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.
Published on December 29, 2017
Despite some big hopes and dreams to develop SimpleMarkPPC more, 2017 ended up being a quiet year for the site here. I didn't get as many updates as I wanted, but that's not the end of the world. It's not as if PPC software is exploding with new entries. We are essentially a somewhat viable fringe legacy platform. So, here's a quick rundown of some of the intriguing news of the past year:
TenFourFox remains the most vital application for our G5s to stay connected and relevant on the internet. Cameron deserves his wide appreciation for the coding he does. Great guy! In fact, FPR5b1 is available as I write this.
LeopardRebirth is also a fun little package that updates the look and feel of your Leopard machine. It also includes a solid little PPC Store app. It's getting updates and features some apps that I'm not familiar with but seem really useful. In some ways, this makes G5Center a little less relevant, but that's fine. Grab it here.
On the negative end of things, Dropbox has officially stopped working on my G5. Did the server side have enough tweaks to close down our little loophole? Whatever happened, it gave my G5 a final countdown and no longer connects. I haven't had free time to take a stab at fixing it, so we'll see if CZO finds a workaround on the old thread here.
In 2018, I am going to do some more experimentation with a few products that might give us a syncing option with our older and newer Macs. Cross-platform would be the best - something relatively simple and brainless to setup too. I'm also going to post a few articles about vintage Macs here and there.
In truth, I feel that 2017 brought us closer to the "end" for our PPC Macs. Once TenFourFox doesn't become viable, our G5s will still be useful, but they will be useful in the vein of other older vintage Macs. Software will keep on going, and they can serve a purpose - but the temptation to upgrade to even older Intel-based dual Macs will be irresistible. Heck, I picked up a $150 Core2Duo iMac for this purpose, and it's getting more use as my regular writing/home office machine. Change happens.
Here's to a great 2018!
Published on December 04, 2017
I highly recommend the following article which walks through an old Power Mac G5 in its capabilities and context in its day - why it was both an intriguing machine, a power hungry one, and a sign of imminent changes at Apple. Excellent, enjoyable read.
Published on September 29, 2017
Last week, I picked up a super cheap Core 2 Duo iMac that is capable of running High Sierra for under $150. With a couple of extra sticks of RAM and an inexpensive SSD, the Mac will likely ease up my back and forth between work and home, so I don't have to worry about leaving my MacBook Pro behind. But there was one hitch...
The SSD, a Samsung 840 Pro, would not show up in Disk Utility in the High Sierra USB boot drive. And opening up and fiddling with iMacs requires firm but patient hands. The less I was yanking that drive in and out, the better. What to do, right? Why wouldn't it read in this newer machine? What mistake did I make?
Before I panicked though, I decided to the simplest task first. Open up the iMac, pull out the drive, toss it in an old USB hd exclosure I had, and plug it into my Mac Mini G4. And yeah, it showed up in Disk Utility there. Weird, right? I formatted it to HFS+, moved it back to the iMac, and was off and running.
Speaking of formatting, APFS, Apple's new hard drive format, is here, initially only working on SSDs. High Sierra did not install correctly when I formatted the SSD in APFS at first - kept booting back to the USB drive - but when I formatted the SSD as HFS+ first, the installer reformatted the drive and the install worked. Apple has some kinks to work out, especially as the support doc ominously warns "you can't opt out of the transition to APFS".
With this new drive format though, it's time to face the truth - newer Macs using APFS cannot be read by older Macs. Yes, a newer Mac using the standard can access older shares and hard drives, but this represents another one of those milestones that leave those of us with Macs on 10.5 or before a little bit farther behind. If you are running a mixed bunch of Macs, it may be that figuring out how to stay on HFS+ will sidestep this change. Alternately, keep using things like Dropbox to share files between your computers or have a separated shared file server of some kind.
The question is - will it be possible to make an APFS driver/app to access newer Macs? I wonder.
Published on August 24, 2017
Yes, it's been a while since I have posted. At the beginning of June, I embarked on my first sabbatical experience, so I've been away from G5, out of the country, vacationing, and whatever. I'll be returning to normalcy soon, so in the meanwhile, here are some things from my glorious readers.
Alex from Italy asks about trackballs compatible with the G5 - I figure trackballs are old enough that it is plug and play, but maybe not?
I asked if you know a list of TRACKBALL compatible with G5. On the Mac Pro Intel, I have the Kensington Expert Mouse, I think it's the top but I can not find the driver to run it with G5 .... Good Logitech too!
Peter asks about two step verification and Mail.app in Leopard:
I'm sure that i'm not alone with this issue, but since July I have not been able to access my iCloud mail account using Mail 3.6 on my G5 (OS 10.5.8) or Mail 4.6 on a Mac Book Pro (OS 10.6.8). I can still access iCloud using a web browser (TenFourFox on the G5) but this is not as convenient as having a Mail client running in the background, as it has been doing more many years. I have tried setting up the 2 Step Verification (on an iPad with iOS 10), but despite going through the motions, still get a password not applicable message on the G5. I have also tried using other mail apps, but get the same results. Does this mean that we can no longer use a G5 (or similar) for iCloud mail (except via a web browser) or is there a solution out there?
If you have any suggestions, post here in the comment section.
Now for something completely different, Myles Crawford wrote me with a writeup of his exploration of getting AdonisJS working on a Power Mac. It requires Linux and some workarounds, but I was very impressed by his work. Check it out, complete with screenshots.
Published on May 15, 2017
On the positive side of things, despite the ongoing reopening of the Net Neutrality battle, my internet just got upgraded to near gigabit speeds. Of course, it's probably temporary, since I'm not sure why I need that much raw throughput and most of my devices use wifi anyway. Still, it has led to me do some testing to see what speeds I am getting.
For example, on my 5ghz connection on my iPhone 7, Speedtest shows 76.35 Mbps down and 111.09 Mbps up. Not bad. This probably echoes what my AppleTV, iPad, and other devices get.
For my Dell connected via gigabit ethernet to the router, I cleared 600 Mbps up and 900 Mbps down. Very, very nice.
For my Mac Mini G4, also connected directly to the router but via a 10/100 Ethernet port, I only managed a measly (relatively) 80 Mbps up and 90 Mbps down. Is this also bottle-necked some by the CPU or older hardware in general? Perhaps.
For my Power Mac G5 which is connected via ethernet through an inexpensive TP-Link 500Mbps powerline adapter, I unfortunately had the worst performance so far - 43.99 Mbps and 34.52 Mbps. These powerline adapters are a decent alternative if you have flaky wifi and need something more robust, but they are a bit disappointing. At this point, I'm rethinking whether or not to use these powerline adapters at all and just hook a long cable from the router into my G5. We'll see.
If you want to test your speed, unfortunately, you can't use the classic flash version of the Speedtest site but it does redirect to a beta HTML5 version which TenFourFox handles well. Alternately, use the command line. You will need Python 2.4 or later, so I'm not sure if Tiger users are out of luck or not.
1. Install the python Speedtest script.
sudo easy_install speedtest-cli
2. Run it.
3. Share your results in the comments section below.