Long Time, No Write

Well, after a long hiatus that I really have zero reason for having taken, I am back to the blogging world and plan to be at it for a long time! I’ve made some changes to my machine line up. I’ve finally given over to the ‘dark side’ and purchased my first Intel. I acquired, off a buy/sell/trade group on Facebook, a 2008 MacBook and it has taken over as my primary machine, as it is by far more powerful than my other computers and has way more storage space. (And I mean WAAAAAAAY more!) While I love my PowerPC machines, they have been holding me back on my productivity with my photography and graphic design needs and are now basically regulated to gaming. While I can still do all of my Photoshop-ing and Flash builder-ing on those computers, it can take forever to load a simple filter and would take me three times longer to complete a composite or finalized photograph than it does with the MacBook. 

That being said, I still use my  mini as much as I possibly can. I still play all of my old games on it and use it for music management. I’ve even been contemplating turning it into a little server! So, don’t worry-I haven’t forgotten about the PowerPC and how it’s still useful, nor will I ever give up on the best little machines Apple ever produced. (I just need a little more oomph under the polyurethane to finish all my new projects!) 

Tablets, PowerPC, and You

As a photographer and a PowerPC user, I realized that there are only a handful of tablet options out there for designing and editing. When I began my search last year (right around this time, actually) for a compatible device, I truly began to think that I was never going to find anything current, affordable, and high quality. I had to have something that was going to work on 10.4.11, wouldn’t take up a lot of space, and wouldn’t eat up the $80 budget that I had set aside.

A search through Fry’s Electronics, Best Buy, MicroCenter, Walmart, and several art supply stores yielded zero results. They all had every thing I wanted, minus compatibility. A new computer was out of the question; I was lucky to have my budget for this as it was and I didn’t have my 10.5.8 upgrade yet. Every tablet I found had the minimum 10.6 requirement in the store except for two from Wacom that required 10.5.

My final hope was eBay and some Google-fu with crossed fingers. It paid off! Wacom tablets have the benefit of never truly becoming too dated, just like our PowerPC’s. What I discovered was whole lines of products out there that met all of my needs and then some. Half of what I found I was forced to rule out due to their size since I didn’t have an actual desk yet and had to work in my lap on the couch, while the other half gave me so many different options I had trouble deciding on what to buy.

My final choice: the Wacom Bamboo CTL460. Simple, compatible, small, and fairly up-to-date. An eBay search, with lots of heavily used tablets, gave me my Holy Grail; used once, extra pen tips, and only $60 with free shipping.

Color this photographer happy! Not only did I get what I wanted under my budget, but I learned a huge lesson in being a classic machine owner: forget shopping in stores, our only hope is online. My tablet now happily resides on my desk with a permanent home in front of my G4 mini, and is used daily for a variety of tasks outside of my Photoshop projects.

My Favorite Apps Part Two

This is a continuation of my post from yesterday, and it’s all about the apps that I love and use the most. (And I think you’ll like them, too.)

Spotify

Who doesn’t love having control over their radio? Or who hasn’t spent hours searching for one specific song that you want to listen to that has been stuck in your head for days? Well, I love having complete control over what I want to listen to, and I get A LOT of songs stuck in my head everyday. That’s the best part about Spotify! Find what you want, listen to it, and create your own radio stations. Sure, we all have Pandora Radio on our Android or iOS devices, but any PPC user knows that Pandora Radio is just not that friendly for most of our machines. Spotify, on the other hand, loves our PPC Macs. The Spotify app works perfect on my 867Mhz TiBook (10.4.11) and on my other PPC machines. (Note: Will only work on 10.4.11+, G4 or G5)

http://www.powerpcsoftware.com/

FireFox

If you use 10.5.8 on the majority of your machines as I do, then having FireFox is a blessing. There are, sadly, some websites out there that are just more than poor Safari can handle. (Example: WordPress.) That’s where my back-up comes in handy. The link below is the same as the link for Spotify, and really, the website has a great selection of helpful apps so give it a long look. This version of FireFox is compatible with 10.4.11+.

http://www.powerpcsoftware.com/

TenFourFox

A great browser built by a group of dedicated developers who wanted a strong, fast, and useful browser for those of us who still use the PPC architecture. I use this browser on my TiBook and I have to say it’s fantastic. I actually deleted Safari off that laptop because I no longer used it! These folks are great, and they are always on the look out for bugs and updates we might need.

http://www.floodgap.com/software/tenfourfox/

iPodDisk

Have an old iPod that has a ton of great music, but you can’t get the songs into the library you want? That’s where iPodDisk comes in. A very handy utility that is pretty much self explanatory-attach your iPod to your computer, open iPodDisk, and go through the folder and copy the music you want to your hard drive. Easy! I use it quite a bit. Only works on 10.4.11+

https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/19890/ipoddisk

Well folks, there you have it-my absolute-no-arguments-brokered-I-must-have-this-on-my-PPC list. It’s not very long, granted, but they are essential apps and each one is used on a near daily basis. Go ahead and check out all the links in both posts, as they all have a great selection of PPC apps.

My Favorite Apps

There are handful of apps that no PPC Mac owner should be without. There are a lot of sites out there that have these must-have lists, but I feel it’s information that bears repeating. The apps below are my must-haves and I use each of them on every computer I own. And, best of all, they are absolutely FREE!

Caffeine

Your iBook or Powerbook display takes up a lot of energy when your on the battery, but don’t you just hate it when it goes blank before you’re ready for it to? Or even when it is plugged in? Well, Caffeine is the solution. The app places a small icon on your task bar, and when you need the app to run you just give it a single click. It’s just that easy. Your display stays awake and alert, just like you do with coffee. Works just fine on 10.4.11, 10.5.8, 10.6 PPC or Intel.

http://download.cnet.com/Caffeine/3000-2094_4-140937.html

VLC Player

I don’t really even have to explain this one. There’s not much this little codec won’t play, and play very well. It’s on every computer I own, Mac or PC.

This is the link for 10.4.11/10.5.8, PPC or Intel. (10.4.11 is down at the bottom of the page.)

http://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-macosx.html

Snes9x

Who doesn’t love old school gaming? It makes my day, but we obviously can’t go hauling those old consoles around, hence the invention of console emulators. When I found out about these handy little apps a few years ago, I got my friends started on them and we’ve allowed our actual consoles to rest peacefully in our own little geek museums. Use some Google-fu and you’ll find tons of websites with ROMS available. (Just use caution!There are a few websites that are full of viruses, and I am NOT liable if you download one!)

http://download.cnet.com/Snes9x/3000-20416_4-44127.html

MacJanitor

I only recently discovered this handy little utility and it works like a charm. MacJanitor is a perfect maintenance script runner for PPC Macs, and is compatible with nearly every incarnation of Mac OS X. We don’t all leave our computers on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It’s just not a likely scenario with an everyday user. MacJanitor runs those tasks for you.

http://macjanitor.en.softonic.com/mac

I will be adding to this post as the week goes on and into this weekend, as these four are not the only ones I want to mention. But, for now, I have to bid you all a good afternoon.

 

Updates!

Hi all! 

I’ve updated the System Requirements page and added a new link, so go ahead and check them out! Be on the look out for more posts over the next few days, as I am a little behind on my updates and I have several ideas that you might like.

Gaming on a G4 Mac

Most of us play video games; statistically speaking, it’s a fact. According to a 2010 survey done by ESRB, 67% of American households play them. With an age range of 18-49, that means that a healthy portion of that 67% has played a game on a Mac. 

In fact, it’s gaming on an Apple II in second grade that got me started. Wheel of Fortune, The Oregon Trail, and a few others I can’t remember. But I won’t forget what those games were like-how much fun they were for me. Then when I was in 5th grade my mom bought an old Toshiba Satellite from one of her friends when she went back to school; it had Duke Nukem 3D and that was it. FPS’s all the way! I still play Nukem 3D on my 867Mhz TiBook and it’s still just as fun as it was the first time. (Except now I can’t get grounded for it!)

In my stumbling for classic games to unwind with at the end of the day, I found on a fellow blog (macpowerpc.com) a site with ALL (basically) the old classic games and the system emulators to play them on for those of us unlucky enough to not own one of those old machines. http://macintoshgarden.org

Check the Macintosh Garden, and you won’t regret it! Apps, games, emulators, installation instructions. They’ve got it all. A lot of these will work on a machine with Classic Mode (10.4 and lower) or if you have a legacy machine. 

 

Power Macintosh Manuals

So, I’ve recently moved back in with my folks due to a layoff and break up. While I was cleaning and organizing upstairs I came across a stack of classic Mac manuals! I couldn’t believe it; I used to have each and everyone of these machines at one point or another, and still would if I had the storage space for them. I was amazed…all of my highlights and sticky notes were still in them from when I was teaching myself how to troubleshoot and repair them, or how just how they worked in general. Power Mac 5200/75 LC, PowerBook 5300 (loved this laptop and hate that it died), and the Power Mac 5400. 

Those were the best machines the early 90’s produced, in my own opinion. I loved each of them. My 5400 was my first true love for Macs, and I had more fun playing games and doing homework on that all-in-one than any other computer. 

I also found vintage guides to Microsoft Word V 6.0, MS-DOS, Microsoft Query V 1.0, Apple’s Color StyleWriter 2400, AppleCD 600i, and Apple Remote Access Client User’s Guide. Incredible! All of them in excellent condition.  

Anyways, I thought I’d just share my find with you all. If there is enough interest, I could post links to these guides. Feel free to comment! ImageImageImage

Hello

Hey everybody!

I’ve started my first blog for no real reason, except to share how Mac PPC is used in my life on a daily basis, both the useful and not so useful aspects. I will include as many links as I can to new software, new blogs that are helpful, sites with great G3/G4/G5 sales, etc. As I get more comfortable with my blog, I’ll try to create helpful tutorials on a variety of subjects based on whatever topic is at hand.

As my blog title states, I am currently using a G4 Mac Mini. I love this little machine that I paid $75 for on http://www.craigslist.com. Hands down best deal I’ve ever made; however, I have found that it’s time my little machine gets a few upgrades. Perhaps a new hard drive, more memory, a healthy cleaning…quite frankly, my mini needs a boost in speed. She plugs along as she is now with Halo: CE, AVP, MS Office, Photoshop CS4, and a handful of other apps, and typically without lag. But, she does take a long minute to load a new picture in Photoshop, and I am quickly running out of hard disk space!

Now, I’ve seen all of the guides on google searches about how to crack her case, but I’d like to know what you guys have experienced updating these little gems. Issues I may encounter, anything that should be avoided, brands of memory/hard disks that are good/not good, tips and tricks.

Thanks for reading, and welcome to my new Internet home. Please, go ahead and leave your comments below!