Merge Tux and that old, tattered PowerPC Mac, and create something beautiful (Image Credit: ) The Trouble With Old Hardware The main challenge you’ll run into with older hardware is that Apple considers it obsolete and stops supporting it. When that happens, you might think you’re out of luck and need to retire what used to be an excellent machine. However, I’m here to tell you that even a 2005 PowerBook G4 can still run modern operating systems, with some TLC and tinkering. I was able to revive that PowerPC Mac running Linux. My current build is running, a lightweight flavor of Ubuntu.
Mac apps come in three different flavours: PowerPC, Universal and Intel. As you’d expect, the latter is fine, as all Macs these days run with Intel processors. Universal is similarly problem-free, as it includes both Intel and PowerPC support – the only problem being that this dual support increases the file size of these apps and eats up. MacRumors attracts a broad audience of both consumers and professionals interested in the latest technologies and products. We also boast an active community focused on purchasing decisions and technical aspects of the iPhone, iPod, iPad, and Mac platforms.
The beauty here is that PowerPC is still alive, well, and fairly well supported. What Can You Do With Older Hardware? Curious what you might be able to accomplish with a PowerPC-based laptop? Here’s what I’ve been able to accomplish so far, since I revived my PowerBook G4 and brought it up-to-date with a Lubuntu installation. Write Markdown documents using, a very excellent Markdown editor.
Create and edit Word documents and Excel spreadsheets using. Surf the web. Handle email tasks. Create web pages. Much, much more Getting the Revival on for Your PowerPC Mac Running Linux What you need to get started depends on what type of optical drive you have in your G4- or G5-based PowerBook or Mac. If you have a DVD drive, you can simply burn the to a disk and start that way.
My PowerBook G4 has a CD-R/W drive, though. Because of this, I had to create USB install media. Assuming you’re fortunate enough to be able to boot from a DVD, it’s really simple. Just burn the ISO to a blank DVD, insert it into your PowerBook or other PowerPC-based Mac, and press the “C” key while the computer boots up. My DVD Drive Doesn’t Work, Though If you are comfortable with Terminal on your newer Mac, this is still pretty simple. Heck, even if you aren’t comfortable, the job can be done. Here are the steps you need to take.
Take note of what the filename is for your ISO image of Lubuntu 16.04. Insert your USB Flash Drive. In Terminal, find out the device ID for your USB Flash drive. Type this command into Terminal: diskutil list.
Look for the name of the USB flash drive, and remember what it’s called. It should be something like /dev/disk2s3. Now, we’re going to unmount the USB flash drive so we can work directly with it in Terminal. Do this by typing this command in Terminal, replacing disk2s3 with the device identifier for your USB flash drive: diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk2s3. Once that step completes, it will be time to create the USB flash drive installer you need to start installing Linux. Creating a USB Installer for Lubuntu You’ve got your USB flash drive prepped, and you know what to call it. Go ahead and issue this command in Terminal to create the USB installer drive.
Change “lubuntu.iso” to the proper filename, and be sure to use your disk identifier in the of= parameter. Dd if='/Users/username/Downloads/lubuntu.iso' of=/dev/disk2 bs=1m It’ll take a few moments (or longer) to complete.
Once done, you’ll be ready to insert the USB installer into your PowerPC-based computer and boot from the stick. This part isn’t so easy. Using OpenFirmware to Find Your USB Installer Many PowerBooks and other PowerPC-based Macs use OpenFirmware, allowing you to boot from devices that don’t show up otherwise.
This is how you might do a net boot, for instance, or boot from a USB drive. Note that not all PowerPC-based Macs support this, but most do. To get into OpenFirmware, you’ll need to reboot your PowerPC-based Mac.
When you hear the startup chime, make sure you’re pressing and holding Command-Option-O-F. Keep holding those four keys down until you see the OpenFirmware prompt. Now, find out if your USB disk has shown up. Type this at the prompt: dev / ls Look through the list of devices for an entry like usb0, usb@1b,1, etc. Hopefully, one of them will have disk@1 beneath it. If not, type this at the prompt: probe-usb Now you should see the right USB device. Take note of what it’s called, then type this: devalias This gives you a list of aliases for the devices.
Find the one matching your USB device (usb0, usb@1b,1, etc). Booting Your PowerPC Mac Into the USB Linux Installation Finally, type this to boot from that device. Replace usb0 with the actual device alias you found previously. Boot usb0/disk:3,yaboot Once it boots up, which could take some time, simply follow the instructions to get your PowerPC Mac up and running using Linux.
I won’t go into the finer details of partitioning the disk, since the assumption here is that your installed version of OS X is too dated for you to want to keep it. If that doesn’t work out, you might consider a netinstall of Linux.
In a future article, I’ll outline how you can go about doing that. If you want to see first-hand the PowerBook G4 running Linux and you’re attending, find me. I’ll be happy to show off my Frankenstein’s monster of technology.
As useful and well-written as this article is, it has an incorrect assumption: namely, that support for old Macs will continue in Linux. In fact, 32-bit PowerPC support is going away in most flavors of Linux, especially ones that are based on upstream Debian (see ). This affects Ubuntu and all of its various flavors, for starters, as well as Mint.
I believe that the only Linux distro with 32-bit support that will be left is Gentoo; while well-documented, Gentoo is not for the faint of heart. PowerPC support still exists in NetBSD, FreeBSD, and OpenBSD. Whatever happened to the Black Lab and Yellow Lab Linux that ran on these when the PowerPC was still new? Linux has always been the best way to revive ‘obsolete’ hardware.
I was running it on 386s when everyone else had started buying Pentiums. I still run a full install of the bleeding-edge “current” release of Slackware Linux on my old Asus EeePC 2G Surf (from back when netbooks were new) ever since the Knoppix Linux it came with stopped working right. Added a fast, fat SD card and I have all the room I need. The 256M of RAM Read more ».
The, the last model of the series. The Power Macintosh, later Power Mac, is a family of that were designed, manufactured, and sold by as part of its brand from March 1994 until August 2006.
Described by MacWorld Magazine as 'The most important technical evolution of the Macintosh since the debuted in 1987,' the Power Macintosh was Apple's first computer to use a processor. Software written for the and processors that were used in Macintoshes up to that point would not run on the PowerPC natively, so a was included with System 7.1.2. While the emulator provided good compatibility with existing Macintosh software, performance was about one-third slower than comparable machines. The Power Macintosh replaced the Quadra in Apple's lineup, and were initially sold in the same enclosures. Over the next twelve years, the Power Macintosh evolved through a succession of enclosure designs, a rename to 'Power Mac', five major generations of PowerPC chips, and a great deal of press coverage, design accolades, and controversy about performance claims.
The Power Mac was discontinued as part of, making way for its replacement, the. Front view of a Power Macintosh 8100/80AV, the most powerful first-generation Power Macintosh. The original plan was to release the first Power Macintosh machine on January 24, 1994, exactly ten years after the release of the.: 26 Ian Diery, who was EVP and general manager of the Personal Computer Division at the time, moved the release date back to March 14 in order to give manufacturing enough time to build enough machines to fill the sales channels, and to ensure that the Macintosh Processor Upgrade Card would be available at the same time.
This was a departure from prior practice at Apple; they had typically released upgrade packages months after the introduction of new Macintoshes. The Power Macintosh was formally introduced at the in Manhattan on March 14. Pre-orders for the new Power Macintosh models were brisk, with an announced 150,000 machines already having been sold by that date. MacWorld's review of the 6100/60 noted that 'Not only has Apple finally regained the performance lead it lost about eight years ago when PCs appeared using Intel's 80386 CPU, but it has pushed far ahead.'
Performance of 680x0 software is slower due to the emulation layer, but MacWorld's benchmarks showed noticeably faster CPU, disk, video and floating point performance than the Quadra 610 it replaced. By January 1995, Apple had sold 1 million Power Macintosh systems. Speed-bumped versions of the Power Macintosh line were introduced at the beginning of 1995, followed in April by the first models: an all-in-one model called the and a replacement for the called the. Variants of these machines were sold as well, continuing the practice of re-branding other Macintosh models for sale in department stores and big-box electronics retailers.
While the 5200 LC was well-received by critics for its design, performance, and cost, both it and the 6200 suffered from stability issues (and in the case of the 5200, display issues as well) that could only be solved by bringing the machine to an Apple dealer for replacement parts. By mid-1995, the burgeoning Power Macintosh line had all but completely supplanted every prior Macintosh line, with only the high-end and two low-cost education models (the all-in-one and desktop ) remaining in production.
The competitive marketplace for 'accelerator cards' that had existed for earlier Macintosh systems largely disappeared due to the comparatively low price of Apple's Macintosh Processor Upgrade Card (US$600). Sold upgrade cards for the IIci and various Quadra models, and full motherboard replacements were available from Apple as well. From companies like and were also coming to the market at this time, undercutting Apple's prices.
Transition to standardized hardware (1995-1999). Rear view of a Power Macintosh 7500/100.
When the Power Macintosh was introduced, it included the same internal and external expansion connections as other Macintosh models, all of which (save for audio input and output) were either wholly proprietary to, or largely exclusive to Apple computers. Over the next five years, Apple replaced all these ports with industry-standard connectors. The first generation of Power Macintoshes had shipped with NuBus, but by the end of 1993 it was becoming clear that Intel's was going to be the widely adopted future of internal expansion.
Apple's position as a relatively small player in the larger personal computer market meant that few device manufacturers invested in creating both NuBus- and PCI-compatible versions of their cards. The first PCI-based system was the range-topping, introduced in May 1995.
This was followed shortly afterwards by the introduction of the 'Power Surge' line of second-generation Power Macintosh systems – the,. The 8500 and 9500 were built around the new, offering speeds starting at 120 MHz. 's review of the 8500 showed a speed improvement in their 'business applications suite' benchmark from 10 minutes with the 8100/100, to 7:37 for the 8500/120.
They also noted that the 8500 runs an average of 24 to 44 percent faster than a similarly-clocked chip, increasing to double on graphics and publishing tasks. The transition to PCI continued into 1996, with the introduction of the all-in-one 5400, desktop 6300/160 (usually sold as a Performa 6360), and mini-tower 6400 models. The success of the market also prompted Apple to produce its own inexpensive machine using parts and production techniques that were common in both the clone market and the desktop market at the time.
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The (sold as a 7220 in Asia and Australia) employed bent sheet metal instead of plastic for its case internals, and included a standard instead of a that was standard with Apple computers up to that point. Alongside the transition to PCI, Apple began a gradual transition away from hard disks to as a cost-saving measure, both for themselves and for users who wanted to upgrade their hard drives. The low-end 5200 and 6200 were the first to adopt IDE internal drives, though Apple's proprietary 25-pin external remained. The beige Power Macintosh G3 models being the last to include SCSI drives as standard, and it was the last Macintosh to include the external SCSI connector. When the was introduced in early 1999, the port was replaced by two ports. The Blue and White G3 was also the last Macintosh to include ports, a proprietary technology created by to connect keyboards, mice and such as those from. Two were also included, making this the only Power Macintosh to include both ADB and USB.
Another port that was retired during this time is the. This was a proprietary version of the industry-standard connector for Ethernet that Apple had created to avoid confusion with the 15-pin connector that Apple used for connecting external displays. The AAUI port required a costly external transceiver to connect to a network.
By the early 1990s, the networking industry was coalescing around the connector, leading Apple to include this port alongside AAUI in mid-1995, starting with the. The Power Macintosh G3 excluded the AAUI port. The was released in the second half of 1999; it was the first Power Macintosh to include only industry-standard internal and external expansion. For some years afterwards, a number of third parties created that provided backwards compatibility to users of newer Power Mac systems with old hardware. This included companies like Griffin Technology, MacAlly Perhiperals, Rose Electronics and many others. In some cases, these companies produced adapters that matched the aesthetic design of the Power Mac.
Industrial design and the Megahertz Myth (1999-2002). A complete Power Mac G4 Cube system, including a 17', speakers, keyboard, and mouse. Shortly after ' return to Apple in 1997, was appointed senior vice president of industrial design. Building on the critical and commercial success of the, Ive and his team created an entirely new case design for the Power Macintosh G3, combining many of the aesthetic principles of the iMac (curves, translucent plastics, use of color) with the ease-of-access characteristics of the company's popular ' Macintosh models from previous years. The result was the, a machine that received considerable plaudits from reviewers, including 's Technical Excellence Award for 1999. 'The Power Mac provides the fastest access to the insides of a computer we've ever seen,' they wrote. 'Just lift a handle and a hinged door reveals everything inside.'
This case design, code-named 'El Capitan', was retained through the entire lifetime of the Power Mac G4. The introduction of the Blue and White G3 mini-tower also marked the end of the desktop and all-in-one Power Macintosh case designs, the latter being replaced by the. A second model called the was introduced in 2000, which fitted the specifications of a mid-range Power Mac G4 into a cube less than 9' in each axis. This model was on sale for about a year before being discontinued, and was not considered a sales success (150,000 units were sold, about one-third of Apple's projections), but the distinctive design of both the computer and its accompanying speakers prompted the in to retain them in their collection. The PowerPC chips in the G3 and G4 became a central part of Apple's branding and marketing for the Power Macintosh. For example, the Blue and White G3 features the letters 'G3' on the side that are fully one-third the height of the entire case, a significant departure from the small labels typically used on prior Macintosh computers.
And when the Power Mac G4 was introduced, print ads included pictures of the G4 chip and mentioned its instruction set by its own marketing name, 'Velocity Engine'. A related element of Apple's marketing strategy, especially after mid-2001, was to highlight what they described as the ', challenging the belief that a processor's clock speed is directly correlated with performance. This had become important with the introduction of Intel's, which featured significantly higher than competing chips from Sun, IBM, and, but without a corresponding performance benefit. The company's public presentations - in particular - often featured lengthy segments pitting a high-powered or computer against the Power Macintosh in a series of benchmarks and scripted tasks, usually in. These presentations often showed the Power Macintosh besting Intel's Pentium chips by margins significantly exceeding 50%, but independent benchmarks did not bear this out. InfoWorld reviewer Jennifer Plonka reported that the 400 MHz G3 was 11% slower than a comparably-specced Pentium II-450 in an Office applications suite test, while Photoshop 5.0 was faster by 26%. And in 2003, ran a variety of gaming, Photoshop and benchmarks, and reported that the Dual 1.25 GHz G4 system was about half the speed of a dual-processor Intel 2.8 GHz system.
A related criticism leveled at Power Mac systems from this time, particularly the G4 Mirrored Drive Doors, was the increased fan noise level compared to older systems. The Power Mac G5 and the end of Power (2003-2006) By the time the was unveiled at Apple's in July 2003, Apple's desktop range had fallen significantly behind competing computers in performance. The G5 closed much of this gap by moving to the processor with clock speeds up to 2.0 GHz, and a full 64-bit architecture. It also introduced a significantly revised enclosure design, replacing the use of plastics with alloy. Because of the front panel's visual similarity to a, the Power Mac G5 came to be known as the 'Cheese Grater Mac'. Reviews were generally positive.
InfoWorld described the G5 as 'Apple's best work yet', and said it 'delivers on the present need for rapid computing, deep multitasking, and responsive user interfaces — as well as the future need for mainstream computers that rapidly process and analyze massive data sets.' PC Magazine again awarded the Power Mac G5 with its Award for Technical Excellence for 2003. However, the G5's heavy weight (10 pounds more than the previous year's Quicksilver Power Mac G4), limited internal expansion options, issues with, and noise in the single-processor models' resulted in significant criticism of the product. Apple also continued to make unsubstantiated performance claims about the new Power Mac.
This resulted in the for the United Kingdom banning Apple from using the phrase 'the world's fastest, most powerful personal computer' to describe the Power Mac G5 after independent tests carried out by the determined the claim to be false. Another claim made by Steve Jobs at the 2003 was that the company would be selling a 3 GHz G5 by mid-2004; this never happened. Three generations of Power Mac G5 were released before it was discontinued during. The announcement of the transition came in mid-2005, but the third generation of G5 systems was introduced towards the end of 2005.
Most notably in this generation was the introduction of a Quad-core 2.5 GHz system. Not only was this the first Apple computer with four processing cores, it was the first to incorporate instead of for internal expansion. It also required an C19 power connector that was more common on rackmounted server hardware, instead of the industry-standard C13 connector used with personal computers. The official end to the Power Macintosh line came at the 2006 Worldwide Developers Conference, where introduced its replacement, the.
The G5's enclosure design was retained for the Mac Pro and continued to be used for seven more years, making it among the longest-lived designs in Apple's history. Models The Power Macintosh models can be broadly classified into two categories, depending on whether they were released before or after Apple introduced its 'four quadrant' product strategy in 1998. Before the introduction of the in 1999, Apple had shipped Power Macintosh-labelled machines in nine different form factors, some of which were carry-overs from pre-PowerPC product lines, such as the and the. This was reduced to one model in the new product strategy, with the exception of the in 2000 and 2001. 1994-1997 Apple named Power Macintosh models from this period after the first pre-PowerPC model of Macintosh to use a particular form factor, followed by a slash and the speed of the CPU. For example, the Power Macintosh 6300/120 uses the 's form factor and has a 120 MHz CPU. Machines with 'AV' in their name denote variants that include extended audio-video capabilities.
Machines with 'PC Compatible' in their name include a with an x86-compatible CPU; these models are therefore capable of running and applications, typically. Machines with 'MP' in their name denote machines that include two CPUs. These early models had two distinct generations. The first generation uses the and processors and used the old expansion slots, while the second generation uses the faster 603e, 604 and 604e chips as well as industry-standard expansion slots.
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The second generation also makes use of, allowing them to more easily boot alternate operating systems (including via ), though. The Power Macintosh 7220. The PM 4400 is a desktop case with a height of 5.4 inches, suitable for horizontal placement with a monitor on top. /160, 200, 200 (PC Compatible) (Marketed as the Power Macintosh 7220 in some regions) PM 5200 The PM 5200 is an all-in-one form factor with specifications and internal designs similar to the Quadra 630. Collectively these machines are sometimes referred to as the 'Power Macintosh/Performa 5000 series'. /75 LC. /100, 120.
Dediprog sf600 drivers for mac. /100 LC. /120, 180, 200.
/225, 250 Centris 610. The, a version of the first Macintosh to use a PowerPC processor. The Centris 610 form factor is a low-profile 'pizza-box' design with a height of 3.4 inches, intended to be placed on a desktop with a monitor on top.
/60, 60AV, 66, 66AV, 66 (DOS Compatible) Quadra 630 The Quadra 630 form factor is a horizontally-oriented design with a height of 4.3 inches, suitable for placing a monitor on top. /75. /120, 160 Performa 6400 The Performa 6400 form factor is a mini-tower design, suitable for being placed beside a monitor. /180, 200.
/225, 250, 275, 300 IIvx. The Power Macintosh 7100/66. The IIvx form factor is a horizontally-oriented desktop form factor with a height of 6 inches, suitable for placing a monitor on top. /66, 66AV, 80, 80AV PM 7500 The PM 7500 form factor is a horizontally-oriented desktop design with a height of 6.15 inches, suitable for placing a monitor on top.
/75, 90, 120 (PC), 200 (PC). /166, 180 (PC), 200. /100. /120, 132, 200 Quadra 800 The Quadra 800 form factor is a mini-tower design, with a width of 7.7 inches. The, the first Power Macintosh based on the form factor. /80, 80AV, 100, 100AV, 110, 110AV.
/110. /100, 120. /120, 132, 150, 180. /120 PM 9600 The PM 9600 form factor is a mini-tower design with a width of 9.7 inches. /200, 250, 300.
/120, 132, 150, 180MP, 200. /132. /200, 200MP, 233, 300, 350 1997-2006 Starting with the Power Macintosh G3, Apple changed its product naming to include the generation of PowerPC CPU, with the name of the form factor or a key feature afterwards in brackets. The Power Mac G5's name was changed to incorporate the time period in which the model was released. The all-in-one models would eventually be spun off into the line, whilst the compact form factor models would be spun off into the. (Desktop, Mini Tower, All-In-One, Blue and White).
(PCI Graphics, AGP Graphics, Gigabit Ethernet, Digital Audio, Quicksilver, Quicksilver 2002, Mirrored Drive Doors, Mirrored Drive Doors FW800, Mirrored Drive Doors 2003). (original, June 2004, Late 2004, Early 2005, Late 2005) Naming The Power Mac brand name was used for Apple's high-end tower style computers, targeted primarily at businesses and creative professionals, in differentiation to their more compact 'iMac' line (intended for home use) and the 'eMac' line (for the education markets). They were usually equipped with Apple's newest technologies, and commanded the highest prices among Apple desktop models. Some Power Mac G4 and G5 models were offered in configurations. Prior to the Power Mac name change, certain Power Macintosh models were otherwise identical to their lower-cost re-branded siblings sold as the and, as well as the dedicated and lines. Other past Macintosh lines which used PowerPC processors include the and later models, and as well as the, which was not technically a Macintosh.
Advertising and marketing Apple positioned the Power Macintosh as a high-end personal computer aimed at businesses and creative professionals with an consisting of several and print ads. The television commercials used the slogan ' The Future Is Better Than You Expected', featuring the first three Power Macintosh computers to showcase special features such as and compatibility. In 1993 and 1994, a television advertising campaign created by aired with the slogan 'It does more, it costs less, it's that simple.' See also. ^ Mello, Adrian (April 1994).
^ Somogyi, Stephan (August 1994). '1 - How We Got Here From There'. Marshall, Martin (November 28, 1988).
Vol. 10 no. 48. Tom Hormby (February 22, 2006). July 29, 2013.
Coale, Kristi (July 8, 1991). Vol. 13 no. 27. InfoWorld Media Group, Inc. Quinlan, Tom (October 7, 1991).
Vol. 13 no. 40. InfoWorld Media Group, Inc. Quinlan, Tom (August 5, 1991).
Vol. 13 no. 13. InfoWorld Media Group, Inc. Corcoran, Cate (September 27, 1993).
Vol. 15 no. 39. InfoWorld Media Group, Inc. Quinlan, Tom (March 21, 1994). Vol. 16 no. 12.
InfoWorld Media Group, Inc. Gruman, Galen (June 1994). MacWorld Magazine. Pogue, David (January 1997). Hungry Minds.
P. Chapter 13 - The PowerPC Macs: Model by Model, pg. Gruman, Galen (February 1995). Corcoran, Cate (November 15, 1993). InfoWorld Magazine. Vol. 15 no. 46. Retrieved 2018-01-16.
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