G4 summit: “Slower and slower…”


We are using three Apple Notebooks, all G4 PPC pre-Intel: one PowerBook 12″ and two iBooks 12″. We got them to have less trouble and support issues and so far we are quite happy. Recently on two of the machines we have serious performance issues. My guess is age, the need to clean up the systems and some apps which really slow the Tiger on G4 down…

The age: there seems to be a natural law, whereby hardware seriously degrades after the third year with the first small “incidents” starting in the second year. And let’s not mention the battery issues.

OS maintenance. We hoped to avoid all those Windows hassles when opting for OS X. Do we need to get into expert level of OS X tuning? After ages of Windoze performance tweaking I hoped never to use those words again. I thought only Windows installations age and need reinstallation – is that true for OS X as well?

I love OpenOffice (NeoOffice) and Firefox (and the sibling Camino and off-spring Flock). Unfortunately they seem to seriously slow our G4 Tigers down. MS Office is not an option and Safari is despite all the hype , well, not so great in my humble opinion. Is it because we have G4s? Are the new MacBooks so much better and faster?

I really like Ubuntu and have used it on a couple of machines (incl servers) for quite some time. I hate buying a normal Intel or AMD Labtop and pay for the bloody Vista Licence. Why does Dell not sell the Ubuntu machines over here in Europe? And why do the Thinkpads and Dells of this world look so decisively not sexy. And don’t get me started on Vaios, they look like cheap fashion items, not design statements like the Apples. And have you ever tried to get some support info and drivers for Vaios older than 6 months? Not an option. So please offer some really sexy and innovative Linux notebooks with some very nice must-have features. That can’t be so hard, can it?

How about Nokia? They seem to “get” Linux and are building the desirable N800 handheld. Please Nokia, design some notebooks, show them.

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5 Responses to “G4 summit: “Slower and slower…””

  1. Dunno if you’re still using the G4s. If so, thought you’d like to know about a Mozilla project that produces G4-optimized builds of Firefox and Camino, among others. They don’t work miracles, but they run a bit faster and play a bit more nicely on my own G4. You can get ’em here, courtesy of a saintly developer by the name of RPMozley:


  2. Thanksfor the great tip Josh. We certainly give it a try 🙂

  3. Hi … other than using some optimized build for your laptop, you can try some tricks ..
    Disk Utility – repair disk permission and or verify disk …
    Then clone your disk to external disk … do a fresh install Tiger on the laptop .. then import {migration assistant} from external disk … {I use carbon copy cloner}
    for me I felt performance boosting up after that .. YMMV

    mine is iBook G4/1GHz 1.25GB/RAM 30GB/HD Superdrive DL – July 2004 – new battery last Oct.

  4. Thanks Sai. that is actually what I planned to do, however rather then re-installing Tiger I plan to upgrade the PBs and iBooks to Leopard. We’ll buy a family pack, there are some nicely priced packs on the web.
    The upgrade is mainly due to some apps who increasingly prefer Leopard, so when rebuilding the machines anyway, why not the newer OS?
    Since I deleted lots of big files my PB recovered a bit from the near complete halt a couple of months ago. Disk space is vital. Though Firefox and to e lesser extend Safari still cause problems. I somehow have the impression the PowerPC development and finetuning is not a priority for developers and programmers. And yes, they are probably right, as the number of users will be quickly dwindling from now on.

  1. 1 QOMPUTE

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