Just when you think it’s time to pack it in when it comes to PowerPC Macs and their choices for up-to-date browsers, a new revision to a browser you use comes along and bam! You’re sticking with your old reliable Power Mac once more.
For me, my most recent ah-ha moment came upon the latest release of Developer Tobias Netzel’s excellent Leopard WebKit for Power Macs running OS X Leopard. Released a short two days ago, I immediately downloaded and installed it once I saw it was available. With this update, Leopard WebKit has leapfrogged to the front of the modern PowerPC browser speed race for me on the grizzled, veteran Frankenmac that is my Sawtooth G4.
What PowerPC users look for as much as anyone who uses a computer is speed. While speed is of course all relative depending on the user, for PowerPC Mac users access to modern browsers can be a bit of a struggle. While I occasionally poke fun at how fast versions to modern browsers for Intel machines are released (Firefox is up to 25.0.1 at press time), the PowerPC community suffers no such fate. New version browser releases are not nearly as prolific and come along at a more pedestrian rate.
Along with Netzel and Leopard WebKit, Dr. Cameron Kaiser and the good folks at TenFourFox are helping keep choices for modern web browsing alive on the Mac PowerPC platform. TenFourFox offers the best overall choice for browsing on PowerPC Macs in my view. On this 1.8 GHz processor upgraded G4 with 2 GB memory, however, the latest Leopard WebKit takes the speed crown over TenFourFox.
On a family member’s 1.5 GHz G4 PowerPC Mac Mini with 512 MB of memory, TenFourFox made it feel rejuvenated. Prior to the most recent release of TenFourFox (17.0.11), an old version of Firefox had the Mac unusable on the web with the spinning beach ball of death weaving its maddening message to give up the ghost. The TenFourFox installation had the Mac and the user screaming for joy soon thereafter, however.
While TenFourFox is my go to browser on the Sawtooth, when I’m just looking for speed in browsing, the most recent version of Leopard WebKit fits the bill nicely. Pages are loading fast with Leopard WebKit and so far none of the bogging down after prolonged use is occurring as with previous versions. Even when the browser slowed (on previous versions), a simple click on “Reset Safari…” had it humming along nicely again. As I don’t need things like history, cookies, cache or autofill forms saved, this had been the quickest way to restore speed to Leopard WebKit in previous versions. Again, the release two days ago has so far not needed this reset to maintain its nimbleness.
When running Leopard WebKit I recommend installing “ClickToFlash” and “ClickToPlugin” extensions to improve performance as also suggested by Tobias on the Leopard WebKit home page. These two extensions are available under the “Related Information” tag. Also under this tag are suggestions to run Glims for Safari (1.0.39 last version for PowerPC). Glims puts your search function and performance into hyper drive. Lastly, Tobias recommends “Privoxy” (also located under the Related Information tag) as an ad blocking solution. I have it installed and running. It works quite well on Leopard WebKit and TenFourFox. Privoxy seems to add an additional layer of speed and performance with its ad stripping. This one is a Your Mileage May Vary recommendation, as on both the G4 Mac Mini and Sawtooth, it did seem to facilitate faster loading of pages sans some ads stealing precious CPU cycles.
Glyde has got groove, it’s got meaning
Used Glyde to sell my wonderful iPhone 3GS that was retired from service as I have upgraded. I will heartily recommend Glyde to anyone considering selling his or her old devices. It could not have worked any easier or better. I will be using Glyde once more when I have occasion to sell used kit.
Tiger, Leopard high water marks for Apple Operating System Software?
Snow Leopard may be Apple’s Windows XP in terms of operating systems that consumers just cannot part with. Personally I have had numerous clients who refuse to upgrade from Snow Leopard. Some of them switched from Windows XP and encountered significant initial set up costs when making the move to the Apple platform. A few years into the switch, they never saw fit to upgrade to either Lion or Mountain Lion. Many of these machines are eligible for the free Mavericks, but so far a lot of them are staying with Snow Leopard. All this said, I pose the question, based on dollar expenditure alone, were Tiger and Leopard (not Snow Leopard) at roughly $129 each Apple’s most “premium” operating systems ever released?