Tag Archives: mac os x

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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The Fear of Using Windows – Part 3: Windows Alternative: Linux

In the last entry of this series, I discussed the true cost of owning a Windows-based computer.  Although the one-time upfront fee may sound like a great deal, in order to keep your computer running for years to come, you must invest a large amount of time, money and effort.

In this entry, I would like to discuss an alternative to the Windows operating system: Linux.
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Software Spotlight: RadicalCodex

RadicalCodex 1.0

RadicalCodex 1.0

There has been a lot of controversy lately about the viability of commercial, closed source applications running on Linux as a platform. The purists believe that all closed source applications are inherently evil, and should not be allowed to run on Linux, as it spoils the world of freedom. The other side of the coin are the people thinking about the future of Linux as a viable platform for even our grandparents to use.

I subscribe to the latter point of view. I’d like to point out one amazingly awesome piece of closed source commercial software for Linux.

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The State of Modern Computing

I have been working on two clients’ computers over the past few days and I have come to a conclusion:

The only way to avoid malware is to not use Windows.

Now, I’ve had my bouts with hating Windows, but this post isn’t going to be completely about me.

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Resources for Web Developers and Designers

Recently, I’ve been going back to college to finally get my degree in Web Development. For a teacher, I gathered links that I had used in my work out in the field. Here is a collection of everything I could think of.

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Software Spotlight: BBEdit

I’ve been doing hand-coded websites for more than 8 years now, since I was in high school. I started with the plain old Notepad on Windows, and shifted between many different products as time passed.

I was brought into the world of context-highlighting, modern editors with EditPlus. Though I don’t use that product anymore on Windows, it certainly got serious work done with it.

After making the switch back to the Mac in 2004, I went searching for a new editor with the same (or better) features as EditPlus. I came across a product called BBEdit, by Bare Bones Software. I used this editor through to the end of the 30 day free trial, and did something completely unprecedented in my computer use: I bought the full version.

I paid $49 for the educational edition of version 8 in 2005. I hadn’t bought software ever before, aside from that which was bundled with hardware. This was a new experience for me, but one I really don’t regret.

BBEdit is a feature-complete text editor with context highlighting supporting more languages that I could list here in short order. It has a unique “tabbed” interface, using a right-side “document drawer” rather than traditional tabs. This allows you, as in most modern editors, to edit multiple files in one instance of the program.

Though I haven’t found reason to upgrade to the newest 9.0 release, I would gladly pay the $30 price if I had income of my own. I’m not sure if the feature set is drastically different from the 8.x line, but I’m sure there are performance and other enhancements from Bare Bones Software.

This has been the most used program that I’ve ever purchased, and I would purchase it again in a heartbeat and support the developers, that is if I had the money.

If you use Mac OS X and are looking for a professional, feature rich text editor, look no further than BBEdit.

Software Spotlight: Synergy

I wanted to change things up a bit from the droll rants and incoherent ramblings. Today, I’d like to spotlight a program that I use on a daily basis, and kind of “share the love” with anyone wanting to streamline their computer use.

The Synergy Project is a software component that provides KVM functionality through a server-client software product.

Do you have multiple computers that you use constantly, and have a whole bunch of keyboards and mice laying around your workspace? No need to buy expensive KVM hardware, just download and install the Synergy software to your PCs, regardless of platform.

Not only can you share one keyboard and mouse across multiple computers, the clipboard is constantly shared across the setup, allowing you to easily move text and URLs from one machine to the other.

The Setup Process
Using the plain server/client setup, things can be a little hard to handle on the OS X/Linux side. With the Windows version, there is a nice GUI application for configuring both the server and the client.

With the OS X and Linux versions, configuration must be done through the configuration files, which use a fairly cryptic format.

Well, not to worry, there are GUI tools out there. On OS X, I use Mac OS X Synergy Configurator. With Linux, I find that the QuickSynergy program works wonders.

My Setup
I use two computers on a regular basis. I have a G4 iBook that sits next to the monitors for my desktop PC which dual-boots Ubuntu and Windows XP, which runs the Synergy Server.

Using the GUI tools, it couldn’t be easier to get things up and running.

I use this software the entire time I sit in front of my computer setup, and it couldn’t work better. This software has allowed me to successfully unclutter my workspace, with only one keyboard and mouse across the platform.

So, go, download the software and get started right away.