You’re reading all articles tagged 'g5'

I shouldn't be allowed near computers

06 Dec 2004

I’ve not had a good time with hardware recently. In the last 2 months, the following has happened:

G4 Powerbook – Tried to defrag using TechTool (yes 10.3 does still need defragging, as it only defrags files under 20mb), managed to corrupt the hard drive, and lost 8 months of digital photos. Now I know I was an arse to try this without backing up first. My freelance work is backed up religiously every night, its just the personal stuff I was slack about.

Tried to re-install the OS using my 10.1 disk and upgrade disks for 10.2 and 10.3. The 10.1 disk no longer worked, so I had to buy a new copy of 10.3 to get the OS re-installed.

G5 – Graphics card died (one whole week after the warranty ran out), no OEM parts available for a few months, so got a third party card which was outputting a signal too powerful for my monitor that it made it switch into standby. A driver upgrade was eventually found, and all was, finally, well.

G4 Powerbook – again. Stopped charging, needed new internal DC connector.

Backup Drive – dropped from a height of 12 inches, and promptly stopped working. Bought a 200gb Firewire 800 drive for less than half the 20gb drive cost me over 2 years ago. Sheesh.

iPod – no longer mounts. Still haven’t solved that one, any ideas gratefully received. It still charges and shows up in system profiler’s list of firewire devices, but no show.

Netgear ADSL Modem – Dies, taking my internet connection with it. No more broadband for me, I’m currently on a restricted dial up connection, and boy do I feel withdrawal symptoms. However, this at least has a good story, as the Netgear comes with a 3 year guarantee, and a replacement is already in the post! When I rang Technical Support, I was straight through to an informed, friendly chap who was enormously helpful. No switchboard – nice one Netgear, I’m very impressed!

Engineers time to attempt to recover data £90
OS X 10.3 £100
Loss of family photos and movies priceless
New ATI Radeon Graphics Cardcard £280
Engineers time to diagnose problem and fit new card £90
New OEM DC Conenctor and engineers time to fit £115
New Firewire drive £120
Total cost *£795*

The only hardware left not to fail is the printer and the scanner. I’m waiting.

The moral of story is, don’t go freelance. Let your company pay for it. Oh, and also, you can’t make too many backups…


Optimized Firefox for G5's

08 Nov 2004

Last week, I linked to a guy who was producing optimized builds of Firefox specifically for Powerbook G4’s. These unofficial builds were noticeably faster, almost blinding. Now, Neil Lee has gone and cooked up a build just for G5’s too.

Grab the build from here, which also includes Kevin Gerich’s pretty widgets as standard!

Unfortunately, this coincides with my G5 being taken in to Oxford Macintosh Solutions (my local lifesavers) to have its graphics card poked and prodded, so I haven’t been able to try it out myself yet. I’m hoping a free advert might help with the bill…


G5 and Panther

12 Nov 2003

My transition to a G5 and then finally Panther has gone easier than I expected. Everytime I upgrade I always cross my fingers and hope that everything will still work. More often than not a few applications can longer work under their environment.

First I discovered that my Apple pro speakers will not work with G5’s as they have a unique connector. You have to shell out £30 for a Griffin iFire adaptor, almost as much as the speakers cost in the first place. It ain’t cheap, but its still cheaper than buying new USB speakers, and the internal speaker in the G5 is tinny to say the least. Other than that, no problems.

Last weekend my upgrade to Panther finally arrived, and it absolutely flies. I’m not sure if its optimised for G5’s, but there is a definite speed increase from Jaguar. For the first time since OS 9, everything feels snappy and responsive. It finally feels faster than my PC. The toned-down pinstripe is much easier on the eye. Although I’m a fan of brushed metal apps like Safari, I find it quite odd in the finder, but I’m getting used to it.

Extensis Suitcase 10 was the only application that wouldn’t work. As I do print design, I wouldn’t consider using FontBook yet. Suitcase will not only auto-activate fonts when opening documents in InDesign, and Illustrator, but it provides a ‘bridge extension’ making the fonts simultaneously active to all classic apps too (in my case Quark 5 is the my only reason for using classic – but its a big one). To get Suitcase to work, I discovered that had all I had to do was dump my previous font database, and re-import all my fonts.

Expose is genius. If you use Clutter to play your iTunes library, you can place all the CD coves on top of each other, and then reveal them all with expose. The only niggle is that it doesn’t show any windows that you’ve hidden. My other favourite addition is fast user switching. Its more than just a flying Borg cube effect – you can set up different accounts for a variety of situations – web development, print design etc. and flick between them quickly.

In short, Panther is the the best upgrade I’ve seen in a long time.


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