The best browser for the PowerPC platform that practically no one’s ever heard of remains Stainless.
My post on OS X Leopard users being left behind by Intuit generated quite a bit of interest on this modest blog.
It would seem there are still a lot of Mac users out there trying to wring every last bit of horsepower they can out of their venerable machines.
PowerPC users are able to remain relevant and have a voice, so long as modern browsers like Stainless are being released for both the Intel and PowerPC platforms.
Although Stainless cannot make up for the dismal performance of not being able to have the latest Flash player on PowerPC, the pros far outweigh the cons for using this nice piece of browsing software. It also demonstrates software for PowerPC is still being developed, albeit in declining volumes, and in this slick, relatively new browser, the killer feature that is parallel sessions shows that as far as PowerPC software development is concerned, where there is a will there is most definitely still a way.
Stainless is an OS X browser first and foremost. It does not make the distinction in respect to PowerPC or Intel platforms functionality-wise: it works on both. People clinging to their PowerPC Macs and recently burned by Intuit with the inability to run this year’s client version of TurboTax, are taking heart with Stainless. On my tricked out, Sawtooth G4 tower, Stainless is nimble, stable and has parallel sessions: only the greatest feature that no other browser has—past or present (or future? Nah, surely Chrome and Firefox developers will come up with something similar, won’t they?).
Stainless’ parallel sessions feature has been around for a while, but after messing with it some for the first time, myself, I find it very killer, not to mention convenient and enjoyable, too. For the uninitiated (and in a nutshell), here’s how it works:
Let’s say you have a couple of email accounts in Yahoo or Hotmail or Gmail or whatever…
Open a tab and log in to the first account. Then open another tab and log into the same service with another account user ID and password. You now don’t have to open another browser entirely in order to be logged in to the same site using different credentials. It’s simple, elegant and wonderfully efficient–like Mac applications used to be.
Perhaps it mostly has to do with PowerPC software development getting hardly any love these days. We have not had much to cheer about since being stranded at OS X Leopard 10.5.8. Perhaps it is just the fact that Stainless is pretty darn good at all it does.
Nevertheless, Leopard was (and still is) a great operating system. In my view, Windows XP is probably the greatest OS ever. It is still being supported, software like this year’s TurboTax works on it and users of XP, if their systems are adequately locked down, protected against the likes of malware, viruses and rootkits, can still enjoy the latest Flash player for YouTube and other streaming media.
Apple’s rapid OS development cycles subsequently make their operating systems obsolete and unsupported well before their time. This has left most Apple users with having to upgrade (now purchase) their machines on a much more frequent schedule. It is good for Apple but bad for many users like those still on the PowerPC platform, whose machines do all they need them to do except run simple tax software like this year’s TurboTax.
At the end of the day, PowerPC Mac owners can use a browser like Stainless to do their taxes via TurboTax online, in lieu of being squeezed out of the client/downloadable version by Intuit developers.
More importantly, features like Stainless’ parallel sessions can for me, stave off the complete irrelevancy of PowerPC Macs on the web entirely. I pressed this post on a PowerPC Mac with Stainless web browser. Much like a 15-year old Volkswagen B5 Passat with a 1.8T engine, it was fast enough and felt plenty good driving, too.