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mmphosis

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 3, 2017
217
292
Anyone concerned about modern Intel hardware? Is this one of the reasons you use PowerPC Macs?

"... the libreboot project recommends avoiding all modern Intel hardware. If you have an Intel based system affected by the problems described below, then you should get rid of it as soon as possible
. The main issues are as follows:
Intel Management Engine (ME)
...
Firmware Support Package (FSP)
...
CPU microcode updates
..."


https://libreboot.org/faq.html#intelme


https://www.slideshare.net/codeblue_jp/igor-skochinsky-enpub

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Active_Management_Technology
 

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
28,588
26,460
I use PowerPC because my first one was a gift and eventually became the only one at a certain point.

Upgrading when the first one died was only doable in my price range with PowerPC Macs and the price point enabled me to get the actual Mac models I had wanted back when they were new/expensive.

I stay with PowerPC because the Macs I have do what I need them to do.

I do have one Intel Mac, an MBP and a Thinkpad though. Both because they were in my price range.

If newer Intel Macs were also to be had for less than $100 I'd buy one.
 

AphoticD

macrumors 68020
Feb 17, 2017
2,282
3,452
If it were a cost thing alone, we'd all be running Windows on a second hand Dell or something tragic like that.

PowerPC is for the cool kids :cool:

It's no different to Amiga users standing by their preference. But it doesn't need to be exclusive and we still have A LOT of compatibility with modern systems (in comparison to Amiga). I work in a mixed machine environment each day, but it's all Mac OS X, and they all speak clearly to each other. Unfortunately High Sierra and APFS is the first to break away from this language, but for now, I have an easy workaround.

I think stubbornness and being stuck in one's way also play a role here... *ahem*

Take your stand! Revolt! :apple:
 

mmphosis

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 3, 2017
217
292
Yes, these days, definitely the price is right for PowerPC Macs. I've been given PowerPC Macs for free! In the past, I remember wanting a PowerBook G4. A few years ago, I was given one -- it is an awesome little laptop. And, definitely being able to run Mac OS X even if it is Tiger or Leopard is still better than the hoops I go through configuring XFCE -- being stubborn and stuck in my way: I swap Left Ctrl and Alt on the keyboard because I want my Apple / Command key back!

# setxkbmap -option ctrl:swap_lalt_lctl

I have two Intel Macbooks and they are dead, but the older PowerPC Macs keep on running. I get that avoiding modern Intel is the not the main reason for going with PowerPC Macs. There are so many other good reasons like price, usability, and being stuck in my way of using a Mac. Unfortunately, I still need to use the "cheap" (and crappy) Windows8 / Dell laptop because it runs the latest version of Flash and it runs faster than even my fastest PowerPC Mac. I've installed Linux with the XFCE desktop and it is good enough for my work requirements.

The Intel Management Engine (ME) is concerning to me and is just another reason to stick with using PowerPC Macs.
 
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Dronecatcher

macrumors 603
Jun 17, 2014
5,196
7,734
Lincolnshire, UK
If newer Intel Macs were also to be had for less than $100 I'd buy one.

Exactly this. I've previously been accused here of being a PowerPC zealot, clinging to PowerPC Macs in the face of logic but that's not the case.
I only buy a computer at what I consider a bargain price - whether it's a PowerPC or otherwise and in the past, PowerPC Macs could be had for silly prices but not so much now. The two Intel Macs I have are because they were too good to refuse - the iMac was mint and unused but as time rolls on I know I'll be buying more Intel simply because decent PPCs are now becoming expensive.
After being a compulsive "must have the latest and greatest" tech buyer in my past, I now have no intention of buying a brand new machine again - it's just throwing money down the drain and luckily, all my needs are met by my motley band of pre 2006 computers :)
 

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
28,588
26,460
Exactly this. I've previously been accused here of being a PowerPC zealot, clinging to PowerPC Macs in the face of logic but that's not the case.
I only buy a computer at what I consider a bargain price - whether it's a PowerPC or otherwise and in the past, PowerPC Macs could be had for silly prices but not so much now. The two Intel Macs I have are because they were too good to refuse - the iMac was mint and unused but as time rolls on I know I'll be buying more Intel simply because decent PPCs are now becoming expensive.
After being a compulsive "must have the latest and greatest" tech buyer in my past, I now have no intention of buying a brand new machine again - it's just throwing money down the drain and luckily, all my needs are met by my motley band of pre 2006 computers :)
It's a sliding scale…

At one point PowerPC was cheap, and some models still are. That's what I could afford.

As the move into rarity they become "collector's items" and the price goes up. But the first Intels Macs have been moving into that price range. I see older Intels for around $200, the one's that have survived all the early problems.

As those age out the cycle will most likely repeat.

As much as I do like my PowerPC Macs I don't seem them as functioning as my main computers for forever.
 
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mp2017

macrumors regular
Sep 24, 2017
123
58
Exactly this. I've previously been accused here of being a PowerPC zealot, clinging to PowerPC Macs in the face of logic but that's not the case.
I only buy a computer at what I consider a bargain price - whether it's a PowerPC or otherwise and in the past, PowerPC Macs could be had for silly prices but not so much now. The two Intel Macs I have are because they were too good to refuse - the iMac was mint and unused but as time rolls on I know I'll be buying more Intel simply because decent PPCs are now becoming expensive.
I picked up my Mac Pro 1,1 for $80.00 :)

After being a compulsive "must have the latest and greatest" tech buyer in my past, I now have no intention of buying a brand new machine again - it's just throwing money down the drain and luckily, all my needs are met by my motley band of pre 2006 computers :)
Possibly this is a factor of technology having reached a level where, for many people, the purchase of a new system won't improve on what they have today? Back in the day moving to new technology meant tangible gains. Today even an entry level system meets a lot of people's needs. There will always be those who need the latest but as technology has improved the number of people doing so has decreased. The sad thing is the older systems, such as the 1,1 and 2,1 Mac Pro systems are perfectly capable for many people even today. The only thing that has made them obsolete is Apple's discontinuation of supporting them with OS X. But under an alternative operating system they're still very capable systems.
 
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AphoticD

macrumors 68020
Feb 17, 2017
2,282
3,452
Take the good with the bad and enjoy it all for what it is. The Mac is a great tool for getting the job done and regardless of PowerPC, Intel or even ARM (if the Mac goes this way), Apple have provided IMO, the best ecosystem for the digital creative.

Now, whether this continues is up to Mr Cook and his team. Production has taken a back-seat to consumption since the iPad 1 hit 7 years ago.

Regardless of the direction Apple go with their products, I believe there's going to be enough of a second hand market of perfectly capable computers which can run our preferred software for at least the next two decades.

Hopefully all of tightly-knit Apple ID/iCloud integration won't render these current Macs unusable by the time Apple have dropped support for this tech and moved onto something else.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
28,588
26,460
T…Apple have provided IMO, the best ecosystem for the digital creative.
Here I must diverge.

The inability of any of my PowerPC Macs within Apple's ecosystem forced me to search for alternatives. Hence, Apple's ecosystem is a non-starter for me, even when utilizing the one Mac at work that is capable of using it.

I am invested in other services now.
 

AphoticD

macrumors 68020
Feb 17, 2017
2,282
3,452
I'm talking about the ecosystem as a whole, past and present.

PowerPC works in my computing environment for what I am using it for and it all remains in communication with or at least bridgeable with modern macOS.

Do you mean other services beside iCloud? or Mac OS?
 

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
28,588
26,460
I'm talking about the ecosystem as a whole, past and present.

PowerPC works in my computing environment for what I am using it for and it all remains in communication with or at least bridgeable with modern macOS.

Do you mean other services beside iCloud? or Mac OS?
I am active in the iPhone forum a lot here, so when you say 'Apple ecosystem' I am using the common understanding of that within that forum.

Handoff, iMessage, iCloud, iPhoto, etc., essentially Apple services. None of which PowerPC Macs could handle around the advent of iOS 6 and the change to the lightning cable.

It required my investigation of third party services. So my contacts and calendars are with Google, all my email accounts are IMAP, photos I use Dropbox with and iMessage I can cheat at because my iPhone is jailbroken and I have Remote Messages installed.

A lot of the other stuff I don't use because I'm either not interested, wouldn't take advantage of it, or just cannot use it.

Handoff for example. Nice concept, but I sit in front of one computer all day. I tend to take care of all my business with whatever that one computer happens to be.

I have AirServer so there is that, and we have an Airprint compatible printer at home that's also online via Google (I can print to it from Google Chrome anywhere) and is also available to Android phones.

So, really, from a micro point of view I have no dependency on Apple, short of iMessage and it's really not a big issue to go back to SMS/MMS if I ever have to.

From a Macro perspective as you seem to indicate, well yes. Apple's ecosystem and how my PowerPC/Intel Macs fit into my workflow does work for me.
 
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AphoticD

macrumors 68020
Feb 17, 2017
2,282
3,452
I am active in the iPhone forum a lot here, so when you say 'Apple ecosystem' I am using the common understanding of that within that forum.

Ok, I see what you mean. The term ecosystem is used in the iPhone context to cover the Apple cloud based services and how they are integrated.

I was trying to use the word to describe something along the lines of the tight-knit Mac software + hardware integration as it has been from the original Macintosh through to the latest and greatest. Coinciding with the comprehensive service and support of Apple and third party developers to create a system that for the most part, has always “just worked”.

When it comes to the iCloud services, I haven’t found myself needing them on my PowerPCs. In fact, I don’t even know if I still have them logged in/connected/synced. The only feature which comes to mind for Tiger or Leopard, which requires my Apple ID is iTunes Home Sharing. Every other iCloud service runs seamlessly behind the scenes on my iPhone and Intel Macs.

I know this is a bit of a tangent, but I canned my Apple Music service And iTunes in the Cloud subscription (or whatever it was called) because I realized it was a raw deal to keep having to pay, but never own anything. I kept my wife subscribed, because pop music is her thing and that works for her. But I have zero interest in top charts or “Now Trending” and every musician I want to support, I will find the best way to pay directly and not via a distribution service like iTunes, unless it’s for a major label alt-rock band from the 90s or something.

Don’t get me wrong, iTunes is a great music distribution service, and i’ve personally paid for iTunes distribution of everything I’ve published, but I’m also one of those rare people who appreciates a quality CD with printed artwork/photography/lyrics.

I am just glad I was never introduced to collecting vinyl. If it ever happens, I may be gone some time...
 
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eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
28,588
26,460
I know this is a bit of a tangent, but I canned my Apple Music service And iTunes in the Cloud subscription (or whatever it was called) because I realized it was a raw deal to keep having to pay, but never own anything. I kept my wife subscribed, because pop music is her thing and that works for her. But I have zero interest in top charts or “Now Trending” and every musician I want to support, I will find the best way to pay directly and not via a distribution service like iTunes, unless it’s for a major label alt-rock band from the 90s or something.

Don’t get me wrong, iTunes is a great music distribution service, and i’ve personally paid for iTunes distribution of everything I’ve published, but I’m also one of those rare people who appreciates a quality CD with printed artwork/photography/lyrics.

I am just glad I was never introduced to collecting vinyl. If it ever happens, I may be gone some time...
I was sent an invite when Google launched it's beta for Google Play Music.

At the time they supported PowerPC Mac and for the longest I was able to sync my iTunes library (playlists and all) up to their cloud.

That ended about a year ago when the APIs just flat out started to fail so I had to move my collection to my MBP. One of the reasons I went to iTunes 4.0 on the G5.

Google Play Music loads my stuff to the their cloud, so I own the music and whatever I add or delete to my library is reflected to Google Play and I can access and stream the content from anywhere.

Over 10GB of music that I can stream from my phone but it's not on my phone.

That's how I keep my music organized. :)
 

bobesch

macrumors 68020
Oct 21, 2015
2,121
2,188
Kiel, Germany
About 'valuable' Mac-hardware:
Currently a MacBookPro4,1 c2d 2,4GHz early-2008 (Silver-keyboard) with ElCapitan attached with an SSD meets all my needs to combine Cloud and legacy Macs and is my daily driver.
And it's gorgeous for listening to music (iTunes/BassJump), copes with all kind of video-streaming and fits my demand on VPN-connectivity and it sports USB 3.0 via ExpressCard for fast bootable backups.
Prices are about 100-120 EUR at their best and despite being fond of PPC-books, that model is my favorite, when it comes to the question about money for value... Battery-replacement comes at a reasonable price and batteries may last 4-5h. (No drainage like with the late-2008 models with black keyboard) If you'll find a working unit it's good to know that only the sturdy ones are still in a working condition yet.
Too bad, legacy PPC are cut off so many cloud-related things even if they could manage that kind of simple stuff with ease.
 
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bobesch

macrumors 68020
Oct 21, 2015
2,121
2,188
Kiel, Germany
I use PowerPC because my first one was a gift and eventually became the only one at a certain point.
Upgrading when the first one died was only doable in my price range with PowerPC Macs and the price point enabled me to get the actual Mac models I had wanted back when they were new/expensive.
I stay with PowerPC because the Macs I have do what I need them to do.
I do have one Intel Mac, an MBP and a Thinkpad though. Both because they were in my price range.
If newer Intel Macs were also to be had for less than $100 I'd buy one.

Take into account, that using the PowerMacs-G5 will increase carpenter bills ...!
 

philgxxd

macrumors 6502
Feb 11, 2017
405
335
Malaga, Spain
About 'valuable' Mac-hardware:
Currently a MacBookPro4,1 c2d 2,4GHz early-2008 (Silver-keyboard) with ElCapitan attached with an SSD meets all my needs to combine Cloud and legacy Macs and is my daily driver.
And it's gorgeous for listening to music (iTunes/BassJump), copes with all kind of video-streaming and fits my demand on VPN-connectivity and it sports USB 3.0 via ExpressCard for fast bootable backups.
Prices are about 100-120 EUR at their best and despite being fond of PPC-books, that model is my favorite, when it comes to the question about money for value... Battery-replacement comes at a reasonable price and batteries may last 4-5h. (No drainage like with the late-2008 models with black keyboard) If you'll find a working unit it's good to know that only the sturdy ones are still in a working condition yet.
Too bad, legacy PPC are cut off so many cloud-related things even if they could manage that kind of simple stuff with ease.

Wow. I just paid 500€ for a 17" MBP 4.1 2.6Ghz. That was sent to me from Germany. Another 15" MBP 2.5Ghz for 450€ I bought locally here in Spain. I know it's much and would I have known about the issues with the Nvidia 8800m GT video cards I wouldn't have bought it but there were both in perfect condition otherwise.
I think you can find them cheap but the ones I saw were really beaten up.
 
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star-affinity

macrumors 68000
Nov 14, 2007
1,916
1,213
Wouldn't the ”never to be patched” security holes in the software on PowerPC computers be of higher concern than IME? Or maybe not since no one is really writing malicious code for PowerPC nowadays?

Also a question to you PowerPC users: what do you use your computers for (i.e. what software)?
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,953
508
Inside
Wouldn't the ”never to be patched” security holes in the software on PowerPC computers be of higher concern than IME? Or maybe not since no one is really writing malicious code for PowerPC nowadays?

Also a question to you PowerPC users: what do you use your computers for (i.e. what software)?

Very likely yes. They're still very vulnerable to basic flaws in their 10+ year old UNIX subsystem and and general bugs in the OS. Depending on what internet browser they use can have drastic security concerns.
 

ctJunkman

macrumors newbie
Oct 24, 2017
9
9
Connecticut
Very likely yes. They're still very vulnerable to basic flaws in their 10+ year old UNIX subsystem and and general bugs in the OS. Depending on what internet browser they use can have drastic security concerns.
Most people don't put their computers directly on the internet by plugging a cable/dsl modem directly in to their computers anymore. Everyone has a router with NAT now-a-days. Because of this the outdated OS is less of an issue.

I agree the biggest threat would be though the web browser. Thank you to the TenFourFox people for making this way better.
 
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Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,953
508
Inside
That method of security only works if you know that your network is fully secure. Most end users don't have a fully secure network. Anything from a router with out of date firmware to an unpatched Windows 10 box can target your PowerPC Mac's OS from within your network.
 

2984839

Cancelled
Apr 19, 2014
2,114
2,239
Most people don't put their computers directly on the internet by plugging a cable/dsl modem directly in to their computers anymore. Everyone has a router with NAT now-a-days. Because of this the outdated OS is less of an issue.

I agree the biggest threat would be though the web browser. Thank you to the TenFourFox people for making this way better.

If you ever take your laptop to a public network, there are all kinds of bad things you can find. I was on vacation in Miami when the FREAK attack on OpenSSL was announced. I had a man-in-the-middle attack attempted on me the very next day on the hotel network.

Browsers are indeed a big target, but not the only ones. Any application that handles data from strangers has the potential to be vulnerable. PDF readers, media players, email clients, and even the "file" command are attack vectors, and if they have been neglected for over a decade, they are probably vulnerable.

The truth is that any version of OS X on a PPC computer is going to be a festering cesspool of vulnerabilities. The best bet is to simply not use it on untrusted networks. As @Intell points out, that can include your own.
 

AphoticD

macrumors 68020
Feb 17, 2017
2,282
3,452
If I have multiple non-secure Panther/Tiger/Leopard PowerPC machines sitting behind an Intel Mac running El Cap with the latest security updates from Apple, sharing it's internet connection from Wifi to Ethernet for the older machines, with the internet connection via a 2017 modem. And the older Macs are used only within this private network, with minimal web browser usage outside of the occasional (latest release) TenFourFox or WebKit use, are there any security risks which these PowerPC machines are introducing?

This is my setup and I'm genuinely curious as it sounds like a whole lot of propoganda warding people off using their older computers in case they are attacked. Is it any different to warning people not to leave their houses just in case they are stabbed or shot on the street?

I wouldn't do my online banking or taxes on my PowerPCs, but I do feel there is little risk of an attack and an even lower risk of PowerPC-targeted viruses as it is such a minority that it would hardly be worth anyone's time to attack.
 

ctJunkman

macrumors newbie
Oct 24, 2017
9
9
Connecticut
I have 2 vlans.
1 is for trusted stuff, it can reach the internet. The other is for IoT's and other crap that needs to be networked but I don't really trust. Internet access is granted only when needed.
A windows machine wouldn't be on my trusted vlan.
 
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