View Full Version : use for iMac powerPC

Jun 28, 2011, 06:45 PM
I inherited my parent's powerPC iMac. Like a fool I reformatted it to erase all their data. Now I'm unable to install the "everyday" applications on there because I can find versions for a powerpc.

I can't get netflix, hulu, flash, chrome, boxee, or firefox to install on it, nor can I find out where to download it. I'm not even able to log into my school's online course material because I don't have Flash 10 installed.

What good is this thing for?!?!?!?

putting in a DVD and using it as a tv?

sorry, just bummed that I finally thought I had a computer and now I'm right back to where I was... :(

Any suggestions?

Jun 28, 2011, 06:48 PM
There's a lot of stuff that won't work on a PPC machine. You might be able to get Flash to work decently if you have a G5, but otherwise, it's very outdated.

Jun 28, 2011, 06:54 PM
There are lots of games, plus if it is sufficiently new, you can run iTunes to play your media. I still use a PPC Mac (PBG4) as by day-to-day computer.

Most everything you listed requires an Intel Mac, but you can run FF 3 or Flash 8 without issue, but flash games won't be worth it, except FB Poker.


Jun 28, 2011, 07:32 PM
What version of OS X is it running? Also is it a G3,4, or 5?

Jun 28, 2011, 07:46 PM
There is an early Flash 10 for G4's/G5's, but it was very buggy with horrible performance and most users preferred previous versions. I also think it takes some digging around to find the version of Flash 10 that "works" on PPC Macs, it's not on the Adobe website anymore as far as I can tell.

You really have to do a few tweaks to get better video performance, but Netflix isn't a possibility because it requires Microsoft Silverlight, a Flash-like alternative that is not compatible with any PPC Mac.

But you can use an optimized browser to make surfing better, and to some extent streaming videos a little better, either TenFourFox (http://www.floodgap.com/software/tenfourfox/) or Camino (http://www.rpm-mozilla.org.uk/builds/camino/), both have specific builds for whichever processor your iMac has (just post what it is and we'll help you with which version browser to download).

You should also go to youtube.com/html5 and opt in at the bottom of the page to the HTML 5 trial. That will make youtube videos that have HTML 5 versions available play in HTML rather than Flash, which is a poorly created plug in no matter what computer you are on. HTML will play in Safari or either of the TenFourFox/Camino builds (I'm pretty sure it works in Camino, if I'm wrong someone please correct me).

You could/should also use MacTubes (http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/28608/mactubes) to actually get the best performance of Youtube videos. It's a free app. You search in MacTubes for the Youtube video you want to play or download. You can play them using Quicktime instead of Flash (change the settings in MacTubes) and even an older slow PPC can play non-HD videos decently.

Also, download and install Perian (http://perian.org/), a Quicktime plug-in that will help play formats Quicktime normally doesn't. It's also free.

Finally, if you have actual video files you have downloaded or ripped, you should use MPlayer to play them. There are some tweaks in the settings to make it play back videos better if you are using a PPC Mac. (MPlayer has a G4 optimized version (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1129727), not sure if there is a G5 optimized version, can anyone help with that?)

In short, there is still plenty of life in your iMac, no matter if it is a G4 or G5, but the biggest sacrifice is quality of streaming video. And for most PPC Mac's, streaming HD videos just isn't going to happen, but that doesn't mean you can't play 720p HD files that you've downloaded or ripped, those generally play well on all but the slowest/older PPC Macs or Macs that do not have much RAM, as long as you use MPlayer or Quicktime.

You can find out everything about your iMac by clicking on the Apple logo in the top left corner of your screen, then click About This Mac. If you click on More Info at the bottom of that window you'll get access to tons of information, but the About This Mac window shows what CPU you have and how much RAM, as well as what version operating system you have, (ex. 10.4.11, 10.5.8, etc.). Post all of that here to get more specific help. Make sure you've run all of the Apple Software Updates to get to the most current build of whatever operating system you are on. 10.4.11 is the last version of Tiger, 10.5.8 is the last version of Leopard.

Some other older Mac programs can be downloaded here: http://mac.oldapps.com/

Jun 28, 2011, 09:02 PM
What version of OS X is it running? Also is it a G3,4, or 5?


cocacolakid, thank you for that list. I think i'm mostly bummed that I cant netflix, hulu, or do my online classes on it :/

Jun 28, 2011, 09:16 PM
Since it's a G5, there's some hope! For a web browser, I suggest Camino, it has a built in ad blocker and is super fast.

tom vilsack
Jun 29, 2011, 03:23 AM
i run flash on my ibook G4 1.33 runs fine for me....using with tenfourfox

edit found it....best i can tell your gonna need to dl the 126mb file and then find within the dl


Cox Orange
Jun 29, 2011, 11:08 AM
@ OP: you can find out what exact model you have by clicking on the apple (left hand upper corner), then "about this Mac" and maybe you want to click on further information.

Go here to find out what flash player version you have allready installed: http://www.adobe.com/software/flash/about/ (look at the left side).
(version seems to be the last PPC-Version)

I still use firefox3 on an old ibook G4 with 1,33GHz!
For watching youtube videos you have to
1. either change to 240p (in order to have no "slideshow"-effect) or
2. use the following solution with Safari (which is on your Mac allready): http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1165611

You can use TenFourFox instead of Firefox3, I found sites loading faster (then on FF3 and Safari), but youtube was worse then under Firefox3 (though they use the same Flashplugin)
-> http://www.floodgap.com/software/tenfourfox/

btw for G4-Users, Zen.state has found this http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1173421

Jun 29, 2011, 02:31 PM
Since it's a G5 iMac it's still worth some money, you could always sell it and buy either an Intel based Mac or (gulp) a Windows or Ubuntu machine.