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.

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21 Responses to Um.. hello? Anyone there?

  1. kimtoufectis says:

    Still a few of us listening, appreciative of the longevity of our G4 macs, and interested to hear how others keep them in circulation…

  2. yskaya says:

    Happy to read your return 🙂 looking forward to future blogs. (I’m a binge reader and lurker, but since you asked if anyone was there, here I am 🙂 originally found your blog because I was helping someone still on tiger sort out network issues, we got it fixed. And I then stuck around here.)

  3. Lalaburg says:

    And another one.
    Well, I´m actually new to the exciting world of 10.4. (bought an Ibook G3 800 a couple of weeks ago), your blog is a blast to read, looking forward for more.

  4. I still use my powerbook 1.67 ghz (last powerbook model). I have upgraded the ram to the maximum 2gb, added an internal 240gb SSD from newworld computing and also added a PC-Card CF adapter for another 64gb of solid state storage. And for backup i have a firewire 800 cabinet with 4x 2tb HDD’s in raid. The browser situation was bad for a while there, but tenfourfox when using the optimization guide now runs perfectly fine and i have no problems at any site any more. I also dualboot the machine ofcourse for more up to date software (Debian PPC)

  5. john says:

    I am typing this reply on my Tibook, 867 MHz PowerPC G4. I have tiger installed and it runs great.

  6. eMac says:

    Hello from my eMac, 1GHz PowerPC G4 running OS X Tiger. I’m doing all my work for school on it and it works perfectly.

  7. Lars says:

    Welcome “back”!
    I´m enjoying a 15″ G4 PowerBook as my main machine for browsing the web (TenFourFox rules!), DVD playback and iTunes, all with Leopard. Recently installed the “mountain leopard” theme that brings some freshness to the vintage UI look.
    Also great is the iOS7 screen saver that has the hidden “feature” of being PPC compatible.
    Let´s rock our machines as long as possible in the era of NSA, BND and the rest of the paranoid tax-paid bunch.

  8. Lars says:

    …and forgot to mention: There´s also a PPC version of the brand new Libre Office (5.2.0) out there, very functional and useable!

  9. Doug says:

    Nice post! I have kept my MacMini G4 (same model) for all these years, and hope to “re-employ” it as a music server soon.

  10. Dave says:

    Put Coreplayer on that Mac Mini and 720p playback shall be yours. Put Ubuntu MATE 14.04 PowerPC on it and…..slower everything shall be yours.

  11. Normen Wohner says:

    Seems I’m on the slow side with my G3 at 400 Mhz, but anything except youtube actually works quite well. That whole Youtube Dilemma btw. do you have got any suggestions on how to get around that? I was already thinking about writing an App myself by now.

    Anyways, good to see you back, I followed you quietly over the years, happy about all your really good suggestions!

  12. melinamoggia says:

    hello Im here in Argentine . love roar tiger in my G4 400 . work fine with Applework, awesome soft for me .

  13. Mark Alling says:

    I have a Quad-G5 running 10.4 and glad to her your back.

  14. Graham says:

    Powerbook G4 550mhz PISMO, 16gb CF SSD, 1gb Ram, 10.4.11. I’ve trimmed the system down as much as possible to gain maximum speed. Tiger runs very well. 🙂

  15. Philip 2 says:

    Hmm well I am a definate TIGER enthusiast, and prefer Tiger 10.4 to any other OS (and that inludes other Mac os’s). And from previous post I can see that some struggle with speed issues. It has taken me years to get my Mac up to almost the same speed as more modern (intel) macs. I do this mostly through ‘prunning’ non essentiall start-ups (1) and trimming system fonts. (2) I only ‘activate’ fonts I actually use on a job by job basis. (3) Plus I clear all system junk regularly and even go so far to prioritise the system disk and optimise the directory structure. (4) I monitor Ram usage to avoid going into ‘virtual’ (5) Delete programs you don’t frequently use (Save all instaltion on a seperate large ‘back-up’ USB drive i.e 1TB opr more. (6) Use a faster browser such as the TenFourFox is essential (as are something called FoxBoxes). (7) Install the QT plug in for TenFourFox for video playback. For those that have the patience here is what you need to install and checkout. Only do them one by one and don’t blame me if your Mac stops (for any reason). I have used almost all of these utilites for the past ten years. So install and beware:

    > Check CONTROL PANELS and check your ACCOUNTS for start ups that you can disable.
    You can always switch them back on again if you think it makes no difference!

    (1) DISABLE FONT USAGE using DIABLOTIN (you can download it here). Run through Start-ups and Fonts that you no longer need.
    (2) Activate only fonts you need. I use Extensis Suitcase but you can get free alternatives that do the same thing. Try Linotype:
    (3) Use Clean-my-Mac for PPC (it does most of what you need on the demo version plus free up
    disk space.
    I also use ONYX as it uses ‘prebinding’ which speeds up the start up of programs.
    This can sort out a range of UNIX based problems. Make sure you use the correct version for TIger.
    (4) Check your RAM usage:(iFreeRam) Shareware utilty. Possibly discontinued now.
    (5) Delete programs (apps) you don’t need (you can do that in Clean-my-Mac (above) but you can also use this Mac uninstaller:
    (6) Use TenFourFox (and checkout the exact version for your model G3, G4 or G4+) and whilst your at it checkout (on the site) the (essential) QT enabler for Video playback (using Apple QuickTime).
    (7) Use PPMC version 6 or later, Currently v6.6 for video (using Quicktime). Install.
    I found this on PC luddite (latest update also found here).
    Finally (although there are some others I could recommend) I prefer MacJanitor for speedy clean up of old cache files (use on a weekly basis). Faster than using ONYX (above)

    Other tools I use are ‘iDefrag’ to prioritise disk start up and optimise system (as new). But had to buy it. Also I still use DISKWARRIOR which I use to optimise the directory and check for errors. It was at one time an essential start up disk. It also speeds up disk acces by about 25Mhz ( a lot on a slow machine).

    I also deleted Apple Spotlight entirely (as it slows down machine) And all Apple Widgit and installation of all Apple widgits entirely are system removed. I have never used any of them. You can try this: DISABLE TIGER FEATURES which is shareware> although you”ll have to web search for it.. I also replaced Apple’s Spotlight with “Easy Find’ which is much, much faster.

    Well I do have more but its getting late and maybe this will help keep those old PPC alive and usable. I use mine every day and I have not even gotten around to recommending the most useful utilty of the lot and its called APPLEJACK. Now that really that is at your win risk!!! But it does most things above and in terminal boot (start up) mode. Make sure you use the correct version for your Mac OS. Developed by those clever people at MIT.

    Goodnight and good luck to all PPC users.

    • Andrew says:

      I am not exactly sure what “Philip 2” means when he says he “deleted Apple Spotlight entirely”—but I would highly advise against trying to delete Spotlight, as it is essential for many OS X features. If you are frustrated that Spotlight indexing slows your Mac, then you may want to do what I do on my old Mac running OS X Tiger: I turn off Spotlight indexing on the startup disk, and then I only turn it on occasionally before I go to bed at night, so that it indexes while I am sleeping, and then I turn it off again. The Terminal command for turning off Spotlight indexing on your startup volume is (without quotation marks): “sudo mdutil -i off /“. To turn it on again: “sudo mdutil -i on /“. For more information, see the man page for mdutil: “man mdutil“. EasyFind, which Philip mentioned, is an excellent graphical interface to the Unix find command, but it is an adjunct to Spotlight, not a replacement for Spotlight.

  16. latefuthark says:

    I still occasionally come back to Tiger. But absolutely invaluable for AppleWorks files, which still has no viable translator. I brought my 12″ powerbook w Tiger as travel computer a year ago, and decided that this was the last time. Too many things that became a hassle, whilst travelling. Fine to fiddle at home, when there is no pressure, but finding solutions whilst on the road is too time consuming. Mind you: The solutions are there!

    I am very happy that this site is still up. I hope you still have fun with Tiger 😀

  17. Andrew says:

    I have the same model Mac mini “with a powerful 1.5 Ghz G4 CPU, 1 GB RAM and a 64 MB ATI Radeon 9200” that you have, and I still run OS X 10.4 Tiger on it. This Mac mini is my favorite desktop PowerPC Mac ever made—the combination of small size and good performance is the best. I used this G4 daily for many years, but I don’t use it often now since I now have, sitting next to it, a 2012 Mac mini with a 2.6 Ghz quad-core i7 CPU with 16 GB RAM and SSD that I use every day. I still use the Mac mini G4 to play DVDs since the Mac mini i7 does not have a built-in DVD drive. What is amazing about the Mac mini G4 is that it easily powers the same 24-inch 1080p (1920×1080 px) display (manufactured in 2015) that I use with my i7 Mac mini. 1080p was a big display back in 2005 when the Mac mini G4 was made! It is impressive that the Mac mini G4 can power, at full resolution, a display that was manufactured a decade after the computer was manufactured! OS X Tiger was an operating system that was ahead of its time, and it is still completely usable today (2017) for basic tasks, thanks to the still-maintained TenFourFox web browser, and to Tiger-compatible versions of software such as Adobe Creative Suite, BBEdit, BibDesk, MacTeX, OmniOutliner, Scrivener, Skim, etc.

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