(TenFourFox Development - 26.03.2017, 09:05) TenFourFox 45.9.0 beta 1 is now available (downloads, hashes). This version continues deploying more of the multiple microoptimizations started with 45.8, including rescheduling xptcall which is the glue used for calling XPCOM functions (use CTR instead of LR for branching, reorder instructions to eliminate register and FXU dependencies), more reduced branches, hoisting call loads earlier in code sequences, optimized arithmetic inline caches for both Baseline and Ion code generation (especially integer operations for division, min/max and absolute value), fixing a stupid bug which used a branchy way of doing logical comparisons on floating point values (this passed tests but was unnecessarily inefficient), and eliminating some irrelevant branches in font runs and graphics. While I was at it I cherrypicked a few other minor perf boosts from 46 and stuck those in as well. Also, the font blacklist is updated (fixing Apple and Medium) along with new support for blocking ATSUI-incompatible data:font/* URLs, and th
(G5 Center - 22.03.2017, 04:41) Here's a quick brief update. I stumbled across a mirror of some G5 resources from an old version of Apple's Developer Connection. Great links here with developer information about Power Mac G5s and optimization resources. If you find something cool, share it in the comments. Now, go read. http://mirror.informatimago.com/next/developer.apple.com/hardware/g5/index.html -- Nathan
(powerlinux - blog - 20.03.2017, 00:20) I am excited to share with you that DeepLearning4J (DL4J) , a Java-based open-source, distributed deep-learning toolkit for building, training and deploying Neural Networks is now available on Power. Following our foundational belief in...
(powerlinux - blog - 17.03.2017, 15:59) A new update release for the 10.0 series of the IBM Advance Toolchain for Linux on Power is now available. This release contains a series of features and fixes, including: GCC provides: Use of VSR when operating on float and integer . Fix for...
(powerlinux - blog - 28.02.2017, 03:31) Earlier this month Google's TensorFlow 1.0 was announced and dominated the sessions at the TensorFlow Dev Summit 2017. It's amazing to see how far the TensorFlow environment has come since its initial release a little over a year ago. If you missed the...
(TenFourFox Development - 26.02.2017, 06:12) The long-in-the-tooth hashing algorithm SHA-1 has finally been broken by its first collision attack (and the broken SHA-1 apparently briefly broke the WebKit repository, too). SHA-1 SSL TLS certificates have been considered dangerous for some time, which is why the Web has largely moved on to SHA-256 certificates and why I updated Classilla to support them. Now that it is within the realm of practical plausibility to actually falsify site certificates signed with SHA-1 and deploy them in the real world, it's time to cut that monkey loose. Mozilla is embarking on a plan of increasing deprecation, but Google is dumping SHA-1 certificates entirely in Chrome 56, in which they will become untrusted. Ordinarily we would follow Mozilla's lead here with TenFourFox, but 45ESR doesn't have the more gradated current SHA-1 handling they're presently using. So, we're going to go with Chrome's approach and shut the whole sucker down. The end of 45ESR (and the end of TenFourFox source parity) will occur on June 13 with the
(G5 Center - 12.02.2017, 02:21) The world has felt a little more apocalyptic as of late, so maybe it makes sense that all of a sudden we have a couple of "App Stores" for our PowerPC Macs running Leopard or Tiger. Is this something we need? Maybe. Maybe not. You get to decide. PPCAppStore - https://ppcappstore.wordpress.com/ The coder of this simple but effective app posted here on the site, so I am happy to share a link. The app is apparently built in RealBasic (like my own SimpleMarkPPC) and handily categorizes and links to a variety of useful software. The app is not going to be the most stylish one in the world, but it is effective and well-organized. I did notice a link or two pointing to Macintosh Garden, which might be something to frown up if you are a deeply ethical-minded person. Granted, this is the state of software for us PowerPC folks, so I'm not too concerned. But something to note. Keep an eye on his website for updates or to post suggestions. PPCStore - http://www.leopardrebirth.net/ Folded in as a part of LeopardRe
(powerlinux - blog - 09.02.2017, 18:36) A new update release for the 9.0 series of the IBM Advance Toolchain for Linux on Power is now available. This release provides some package updates, including: GCC provides a fix for the vector swap optimization. Oprofile provides support for the POWER...
(powerlinux - blog - 06.02.2017, 12:06) The Advance Toolchain build scripts are available at GitHub: https://github.com/advancetoolchain/advance-toolchain It's open source under Apache 2.0 license, we accept contributions using the Developer's Certificate of Origin 1.1 process. Please...
(TenFourFox Development - 05.02.2017, 04:36) TenFourFox 45.8 is coming along -- Operation Short Change (my initiative to rework IonMonkey to properly emit single branch instructions instead of entire branch stanzas when the target is guaranteed to be in range) is smoothing out the browser quite a bit but there are hundreds of places that need to be changed. I've finished the macroassembler and the regular expression engine (and improved both of them in a couple other minor ways), and now I'm working on the Ion code generator. This mostly benefits systems that cannot fit generated code into cache, so while the Quad G5 with its (comparatively large) 1MB per core has only improved somewhere on the order of about 5%, I expect more on low-end systems because hot code is now more likely to stay in the i-cache. I am also planning to put user agent support in 45.8, and there are a few other custodial improvements. The idea is to release that to beta testing around Valentine's Day so I don't have to buy you lot any flowers. A long while back I mentioned a couple
(viva PowerPC blog - 30.01.2017, 13:38) And so does my more-than-year-long PowerPC hiatus. Last week I sold the HP 7300 desktop (Core-i5 based), I bought back in September 2015 to be my main desktop in the new flat (to which we moved after the birth of our son) and put the PowerMac G5 where it's supposed to be - on my desk. Last thing I did on my G5 (February 2016), was replacing faulty Radeon 9800 Pro, which died after six years of duty, being reflashed from PC version and overclocked in January 2010. My current graphics is a Radeon 9650, which is probably not as fast in 3D as the previous one, but has passive cooling only and is in fact a Mac edition, so there is no need for additional powering as before. The G5 still works like a charm, now I have a lot work to do. I haven't processed my digital photos since December 2015, as I never found it to be exactly a pleasure on the PC. That will take me more than a couple of days. Aside from this, there is some stuff that needs to be done: I want to upgrade RAM from 4 GB to 8 GB. Not that 4 GB is not
(Power of PowerPC - 28.01.2017, 02:17) Look at those 2 large gorgeous 1920x1080 27" HP Monitors hooked up to my nVidia GeForce 7800GS card on my G4 Quicksilver still running Debian Jessie. Posts on graphics card upgrade and migration to SSDs coming soon...
(powerlinux - blog - 27.01.2017, 20:32) Watson, Siri, the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa have inspired worldwide interest in deep learning and the promise it holds for artificial intelligence (AI) development. But today, deploying this technology can be costly and time-consuming, often requiring...
(G5 Center - 23.01.2017, 04:27) Another year, another year of service out of my G5. 2017 for me promises to be a weird year - of resistance, change, renewal, and growth. I plan to get back to school with some graduate studies. I plan to write and read more. I plant to program a tad more. I plan to try some new things. On the G5 front, I really appreciate all the emails that come my way, and I hope my meandering responses are helpful. I'll be combing through those emails and offering up a new Troubleshooting page to the site, with tips and suggestions when your G5 goes horribly wrong. Let's face it - these old Macs won't last forever. Second, I am hoping to dive back into some programming in XCode and work on a thing or two. New software for our PPC G5s is essentially non-existent or rare. We have TenFourFox, maybe Leopard-Webkit, SimpleMarkPPC (shameless plug), and some themes (like LeopardRebirth). Can we encourage new versions of software or new software products for our aging hardware? I think it's a worthy goal. Stay tuned. I'd love
(TenFourFox Development - 21.01.2017, 06:05) Let's try that again. TenFourFox 45.7.0 is now available for testing ... again (same download location, same release notes, new hashes), and as before, will go live late Monday evening if I haven't been flooded out of my house by the torrential rains we've been getting in currently-not-so-Sunny So Cal. You may wish to verify you got the correct version by manually checking the hash on the off-chance the mirrors are serving the old binaries.
(Quadras, Cubes and G5s - 11.01.2017, 18:44) I love serendipity. Today I was searching for a copy of Power Windows, a great Mac OS system control panel that provides a number of goodies such as full window dragging, translucent menus and more. Much to my surprise, the first entry that showed up in my Google search results was a file in a […]
(System Folder - 09.01.2017, 20:11) Overall I’m glad to be leaving 2016 behind, as it wasn’t a particularly great year. However, as far as vintage computing goes, I can’t complain at all. I was able to bring both of my old iPods back to life by updating their storage with Compact Flash cards (8 GB for the iPod mini, 16 GB for […]
(powerlinux - blog - 06.01.2017, 18:47) A new update release for the 10.0 series of the IBM Advance Toolchain for Linux on Power is now available. This is a maintenance release and contains a series of updates: GCC provides: Shrink-wrapping optimizations. Fix PowerPC 64-bit little endian fusion...
(powerlinux - blog - 05.01.2017, 22:35) It’s been an exciting year, and one that I’ll be looking back on with much satisfaction for many years to come. In the space of a year, we’ve created PowerAI, converting Deep Learning from a promise into a technology that’s ready to...
(PPC Luddite - 28.12.2016, 22:24) The Macintosh Garden forums had a bit of a Christmas surprise this year with news of a new BitTorrent client called MacTorrent. Not just any BitTorrent client, but one that runs on Mac OS 8-9.2.2 (a separate OS X version runs on 10.3-10.6.8). Somebody should tell these developers that the Classic Mac OS (the real Mac OS) already had its funeral and there's no reason to write useful and awesome applications for it. After all, the only reason Mac OS 9 isn't quite useful and awesome enough to run as an everyday system these days is a lack of useful and awesome modern applications. Or something like that.In my limited testing so far, MacTorrent seems to work. It's bare at this early stage, but the developers are working on adding features such as magnet links in the future. Be part of the testing and give it a download. Download the .sit file labeled "Classic" for the Mac OS 8-9 version, and the .zip file labeled "PPC-OSX" for the OS X version.If someone wrote an h.264 decoder for Youtube streaming on OS 9
(G5 Center - 20.12.2016, 04:38) Like many of you, when I get a new computer, I typically toss the documentation back into the box, no matter how compelling it looks. I've met people who read it front to back, and sometimes, there is helpful information therein. But I'm reckless and prefer to dive right in, figuring things out on my own. On cold nights though, it can be fun to dive back in to the technical information available to you with a cursory search in Apple's support section of their website. To get started, go here: https://support.apple.com/manuals/powermac I decided to dig back in case I had missed something before per the oddities that happen between our G5s and certain Solid State Drives (SSD). Was there a particular feature to the Serial-ATA implementation that could be a clue? Was there something special about either drive bay? Here are the three documents I picked through: Power Mac G5 (Late 2005) - Tech Brief Power Mac G5 User Guide GeForce 7800GT Graphics I'm not saying this stuff is riveting reading, but it mig
(G5 Center - 16.12.2016, 04:10) A loyal reader asked me a good question - where do you go to find a discussion forum for other PowerPC users? The actual question included a subtle suggestion that I open up some kind of forum or give a way for more ongoing discussion here on the site. I love that idea, but my history with web forums, especially on small sites like mine, is that they get stale and stagnant. No need to create competition among our limited community, and I really don't like the security issues that come with hosting forums. Spam is a major issue. First, you are always welcome to hijack any post thread I have with a specific question or something to share, even if it is off-topic. Go for it. I appreciate that a number of people email me, and I do apologize if I don't get back right away or miss your email. Feel free to send again. I won't take offense. I have a full-time (plus) calling, and my schedule tends to be unpredictable. Second, here are some suggestions if you want to discuss your machines, trade war stories, offer l
(Quadras, Cubes and G5s - 06.12.2016, 08:27) One of the rarer Macintosh models these days is the Power Macintosh G3 All-In-One (AIO). Challenged in the beauty department, the G3 AIO is an odd looking duck, whose overall shape, when viewed head on, is not dissimilar to a human tooth, leading to its “popular” moniker of “the Molar Mac”. These machines ARE fairly […]
(G5 Center - 22.11.2016, 04:18) In more news along the solid state drive front, I got a fascinating conundrum from a loyal reader about issues with what we first wondered to be a failing motherboard or overheating. After installing a new SSD and using it as the main drive, he reported beachballs and crashes after waking from sleep, forcing a shutdown. Sometimes, the G5 worked like a charm. Sometimes, everything ground to a halt. It didn't seem to have any rhyme or reason, kind of a random thing, which makes it difficult to track down. I typed out my standard line of troubleshooting, starting with what changed. Did you install RAM recently? Put in a new hard drive? Install a new video card? Fiddle with something that you shouldn't have? Then, go down the checklist of cleaning out the case, testing temperatures, double checking cables, switching RAM in and out, and so on until you figure it out. And if all of that fails, then flailing your arms in frustration because it might or might not be your motherboard. But good news - the reader rei
(PowerPC Liberation - 20.11.2016, 09:14) I am sure most you have heard that Debian has dropped PowerPC as a release architecture. If anyone is interested in the reading the meeting notes where it was discussed it can be found here. Basically it came down to lack of support. According to the Debian team there were no porters for PowerPC to maintain it as a release architecture. There is also the issue of outstanding bugs. An example
(System Folder - 16.11.2016, 18:22) Every time someone with a vintage G3/G4/G5 PowerPC Mac asks me what browser would be my preferred choice for such systems, I always suggests TenFourFox, because it’s stable, secure, and actively maintained. However, you may have a Mac that barely meets — or doesn’t meet at all — TenFourFox’s minimum system requirements: TenFourFox requires a […]
(G5 Center - 14.11.2016, 02:04) Introducing SimpleMarkPPC Version 1.2 After some delay, I am tickled to release the newest version of SimpleMarkPPC. While the basic functionality remains the same, the app is greatly improved and a bit more configurable. Your preferences with font size, font type, and autosave features are now saved and restored. Autosave is indeed optional - if you like it, turn it on and adjust a little slider to control how quickly it kicks in. Or save manually, which might work better if you are conserving battery or prefer to get a preview of your work at your own pace. I cleaned up a few other little bugs, though I'm sure something is going to crop up. I'd appreciate your feedback in the comments below. You can grab it here. -- Nathan
(G5 Center - 30.10.2016, 02:58) While G5Center has slowed down a bit, my offline life continues to keep me overwhelmed. Have no fear though - more posts and updates are coming, including a long awaited next release for SimpleMarkPPC. I've been having fun with tigerbrew lately. It was really helpful to begin messing around with multimarkdown, which is the core of SimpleMarkPPC, but I'm continuing to have fun with some of the other command line utilities that work great on our Macs. Check it out for yourself. Tigerbrew even gives us a simple option to web browse from within Terminal.app. The downside is that browsers like elinks are text only, but if TenFourFox runs slow on your ancient PowerPC machine, you might find it a quicker way to get to certain websites. See the screenshot below. Once you install tigerbrew, all you need to do is type 'brew install elinks' to test it out for yourself. -- Nathan
(PowerPC Liberation - 18.10.2016, 04:24) Just a quick note to let you all know we're still alive. Content will come as time allows. Though we are a team of writers, each of us is also our own satellite - since we each have our own orbits in life. The point is that we write when time allows, which means that when we do post something, you know we mean it.
(PPC Luddite - 08.10.2016, 11:06) As macOS Sierra is busy underwhelming the computer world, you'll be happy to hear there's still software being spun for good operating systems like Tiger and Leopard. I've gotten a few emails pointing to a few new titles, so I wanted to pass the word on.First, there's an update to PPC Media Center, our favorite GUI frontend for youtube-dl. This brings it to version 6.5 (and requires 6.0 already installed) and includes many Theatre Mode improvements. Here's the download.Next, Daniel Milisic tells me he has new versions of Pianobar and TSclientX for Tiger and Leopard PowerPC.His port of Pianobar is actually called PianoPPC and brings back the Pandora terminal client to Tiger and Leopard desktops. I've tested it myself and it works fabulously. Here are a few brief instructions:After unpacking the download, the application must be run only from the /Applications folder or it will not launch. Also, for automatic login with your Pandora email and password, create the text file ~/.config/pianobar/config and sa
(PPC Luddite - 23.09.2016, 22:00) I feel a little paranoid even posting this, especially after Tim Cook loaded all those Samsung phones with explosive devices like a ninja. A few weeks ago I came into contact (won't say the method or the medium) with an insider at Apple (won't say who) of some distinction (won't say their rank) who first dangled and then delivered pictures of the new 2016 Mac Mini. Ordinarily I'd be like, "Cool," but nothing to risk my neck over. The Mac Mini isn't the most exciting product ever, but this Mac Mini, my source said, is different. It's a revolutionary new Mac Mini, and one that would hint at changes to the entire Mac lineup. This is a paradigm shifter. It shows Apple's changing priorities and where Jony Ive & Co. intend to take the whole Mac product line in years to come. The old Mac Mini is no more. It's time for a new form factor, new internals, and even an assault on the very concept of internals.Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you the 2016 Mac Mini:As you can see, it's minnier than ever. "H
(Quadras, Cubes and G5s - 07.09.2016, 15:27) Those of us who enjoy tinkering in the world of vintage Macs often have to deal with an unfortunate consequence of the passage of time that leads a Mac to be called “vintage” – the yellowing (and even browning) of part or all of the Mac’s case, monitor or keyboard/mouse. At times, this can be […]
(PPC Luddite - 20.08.2016, 04:06) Look who bumped into each other at Vintage Computer Festival West.Also, I've been using the new TenFourFox 45 beta. It's a smooth ride, like driving a vintage '38.
(PPC Luddite - 20.08.2016, 04:06) Friend of this blog and PPC Media Center creator Adam Albrec has a new Kickstarter out. Some of you may be aware he's a photographer in one of his various lives, and his Kickstarter is for five volumes (available individually or as a set) of his fine art nude photography in print. Here's the link:The V.E.P. Fine Art Nude Photo Collection by Adam AlbrecAs noted in the description, these will be hard-bound, high quality printed books available in full size or an economy-size option. In addition to the photos, there will also be written descriptions about Adam's camera systems and composition techniques, etc.So click on the link above and read! The Kickstarter lasts till Sept. 17. Fund it early and often!
(Quadras, Cubes and G5s - 12.08.2016, 18:59) I mentioned in an earlier post that I had acquired a very rare Apple AppleVision 850AV 21” monitor. Debuting in 1997, the 850AV was a high end, nearly 80 lb. bruiser of a display with a hefty $2,000 price point. The 850AV could be run at resolutions all the way up to 1600×1200 with a […]
(PPC Luddite - 21.07.2016, 11:06) ILamp iMacs (G4s) are maybe the most notoriously difficult Macs to get a Linux desktop on, mostly because of the GeForce graphics they were afflicted with came with. Since I don't have one and haven't tried to put Linux on it myself, I haven't posted anything about it, but PPC Luddite reader Gary R. via email shared a very concise set of instructions on how to get Ubuntu running on his, so I thought I'd post it here.Here I quote Gary very liberally:This is how I got Ubuntu to work:Download Ubuntu 16.04 minimal install iso for ppc.Install system utilities and Ubuntu MateWhen finished, rebootAt yaboot type: Linux nomodeset singleWhen you reach root, type: visudoBelow: root ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL type: username ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL (as per your instructions)Hit Control o, hit return, then exitnano /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-framebuffer.confcomment (#) nvidiafb, uncomment vesafbwrite, save, exitnano /etc/modules, add nvidiafbwrite, save, exitnano /etc/initramfs-tools/modules, add nvidiafbwrite, save, exitupdate-initr
(Quadras, Cubes and G5s - 06.07.2016, 18:52) Just a quick update. The Happy Macs lab (and us with it!) has finally successfully relocated to new quarters, and we are slowly digging through the mountains of boxes. Over the next several weeks, I hope to work through the lengthy process of unpacking and establishing my computer lab again. Right now, the Happy Macs […]
(PowerPC Liberation - 06.07.2016, 07:14) I have been trying to see how much I can get done just using the terminal. I have my Debian partition on my PowerBook G4 running Awesome. It is a very lightweight tiling window manager. It does take some practice getting use to but once you have it set up, navigating around is not hard. One tool that I have just come to love is the mutt email client. I have found very few lightwieght email
(System Folder - 18.06.2016, 22:00) With regard to acquisitions for my small collection, I can say that May was a really good month. After the very nice haul I talked about in my previous entry, I received a package from Morgan which contained a few items of interest: Macally 10BaseT/10Base2 Combo LC PDS Ethernet Adapter. After finally installing a similar […]
(PPC Luddite - 07.06.2016, 11:11) It seems like just yesterday that I was bitching about Vevo videos on Youtube breaking my Greasemonkey downloaders, and Adam Albrec came to the rescue with PPC Media Center, a GUI frontend for youtube-dl written in all AppleScript. Now he's back with another update and we're all the way at version 6 now. Through that time, the app has evolved from a simple streamer and downloader to a full-featured package that's added multi-segment video support, MP3 creation, Universal binary support, etc., and now with version 6 adds even more to the festivities.New to this version (quoted from the Read Me):1. Now supports List (Youtube) / Album (Vimeo) Play & Download.2. AutoDownloading (Batch) - In the background; separate from Primary Play/Download/MP3-creation functions.3. Enhanced WebM-avoidance for PPC systems and only downloads as a last-resort - with a prompt (Intel Mac areunaffected).4. Dynamically check Python version, and can even work in Intel systems with system-Python problems.5. New Smart Installer, de
(PPC Luddite - 31.05.2016, 07:27) You may have noticed Twitter recently updated their mobile site when accessing it in TenFourFox. It used to look like this (old convo, don't know if anything came of it):And now it looks like this:The problem, as with most website "upgrades," is it's slow as molasses. Gone is the zippiness. Instead, we get a mobile site that's almost as slow as the regular site. So I boxed mobile.twitter.com with FoxBox to see if it helped, and I found something interesting. I get a paired down, much faster version of Twitter:Then I went back to TenFourFox and used User Agent Switcher to change the user agent to an iPhone 3 and found the same paired-down site. Interesting, so it's a user agent issue. The iPhone 3 solution isn't wholly satisfactory as it breaks some other sites, but after some trial and error, I found that the user agent for TenFourFox 37 gives me the same stripped-down, fast Twitter, so apparently Twitter Mobile only gives you the new layout if your user agent is TenFourFox 38 or higher.I wanted to cha
(System Folder - 30.05.2016, 03:26) These past years, my vintage collection has expanded mostly thanks to generous — sometimes very generous — donors. These last additions, instead, came from a ‘rescue mission.’ It’s been a while since I did my last, and I had missed the fun. Thanks to a valuable tip from my brother-in-law, I learnt that a local design […]
(Power of PowerPC - 25.05.2016, 04:09) A heads up: this post is going to be pretty boring as well, but probably even more so than the PCI USB one due to the fact that I do not currently have any Firewire devices to test with at the moment. Not even an older Firewire iPod. That should change in the future as I plan on purchasing and using external storage devices via Firewire. For now, it is just nice to know that I have the availability.I purchased a Sonnet Tempo from Amazon for $54.98. I wanted the card due to the fact that it has 2 Firewire 800 ports (and one 400).As before, I also used the lspci -v command in Debian to make sure the card showed up and was available and active. Sure enough we are good to go with the card using the firewire_ohci kernel driver.0001:10:13.0 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Texas Instruments TSB82AA2 IEEE-1394b Link Layer Controller (rev 01) (prog-if 10 [OHCI]) Subsystem: Device 0ee4:3884 Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 16, IRQ 53 Memory at 80083000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=2K] Memory at 800880
(PowerPC Liberation - 23.05.2016, 20:35) This is likely at least 3-4 years away, but h.264 is on its way out, now that h.265 (HEVC) has been adopted by more and more people. Just as XviD was dropped by most in 2012, the same fate is inevitable for h.264 within a few years. There are two key issues that keep h.265 off PowerPC: 1. Playback - there are currently no available playback applications capable of playing the h.265 codec