A few questions before converting from PPC to Intel

Hellseeker

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 18, 2007
34
0
I'm writing this on behalf of my dad who is currently looking to buy a new 27" iMac. He has been a Mac user for roughly fifteen years and in the meantime he has built up quite a collection of databases and edited home videos.
Before spending a bucket load of gold on a new Mac, there are a few things he'd like to know.

1) Practically everything he has made is in the old ClarisWorks format, which hasn't been a problem so far since he's still running a five year old G4 with a PPC processor. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to find a way to properly convert those old database files (containing pictures) into a newer, more future-proof format. Switching to an Intel platform would, as far as I know, mean a permanent good-bye to Claris/AppleWorks, so... you get the point. Bento should do the job, but it doesn't convert the pictures (if that makes much sense, I'm simply telling you what my dad told me), so he needs a program that does.

2)
He isn't sure which model he needs. I know this has been asked a gazillion times, but for video and photo editing purposes, should he go for the i7 /4850 model, or just the C2D / 4670 ? I have absolutely no idea what to advise him. The fact that his G4 has only lasted 5 years is bugging him a lot, since his first one (don't remember the model) still worked fine when he threw it away last year, 16 years old. I would think that hardware-wise, the i7 is a lot more future-proof than the C2D, but that's just me. He does want a 27" though. I would think the extra 258 mb of vram will be put to good use for that insane screen resolution.
I know 5 years is a lot to expect from a computer these days...

The reason he is upgrading is because his G4 is starting to act up. Programs quit for no apparent reason (especially Safari). We tried upgrading the memory, reinstalling the OS, everything we could think of, with no luck.

3)
He has still got some old programs for OS 7, which he uses regularly with no problems by switching to OS 9. However, the OS 9 emulator does not work on Intel platforms / Snow Leopard, right? Any way to solve this problem?

I think that's it for now. I might be adding more questions later. For now I'd be happy if I could just get some of the above ones answered :)
 

TSE

macrumors 68030
Jun 25, 2007
2,992
610
St. Paul, Minnesota
For the OS 7/9 programs, there is a program made for Mac OS X named Sheepshaver, which basically runs it through emulation. It is kind of complicated to get running, but it works pretty well.

If you are looking to future proof and have it last another 5 years like you said, the i5 or i7/4850 would be the way to go.

Good luck and I respect people who keep/regularly use their computers for 5+ years at a time, as I do that with mine. Used an iMac G3 as my primary desktop from 1999-2006. :)
 

thegoldenmackid

macrumors 604
Dec 29, 2006
7,772
5
dallas, texas
I'll try to answer number two. This may sound stupid, but perhaps get a Mac Pro from the refurb store. Not the top of the line, but something similar in price. The Mac Pros seem to have a better history on the forums of lasting longer and they are expandable. If he is hell-bent on the iMac: he is jumping from a G4 - it's not going to matter.

As always, future-proofing is a myth and not economical.
 

TSE

macrumors 68030
Jun 25, 2007
2,992
610
St. Paul, Minnesota
A decent iMac that would last him a decent 5 years is going to cost him ~2200 dollars maybe (2400 if he buys the i7). A Quad MacPro without a screen is going to cost him ~2300 dollars with a decent graphics card, minus the screen and minus the form factor.

Expandable Mac Pros are only for professionals that need the specialized processors of the Mac Pro or need more than 4 cores (which is almost nobody), otherwise the Mac Pro is just a waste of space compared to an iMac.
 

California

macrumors 68040
Aug 21, 2004
3,766
41
What hard drives does your dad have in the G4?

Hard drives do wonky things when they are failing. Your dad is running Leopard with time machine back ups on the G4?

I haven't seen the 27" iMacs up close but just got my parents a refurbed mac mini and a 24" Cinema Display. The minis are great machines.

Hated the 21.5 iMac.
 

gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
16,574
3,153
1) Practically everything he has made is in the old ClarisWorks format, which hasn't been a problem so far since he's still running a five year old G4 with a PPC processor. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to find a way to properly convert those old database files (containing pictures) into a newer, more future-proof format. Switching to an Intel platform would, as far as I know, mean a permanent good-bye to Claris/AppleWorks, so... you get the point.
AppleWorks 6 seems to work just fine on my MacBook, except I've never used the database part of it.
 

Matty-p

macrumors regular
Apr 3, 2010
170
0
just an idea why not save the fuss of incompatability issues and simply go onto ebay and get a really top end powermac g5 (duel 2hgz,or duel 2.3ghz or maybe even quad 2.3ghz(those are really rare and expensive tho) for about $400-500 buy a 1tb drive (internal 3.5") (use the drive it came with probly 160gb as a back of the photos/database)($100) and then upgrade the ram to 16gb ddr2 (8*2gb)($200) then youll have a kick *ss g5 system with two fast prosessors (equivilent to the 3ghz c2d in the imac) 16gb ddr2 ram (way more (4*more) than the imac) and a fast 1tb boot/main drive with a back up drive(dont get the back up drive on the imac) for less than half of the imac and no compatibility problems:D well with the software he has at the moment
 

thegoldenmackid

macrumors 604
Dec 29, 2006
7,772
5
dallas, texas
A decent iMac that would last him a decent 5 years is going to cost him ~2200 dollars maybe (2400 if he buys the i7). A Quad MacPro without a screen is going to cost him ~2300 dollars with a decent graphics card, minus the screen and minus the form factor.

Expandable Mac Pros are only for professionals that need the specialized processors of the Mac Pro or need more than 4 cores (which is almost nobody), otherwise the Mac Pro is just a waste of space compared to an iMac.
The cost difference between the refurb and a mid-level Mac Pro refurb is minimal. You can pick up a decent size monitor pretty cheap.

Mac Pros aren't just for professionals. Most could probably get by with an iMac, but they chose the Mac Pro because it's more efficient. That's my logic. I'm not suggesting that his father needs the speed because if he has a G4, the solution below would be a tremendous upgrade in speed. The suggestion for the Mac Pro is because longevity. It's no secret the 27" iMacs aren't the greatest built machines. The Mac Pro is just built better and I think a stroll around the forums will prove this. Additionally, the iMac is great, except in the sense that if one thing breaks, you might be screwed. Monitor problems with the iMac after three years = new machine; monitor problems with the Mac Pro after three years = new monitor.

just an idea why not save the fuss of incompatability issues and simply go onto ebay and get a really top end powermac g5 (duel 2hgz,or duel 2.3ghz or maybe even quad 2.3ghz(those are really rare and expensive tho) for about $400-500 buy a 1tb drive (internal 3.5") (use the drive it came with probly 160gb as a back of the photos/database)($100) and then upgrade the ram to 16gb ddr2 (8*2gb)($200) then youll have a kick *ss g5 system with two fast prosessors (equivilent to the 3ghz c2d in the imac) 16gb ddr2 ram (way more (4*more) than the imac) and a fast 1tb boot/main drive with a back up drive(dont get the back up drive on the imac) for less than half of the imac and no compatibility problems:D well with the software he has at the moment
The reason against the PowerMac would be that the problems with the G4 likely extend to the G5. It's outdated and dropping $1,000 on a machine that most software is dropping support for isn't logical. In thee years, let alone three, the amount of software that is going to support PPC is going to be non-existent.
 

Coldmode

macrumors regular
Mar 10, 2010
167
23
What hard drives does your dad have in the G4?

Hard drives do wonky things when they are failing. Your dad is running Leopard with time machine back ups on the G4?
I really think this is something to look into if you're dad is still satisfied with the speed he's getting out of the machine. Drive Genius is a great program for finding out exactly what is going on with your drives.
 

Hellseeker

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 18, 2007
34
0
AppleWorks 6 seems to work just fine on my MacBook, except I've never used the database part of it.
It does? Hmm, I'll look into that. Didn't think it would work in leo.

For the rest of you, refurbs aren't an option since we live in Denmark. Sure Apple has gone through the trouble of setting up a refurb store for DK, but it sure would work a lot better if there was anything in it. It's empty. It's annoying really.

For the OS 7/9 programs, there is a program made for Mac OS X named Sheepshaver, which basically runs it through emulation. It is kind of complicated to get running, but it works pretty well.
Thanks, he'll be happy to hear that.

I don't recall the exact version of the OS he's running, but it's 10.4.x
Pretty sure it's lower than 10.4.9 which is the minimum requirement for Drive Genius

EDIT: I just realized that the i7 is an upgrade from the i5. He won't be getting the i7 model, to clear things up. It's either the i5 model with no additional upgrades or the C2D with no additional upgrades. Upgrading the graphics card in the C2D is stupid. Might as well pay that little extra and get a better cpu, too.
 

Matty-p

macrumors regular
Apr 3, 2010
170
0
The reason against the PowerMac would be that the problems with the G4 likely extend to the G5. It's outdated and dropping $1,000 on a machine that most software is dropping support for isn't logical. In thee years, let alone three, the amount of software that is going to support PPC is going to be non-existent.
yea i agree that wouldn't be a souloutuion for me but if is dad is still using 10 year old software now then well .... im thinking he wont mind using software that is a couple of years old any some decent doftware is still available for the ppc platform
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,663
5,777
I believe Filemaker Pro will open up old AppleWorks databases directly.

Not sure how pic files WITHIN those databases are handled.

I'd like to suggest that with whatever new Mac your dad gets, that he plan for a "transition period" of at least 6 months.

That is, plan on having BOTH the old and the new Macs set up and running during that time, over which he gradually moves the old-format files into newer ones. This will give him time to discover what works for him and what doesn't.

AppleWorks DOES run on an Intel Mac, although I've seen some font irregularities, particularly in the "entry bar" up above the document (database and spreadsheet module).
 

Hellseeker

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 18, 2007
34
0
I'd like to suggest that with whatever new Mac your dad gets, that he plan for a "transition period" of at least 6 months.

AppleWorks DOES run on an Intel Mac, although I've seen some font irregularities, particularly in the "entry bar" up above the document (database and spreadsheet module).
He is planning to do a slow transition, with both computers running side by side for some time.

Thanks people, you've been most helpful. I'll come back if more comes up