Just how far can we go?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by eyoungren, Jun 22, 2014.

  1. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    #1
    This is more of a what do you think type question than one asking for a solution.

    Last night, I again screwed up the OS on my Quicksilver. Going to need to Archive and reinstall again. This will be the second time for that and the third time I've installed an OS on this Mac. Since I'm really not looking forward to this I am going to take my time at trying to fix and rearrange some other issues with the Mac.

    However, that's not what brings me here. It did get me to thinking about just how far we can all push this. And by this, I mean PowerPC.

    PowerPC Macs are a lot like old cars. They are reliable, dependable (in most cases) and while they don't have the latest bells and whistles they still provide the basics. But, they are not like old classic muscle cars. Maybe the G5 Quads are, but I think even their time will come.

    People buy/sell classic muscle cars because these cars have something special - and can still perform. I think PowerPC Macs have something special too, but performance is subjective.

    Sure, if we use our old Macs in the context of the apps and capabilities around when they were introduced they are fine. Fire up the Mac to play mid 2000s games, a PDF is still a PDF, etc. But here's where I am now starting to have concerns.

    Most of what I use my Macs for is web browsing. Oh sure, TenFourfox, Leopard Webkit and so on. All great, all useful. But for how much longer?

    I have done my level best to maximize performance out of T4Fx and I think I've done pretty well. Recently, I made the jump to T4Fx 31. It works, but some stuff is broken. But it's SLOW! I am reminded of the slowness I dealt with in Flock back before it started to die as a browser. I had to roll back to T4Fx 24. But this is not going to be an option for too much longer.

    Cameron Kaiser is tired.
    T4Fx occupies too much of his time already and he is now talking about forking and feature parity. And this time I think he's serious. Getting to 31 was a serious struggle. And the browser is performing less well than 24. We all expect Kaiser to perform miracles, but I think this may be the last one.

    So where does that leave us? I know where it leaves me. It tells me that soon I'm not going to be able to browse the 'net as before. I'm already making compromises by using Fluid for Facebook because T4Fx is having problems with it lately. That's only going to get worse because FB is constantly updated.

    I use my Macs for other things of course too, but this is my main purpose. Already, even kids sites break things for the browsers my children use. The Flash hack will only work for so long (what happens when Flash 12 is the requirement for Flash use on websites?)

    Of course I can't speak to Leopard Webkit as I don't really use it. But I can only imagine that at some point the work for them will come to diminishing returns.

    I'm a diehard PowerPC fan, but lately I am now starting to think that we are rapidly getting to the point where our machines will be used for specific purposes and not as daily drivers for everything we wish to do. At this point I am seriously starting to consider how I can get a hold of a low end Intel MBP. That would at least put me back to where I was capability wise in 2009.

    What do you think?
     
  2. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    556fmjoe

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2014
    #2
    IMHO the only thing that really holds them back is web browsing due to the idiotic bucketloads of Javascript, Flash, and gargantuan images that website developers pour into their sites. You can block it, sure, but then you break a lot of sites beyond repair. I cannot check my bank account balance without enabling 3 scripts. I cannot login to my university network's captive portal without Javascript. That rules out fast browsers like Dillo for most usage.

    The ultimate end will come when parts are no longer available or exceedingly hard to find. Right now, you can buy batteries, screens, etc., but for how much longer? The market isn't getting any bigger.
     
  3. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #3
    I agree that you should start looking at a newer Mac, but I live by the motto "There's Nothing To Worry About 'Till There Is Something To Worry About" -Billy Gambini, My Cousin Vinny

    You may want to give Leopard WebKit a good hard look. Even if it isn't updated we can still ask members of our skilled programmers on here to work on using Leopard WebKit as the User Agent and build another browser on top. It will be a lot of work for sure, but it can be done.
     
  4. eyoungren thread starter macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    #4
    Fair points.

    1. Web browsing and JS. It's only going to get worse and more intense. That has already marginalized PowerPC and eventually it's going to push us out altogether. The concept of Classila using mobile sites is a good one, but if we drop to that in OS X then we have to start wondering just how it is we can get things done on the web.

    The trend is to move everything online. I just don't see PowerPC making it.

    2. Parts. This is a point I have been considering for a while. Think about this…the logicboard I just replaced on my A1013 is used. It's older than the logicboard I replaced!
    The same thing happened with the logicboard I replaced on the G5 at work last year.

    When we are replacing parts with parts that are older than the replaced part we are eventually going to reach a point where as you suggest there are no more parts, but also more failure just due to sheer age. PowerPC Macs were built very well, but how much can you expect from a part that is older than the one you replaced?

    So, yeah, your points have a lot of bearing on the matter!

    ----------

    And getting from TenFourFox 31 to 38 can be done too. But the question now is…should it?

    We can only ask so much from these developers.
     
  5. harrymatic macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #5
    In my opinion, by the time the spare parts have dried up, this platform will be well and truly dead, abandoned by all except collectors - just look at what happened with 68K Macs.
     
  6. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #6
    Working in a mobile user agent designed for iOS 4 or iOS 5 even can be done on a PowerPC with no issues. Most sites would render an appropriate mobile site if possible with no sort of garbage that causes problems today on our PPCs like Flash. We would of course be limited to the mobile versions of iOS and I wouldn't touch bringing a mobile user agent from Android to OS X.

    I think that is a great idea and I have switched user agents in the past under LocoMotion, a web browser I wrote in eighth grade for the science fair. It would load mobile sites if at all possible. The problem is, even mobile sites are getting heavier and heavier. Try loading something like mobile Walmart on an iPhone 2G and see what happens. Fortunately, our PPCs have power equivalent to the iPhone 3Gs/4 so we should be good for a long time if we go that route.

    Erik is right about the "a PDF is a PDF" mentality. However, more and more apps that require a server connection are going to obsolete our Macs to support newer versions. Skype just announced that it is dropping older versions in the coming months. They have stripped us PPC users feature by feature. We can no longer video call even if we have the appropriate web cam and network connection. I wonder if that means that IM and voice call is also going by the way of the dodo for us.

    I wonder how long we can keep Spotify going and iTunes Store. These are all dependent on outside servers that we can't control or probably even work around. This isn't going to happen overnight keep in mind. I think it just hits a nerve on us because XP users running craptops from 2000-2005 are able to get the latest copy of Chrome or Firefox when Leopard came out in 2007 and is much more advanced than XP.

    And for the record, I am typing this from my iBook G3.
     
  7. eyoungren thread starter macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    #7
    I can agree with that.

    There are already ad hoc "museums" run by collectors and there are some people specializing in getting data off old systems. I can see that in our future here.

    If they are still working they will function in a closed environment specific to their era. The parts market I think is starting to bottom out and parts will soon start getting expensive because of scarcity.
     
  8. BJonson macrumors 6502a

    BJonson

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    #8
    I went through a powerpc phase last month. I ended up with 5 quickslivers, a powermac 9600, and a G5. I had a ton of fun because it was like a new mac for pennies. What kicked me back to reality was my old 2010 mac mini sitting in my closet. Realizing that the fastest quicksilver only gets around 1400 geekbench and my mac mini gets 3400 I then realized I was just wasting time and energy on this project.

    These computers are good as mantle pieces. You can try to use them but the fact that there are no modern browsers just makes them obsolete. Trying to use them on any other browser is a security risk as well. Now what to do with all these PowerPCs.
     
  9. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #9
    There is more to a computer than a browser, despite what the Google Chromebook team wants you to think.
     
  10. eyoungren thread starter macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    #10
    No, but using night, seasons and time for perspective I think we are probably somewhere around 5:30 am in the winter months. There is still time before sunrise, but not much and sunrise is coming.

    Understand, I am not complaining. It's been a really good run. I've had a PowerPC Mac of some type since 2001. I don't plan on getting an Intel Mac very soon as there is still some time left. But the time is coming soon.

    Eventually though you have to walk away. You look back from time to time with good memories, but you can't stay there.

    And I know where you are coming from with the iBook and that's great. But for me, it's getting harder and harder to justify both to my wife and myself why things just DON'T work.
     
  11. Goftrey macrumors 68000

    Goftrey

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    #11
    Personally I don't see the jump to 38 happening. As you said, he's tired and it's taken a stupid amount of effort purely to get to 31 - which at the moment is pretty appalling speed-wise. When people carry out a task for a long time they get into a comfortable rhythm, and with a lot of feedback and a large user base it's rewarding. But when that user base begins to slowly fall over time and something suddenly stops that 'comfortable' rhythm (ie. TFF31) it simply becomes frustrating and un-motivating.

    My G3's were perfectly usable on the web until about two/three years ago when sites just became too packed with 'stuff'. If this trend follows and support for PowerPC from people like Cameron drops off within the next 12 to 18 months then I can see myself using my PowerBook (a high end G4) on the web for at least another two years, possibly three. That seems like a long time but in reality it's really not.

    A feather in the cap of all of this doom & gloom however is the fact that new CPU's that are currently coming out and will be coming out within the next 2/3 years are HUGELY focused on battery life and power consumption, as opposed to clock speeds and performance. This won't stop web developers from packing more and more new technology in to the their sites, but at the very least it may slow it down just a little bit.
     
  12. eyoungren thread starter macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    #12
    Absolutely true!

    That is why I will not get rid of any of my PowerPC Macs. They still have a purpose and are useful. I'm just starting to question their continued usefulness for the one thing I use them for most on a daily basis and that's internet browsing.

    ----------

    ^^^This. Yes. I think Kaiser is making the declaration that he's tired. He's frustrated and the workarounds are getting harder and producing less while the demands are still the same.

    I knew it would happen at some point and I guess that because browsing is such a large part of what I do with my Macs that I tied the development of the browser to the life of PowerPC.

    I don't think I'm too far off on that though as browser development is one thing that has really been keeping PowerPC relevant.
     
  13. Altemose, Jun 22, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2014

    Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #13
    I agree about justifying it... I just placed the Best Buy order on my MacBook simply because my PowerBook was having issues loading the page to pay. The iPhone 3Gs or iPhone 4 has plenty of power for the mobile web, and our PPC G4s have at least that much power. I am doing this off the top of my head and not by Geekbench scores. I think we have a good two years at least on this platform, but if it keeps up with little to no development on the web browsing end of it, we will need to move on.

    I appreciate the speed my Intel has, but I should not need that kind of power to get information, order items, or watch a video. The community has been great with supporting the diehard PPC users endeavors, but I am past the point of believing a PPC can do anything a modern Mac can. I know the limitations and I agree to them when I place the bid on one.

    I think it may happen, but it will be a monster G4 like Erik has or a G5 only build. Even typing this reply has me seeing CPU spikes with almost every keystroke on my PowerBook.

    We can permanently set our user agents to iOS 4 for iPhone or iPad. I am pretty sure the iPad version will load desktop sites minus whatever garbage that comes on them. I think YouTube would then go through QuickTime.
     
  14. BJonson macrumors 6502a

    BJonson

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    #14
    Sure but you can do all that on a new computer and do it faster. Don't get me wrong, I love vintage systems. Got a beautiful Mac Classic II setup working great and I love the design but after you play the games, print the word doc etc the fun kind of goes away for me anyways. I have over 20 computers and I always try to keep one vintage unit setup on display so I can play around with it but I find I am slowly losing interest. My current vintage on display is my 9600 powermac and it is a sight and it connects to the internet and everything and works but its only until I need to do something fast, or important that I abandon it again. Wouldn't it be great if apple came out with updated motherboards for these machines? I would be in heaven I tell you. Imagine a 9600 powermac that was exactly the same except with a quad i7 in it or even a mac classic. It would be so easy for them. I know it would never happen but I can dream.
     
  15. gavinstubbs09, Jun 22, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2014

    gavinstubbs09 macrumors 65816

    gavinstubbs09

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Location:
    NorCal boonies ~~~by Reno sorta
    #15
    I'll throw my feedback in.

    I've used PowerPC Macs for 3 years now (when I finally could get ahold of my first Mac, look at my sig I only have one intel mac, and own 6 PPC macs) and this far in, my G5s rarely see any prime-time use. I want to do game recordings with a HDMI card, but I'm SOL until I can get a cheesegrater Mac Pro. Also rendering any form of HD on my 2.7GHz is a nightmare, and I just can't do it. Running new software like FCPX.1 and Logic Pro X, I'm also out of luck without an intel machine. Yeah I could use FCP7 and Logic Pro 9, but I would rather be on the side of newer and much more performance. I'm dying to get a Mac Pro again (had one, sold it, and I got screwed over in that deal and lost lots of money, saving to buy my truck at the time) and now that I have my truck, most of my money has been going into that for gas (thanks vortec 5.7l) and parts here/there. If I wasn't at the age I am at now (16) and didn't have other priorities and Macs were my only focus, I would have a Mac Pro at my desk but I'm stuck with a G5 for the meantime!

    One other rant is I tried to get a Mac Server working (have done a setup for a Mac lab at school running MV server) and going back and trying to figure out how to do similar things in Tiger/Leopard Server is a nightmare (everything was changed in Lion Server) and I'd prefer to stick with what I know.
    ___
    So to my surprise I found a killer deal on a 1,1 Mac Pro. It will certainly take the spot of my G5, however the G5 will still see some use each week!
     
  16. eyoungren thread starter macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    #16
    I think that's where my main problem now lies. I enjoy working on these Macs and I enjoy the challenge of making them useful, but at a certain point when I'm investing more time in trying to make it work than I am in using and enjoying it…well the novelty and the fun wear off.

    I'm getting tired too, like Cameron Kaiser. I just want a machine that works, not one I have to repaste thermal compound on, fix broken parts, replace things or try and figure out what the best about:config options in the browser are. When you keep trying and trying and you keep getting less and less…well I've pretty much had enough.

    I saw your comment about Skype in the news section. This is a problem for me. One of my hobbies is role playing games (the old pencil/paper/dice type). I have a friend I've been trying to get to play rpgs with and now he's moved out of state. When he settles we're going to try it via Skype. I've done that before, but if MS cuts us off I either have to find another way or an Intel Mac. This limit on me is not the fault of PowerPC of course, but it's out of my control. Finding a work around if I have to will take more time and effort and I'm just not sure if I'm up to that any more. My interest in making all of this work is waning.
     
  17. wobegong Guest

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    #17
    This post is an interesting read especially with the OP and follow up authors being amongst the top posters and evangelists of the PPC forum.

    As I have said before I will continue to use my machine until it breaks or it becomes too much of a chore to work around the lack of (up to date) software, I am back using mine full time at home again after just hating Windows 8, my intention was to make it a combined games and work machine - Going back to OSX is a relief and to be honest there is very little difference on the surface between Mavericks on the MBP and Leopard on this.

    With regard to software issues so far I have no issues at all - my core requirements are Excel/Word/Powerpoint, PDF,Internet and Email for work.

    Office 2008 so far seems 100% compatible with docs I have to work in the office using 2013/2010 Windows versions (anyone that says LibreOffice can be used obviously does not edit very complex documents - it is NOT 100% compatible though it it is over 90%, for my work I cannot have a single mistake and I don't have time for workarounds - in business time is money..)
    TFF is my preferred web dealer mainly due to sync (even though right now the v24 of TFF does not yet use the newer userid/password based sync of v29/30 in the office/on my laptop) and the addons - it is doing a great job....currently.
    If anything happens to TFF well I like LeopardWebkit very much also so that's a backup.
    Email is handled by Thunderbird (Office/MBP)/TenFourBird so no problems there either right now.

    But there are some areas that could end at any time, Skype video was a bit of a killer for me (now I use my iPad), if Spotify, Evernote and Dropbox all drop support as well then I think a new machine will have to be in order.

    It won't be such a personal killer for me, I'm not too sentimental about PPC specifically - I use this machine because I think it's a beautifully made piece of technology that still gives great service (it's the only piece of tech I've ever seen that looks like pure art when you take that side cover off and look inside :cool: ) - I sympathise with the view that a MacPro is just a PC in a G5 case - the G5's attention to detail on the INSIDE is amazing and I get pleasure from using such a work of art - this gives me pleasure, I have a few things in my life that are not the newest but I keep and use because of aesthetics, quality etc.

    So not sure where this ramble is going except to say good luck to those of us who can still use their machines, enjoy them while they are still working, useful and looking beautiful and like all good things they must, inevitably, come to an end.

    For me I have to say I'm pretty sick at Apples blatant tactics to force upgrades (eg MobileMe -> iCloud) and locking out hardware from OSX upgrades that I am certain are often well within the capabilities of the machines they are locking out. It may be unreasonable to expect them to support PPC still today but they really had a duty to support it for longer than they did and they should have factored in that cost when they decided to go Intel but we've all beaten that drum :rolleyes:

    Anyway will probably be an iMac for me next but honestly I have no need or desire to get one right now, for what I do it's no slower than my MBP - I don't need an i7 for Office, Email and Internet and I'm happy to let the odd video encode run overnight.


    P.S. My machine is at least (so far!) rock solid reliable, if it weren't maybe I'd be a bit more despondent too ;)
     
  18. jruschme macrumors 6502

    jruschme

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    Location:
    Brick, NJ
    #18
    What I wonder is whether we'll see the price inflation that the 68k's have had. Right now, we're at pretty much the bottom of the price curve with many G3s and early G4s as giveaways and even G5s being in the "dinner for two and a movie" range. Ultimately, we will start back up the hill as working units become scarce and systems go from being common to "iconic". How far with that go in the end?
     
  19. wobegong Guest

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    #19
    I believe Yahoo Messenger does video and is still supported on PPC.
     
  20. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #20
    The sad part of it all is that our PowerPCs are being put behind by the same people who promoted them as powerhouses. The top of the line G5s like the Quad and the dual 2.7 GHz models only got two operating systems, Tiger and Leopard. Thousands of dollars machines got two OSs. I have a craptop that shipped with Windows 2000 that still meets the requirements for Windows 8.1 with a RAM upgrade. It cost maybe $750 in the day but I got it since someone was throwing it out.

    If I can source the machines for nothing or next to nothing I will continue buying and working on them. I am never spending more than $30 on parts anymore though. Just looking for wireless adapters last night required cross-referencing chipsets and drivers. Most modern parts don't even fit or are compatible with Leopard, let alone Snow Leopard anymore.

    For what I ask of my PPCs, it does it well. Go on the web, listen to music in Spotify, run iChat, do Skype, and type email and documents. I do see Skype as being pulled out, and maybe even Spotify. Who knows how long Dropbox is going to support us either! As much as I wish I could take these Macs and give them away to friends and family knowing it will do anything a PC from the same year would do, I can't. I gave away a 600 MHz iBook to a friend a few weeks ago. I spent $15 fixing it up with an AirPort card and maxing the RAM. It still won't connect to his router and explaining that YouTube won't work was a bit hard to show the workaround. To me, I don't mind the workarounds but to another person it is a pain.

    I really wish I could come across a closet full of PowerPCs waiting to be thrown away that I could take home and fix them all, but what am I going to do with them. I can't sell them as the dumb schmuck who doesn't research them will call me and say "Netflix doesn't work". I am not going to say "well, you can install Plex server on a Core 2 Duo or faster machine and link it to....".

    As it is I have many PowerPC Macs here and I want more, but it is really dawning on me what they can do. I do use my PowerBook more than my Intel, but I can't edit through the yearbook site for school due to Flash dependance, I can't edit video off my camera, I can't do this, I can't do that.

    What I am trying to say is, let's make those work-arounds. Let's keep our Macs we paid good money for going. But we really need to start weighing our options when we need new parts and a copy of Leopard and other things needed to be usable today. I proved to you all that my iBook G3 was still usable, and I am typing this from it. The question is where do we draw the line between usable and junk?
     
  21. eyoungren thread starter macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    #21
    According to Tobias on the tenfourfox.blogspot.com site, Leopard Webkit build 538 will also be the last build as well.

    OS X 10.10 is deprecating the code that Leopard WK uses.

    So…here we have it. Both of the major browsers that a lot of us use and count on to stay relevent now in the twilight of their use.

    I am not on my Macs all the time to make PDFs, email or type up documents. I am on them most of the time for browsing. When I can't browse (in the manner I wish), one of my major reasons for having them as my main Macs goes away.

    Add in all the other stuff, like Skype and other apps stopping their support of us and we are headed to that controlled environment I spoke of earlier.

    Yahoo may suffice for a while (thanks wobegong!) but ultimately I think we are now in the final hours.

    Just my opinion anyways. It may be colored by the fact that I am not looking forward to the work ahead of me on my QS, but I do know that an Intel Mac is sooner in my future than I expected.
     
  22. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #22
    If we switch to a mobile user agent we can get more years out of it. It would really tick me off if my PowerMacs got recycled into PCs.
     
  23. BJonson macrumors 6502a

    BJonson

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    #23
    Thinking I might just turn these quicksilvers into file servers. Cheaper than a NAS device.
     
  24. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #24
    The problem is that more and more basic routers can replace an NAS.
     
  25. BJonson macrumors 6502a

    BJonson

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    #25
    Not if you want to do raid. I like raid 1 for my storage. I can fit 16Tb in my quicksilver with 2 sata cards. Same as my mac pro. It's a nice setup.
     

Share This Page