On the heels of one of the most successful blog posts in hittingthesweetspot’s short history, PowerPC Macs most definitely still have game, it has come to our attention that readers love stories about older technology–in particular, about their PowerPC Macs.
While the star of our Mac show production here at the blog is the same Sawtooth featured in that post, as Arte Johnson of Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In fame in part used to say, we find it very interesting that so many of you enjoy these posts and help make hittingthesweetspot by Bob Skelley one of the web’s most frequented destinations when they are published.
As we do not poll our readers about what kinds of technology they use, it says here that these pieces generate so much love because many of us are still using older computers, and in particular, old Macs, to get our work done.
While the Intel world satisfies the many Mac users lucky enough to have newer machines, those left behind are not necessarily feeling abandoned.
In last week’s column on PowerPC Macs we heralded developer Tobias Netzel’s latest release of Leopard WebKit for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard users. On my Wi-Fi connection with an Edimax USB Wi-Fi adapter plugged into a non-powered, four-port USB 2.0 hub that rests atop the Sawtooth and connects to a port on the internal USB 2.0 PCI card, Leopard WebKit is the fastest browser.
Windows and Intel Mac users have modern versions of Google Chrome and Firefox. PowerPC Mac users on Tiger or Leopard can run optimized versions of TenFourFox on G5, G4 and even G3 machines. While plug-ins are not supported and disabled by default on TenFourFox, the browser offers modern web capabilities for these machines.
I have been told by many readers that TenFourFox is faster than Leopard WebKit on their machines. Many of these PowerPC Mac users who contacted us were running TenFourFox on wired ethernet network connections. I think if my Sawtooth used the ethernet port for Internet it’d be much the same case. But it is pretty indisputable that on this bastardized-until-the-cows-come-home rig, Leopard WebKit is still king of the Wi-Fi connection when it comes to browsing choices.
So, to summarize the up-to-date web-browsing choices for PowerPC-only Mac owners in 2014, there is TenFourFox for those running Tiger and/or Leopard and Leopard WebKit for those using Leopard only.
There is another bit of software that currently stands at version 3.9, and interestingly enough, is the only web browser (to my knowledge) still being developed for PowerPC and Intel Mac users alike: Roccat Browser. This distinctive, web navigating choice is available for all Mac users running 10.5 Leopard through 10.9 Mavericks.
On the Sawtooth, Roccat Browser starts off fast but begins to bog down after some time using it. It may be attributable to the Wi-Fi connection, but again, Leopard WebKit is faster on wireless for us on the Sawtooth–besting both Roccat and TenFourFox. Your mileage may vary based on whether you utilize wireless or wired Internet connections and also depending on the configuration of Mac you are utilizing.
Although I’ve been called a Luddite for my undying support of all things old (my Schwinn Sprint just celebrated its 43rd birthday!), I use all kinds of technology, both current and not so current. The thing is, when it comes to writing, there is nothing like a Mac. These computers have always been marketed towards creative types and Windows boxes have always been “business” machines. Both are capable of getting the job done. You just have to use the right one for the job you’re doing.
Even on Windows 8, I have to run Malwarebytes scans and keep an anti-virus on my old HP Core 2 Duo. I like that the old box runs Windows 8 similarly well to how the Sawtooth hoists Leopard on its shoulders and transports it. I do utilize housekeeping software on both Windows 8 (Glary Utilities) and OS X Leopard (Onyx, Cocktail and AppleJack).
When it’s all said and done, you can keep harping on how Methuselah-like hardware and software has no place in the heavy-lifting, mobile era we reside. Myself, and thousands of readers worldwide, however, would surely beg to differ. Embrace the diversity of all things old and new. Taking a technologically elitist viewpoint could have Arte crediting you with doing something, “Verrrry interesting…but stupid.”