• Hello, Guest! Welcome back, and be sure to check out this post for more info about the recent service interruption and migration.

Use PowerPC for a week?

IPalindromeI

Well-known member
Actually get patches? (Apple's lifecycle is "kill the old OS before the new one comes out of beta.)

If you're concerned with long OS lifecycles, you should really be running Windows or RHEL.

 

TheWhiteFalcon

Well-known member
Eh, even Windows isn't perfect anymore. Microsoft may have gone back somewhat on their threat to end Win 7/8.x support for Skylake and newer, but they're still not providing full support.

 

rsolberg

Well-known member
I finally bit the bullet and got something newer than my late '06 c2d iMac and MacBook Pro. I snagged a late '09 Mac mini 2.26. It's been upgraded to 4GB RAM, a second HD, and El Capitan. As soon as I fired it up, I updated it to 10.11.3. It's impressively fast, even running from a 2.5" 250GB spinny thing. It will soon have an SSD and 8GB RAM. Echoing what Cory said, El Capitan seems much less RAM/disk bound than previous iterations of Intel OSX.

 

Cory5412

Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
of Windows and Skylake support: Windows is the only OS that reliably offers support for old (no-longer-shipping) versions of the OS on new hardware. I don't think it's unreasonable or even very surprising that they're looking to restrict this support to business customers using business hardware. That said, a fair amount of business hardware is supported and in general, good business hardware costs about what good consumer hardware does, so if you know in advance you want to get a few more years out of Windows 7 or 8.1U1, then it's not hard to do.

I don't think most home users buying pre-built systems in physical retail stores really care, though.

 

Ok, so storage hasn't kept pace with Moore's law, but that doesn't explain why OS I/O requirements have exploded. I can easily explain why the number of transistors in CPUs and GPUs doubles every 2 years, but no one can reaally explain all the reasons why commercial OSes always immediately use that new silicon to make heat instead of do work.
Disk caching, swap activity, launching applications, using ever-larger data files that must be kept in ever larger quantities, along with maintenance tasks such as TRIM and defragmentation.

Outside of Mac OS X (which, from about 10.6 or 10.7 to 10.10, was SSD-mandatory because it would enter swap about 6 nanoseconds after you booted, even if you had sixteen or sixty four gigabytes of RAM), most operating systems don't spend a whole bunch of time hitting the disk without a good reason. In fact, Windows 10 is honestly really good about disk activity. You can pretty much be assured that if it's hitting the disk, it's because you asked it to or because it's doing a maintenance task designed to make your life better.

For that reason, Windows 7/8/10 are very usable on old spinning disks. You're still going to have problems if your disk is dying, but generally when reviewers write things such as "eMMC is so terrible" when talking about low end computers, what they mean is that their personal systems have much faster storage and they notice the difference.
 

What new workload does 10.11 do that your 10.8 didn't do? My googling reveals such improves as Mail.app has tabs now and you can do Windows 7 window tiling...
Almost nothing. Well, except for the whole part where 10.11 makes my Macs feel like what they are: my fastest and newest computers. Full screen and side-by-side full screen operation are potentially important for people who came to the Mac by way of iPad, or people using the smallest of Macs who want to dedicate all available pixels to a particular app.

I agree completely with what I think the core of your suggestion here is -- that Apple should slow down and really improve the core of Mac OS X for a little bit.

That said, just because you don't personally value the new features in a version of Mac OS X doesn't mean that you shouldn't upgrade. In general, Apple out of hand refuses to fix even the most egregious of security vulnerabilities in the directly previous version. As of several months ago, there are known vulnerabilities in 10.10 that Apple has yet to fix, which have been fixed in 10.11.

As IPalindromeI says, it may be best to avoid Mac OS X if you prefer longer support cycles without changing your OS. On the other hand, the good thing about Mac OS X upgrade cycles (and how easy it is to image Mac disks) is that you can usually install the new upgrade and then keep using your system as though nothing had changed, without engaging or using any of the new features, which can often be completely disabled anyway.

 

Nathan

Well-known member
It's a little hard to imagine this sort of challenge being doable, especially with anything less than a G5 (PPC) or Intel that's clocked less than 1ghz. Then there's the reality that we use the internet so much these days that it's very apparent how important a functional web browser is. The best I can do is my powermac G4 (dual processor 800mhz, 1.5gb) and it will only run 10.4.11 which is very old at this point (considering Apple is up to 10.11). TenFourFox was very helpful last I checked, but operating systems that aren't kept up to date are a bigger drag than old hardware.

 

tanuki65

Well-known member
I did it for two weeks, stopping because I wanted to try the El Capitan beta. I used a PPC G4 @ 1.5 GHz and 10.5.

 

ziggy29

Member
Hard to be doable for a week? Maybe if you can't live without video. Otherwise, it's easy. I recently did it without really even trying to take a "challenge". I did it on a 1 GHz TiBook running (mostly) Tiger but sometimes 9.2.2 and occasionally (when necessary) Leopard. I also sometimes used a Digital Audio with a 1.467 GHz CPU running Leopard and Tiger, and with a FireGL X800 video card (with the side door open because of heat issues).

 

Simon_Carr

Well-known member
Just a little bump on this, as no-one has posted on this one for a while. I use an eMac G4 usb 2 for work on a regular basis, and I keep a G4 (800 mhz) iMac as my main music system at home (with a Harman Kardon Jellyfish, of course!). I prefer the richness of the excellent CRT on the eMac display over my iMac Retina, particularly for doing graphics work. For some reason, I find it far less stressful on the eyes. I also run old versions of excellent software, like the final version of CorelDRAW for the mac, and some superb data analysis software called Aabel on the eMac (I cant afford the license cost for the most recent version). Houseguests always comment on how cool the iMac looks (and how much noise it can generate!)...

Just because it's old, doesn't mean it's no good!

 

haemogoblin

Well-known member
I use a G4 iBook 1.33ghz on a regular basis, but my PowerBook 15' 1.44ghz is rapidly turning in to my daily driver before graphic design.

 

Simon_Carr

Well-known member
Aah, I used to love my old G4 iBook, and was heartbroken when it finally failed... it had a long and very hard life accompanying me to the tops of numerous Icelandic glaciers to download data from some weather stations... The Macbook I replaced it with has never quite been the same, and although that still works and is regularly used by my wife (its only 9 years old, by which i mean the MacBook, not the wife!), it just hasnt left me as nostalgic about it compared to my iBook...

 

Cory5412

Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
I like sitting down at a CRT from time to time, but I'm not actually sure I've ever seen anybody write that they prefer one over an LCD as new and good as something like the a Retina iMac display. (Even the newest 21.5-inch non-Retina iMacs are just utterly amazing.) I want to set up my 6100 or 840 with my MCD14 (and eventually get an MCD16) for some writing, but I probably wouldn't try to go to CRT (even a newer/better one) for, say, my photo organization. (I did for a while a few years ago, I kind of regret tossing that display because while not as good as some of my LCDs, it was a quite nice 19-inch trinitron display.)

Nostalgia can be an interesting thing. I have some nostalgia for my blue-and-white G3, but almost none for my PowerBook G4. On the other hand, my literal favorite of all time computer is my ThinkPad T400, which itself is 9 years old, and I'd use today (With Windows 10) more often except for a broken part I have yet to replace, it's not portable any more, and it has hit a hard performance wall on a particular task.

 

Unknown_K

Well-known member
I still prefer CRT for low resolution systems (CGA/VGA) or anything that does not use the LCD's native resolution.

 

hellslinger

Active member
Until I had a 144hz gaming monitor, there was nothing with decent input lag other than my Apple 21" studio display. PPC Macs were the last time Apple made anything I wanted to buy. Maybe they'll start making computers that aren't kids toys again when Gil Amelio #2 is kicked out.

 

commodorejohn

Well-known member
I still prefer CRT for low resolution systems (CGA/VGA) or anything that does not use the LCD's native resolution.
This is key. I'll grant that high-end flatscreen displays have gotten a whole lot better about depth of color and viewing angle than they used to be (although that's largely dependent on how much you want to spend on them,) but it's still vanishingly rare to find an LCD/OLED display that handles upscaling in a satisfactory way (how difficult is "nearest-neighbor scale to the nearest integer multiple and letterbox", really?)

 

Cory5412

Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
Even integer scaling and letterboxing isn't ideal, so it's not like I'm rushing out to replace my IIgs' display with an LCD, even one that should be pretty good for that kind of work. I've been meaning to bring my IIgs in and try out composite on one of the UltraSharp 2007FPs, "just in case."

 

Gorgonops

Moderator
Staff member
I've been meaning to bring my IIgs in and try out composite on one of the UltraSharp 2007FPs, "just in case."
Part of me wonders if it would be a worthwhile experiment to hack together a IIgs RGB-to-VGA cable and see if the monitor actually would accept 15.7khz RGB. The manual doesn't say it does but since it has composite input you'd think it should *technically* be capable of it. (Unless the monitor uses some accessory circuitry to specifically upscale TV frequencies to VGA before inputting it to the LCD driver.) Composite is going to look terrible unless you do it in monochrome or the monitor is capable of positively miraculous post-processing.

Sort of on this topic, recently I impulse-bought a 4MB RAM card for my IIgs (maybe I should have held out for a card that held 8MB, but this was much cheaper and it still gives me effectively ten times as much RAM at the Finder in GS/OS 6), here's a picture I took of the output from my RGB scaler board displayed on a 1280x1024 LCD. You can see why I describe it as "disappointing". I need to try it on one of the much higher LCDs to see if the resulting combination might do a better job sorting out how to non-integer-ly scale the output from a thing that seems to have some issues accurately sampling the IIgs' slightly weird pixel clock.

IIgs-Scaler-LCS.jpg

 
Last edited by a moderator:

Unknown_K

Well-known member
The IIgs monitor isn't bad (I have 3 one for each system). Composite out is very low rez, not much a monitor can do with it to make it look better.

Not sure why you need more then 4MB of RAM in a IIgs (even with GS/OS). I have an 8MB board in the machine I run GS/OS on and I don't really use much of it (and I can only populate the board with 7MB since that system is a ROM 3 with 1.25MB onboard).

 

Cory5412

Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
There are component adapters as well, if I remember correctly, and for some fun there is the SecondSight VGA card. The SecondSight is fairly expensive though, enough that I'm never going to end up with one.

The original monitor is nice enough and the IIgs isn't important enough to me right now to try to make it work much better or with different equipment.

 

TheWhiteFalcon

Well-known member
Maybe they'll start making computers that aren't kids toys again when Gil Amelio #2 is kicked out.
I see a lot of stuff ragging on Tim Cook, but that statement is...more ignorant than usual.

You might take into consideration the fact that Tim Cook's Apple is doing something even Jobs didn't accomplish; replacing the Insanely Dated!™ HFS+ file system. APFS just rolled out to iOS beta testers yesterday, so it's very much a thing in coming. 

 

bunnspecial

Well-known member
LCDs have come a long way, but I've yet to see one that renders reds as well as even a mid-range CRT in good condition. Granted CRT calibration does drift like crazy and if you're particular about color rendition you should calibrate them once a week or so. The late Apple ones with built-in calibration(ADC CRT and 21" Studio) do a great job by themselves-I don't see much difference between using the built in calibration and an external calibrator. To be fair, fluorescent backlit LCDs do drift also, and I calibrate mine at least once a month(although I don't generally see much change). LED backlights are quite stable.

I tend to use CRTs also on my "classic gaming" systems precisely for the reason mentioned above-resolution scaling without getting fuzzy.

 
Top