How do I use the Web on a PPC Mac?

ulrichburke

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 14, 2014
4
1
Dear Everyone.

Be gentle with me, I'm not a computer expert at all, I just got the opportunity to buy a PPC Mac for £50 so I did!

Thing IS - S-L-O-W doesn't even BEGIN to describe it on the Web. The poor thing can't handle the Internet for love nor money. You watch whatever site you click on painfully building up, almost pixel by pixel. If you then click on a link, you sit and watch a spinning beachball for 4-5 minutes, no joke, till it actually gets anywhere. If you're lucky. There's some sites - quite a lot, actually - that are totally unusable just because it cannot handle them.

So I'm back on my Windows XP SP3 PC that's about 14 years old and handles the Internet just fine! Ummm..... are all Applemacs THAT bad on the web? For real? I mean some of them cost a thousand pounds. My PC cost about £30 secondhand - not even reconditioned - and it works like a dream. I knew there had to be a reason WHY the world's PC based and not Mac based and I think I've just found it - isn't there ANY way to make a PPC Mac load a webpage without almost dying from the effort?? (And let you interact with it afterwards - it can take literally 5 minutes or MORE to open one E_mail on the PPC!)

Anyone got any ideas how to speed the poor darling up a little? I'm using the same Ethernet connection for both computers, but not simultaneously, only one's connected at a time. (So cable, not wi-fi. And the cable connection's fine on the PC, but on the Mac.....!!) Maybe that's why they had to go over to Intel?

Yours hopefully

Chris.
 

Hughmac

macrumors demi-god
Feb 4, 2012
4,049
15,301
Kent, UK
Hello, most computers were cutting edge when they were brand new, and this forum is all about helping old Macs to cope with today's standards.

It would help us a lot if we knew what model of Mac you've bought so please click the Apple logo in the top left corner of the menu bar and tell us what it says, or preferably upload a photo of the screen.

Cheers :)

Hugh
 

Hughmac

macrumors demi-god
Feb 4, 2012
4,049
15,301
Kent, UK
Sorry, I forgot to say, click on the Apple logo in the top left corner of the menu bar, then click on 'About This Mac'.
In the window that opens up, click on 'More Info' and let us know what you see or upload a photo of the screen.

Cheers :)

Hugh
 

CooperBox

macrumors 65816
Nov 28, 2010
1,246
1,270
France - between Ricard & Absinthe
Agree with comments above. We need to know what model PPC you have, the amount of memory, and what version of OSX (or OS9) you are using.
Depending on the model, a clean install of the most suitable OS, together with additional RAM memory, and TFF web browser could well transform your PPC. It certainly did with all my PPC's!
 

repairedCheese

macrumors regular
Jan 13, 2020
164
165
I would submit that if you're looking for speed, you want Leopard Webkit over TenFourFox, but that assumes you have a Mac that can run 10.5 well. And even then, it's also far less stable. Or, at least it is on my G5.
 

TheShortTimer

macrumors 6502
Mar 27, 2017
414
526
London, UK
Dear Everyone.

Be gentle with me, I'm not a computer expert at all...
Ok, noted. :)

So I'm back on my Windows XP SP3 PC that's about 14 years old and handles the Internet just fine!
The first issue to address is the importance that given that you're admittedly not a computer expert at all, you really shouldn't be using XP online. It was never that secure even when supported by Microsoft and they effectively abandoned the operating system in 2014. You're leaving yourself open to a variety of security issues by accessing the Internet via XP. If you can't update to a more recent version of Windows, consider switching to something like Linux Mint.

Ummm..... are all Applemacs THAT bad on the web? For real? I mean some of them cost a thousand pounds. My PC cost about £30 secondhand - not even reconditioned - and it works like a dream.
If they were all such poor performers on the web, how could Apple continue to sell computers annually? How would we access this forum on our Macs? One of my PPC Macs cost me £10 and it works like a dream. ;)

I knew there had to be a reason WHY the world's PC based and not Mac based and I think I've just found it...

Maybe that's why they had to go over to Intel?
I know that you asked us to be gentle with you but seriously? 😂

- isn't there ANY way to make a PPC Mac load a webpage without almost dying from the effort?? (And let you interact with it afterwards - it can take literally 5 minutes or MORE to open one E_mail on the PPC!)

Anyone got any ideas how to speed the poor darling up a little?
Yes there is but as others have already mentioned, once you've divulged more information about the specs of your Mac, we can offer suggestions on what you need to do.
 

AphoticD

macrumors 68000
Feb 17, 2017
1,959
2,579
Australia
@ulrichburke most G4 or G5 PowerPC Macs will perform just fine for web browsing once things have been tuned for performance.

You’ll want at least 1GB of RAM, Mac OS X 10.4.11, TenFourFox web browser and the FoxPEP config.

If you have Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.8 you also have the option of the Leopard WebKit browser, which can be a bit quicker at page rendering.

YouTube can be a struggle with most single core Macs like the PowerBook or iBook G4’s, so if you really need a smooth YT experience, I would recommend you go for a dual processor Mac like a G5 or Intel Core 2 Duo.
 

defjam

macrumors 6502a
Sep 15, 2019
795
731
Your experience mimics mine when it comes to browsing the web with a PPC Macintosh. I've attempted to tolerate browsing with one but just couldn't do it. I utilized Eric's TFF configuration file on my dual 2.3GHz PowerMac but it was still too sluggish for my tastes. My current single 1.8GHz PPC is an exercise in extreme patience. Because of this I no longer even attempt to use it on the web.

If anyone can help you have a better browsing experience with these old Macs the people in this forum can. They're quite knowledgeable and many of them browse the web using much less capable machines than the G5s I've used.
 
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repairedCheese

macrumors regular
Jan 13, 2020
164
165
Your experience mimics mine when it comes to browsing the web with a PPC Macintosh. I've attempted to tolerate browsing with one but just couldn't do it. I utilized Eric's TFF configuration file on my dual 2.3GHz PowerMac but it was still too sluggish for my tastes. My current single 1.8GHz PPC is an exercise in extreme patience. Because of this I no longer even attempt to use it on the web.

If anyone can help you have a better browsing experience with these old Macs the people in this forum can. They're quite knowledgeable and many of them browse the web using much less capable machines than the G5s I've used.
Seriously, Leopard Webkit. I know a lot of the people here swear by TenForFox, and it's great when you have nothing else, but if your PPC Mac is powerful enough to run Leopard, this will run circles around it, no tweaking needed. It simply flies on my dual 2.0 ghz G5, and even with the overhead of 10.5, runs better on my eMac than TFF does in 10.4.

Really Leopard Webkit's problems are that it's maybe a little likely to crash, and that extensions are just outright broken.
 

iluvmacs99

macrumors 6502a
Apr 9, 2019
541
360
Dear Everyone.

Be gentle with me, I'm not a computer expert at all, I just got the opportunity to buy a PPC Mac for £50 so I did!

Thing IS - S-L-O-W doesn't even BEGIN to describe it on the Web. The poor thing can't handle the Internet for love nor money. You watch whatever site you click on painfully building up, almost pixel by pixel. If you then click on a link, you sit and watch a spinning beachball for 4-5 minutes, no joke, till it actually gets anywhere. If you're lucky. There's some sites - quite a lot, actually - that are totally unusable just because it cannot handle them.

So I'm back on my Windows XP SP3 PC that's about 14 years old and handles the Internet just fine! Ummm..... are all Applemacs THAT bad on the web? For real? I mean some of them cost a thousand pounds. My PC cost about £30 secondhand - not even reconditioned - and it works like a dream. I knew there had to be a reason WHY the world's PC based and not Mac based and I think I've just found it - isn't there ANY way to make a PPC Mac load a webpage without almost dying from the effort?? (And let you interact with it afterwards - it can take literally 5 minutes or MORE to open one E_mail on the PPC!)

Anyone got any ideas how to speed the poor darling up a little? I'm using the same Ethernet connection for both computers, but not simultaneously, only one's connected at a time. (So cable, not wi-fi. And the cable connection's fine on the PC, but on the Mac.....!!) Maybe that's why they had to go over to Intel?

Yours hopefully

Chris.
PowerPC Macs is a really broad term, because there are a number of PPC Macs where some of which are really not great on the net. It really depends upon what is really under the hood. Windows XP on a PC machine that is Pentium based is going to be just as slow working on the web unless what's under the hood, a Core 2 Duo LGA775 or a Core 2 Quad LGA775 or an AMD Phenom X4 are used to give you much better performance. You need at least a PowerMac G5 Dual Core 2.3Ghz or a Quad Core G5 2.5Ghz in order to keep up with these machines on the web. Pound for pound, current Macs are equally capable as the current PCs, although the Macs do cost more unfortunately.

Having said that, it really depends upon which PowerPC Mac you bought. I own both a PowerMac G5 single CPU 1.8Ghz as well as a PowerBook G4 @ 1.5Ghz and I use both of them on the web. They are just as fast as those PC machines running XP. I know as I work in the computer recycling business and I work on both platforms, restoring and refurbishing them side by side to make them working again to be deployed for the working poor and the disadvantaged.

The key to making them run faster is to ensure you have a clean install of Tiger OSX 10.4.11. Install TenFourFox PR19 and PowerPEP. Set your monitor resolution to something less than 1920x1080. The lower end machines tend to struggle rendering web pages at higher resolution, so the lower resolution the better. In "Power Save" inside preference, set the CPU to perform "Highest" not automatic. This places the PPC processor in the highest performing mode to squeeze out performance hence better rendering performance. I can browse the web quite comfortably with my single core G5 as well as my single core PowerBook G4, do internet banking and email using Hotmail. It certainly does not take 5 mins to load up my emails. It certainly won't perform as fast as my Mac Pro or my Mini, but it is usable. Both my G5 and G4 PowerBook performance is on par against machines running Windows XP. But with the Macs, the PPC Macs integrate very nicely with my Apple eco-system. I do have Windows 10 and 8.1 machines as well, but use them for Windows apps only. Hope this helps.
 
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defjam

macrumors 6502a
Sep 15, 2019
795
731
Seriously, Leopard Webkit. I know a lot of the people here swear by TenForFox, and it's great when you have nothing else, but if your PPC Mac is powerful enough to run Leopard, this will run circles around it, no tweaking needed. It simply flies on my dual 2.0 ghz G5, and even with the overhead of 10.5, runs better on my eMac than TFF does in 10.4.

Really Leopard Webkit's problems are that it's maybe a little likely to crash, and that extensions are just outright broken.
Giving it a try now. It does appear to be faster (scrolling a web page is no longer an exercise in frustration) but I just now started using it so I'll have to give it some more drive time. However initial results are positive. I'd love to be able to use my G5 for casual web browsing again.
 
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wicknix

macrumors 65816
Jun 4, 2017
1,017
1,749
Wisconsin, USA
If all you really want to do is browse the web, at a decent speed, with some more up to date browsers than what 10.4/10.5 have to offer I'm going to suggest installing Linux.

For example here is a my lowly G4 mac mini browing this forum and YouTube on Ubuntu Linux.
Sorry for the crap quality, but it'll give you an idea of the massive speed difference.

Cheers
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
22,087
14,804
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
Seriously, Leopard Webkit. I know a lot of the people here swear by TenForFox, and it's great when you have nothing else, but if your PPC Mac is powerful enough to run Leopard, this will run circles around it, no tweaking needed. It simply flies on my dual 2.0 ghz G5, and even with the overhead of 10.5, runs better on my eMac than TFF does in 10.4.

Really Leopard Webkit's problems are that it's maybe a little likely to crash, and that extensions are just outright broken.
See, this depends on your use case. The difference has been boiled down in these forums to simply this - speed versus customization.

You want speed. So you use Leopard Webkit. That's fine, it's your preference.

I want customization. I cannot get that with LWK. I cannot have the addons in LWK that I use to make my many daily hours of browsing the web a pleasant experience. I want comfort and I am willing to sacrifice some speed for that.

That's my preference.

Advocate for LWK all you want, it's a good browser. But don't assume that everyone wants the same out of a browser that you do.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
22,087
14,804
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
@eyoungren to be fair, the OP wanted more speed in this case.

Cheers.
That's true, but my response was from a general standpoint. @repairedCheese might have been addressing OP specifically, but he seemed (to me) to include others with the mention about 'those who swear by T4Fx'.

While I use T4Fx and it is my preferred browser, I don't swear by it where it concerns speed. There's simply no contest. LWK will win every time.
 
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wicknix

macrumors 65816
Jun 4, 2017
1,017
1,749
Wisconsin, USA
Right. I read too fast. Lol, but I agree. They both have their uses. Unfortunately for me neither browser has a use. Both are now broken on sites I require. The biggest one is github. I can't update or edit my hosted projects on leopard. Now it's just a nastolgic OS I tinker with. No longer usable for my daily tasks. I'll still bust out garageband here and there, but I can do the same with lmms on linux, so meh, I'm getting off topic now.

Cheers
 

556fmjoe

macrumors 68000
Apr 19, 2014
1,913
1,606
If all you really want to do is browse the web, at a decent speed, with some more up to date browsers than what 10.4/10.5 have to offer I'm going to suggest installing Linux.

For example here is a my lowly G4 mac mini browing this forum and YouTube on Ubuntu Linux.
Sorry for the crap quality, but it'll give you an idea of the massive speed difference.

Cheers
I don't think I'd recommend installing Linux on a PPC Mac to someone without a lot of computer knowledge.
 
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TheShortTimer

macrumors 6502
Mar 27, 2017
414
526
London, UK
I can browse the web quite comfortably with my single core G5 as well as my single core PowerBook G4, do internet banking and email using Hotmail. It certainly does not take 5 mins to load up my emails.
Indeed. To prove a point, I've typed this reply on my G3/500 with 640mb of RAM using IceWeaselPPC and although the performance is a tad sluggish in some areas, it certainly hasn't involved me waiting 5 minutes. :D
 
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torvan

macrumors member
Well, I can tell you with my G4 Dual 1.0 Ghz, 2gb RAM and a 1GB SSD on a Sonnet SATA controller, it is Webkit only. Sure, it may bounce a couple times (3 or 4) in Leopard 10.5.8. but it renders every website perfectly fine, including my bank (credit union) and YouTube.
 
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z970mp

macrumors 68030
Jun 2, 2017
2,826
2,719
Uncharted Waters
I don't think I'd recommend installing Linux on a PPC Mac to someone without a lot of computer knowledge.
Given the current state of things, I would not say PowerPC Linux requires a fair amount of computing knowledge. The only real barrier to entry is the ability to clearly follow directions and two hours max of the user's time. And then when they're all done, they get tons of modern software (including actual browser choice) coupled with an OS that makes full use of the system's GPU, naturally making browsing and video playback smoother.

The reality of the situation is that it's either the former, or wading through Web 3.0 on either a crash-prone and coming up to two year old WebKit browser, or a purely CPU-bound Firefox that is still unfortunately locked down to 45 ESR with no hope of escape.

However, if you have no plans of accessing the Internet on said hardware, then that's a different story entirely.

But all things considered, I'm going to have to disagree on this one.
 
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TheShortTimer

macrumors 6502
Mar 27, 2017
414
526
London, UK
And then when they're all done, they get tons of modern software (including actual browser choice) coupled with an OS that makes full use of the system's GPU, naturally making browsing and video playback smoother.
That is true but the caveat is that the PPC Linux distros do not always work well or at all, right across the board. For example, the Lubuntu 16.04 Remix is not compatible with my G3's GPU so I'm stuck with Tiger. Which I'm fine with. :)

On that note, the OP hasn't responded yet with details of their system spec so suggesting that they switch from OS X to PPC Linux is a bit premature if we don't know their machine can run it properly.
 
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