Best e-mail program for 10.4 Tiger OS X in 2017?

There have not been many updates here lately. Truth to be told, I haven’t used Tiger much lately. Due to work requirements, I had to fiddle around with Linux and / or Windows. None of which get close to the ease of use of 10.4 Tiger and admittedly I do miss it. But I digress …

I have been using Gmail’s Webmail for many years due to the flexibility of it. With the Gmail interface getting more and more cluttered (and slower) and me getting more privacy-concerned, I decided to move away from Gmail. Instead I will use the e-mail service that comes with my hosting package. However, my provider’s web interface is neither visually appealing nor fast. (something most providers seem to have in common). So the final decision is to do it the old-style way – I will download all e-mails to my computer and save them locally. Just like in the old days. Pop Mail ftw!

Apple Mail Tiger OS X

However, I wasn’t really sure about which software to use. Well, there is Apple Mail. It does what it should, to this day. It fetches and sends all my e-mails over an SSL-encrypted connection and does that really well. But then, for some reason I never liked Apple Mail. Even after using it for years professionally between 2006-2009, we never became friends. Do software programs have a “soul”? Apple’s Mail obviously not. We parted since and I’m not to eager to use it again.

So where to go next? I decided to check my software collection and came across Microsoft Office 2004. It contains the since deceased Microsoft Entourage. Think of throwing a (simple) project management tool, an organizer and an e-mail program into a shoebox, closing it and shaking it well. Voilá – that’s Entourage. Even though I found it aesthetically appealing, I wouldn’t get it to work. It would fail me complaining about not having the correct root certificate installed. That’s good old Microsoft software, I thought – and moved on.

Microsoft Entourge on Tiger OSX

Nice interface, but doesn’t work.

Next alternative that I had downloaded once upon a time onto my external hard disk was Mailsmith. It’s a Mac native software from Bare Bones Software (the guys that did TextWrangler and BBEdit). It’s free since 2009. I had to do a bit of trial & error to come up with version 2.2.5, which is the last one that runs on OSX Tiger.

While the Mailsmith’s development seems to have slowed down, this was the one that I really liked interface-wise. The menu bars look like directly stolen from OSX 10.2 and the whole interface is classic Mac. If you’re with Macintosh computers for a long time, you sure remember the days when Mac software came in sort of a modular design. It featured many multiple windows that you could drag and position to wherever you like on the screen. Basically, allowing you to create the Interface YOU prefer for working. Mailsmith features that and that immediately made us friends.

Mailsmith 2.2.5 for Tiger OS X

Unfortunately, that is about all it features. For example: There’s no support for HTML e-mails, just plain text. Got an HTML e-mail? Click on the browser icon and have it open up in your browser. That might ensure compatibility, but I don’t like having to open my web browser for viewing an e-mail. Though I assume there are people who prefer plain text mails and might see that separation as an advantage. Might also be a good choice if you’re tracking aware and don’t want Marketers to know what you’re reading and clicking. In terms of speed I found it to be the fastest software and maybe that makes it a good choice for old G3s running Mac OS X Tiger.

Last but not least there is TenFourBird. Which is based on Mozilla’s Thunderbird and TenFourFox, adapted for our PPC Macs. Last version is 38.9, released in mid 2016 which makes this the youngster among the others. That’s good if you’re concerned about security and don’t want to put your trust into the security by obscurity concept. However, I don’t like Mozilla’s Thunderbird and I can’t exactly say why. I just know that this extends to whatever bastard children of Thunderbird. That said, I haven’t tried it yet but it’s good for those who like it, I suppose.

I wish someone would create a Eudora 7 for PowerPC Macintosh, but I know that this is very likely to remain a dream of Yours Truly.

TLDR: I haven’t found what I’ve been looking for. That is an e-mail program that offers both features, flexibility and is visually appealing enough for me. I will stick with Mailsmith 2.2.5 for now – because I like the philosophy behind it. I do know it’s probably not going to serve me very long, but I do like the others even less.

Do you know any other e-mailing alternatives for 10.4? Please share them with us in the comments below!

Posted in General | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

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 | 9 Comments

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 | 21 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

A KVM switch to the rescue…

This isn’t specifically related to Tiger, though I find that it might be of interest for some of you. Being averse to a cluttered desk I decided to buy a KVM switch.

k/v/m stands for keyboard, video and mouse. It’s a small little black box that you plug your VGA (or DVI) monitor cable, your USB keyboard and mouse. Then you connect the box to your Macs. In my case, the PowerMac G5 and the TiBook G4. After that, you may use the same keyboard, mouse & monitor for both computers. By pressing a single button you can switch between the systems, thus using one e.g. for office work while the other one is busy doing movie editing.

I usally keep my TiBook G4 booted in Mac OS 9 now while the G5 workhorse does my everyday work. The Aten CS682-AT I bought wasn’t specifically cheap (50 euros) but it is a quality product and doesn’t show any unreliability as it happens with those 15 euro switches.

I must admit that I’ve become so used to my Aten switch that I could hardly imagine ever doing without it again. It’s great for switching between a gaming and a productivity system or a retro and a modern system. If you haven’t tried it yet but you use two (or more) Macs at the same time, give it a try.

Posted in General | 1 Comment

Another new game for our “obsolete system”

When was the last time you remember a PowerPC exclusive Mac game was released? Well yeah, it has been some time. However, there are still good-spirited folks out there porting new software to our “obsolete systems”. One of them goes by the nickname “xeno74” and just finished porting the platform game “Open Surge”.

I rushed for the download and I got to say that it is really a good game. Apart from most open source games, it appears to be polished and comes with a nice intro movie. As old timers, we also recognize that this game bears a slight resemblance of the original Genesis (Mega Drive) game Sonic the Hedgehog.

I haven’t tried how this one works performance-wise on my 800Mhz TiBook, but on my G5 it runs perfectly fine with smooth graphics and sound. According to xeno74, it will run on every OSX system from 10.3.9 and up.

Download from here:

Posted in Games | Leave a comment