You Can/Can't Still Use PowerPC Macs in 2020!

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alex_free

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Feb 24, 2020
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Currently my only computer is a Mac Mini G4 and I’m getting by just fine. Can’t seem to find a working torrent client for Tiger however. On Leopard I used the last compatible Transmission.
 

alex_free

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Feb 24, 2020
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I’ll give it a go later today but last I checked it wouldn’t get past 0% on any transfers, maybe I was just being impatient.
 

Dronecatcher

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Currently my only computer is a Mac Mini G4 and I’m getting by just fine. Can’t seem to find a working torrent client for Tiger however. On Leopard I used the last compatible Transmission.
Does the Tiger version no longer work?

 
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alex_free

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Feb 24, 2020
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Does the Tiger version no longer work?

Wasn’t getting past 0% on anything I tried the other day, I’ll check again later.
 

defjam

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Sep 15, 2019
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I didn't feel like sitting through 40 plus minutes of video to see what they had to say so I'll just comment about what I think about the question. The answer is: It depends. Whether it can be used is depending on what tasks you need to do and at what performance you need the task done.

For me I would not use a PPC to browse the modern web. I've tried it (a dual processor 2.3GHz PowerMac G5 being my most capable example) and it is full of compromises. Due to the interactive nature of web browsing the experience on a PPC is not worth it. Others will disagree and are happy with the experience.

Other tasks are just fine on a PPC. Word processing, spreadsheets, image editing, even some light video transcoding are fine on these systems. I just know that certain tasks will take longer than on a modern system. As long as the time to complete is not unreasonable then they're just fine.

So in the end if a system is useable or not is highly dependent on what you need the system to do and your tolerance for how long it will take to complete any given task.
 

z970mp

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Jun 2, 2017
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The true question is, why would you want to?

As with most any other vintage machine - whether it contain a motherboard or a carburetor - if you really have the desire, you will eventually find a way. If not, then you will probably give up at some point in time because the underlying drive isn't there.

So for most cases today, that usually depends on the user.
 
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iluvmacs99

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Apr 9, 2019
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It's funny you always see these PowerPC arguments on Youtube on a yearly basis. A few years ago, we had a controversial 8bit guy with the PowerMac G5 Quad and that got a few angry PowerPC owners. Just last year, we had an updated Youtube video about the PowerMac G5 Dual 2.0Ghz which is now not usable. And then there is this recently. I always find a kick watching these, but I wonder why people react so emotionally towards these videos by making rebuttals. It's after all a 15 to 16 years old computer!

But you do get these questions floating because basically current Macs are super expensive and a few people see these PowerPC Macs as an inexpensive entry to the Apple eco-system. They just want to own a Mac, a cheap Mac and they think that well, a PowerPC Mac should behave like a 15 year old BMW or Mercedes Benz right?!? It's an old car, but who would know if it's that old when I'm driving a BMW or Mercedes Benz, albeit it's 15 to 16 years old. No one would know. But that is the mentality of the customers I meet, who know nothing about these Macs except the "Apple Logo". These people want a Mac for no reasons other than wanting a Mac and be out there with a Mac. Many of these people, like the first Youtube video, would be well served with a cheaper Linux machine and a more modern Intel CPU

And in my town, I see this all the time like the ads below are not uncommon in my town and selling at those prices!! But then, in my town, houses are selling $1300 per square feet!



So yeah, sometimes you need to educate some folks so they don't buy into these insane prices!

Having said that. I have met 3types of buyers. Those who know PowerPC Macs and will continue buying them to run their legacy software and those who buy them as collector machines.

It is the last type of buyer who simply don't have a clue that there were Macs made with PowerPC CPUs and equate them to an Intel machine. Those, I think, are the people who asked the first Youtube poster.
 

Dronecatcher

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I always find a kick watching these, but I wonder why people react so emotionally towards these videos by making rebuttals.
I respond because these tech channels with thousands of followers don't seem to bother with research when it contradicts their angle. But yes, it is pretty pointless bothering to argue.
 
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sparty411

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Nov 13, 2018
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They are technically usable, yes. As a daily driver for the average person though, it probably wouldn't be an enjoyable experience. I use my computer to stream sporting events, and voice chat with my friends on Discord. Neither of these things are possible on any of my PPC machines. However, I can use them for simple things like browsing the web, typing up a word document, or playing an old game. I still use them not because they are the most practical, but because I enjoy using them.
 
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TheShortTimer

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Mar 27, 2017
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I respond because these tech channels with thousands of followers don't seem to bother with research when it's contradicts their angle. But yes, it is pretty pointless bothering to argue.
Perhaps it's pointless to argue directly against them but the rebuttals are still important for the benefit of those who own PPC - or in some cases, even the early generation of Intel Macs and to make them aware that contrary to the misinformation put forth by those tech channels, their machines actually do retain viability in many areas and hopefully this will dissuade them from relegating older machines to the loft, garage or worst of all: consigning them to the landfill.
 

defjam

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Sep 15, 2019
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Perhaps it's pointless to argue directly against them but the rebuttals are still important for the benefit of those who own PPC - or in some cases, even the early generation of Intel Macs and to make them aware that contrary to the misinformation put forth by those tech channels, their machines actually do retain viability in many areas and hopefully this will dissuade them from relegating older machines to the loft, garage or worst of all: consigning them to the landfill.
Is it misinformation? Barring a specific situation, which I feel a PPC user/owner would already be aware of, the general advice that PPC systems are not useable is, IMO, not misinformation.
 
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Dronecatcher

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Is it misinformation? Barring a specific situation, which I feel a PPC user/owner would already be aware of, the general advice that PPC systems are not useable is, IMO, not misinformation.
Not in the case of the video linked but the same channel recently demonstrated that TFF can't play Youtube (the guy hadn't enabled MSE playback in preferences) - so through lack of research, I'd say that's misinformation. Not a hanging offence obviously but I think it's worthwhile to point such things out so people out there have the correct information.
 

Amethyst1

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Oct 28, 2015
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They just want to own a Mac, a cheap Mac and they think that well, a PowerPC Mac should behave like a 15 year old BMW or Mercedes Benz right?!?
Comparing cars to computers has never been a good idea. But as you say, some people out there don't know that.
 

defjam

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Sep 15, 2019
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Not in the case of the video linked but the same channel recently demonstrated that TFF can't play Youtube (the guy hadn't enabled MSE playback in preferences) - so through lack of research, I'd say that's misinformation. Not a hanging offence obviously but I think it's worthwhile to point such things out so people out there have the correct information.
One has to consider the target audience for the videos. If they're average users then I'm not sure I could state they're spreading misinformation.
 

TheShortTimer

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Mar 27, 2017
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Is it misinformation?
To advise PPC users and owners that their machines are not useable is misinformation. My G5 outperforms my Core Duo in many tasks where the complete opposite outcome would be expected. I can't be convinced that the former is not useable when the evidence from my experiences demonstrates otherwise. My Sawtooth is now 20 years old and yet remains useable and practical for a variety of present day tasks.
 

RogerWilco6502

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Jan 12, 2019
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Is it misinformation? Barring a specific situation, which I feel a PPC user/owner would already be aware of, the general advice that PPC systems are not useable is, IMO, not misinformation.
I'd argue it is misinformation. The wording is really important here. They aren't unusable, as that indicates they can't be used at all, think something like iTools or .mac where the service has been discontinued or a computer that has no software in existence made for it. I'd argue that it is misinformation to call them unusable, because they are very much still usable and many ar in use presently. A better term might be something that acknowledges they're stull usable, but also acknowledges they require a little tinkering to get them working well.
 

defjam

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Sep 15, 2019
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To advise PPC users and owners that their machines are not useable is misinformation. My G5 outperforms my Core Duo in many tasks where the complete opposite outcome would be expected. I can't be convinced that the former is not useable when the evidence from my experiences demonstrates otherwise. My Sawtooth is now 20 years old and yet remains useable and practical for a variety of present day tasks.
Are these videos targeted towards PPC users (users such as found in this forum)? Probably not. They're targeted towards the average user who would find them unusable.

As I said it depends on the task one has to perform and how tolerant they're willing to be for the system to complete those tasks. I can use a PPC to transcode 4K video into another format. But for most people performing any kind of heavy transcoding a newer, faster system would be a much better fit.
- - Post merged: - -

If something is incorrect the expertise of the audience is irrelevant - it's still incorrect.
Not when context is taken into account. I can use TFF to browse the web. It's a miserable experience and, despite being a PPC fan, I refuse to do it. Why? Because I don't have the patience to watch web pages draw. A simple scroll of the page causes the system to hang for what feels like forever. Technically I'm browsing the web. Practically I would not advise anyone to do it.
 
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wicknix

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Jun 4, 2017
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I guess I'm in the minority with @eyoungren then. I use 1 of my mini g4's (using linux) daily. It browses 95% of the web at decent speeds, it plays YouTube videos in browser, or externally via mps-youtube, I can watch my favorite Twitch.tv streams, chat on discord (text chat), irc, fab up bitchin art via gimp, create, edit and read documents, spreadsheets etc with libreoffice, rip cds and dvds, stream music, etc etc. The stuff I feel the typical computer user uses their computer for. All this at very decent speeds yet.

My dual G5 is always on compiling stuff and used for development of arcticfox, spiderweb, spidermail, and interweb.

My PowerBook is my living room laptop. It can do all the mini G4 can. That dual boots leopard/Linux depending on my mood.

The other machines are mostly test subjects. My Intel machines usually sit powered off. I might fire up the iMac or macbook to watch plutotv while I hack away on the ppc macs however.

As was mentioned earlier, I find them fun to use. Making them do things nobody thought would still be possible is rewarding.

Cheers
 
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defjam

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Sep 15, 2019
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I'd argue it is misinformation. The wording is really important here. They aren't unusable, as that indicates they can't be used at all, think something like iTools or .mac where the service has been discontinued or a computer that has no software in existence made for it. I'd argue that it is misinformation to call them unusable, because they are very much still usable and many ar in use presently. A better term might be something that acknowledges they're stull usable, but also acknowledges they require a little tinkering to get them working well.
I think you're being pedantic. Yes, I can browse the web on a PPC system. Do I? No, it's a horrible experience and I would not recommend anyone but an enthusiast even bother to try.
 

Dronecatcher

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Not when context is taken into account. I can use TFF to browse the web. It's a miserable experience and, despite being a PPC fan, I refuse to do it.
That's a qualitative matter and not the discussion - back to my point, the G5 being unable to show Youtube in TFF was simply because the prefs hadn't been set. Seeing as the author was seeking to inform he came to the wrong conclusion because he hadn't investigated the software enough.
 

TheShortTimer

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Mar 27, 2017
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London, UK
I think you're being pedantic.
Pedantic? @RogerWilco6502 merely pointed out why descriptions such as "unusable" fall into the category of misinformation.

Yes, I can browse the web on a PPC system. Do I? No, it's a horrible experience and I would not recommend anyone but an enthusiast even bother to try.
I showed someone my G3/500 accessing the web with TFF and they were actually impressed with the performance given the age and spec of the machine. With the browser tweaks provided by @z970mp and @eyoungren, surfing with a PPC machine whilst not without issues, is far from a horrible experience. :)
 
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