Resolved Nocturnal distraction-free writing in Tiger?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Riku7, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. Riku7 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2014
    #1
    I've just joined the club, as I managed to track down a neat 17" iMac G4.
    I wanted to mostly have it as a writing platform for late nights. On my main computer, I've used OmmWriter and FocusWriter because of these very important points:
    • Distraction free: Full screen; None or barely any toolboxes or bars visible during writing
    • Inspiring and eye friendly when writing at night: Dark background, or especially, a background that the user can define
    • Easy to comprehend: It's possible to enlarge the font enough for the writing to be a very casual flow of thoughts, sort of like the ending credits of a programme.
    For PPC Tiger, what I immediately found was merely a collection of Word-like word processors that are all quite identical. The big downside of them is that they look like Word: Harsh white backgrounds with an incredibly cluttered layout and focus on formatting instead of semantic content.
    Can you think of anything for PPC that could suit my purpose better than those? What I'm looking for is sort of primitive isn't it, so if such software exists, it's possible that not many people found it useful, thus it's rarely mentioned anywhere.
     
  2. Daniël Oosterhuis macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

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    #2
  3. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    Lincolnshire, UK
    #3
    You could always use the built in editor TextEdit and change the paper and font to suit:

    Screen shot 2017-02-10 at 22.08.20.png
     
  4. Slix macrumors 6502a

    Slix

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    #4
    Another option, if you're wanting to use one of the text editors mentioned already (or Word or Pages or TextEdit), you can invert the colors of the screen (white on black, etc.) by going into System Preferences > Universal Access > Display > White on Black. The shortcut is Command + Option + Control + 8. You can also use grayscale, if you want to really eliminate distractions that way too.

    I used to use that shortcut a lot when I was reading things at night or just if my eyes were getting tired, so it's a handy trick, nonetheless.
     
  5. jbarley macrumors 68030

    jbarley

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    #5
    I've always been fond of "TextWrangler", check this link and look for version 3.1 for Tiger and 3.5.3 if you use Leopard.
    You can set the forground-background hi-lite etc colors to your choice in "Preferences".
    Nice thing also is it's free.
     
  6. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

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    #6
  7. NathanJHill macrumors member

    NathanJHill

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2014
    #7
    Yes, WriteRoom is probably your best bet.

    I have a version of OmmWriter V1.0 that works on Leopard but not sure about Tiger.

    I also continue to work bugs out from SimpleMarkPPC, but while it does have a full screen mode, it doesn't really have a distraction free/night time mode. And due to limitations in RealBasic/Xojo, not sure if there is a way to code that in. But I'll check.
    http://g5center.net/simplemark/
     
  8. Riku7 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2014
    #8
    Ahh thank you so much for the ideas, I didn't expect there to be even this many options!
    I downloaded every suggestion so I'll experiment and see which one I like best.
    Won't get to test them immediately though: The previous owner left the keyboard into a quite gross condition so I currently don't have a keyboard because I've put the keys through the dishwasher and I'll have to clean the keyboard body before snapping the keys back. Tedious, but it came clean, like new. The G4 can't talk to my aluminium keyboard or a Bluetooth one that I have.
    The iMac is also failing to connect to my WiFi because of the incompatible protocols and I've got quite a bit of research to do for that, not being fluent at network jargon.. But I'm yet to search for threads on it here and if not found, I'll make a dedicated thread for it then.
    When the keyboard is in one piece again, for now I'll use an ethernet cable from my main computer to the iMac to transfer the writing software in.

    Don't know how much it differs from the current version that I'm used to, but ah I'm so glad about the fact that there IS something familiar available! I'm very hopeful. Also, Tucows still exists!?

    How do you do that? I use TextEdit a lot but have never seen this feature. Or is it a feature that used to exist but is no longer there in the current OS versions? My main computer is running Yosemite.

    OmmWriter would've been my first choice, but what I too noticed was that 10.5 (Leo) is the first OS that it supports, unfortunately ruling me out.
     
  9. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    Jun 17, 2014
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    Lincolnshire, UK
    #9
    You go to Format/Font/Show Fonts from there you have font and paper background options.
     
  10. Riku7 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2014
    #10
    Oh I see, solid color backgrounds. Thanks, good to know this! Shortcut for that window appears to be command+T.
     
  11. mode11 macrumors member

    mode11

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    Jul 14, 2015
    Location:
    London
    #11
    In terms of your wi-fi, you could try the Edimax ew-7811un. It's a USB micro-dongle costs about £6, supports wireless n / WPA2, and has drivers for Tiger and Leopard (as well as current OS's). It does use a separate control panel to regular Airport, though, and (at least on my G4 Pismo) sometimes needs to be taken out and re-inserted after waking from sleep.

    Alternatively, have you thought about powerline networking? Then just use the Ethernet port on the iMac. I've found it to be very reliable, though performance can vary quite a lot by socket, depending on the way your home is wired.
     
  12. Riku7 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2014
    #12
    Okay, impressions:



    • SimpleMarkPPC doesn’t open. It quickly flashes in dock, then disappears. I think I had the same experience testing ViJournal Lite earlier.
    • Scrivener Gold looks a bit complicated, like something that takes some reading or tutorials to get started with. Don’t get me wrong, I regularly study new computing skills and techniques, but for some completely personal writing, at this time it’s not for me. Jers Novel Writer would appear to be somewhat in the same genre with Scrivener Gold, but looks far more approachable and simple, so I think I’ll keep that, albeit not for this exact nocturnal free writing purpose. It might come in handy in the future for something else.
    • WriteRoom is very simple, although it took me a bit of increased concentrating to get the settings right; When you alter the font settings, you’ll need to create a new document and type in some placeholder text for the changes to take effect so you can see what the outcome really looks like with the background and all. I think it’s very usable if one wants to write distraction-free with a solid colored background, such as white on black.
    • But FocusWriter still wins. I’ve been using it on my main computer, so it’s already familiar. It doesn’t just allow solid backgrounds, but user defined picture backgrounds as well. Fonts can be changed, and you can have a width-adjustable floating “paper” on top of the actual background so you know where the text area is, and its opacity can be adjusted so it doesn’t need to look harsh. The visual theme window is ridiculously simple so you don’t need to be at your sharpest to process what’s going on there. The themes can be stored into a palette of presets so it’s quick to change from a mood to another without having to remake all of the settings parameter by parameter. Something about this legacy version though: It doesn’t accept .jpg images, they will have to be converted to .png. Tiled backgrounds cause the background to disappear completely, revealing the system desktop, dock et cetera, so that’s probably a bug. Using a normal wallpaper image to fill the entire screen of FocusWriter works, and that’s actually what I wanted anyway.
    Friendly huh? (iMac not in its final environment, I’m just keeping it next to the main computer until I’m done transferring files & configuring.)
    imac.jpeg

    Yeah, actually the iMac will be in the room where the router is, so an ethernet cable definitely is an option, an at least a place for getting started. I happen to be expecting powerline adapters at the moment, because even my main computer is having trouble seeing the router no matter what I do. At the worst moments, it's transferring 7 BITS per second. People seem to be very strongly divided between "powerline adapters saved my life" and "powerline adapters don't work at all", so I'll just have to see. But the setting may not be this way in some future apartment, and WiFi would be nice since the iMac is equipped with the card, so... Thanks for the tip, that dongle actually seems really simple and inexpensive, supporting USB 1.0 too. I don't think I'm going to put the iMac to sleep all that much, poor old thing, it's probably either on or off.
     
  13. mode11 macrumors member

    mode11

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    Location:
    London
    #13
    Looking good.

    I've found powerline adapters to be ace, but if you have issues, remember to try different sockets in the same room. House wiring can be really random. They are also best plugged directly into the wall, rather than into strips that may have surge suppressors etc.

    If your iMac doesn't have bluetooth and you ever want to use wireless Apple keyboards / mice, try the (ancient) D-Link DBT-120 USB adapter. There was a special Apple firmware update for it that lets it wake the computer from sleep with the keyboard / mouse - not possible with USB dongles normally.
     
  14. Riku7 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2014
    #14
    Yeah, well this house is unfortunately a horrible ghetto so it might not be all smooth, but I don't plan to be here forever. We'll just wait and see, I'm receiving the adapters for free from someone who doesn't need them anymore so I'm not losing anything by testing.
    I have only one wireless input device really, it's a Logitech keyboard that can be paired with three devices. Already paired to my main computer, my iPad and my phone, at least for now I don't necessarily need it for the iMac. I'm far more shocked by the fact that the mouse doesn't have a scroll wheel! But thanks, I'll keep the tips in mind & they're always helpful for the readers of this forum in general.

    I just confirmed some further unexpected network problems so to keep this thread as what it says on the tin, let's move the WiFi/ethernet related discussion to a dedicated topic: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/trouble-connecting-imac-g4-on-tiger-to-www-lan.2032322/
     

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