable safety.

      Perhaps we should agree to disagree. What you say is entirely true. What I say is entirely true (at least to me, and I suspect, many others). There is room for both in today’s world. I am not trying to create unenlightened fanboys – I am encouraging people to experience and enjoy the beauty that Apple used to create.

  3. I am not of the mind that we both can’t exist. Far from it. But even from the perspective you come from, you could still offer a lot more guidance to people. Just my opinion.

    You make a fair point about user awareness of what to avoid for better security on an old OS. Still though… that is nowhere near as secure as a main daily use OS should be. For the best security possible, you need a combo of safe user habits, along with modern updated software. Maybe you should be telling people how to use Tiger as safely as possible in 2016, rather than simply telling them to use it. That part just seems very neglectful to me. You’re just telling people a few details on the very basics of it, which are things that 99% of all computer users understand already.

    Tech writing should both help and inspire – rather than just try to inspire.

    My stance on *nix with PowerPC is for every user to at least use it for the net. Firefox is Firefox on any OS, and the same with Thunderbird, so anyone at any skill level can at least do basic internet things on *nix without any real extra education. Offline things, like content creation, playback of video etc etc will always be perfectly safe on old OS.

    So essentially we do agree, but just not on what to use for internet access.

    TFF is a great browser, and CK is a saint for what he does to help keep people secure, but TFF doesn’t help you stay secure at the OS level, and many exploits are architecture neutral, like almost every internet based computer language that has ever existed. No pluggins or Java helps, but only so much.

    So my essential advice is offer a little more guidance, and a little less of what people already know.

    I appreciate you taking the time to respond.

    • Get a grip. If you don’t like the info he is sharing don’t read. I appreciate anything he can share. Its is the readers responsibility to make sure their habits are secure as possible. Anyone using an older machine, I am sure, will so what realize that it is not the securest of options. He doesn’t need to spoon feed his audience every tid bit.

    • Your comments here are so absurdly rude and condescending that I have to wonder if you actually are serious about the nonsense you’re spouting. This blog isn’t written for the “lowest common denominator” and quite frankly that is a despicable and abhorrent way to generalize an entire group of people, most of whom are far more adept and skilled than the likes of you since legacy software and hardware is overwhelmingly used by people who know what the hell they’re doing and who certainly don’t need some self-appointed “expert” such as yourself to tell us we need our hands held when it comes to security.

      You certainly don’t come across as a professional and If you had any education in basic computer and network security whatsoever, you would know that the overwhelming majority of exploits are targeted toward current platforms rather than legacy, and specifically Windows and Linux. While Tiger, Leopard and Snow Leopard are no longer receiving security updates, the latest stable versions of each are sufficiently secure that one needn’t obsess over security that way you seem to do, even more so considering the fact that such legacy platforms are not suitable for using applications that pose potential security risks like Flash, Java, etc.

      At any rate, when all is said and done, it is literally none of your business how someone wants to run their blog or what they wish to blog about or what audience their blog is written for, nor do readers such as myself need some condescending know-it-all such as yourself to talk down to us and dictate what is right and what is wrong.

      Get a life.

  4. Come on, gentlemen. I do most of my productive activities on a G5 Quad, and I also have an IntelliStation 285. But I use my employer-provided iPad and a Mac Mini 2011 for web browsing. Not a big deal.

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