Best way to view YouTube on PowerBook G4?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by bsamcash, Jul 25, 2016.

  1. bsamcash macrumors regular

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    Jul 31, 2008
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    Santa Cruz, CA
    #1
    Hey peeps,

    So I have a 1.67 high resolution PowerBook G4 that doesn't really get any use anymore. I'm thinking about giving it to my mom who currently doesn't have a computer and just wants something for basic web browsing and YouTube. I know there are some OS X optimization a that can be done to make the experience serviceable, but I'm up for even installing a separate OS if anyone knows of any Linux distros that are more optimized.

    Thanks.
     
  2. MysticCow macrumors 6502a

    MysticCow

    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    #2
    Best advice is to go to the pawn shop, get a cheap ass laptop (one nearby sells pretty good ones for $75), and let her use it. Install a very easy Linux variant if you like.

    You can let her use that PPC Mac, but you'll get questions every five minutes about why it's running so hot from just Youtube.
     
  3. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #3
    Quickest and easiest for Youtube if you're running Leopard and Safari is to install ClickToPlugin - it will "pop out" the Youtube video and play it in Quicktime with no stuttering or lag.

    No Linux or other OS is more optimised for your Powerbook than OSX if you're looking for easy use - though If you're prepared to put the time in and get everything set up, Debian is almost as fast as OSX.
     
  4. swamprock macrumors 6502

    swamprock

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    Michigan
    #4
    The later 15" Powerbooks run Youtube quite well under a slim install of linux (Debian/Openbox). You won't get hi-def video at more than a stuttering clip, but 480p plays reasonably well. The only issue is, well, setting the machine up with linux. If you have the time and energy to do so, they're decent linux machines.

    Barring that, Tiger runs at a nice clip, and HTML5 video on YouTube isn't too painful.
     
  5. bobesch macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Kiel, Germany
    #5
    That Powerbook will be great for her - go on!
    I'd max out RAM to 2GB.
    Browser1: webkit4leopard, ClickToPlugin for 380p video playback in QT, as Dronecatcher mentioned
    Browser2: TenFourFox with some of the enhancements mentioned here in the forum
    TenFourFoxBox for her favourite sites (G-maps etc.)
    Email: the native client
    iPhoto: to hold nice family-pictures
    iTunes: for favourite music and web-Radio

    It will be the perfect machine for newbies and I bet it'll be the computer and OS with the least likelyhood to get daily requests for help.
    Especially if you create for her a separate user-account which will focus on her needs and includes some restrictions to prevent accidental changes of the dock or other essential things.
    You may also set-up TeamViewer7 to assist her on demand.
    Thumbs up!
    I'm running my 'brandnew' 15" PB since only a few days and I love it's performance - it will be a great present!
    --- Post Merged, Jul 25, 2016 ---
    I've just tried YouTube with 'WebKit' => 'ClickToPlugin' => direct streaming with Quicktime.
    The Powerbooks temperature lies 5-10°C higher than compared to the
    'WebKit' =>'ClickToPlugin' => download 380p video => playback with CorePlayer
    so I'd suggest that way. It's also very convenient and easy to use and less power consuming.
     
  6. bsamcash thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    #6
    Thanks everyone for the replies!

    I will definitely be testing this out!

    I was looking into this and it looks like a major pain to get Debian running smoothly. I tried Ubuntu before and even that was a nightmare.
     
  7. crammedberry, Jul 25, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016

    crammedberry macrumors regular

    crammedberry

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    The Golden State
    #7
    Debian isn't as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Yes if you're just doing it blind then you're gonna run into a lot of issues, but there are some great guides out there, specifically tailored to powerpcs that will help get everything working.

    One thing Linux doesn't like is nVidia graphics, which isn't a problem for you on the powerbook that has an ATI card, which has great linux compatibility.

    If you don't mind spending a couple hours setting it up, linux WILL run faster than OSX. I installed Debian on an iBook G3 and it could run youtube natively under QupZilla, which is a VERY lightweight browser for Debian PPC.

    You can use this guide to help you along if you're up for it:

    http://ppcluddite.blogspot.com/2012/03/installing-debian-linux-on-ppc-part-i.html

    Once set up with all the necessary code tweaks, it will be a much more fuild system than OSX. If all your mom is using it for is web browsing then it will be very capable for years.

    P.S. Don't use Ubuntu, even on new Intel machines it is possibly the slowest linux distro I've ever used.
     
  8. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #8
    I really do not know what happened to Ubuntu, as it used to be so great. It seems to me that after 10.04 it became a bloated mess! Since Ubuntu is backed by Canonical and has an entire ecosystem there is no reason they couldn't be a major OS player, but sadly by making it progressively worse they alienated themselves from OEMs. A shame really...
     
  9. swamprock, Jul 25, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016

    swamprock macrumors 6502

    swamprock

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    Michigan
    #9
    THE definitive guide. Once I was able to use and understand this guide to install Wheezy (and later, Jessie), it encouraged me to explore Debian further, and I've learned a LOT more since then. It's amazing to me that not only is linux so infinitely customizable, you can run (within reason) a modern OS on an ancient computer; in my case, my 300mhz Wallstreet Powerbook; and make it reasonably usable. The TiBook was quite a challenge due to the weird video resolution and chip, but I figured it out, again using ppcluddite's guide.

    I now run Jessie on all of my Powerbooks and both of my Macbooks, leaving only my iBook G3 (OS 9 and 10.4.11), my 2008 iMac (El Capitan), my 2009 MB Pro (El Capitan), my G5 (10.4.11) and my Bondi iMac (OS 9) running Mac OS.

    The Bondi (with a 333mhz processor card) is next...
     
  10. Dronecatcher, Jul 26, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2016

    Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    #10
    Where there any extra tricks used to get Debian to move faster than OSX?
    I've done many Linux installs (all following the PPCLuddite guide) - my last was Debian on my 1.67 17 DLSD PB.
    Running Openbox, I'd optimistically say it was as fast as OSX but what made me go back were poor video playback above 360P, occasional lock ups, boot manager stopped working and the mouse pad couldn't be made fluid - despite spending a long time trying to configure it better.
     
  11. crammedberry macrumors regular

    crammedberry

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    The Golden State
    #11
    Much of that could be solved by some fixes. Debian on its own once installed without any modifications runs, but it's "only" as fast as OSX largely due to the fact that there is no native 3D acceleration, so the CPU does everything. Once you've installed some tweaks and the mesa drivers needed for your specific card, it makes it very fluid. Also there are some fixes for the mouse pad. I got it running perfectly with ppcluddite's guide, sound, bluetooth, you name it. There's quite a number of things you have to do to get it to work properly but once that's done Debian flies.

    Watching youtube videos inside a browser fluidly on a 600MHz iBook would be unheard of in OSX. Loading *full* websites, without any scripts being blocked faster than any tweaks we could ever implement here is also possible with Debian. Of course for all this you have to trade OSX but you get modern OS support, modern programs all compiled for the architecture – and if they aren't you can get the source and get them yourself. In the end once support ceases completely for PPCs I think you might see a growing following for linux on old macs. I've already put Debian on a CoreDuo Mac that seems like it's reaching EOL status as even mozilla, the last supported browser, plans on dropping support for 10.6.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 26, 2016 ---
    It's amazing how much you learn once you really get into it, and it's fun too! I never really pictured myself memorizing all these commands for the console but eventually they just come naturally and it's quite satisfying. I've had a fascination with Debian since I was a teenager, back then of course it was much harder than it is today as they've at least attempted to make installations somewhat easier. The efficiency and flexibility of Debian is remarkable with raw performance that I've never seen beat by any other operating system!
     
  12. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    Lincolnshire, UK
    #12
    I guess we'll have to agree to disagree :)
    I spent an entire weekend setting up my Powerbook with Debian, hunting down every fix for every issue - all the basic "get everything working" was quick and no problem but trying to get up to speed was. The cranky mousepad really spoiled things (yes, I tried the fixes) as it gives you a bad UI experience if you're struggling just to click on something.
    I'll no doubt try again at some point.
     
  13. crammedberry macrumors regular

    crammedberry

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    #13
    Sometimes there aren't fixes for some machines and that's unfortunate, but if you can get it to work it's great. For your powerbook though everything should have worked. If you try again, look through the guide, I think it's the last part that details some trackpad fixes. It's also possible you may not even need a fix now since it might already be written in the kernel – here's to hoping. My PowerBook has an nVidia card, and worse yet – and OLD nVidia card, which Debian hates so I don't keep linux on it since no matter how much I've tried you have to do so many kernel modifications to get it to run just "okay" and it's still a pain most of the time. iBooks and PowerBooks with Radeon cards I've never had any trouble with. G5s are also a bit problematic at times, though there are workarounds.
     
  14. hellothere231 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    #14
    I also have Debian (testing) on my Powerbook G4, which I've dualbooted with Mac OS X. It's got a nice little setup (openbox + tint2), but I would be using it more over OS X if I could get these three issues fixed:

    Better hotkey support (currently can't change volume from hotkeys or anything else, but brightness works fine)
    Getting Debian to detect the battery (i have found a "workaround" however, and that is flipping the computer around and pressing the battery status button)
    Getting the Mobility Radeon 9700 working fully with 3d acceleration (currently suffers from the default depth bug, but installing the patched Ubuntu MATE debs does make it usable. many games do not run with these drivers though, and some just crash the system)

    Everything else is really nice, though. It browses the web quite happily using LuaKit (noticeably faster than Leopard-Webkit), and using a script to funnel Youtube videos into MPV, it pretty much does most of the things I want it to do.
     
  15. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    #15
    You can configure Conky to read your battery:

    http://ppcluddite.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/getting-conky-to-display-your-ibook-or.html

    Have you tried mplayer for video? On my Powerbook with Debian it was incredibly efficient at 360P - not so at 720P though.
     
  16. hellothere231 macrumors regular

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    Sep 13, 2012
    #16
    Conky gives me a segmentation fault. I figured out what the reason was when I googled it, Conky didn't like my single core CPU, but I couldn't update to the latest version which fixes the problem through the Debian repository which kinda sucks. And no, I haven't tried mplayer yet on my Powerbook, but on an old Pentium M era Thinkpad R51 running Lubuntu, it ran very well, where MPV didn't want to run well because its graphics card wasn't OpenGL 2.0 compatible. MPV gives me good enough performance as it is, but I am really only viewing the videos in 380p anyways, so I may as well switch to mplayer and give it a shot.
     
  17. 8692574 Suspended

    8692574

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    #17
    The best way is to look facing at the screen.....:p

    EDIT:
    On a serious note I would too pick a cheapo windows laptop...it is probably better / faster, the battery is new (in case she use it on her bed )....and has warranty.
     
  18. bsamcash thread starter macrumors regular

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    Santa Cruz, CA
    #18
    Dang. A lot happened here while I was sleeping. I think I may give Debian a try. Will any desktop manager other than Openbox run smoothly? I've always felt it was kind of ugly.
     
  19. hellothere231 macrumors regular

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    Sep 13, 2012
    #19
    I've found that LXDE works well, and XFCE isn't too far behind. I also tried MATE, but it was pretty laggy for some odd reason on my Debian install.
     
  20. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    #20
    The default Debian (Gnome IIRC) looks great and actually uses few resources in this implementation.

    Wheezy.png
     
  21. crammedberry macrumors regular

    crammedberry

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    #21
    I found gnome to look great but be a bit taxing on older systems – and openbox too limited (I know it really isn't but it feels that way). Personally I thought xfce was a great compromise as it still retained that sense of the classic desktop and you can make it extremely lean.
     
  22. swamprock, Jul 26, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2016

    swamprock macrumors 6502

    swamprock

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    #22
    (Pre-coffee stream of consciousness thoughts follow...)

    The one thing that I do when installing is to ignore one of ppcluddite's steps, and that's selecting ANYTHING when tasksel runs. I leave all of the selections blank, and build my system from pure console. I figure, start with almost nothing and the chances of picking up any incidental cruft is lessened.

    I haven't had any of the trackpad motion problems on any of my machines, other than Debian not supporting the later USB-based trackpads for two-finger scrolling (or any other gestures). I haven't been able to climb that hill just yet. It could just be my particular machines don't have those issues, though.

    I've grown to really like Openbox. It takes a lot more configuration and customization, and you're limited to single-color window buttons and no rounded corners, but the former is fun to me and the latter isn't that big of a deal. It's just so fast and lean that I can't personally see using anything else. I like some of XFCE's features, like the power manager, panel, notifications, and its plugins, so I use those instead of tint2 or lxpanel.

    There are some compromises to be made for sure (hibernate instead of suspend if 3D acceleration is wanted, Conky for battery life display, no "pretty" login/logout/restart/shutdown boxes under Openbox without installing Gnome cruft, etc), but I can live with them.

    I'll record and post a video of my hobbled 1.5ghz Powerbook G4 (typical ram slot issue) running the setup I've described sometime later today. I'm having some issues with sound within browsers that I need to fix first.

    BTW, Firefox ESR is now available for Debian (apt-get install firefox-esr). Midori is updatable through Jessie Backports to 0.5.11, and the latest kernel runs fine on PowerPC once you install linux-base from Backports.
     
  23. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

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    #23
    I'd like to try Debian soon on my 12" PowerBook. The only problem is the FX5200 :(
     
  24. crammedberry macrumors regular

    crammedberry

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    #24
    Yeah it's unfortunate that the FX5200 is so problematic. It's the only reason I don't run it on my PowerBook and just have Debian on my iBooks. Though my PB is my favorite PPC Mac and if there was every a fix I would jump on it fast. Sadly though, the FX5200 is now considered legacy so there probably isn't gonna be much more development to make it work better under linux, we might just be out of luck on that one.
     
  25. swamprock macrumors 6502

    swamprock

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    #25
    I considered getting a 12" Powerbook for a small footprint linux machine, but decided that the hurdles are just too high. As a compromise, I'll be getting the last 12" iBook G4 (1.33 ghz) and trying it out on that machine instead, since it has an ATI chip. The tradeoff is the hardware failure risk, but what the hell... they're cheap enough. I've got this Mercury Legacy SSD sitting here waiting for it...
     

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