The Power Mac G5 was one of the last PowerPC machines Apple produced and sold. It remains a capable computer today. This website is dedicated to the venerable machine, providing users with information on available hardware and software choices for their G5.
Enjoy! -- Nathan
Did you just pick up a Power Mac G5 via eBay, CraigsList, or locally? Are you interested in souping up that old G5 sitting in your garage? Do you need to squeeze more life out of your office or home G5?
The apps linked under our nifty categories above are sort of curated by me and, in some cases, from other great blogs. These apps do not represent an objective "best of" but should be taken as a starting point to find what works best for you.
My Power Mac G5 has been modified from its stock state with a 120GB OWC Mercury 3G solid state drive, a 1.5 TB Western Digital drive, 10 GB of RAM, and a GeForce 7800GT video card.
This website was built on my Power Mac G5, using the following software:
The CSS code and layout are from Bootstrap (3.3.7), an elegant and responsive framework for creating awesome websites. Find out more at the Get Bootstrap website.
Bootstrap is released under the MIT license and is copyright 2014 Twitter.
Drop me an email here - nathan @ g5center.net.
A blog about living and using PowerPC in the age of Intel with information about security updates, maintenance, software options, and more
The development blog for TenFourFox, the most current and secure browser for PowerPC Macs
A blog for all things vintage Mac hardware and software
A blog and RSS feed about Power Macs
A blog with links to PowerPC software, old and new
Links to the last versions of popular software for Power Macs
A blog dedicated to information and resources about classic Macs with tons of information
Working with Pre-Intel Macs, a blog
Old versions of software for PowerPC Macs
Links, software downloads, guides, hacks, and the Yosemite theme pack
A brand new site and blog dedicated to the G5 - check it out.
Published on November 21, 2016
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 reinstalled the system on to a main hybrid drive, and things seem to be back to normal. It might be a faulty SATA cable, but it could be the G5's implementation of the SATA standard which causes weird things with solid state drives. I've had an experience or two with such weird behavior. I would love to get hold of an engineer who helped make these G5s and could tell us more about the quirks and challenges of their hardware and where limitations lie. Maybe someday?
The moral of the story is to be cautious and careful with those SSDs. Your best bet is to go the OWC route, since they care about vintage computing. Or use the small list of suggested compatible drives on this website under "Hardware".
Published on November 13, 2016
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.
Published on October 29, 2016
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.
Published on August 11, 2016
I happened to be in the Bay area just as Cameron (of TenFour Firefox fame) announced his presence at the Vintage Computer Festival West. Why not stop by and get a few minutes with a guy that is a hero to us PowerPC users?
Check the video below, which should be low enough in quality (360p) to be viewable on most of our machines. If you can't view it, let me know and I will generate a downloadable version too.
If you can't get Youtube to work, download a MP4 version by clicking here.
Thanks to Cameron for his work and taking a couple of minutes to chat. Cool stuff!
Published on August 01, 2016
Checking in briefly with a fun story...
Got an email from a loyal reader who had a lead on a ~$40 (canadian) quad G5 which would boot with fans at full speed and then shut down.
The seller was somewhat certain it was related to the cooling system in the G5. But remember - if a computer overheats, it's not typically in the first few minutes after boot. This G5 was shutting down minutes after being turned on.
In the end, it was (partially the RAM. The G5 had an odd number of RAM. Take out the extra stick, and wallah, the system booted, looking for a startup disk. Keep this in mind as you dig around and check out used systems out and about. The fix may be simpler than you think.
Stay tuned for a special update and potential interview later this week.
Update: Liam wrote back with some success after popping out the extra stick of RAM, but the G5 continued to have issues, especially when CPU was set to anything but "reduced" mode. He flushed the quad cooling system, and things seem to be better. So, keep in mind, it could be more than one thing going on. See the comments for a picture of the beauty.