Tag Archives: developer

How To: Speed Up Your PowerPC Mac (Running Leopard)

Here is a roundup of those tweaks that I’ve used to gain significant performance on my obsolete iBook G4. Follow these to speed up your PowerPC Mac.

I have been a Mac user from the time that I was toddling around our home office.  I’ve dabbled in the other major platforms, but have always seemed to come back to the Mac for its ease-of-use and rich application environment.

iBook G4

iBook G4

In 2005, I purchased an iBook G4 for my wife’s use.  She had never used a Mac, and she was cautious; but she has since seen the light and save for her work environment and gaming, she uses her Mac exclusively.

In 2007, after running rock-solid for two years, we developed a fried DC in board, and we finally decided to upgrade to an Intel-based Macbook.  It was no easy feat, but I replaced the DC in board on the iBook, and suddenly I had myself a laptop to use on a regular basis.

To say that the iBook is underpowered would be a gross understatement.  Even though all applications that live on OS X today are universal binaries, even the newest applications begin to bog the system down.

I maxed out the RAM (at only 1.5Gb) and replaced the hard drive with a 5400 RPM drive, but this still didn’t solve the speed issues I was experiencing.

So, I did what any self-respecting (and financially broke) geek would do and scoured the web for any small tweak that I could make to cause the system to run a little smoother.

Here is a roundup of those tweaks that I’ve used to gain significant performance on my near-obsolete iBook G4.
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Do You Need To Change The World?

I’ve been listening to two stellar podcasts lately: Planetary Radio and Are We Alone? Each time I listen to these shows, the scientist inside of me is rekindled, and I feel like society is taking a turn for the better because of the science happening on this planet and elsewhere in the universe.

After listening to Planetary Radio, I got to thinking (dangerous, I know) about what I am doing, and how it’s far from changing the world. I write this blog, work part-time as a web developer and write fiction in my spare time. Aside from being a father and a husband, is there anything that makes an impact on other people?

So here is the question: do you need to change the world in order to make a difference and stay happy?
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Audio in Modern Computing

With all the focus today on creating modern and more interactive interfaces with the computing platforms we use on a daily basis, it seems to me that we are focusing mostly on the senses of touch and sight, and neglecting the roll that sound could play in the way we use our computing devices.

I realize that most devices are targeted to work with a large variety of consumers, thus allowing someone to use a PC without needing to be able to experience audio-specific cues, but I have to wonder what sort of new ideas could come out of modern interface design if developers were allowed to use audio in a more functional manner.

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The Value of a Higher Education

I’ve been kicking back and forth whether or not to write this article, but this concept has been weighing on my conscience for far too long.  Being a student in Computer Science, I am beginning to notice the students around me more, and their level of competency when it comes to the narrow topics that are being discussed in class.  For the most part, everyone tries their best and gets things done, and as adults tend to actually attempt to understand all of the material.

But there are a select few students that either are just not getting it, or are relying on the “No Child Left Behind” mentality to simply skate through the college experience and earn their degrees.  One problem with this set of students is that they are going to be completely shocked and overwhelmed when they reach a real work environment, and not all requirements and steps are set in stone and handed to them on a silver plate.

This is where my problem with the state of higher education stems.
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Bad Programming is Like a Basket of Loose Socks

I was attempting to find a pair of socks today in our laundry basket, and it got me thinking about how bad programming practices can be like finding a pair of socks in a laundry basket full of loose socks.

This sounds kind of hokey, so let me explain further.
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