Monolingual – put Tiger on diet

Before getting into today’s topic I’d like to thank all of you commenters. Honestly, I would have been surprised getting a single answer at all but seeing so many people still replying after all those years is amazing. Big thumbs up to all of you!

Back to today’s topic, which is hard disk space. Or more precise – the lack of hard disk space. “What?” you’ll ask in astonishment, with hard disk prices being as low as today. That’s true, but I’m running Tiger on a Mac Mini G4 with only 60 GB of hard disk space. That wasn’t much when the Mini came out more than ten years ago – and it is much less today. I’ll have to think about my upgrading options, which will probably be the topic of my next post. But until then, I need to find ways of squeezing all my data on the aging hard disk.

Monolingual – put Tiger on a diet

 One tool that came in particularly handy is Monolingual. Monolingual was developed by Ingmar Stein with version 1.3.9 being the last one compatible with 10.4 Tiger. And the best news is that it is free.

What Monolingual does is that it’ll search your Tiger installation for unused language packages and site architectures (think universal binaries!) and allows you to delete them. After all, why have the localization files for the operating system sitting around unused and seizing disk space? Sure, you can go file hunting by yourself and delete the packages manually as well, but then why the hassle if Monolingual does that for you?
MC Hammer: "Can't use this!"

Getting rid of Universal Binary stuff

113 MB saved by killing unused languages

132 MB saved by deleting unused languages

By using monolingual I was able to free up almost 1 GB of hard disk space within roughly two minutes. Not a bad deal and without sacrificing any data I might actually need. Why don’t you try it yourself?

Posted in Utilities | 1 Comment

Um.. hello? Anyone there?

I admit, I had never expected to post anything on this blog again. But then again life goes it’s own way. I has been 3 1/2 years since my farewell post and guess what, our “obsolete” Tiger machines are still up and running! And we’re still enjoying every single day with them. At least I do.

So what has happened in all those years?

Well, on the personal front –  yours truly became the father of a little daughter and moving in with his wife, space became scarce. We have a housing shortage here in the Greater Munich area, so we’re still looking for a bigger flat. Until then the PowerMac G5 had to be stored, to be taken out once we move to a new flat. Hopefully by the end of this year. As a replacement and after lots of consideration, I got myself a MacMini G4.

Foto Mac Mini G4
I had never owned a MacMini before and honestly wasn’t too thrilled about them. With their many limitations, I always saw them as sort of a precursor of the use-and-throw-away mentality that Apple exhibits for a decade now.

But the MacMini with its G4 seemed like the perfect solution – very small, quiet and being able to run Tiger while still being reasonably fast. I should mention though that I was lucky to obtain the top of the line model with a powerful 1.5 Ghz G4 CPU, 1 GB RAM and a 64 MB ATI Radeon 9200. It also came with the rare Airport Extreme Card und Bluetooth, which are hard to come by, because they were a(n expensive) BTO option. (keep that in mind if you’re looking into buying a used G4 MacMini).

My “Mini” was built in the last November week of 2005. That is more than 10 years ago. And yet, in today’s fast-changing world it is still working wonderfully and getting all my work done. After using OSX 10.4 Tiger for a decade now, I can say I finally “mastered” it in a sense that I know exactly how to customize it to my needs, I know what shortcuts to use to speed up my common workflows, I know what software gets things done for me, etc. etc.

That is something I feel highly undervalued in today’s computer world, with new OS versions being churned out every year, requiring the users to quickly adapt to the engineer team’s latest inventions before the next iteration. It has become almost impossible to get to know a OS version on a first name basis, as we do with our beloved Tiger OSX machines.

I can relate to the actual excitement of trying out new features. But then wasn’t the whole idea about using computers to help us getting things done ?

Expect some more posts soon, we’ve got a lot to talk.

Posted in General | 12 Comments

A final farewell …

If you have followed this blog regularly you’ll have noticed that new entries became rarer and rarer over the past months. Well, it is not due to a lack of interest in Tiger OSX on my side. (Yes, my PowerMac G5 and my PowerBook G4 are still alive and well.)

It’s more along the line of “increasing duties with family and job”. I’ve also been hooked on games again. (as you probably noticed reading the last entries in this blog)

I haven’t been playing much for nearly a decade and boy, I really missed some gems of Macintosh Gaming! When I stop playing all games seemed so dull and uninteresting and now I’m having really big fun playing Age of Empires III, Tropico, Ankh, Chicago 1930 and many more.

So instead of blogging and surfing the Mac side of the Internet, I spend my free time playing all those Macintosh PowerPC games I missed the last years. As a result, my interest somehow shifted towards Macintosh Gaming and – gasp – instead of writing here, I started to write mac game reviews. Yes, curse you Mr. tigerosx!!

So, what is all about? Tigerosx is going on hiatus for the foreseeable future. I decided to put this announcement up since I hate it when blogs or podcasts stop updating without notice. I will leave the blog online and open for comments, so you’re still invited to comment entries (some interesting posts there already).

Other than that, don’t expect any updates in the near future. That said, take care and keep enjoying our PowerPC Macs for as long as they last!

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Yes, I’m alive. And yes, I’m playing games.

I know what you want to tell me. Where have you been? Well, work, family, you know it. And games. Yes, I admit, I have been spending quite some time with games on my PowerMac G5 lately. I haven’t been much of a gamer for the past few years even though Summoner sucked me in a couple of month ago. You could say I rediscovered the joy of forgetting a stressful work day in a virtual world.

Even more since I discovered, an online distributor of games. Games that were put off the store shelves a long time ago, keep being available online for a few bucks. Granted, you don’t get the package and if you’re a collector, there is no way this will make you happy. But for those of us who just want to play a new game every now and then on their PowerPC Tiger machines, GamersGate is a good alternative. You sign up, provide payment details and immediately download the game. Once bought, a game is added to your profile and can be re-downloaded whenever you’re in need to. There is a lot of critique about this distribution model on the net and while I can see the negative aspects (what if the distributor goes bankrupt!?) I still like it. It’s cheap, it’s easy, it’s fast.

So far, I have discovered lots of PowerPC Mac games that will run on Mac OS X Tiger. Here is a quick, incomplete list:

Chicago 1930

Creatures Exodus

Solitaire Mac

Metris IV

World of Goo

Legend of the Tolteks

Software Tycoon

This really sounds like I’m doing the job of their marketing department, does it? But really, I’m in no affiliation with them (other then being a regular customer) and just enjoying the service. Reality is – it’s getting harder to find some of the PowerPC Mac games at a low price on eBay. Websites like Macintoshgarden don’t archive OSX games yet and so you may be out of luck if you’re looking for a specific game. (Besides, I don’t have the space for an extensive library of games.)

Do any of you know of any more distributors like Gamersgate which legally provide PowerPC Mac games today?

Posted in Games | 3 Comments

My favorite office suite: Apple Works 6

Apple Works 6Today I’d like to post about my favorite office suite which I still use up to this day, even though it has long since discontinued: Apple Works, formerly known as ClarisWorks. Apple had renamed the office suite after reintegrating its subsidiary Claris into Apple. If you’re interested in early days of ClarisWorks and how it all came about, check out this episode of the Mac Folklore Radio.

Apple Works 6 was originally released in 2002 and came as a carbonized application, which means it’ll run on Mac OS 9 as well, though I seem to remember that only the OS X version could apply all the latest updates.

Apple Works 6 features a colorful interface which is so much different from the “serious” greyish Microsoft Office style. Remember, those were the days when Apple was innovative! Apple Works 6 comes with a word processor, a drawing program, a painting program, a spreadsheet program and a database program. Basically, everything you and me will probably ever need.

And that was exactly what the makers had in mind when they developed it. You and me. There are not tons of functions that no real person is ever going to use as in other office suites. There is no cluttered interface. Apple Works 6 filled a gap in the office market, the gap between simple text editors and heavily overloaded suites like Microsoft Office.

On startup, Apple Works asks you about your plans using easy-to-grasp icons (yes, that’s German)

I also find Apple Works 6 to work great on just any older PowerPC hardware, starting from old G3 computers. A while ago I had an iMac G3 in for repairs. It was a 400 Mhz model with 10.4.11 installed (what else?) and while Office 2004 took really long to boot up and wasn’t that responsive, Apple Works 6 worked like a charm.

Word processor of Apple Works 6What made me pick Apple Works 6 over Microsoft Office was compatibility with the popular Microsoft formats .doc (documents) and .xls (spreadsheet). So no problem opening files from friends and co-workers. I don’t think there is a way to open the new .docx files in Apple Works 6,  unless someone wrote a hack or something. Anyone knowing anything about it?

Anyway, as I said in my introduction, Apple Works has been discontinued officially since August 2007. Apple failed to provide an adequate replacement with iWork and has yet to come up with a true successor. However, the official support website is still online.

I will continue to use Apple Works 6 for as long as my PowerPC Macs are running. I am no office suite geek. I just want a program that ‘works’ for me. Apple Works 6 does that.

If you care to take a look yourself, the Macintosh Garden has Apple Works 6 available in all different languages.

Posted in Utilities | 21 Comments

Bits and Pieces #3

Time for another bits & pieces! I’ve been fairly busy (again), a big project at work keeps me from spending too much time on the internet. However, I came across this interesting piece from a former intel employee in which he states his take on PowerPC architecture and why it was unable to keep up with Intel. Interesting read.

Another reason I haven’t been able to post anything useful for two weeks is that I wrote another article on LowEndMac about the PowerMac G5 being the economical Mac of 2012.

Meanwhile I have been contacted by the makers of Marball Odyssey, which appears to be a fun little game. Haven’t tried it out yet though. Might do right after this post, if I can convince the Ms. to postpone the groceries. Anyway, Sunday Coders (the makers) specifically made a PowerPC version of Marball Odyssey (kudos to them) and kindly ask PPC users to try it out and sending in some feedback.

Last week also marked the release of TenFourFox 10, the PowerPC port of FireFox. Cameron Kaiser and his team really deserve a thumbs up for their continuing support of our PPC Tiger machines. I’m still stuck at version 8 though, because I found it the best solution regarding speed & compatibility. I am, however, tempted to upgrade soon. Anyone of you already using 10 and recommending it?

Other than that I’d like to point your attention to a podcast that I’ve been a regular listener to for more than a year now. It’s just excellent entertainment while commuting (work <-> home) While not exactly related to Tiger 10.4 the Retro Computing Roundtable is for all of us interested in the old machines. Whether you’re an old veteran like myself or a younger user who is interested in “how it all started”, give it a try.

Posted in General | 3 Comments

Nomen est Omen – Super Duper

If you happen to know Latin you may guess that I’m going to sing the praises of something now. And you’re quite right, because Super Duper is really super duper.

Super Duper! is one of the best utilities for the Mac if you do have a lot of important files that you regularly need to backup. Super Duper mirrors your hard disk to an (external) drive and might even make it bootable. That sets it apart from Apple’s Timeback machine which was introduced with 10.5 Leopard. Remember the days when we were copying the classic Mac OS system folder to a new hard disk and it would simply run without a new installation? Super Duper! does that for OSX.

Apart from the features, it is fast and easy to use. The shareware fee of 25$ is very well deserved, though you may try out Super Duper! for an unlimited amount of time until you decide to register. The most recent version 2.6.4 does still support 10.4.11. Kudos to developer Shirt-Pocket for support the Tiger!  If you rely on regular updates, Super Duper is a must-have.

Posted in Utilities | 1 Comment