PowerMac G5

Welcome to G5 Center!

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

Welcome & Where to Start

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.

If you need a place to begin, check out the Hardware page and then proceed to the System page to get your machine up and running quickly.


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About My Power Mac G5

Power Mac G5 About Screen

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.


About This Website

This website was built on my Power Mac G5, using the following software:

  • Espresso 1.1.2
  • CSS Edit 2.6.1
  • Pixelmator 1.5.1
  • Snapz Pro 2.3.3

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.

Contact

Drop me an email here - nathan @ g5center.net.


G5 Center Blog Notes, updates, and thoughts about our G5s

elinks

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.

-- Nathan

Interview with Cameron Kaiser

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!

-- Nathan

Check Your Ram

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.

-- Nathan

Our G5s are getting older everyday.

Published on June 28, 2016


My G5 is nearing its 11th birthday (or thereabouts), and perhaps to celebrate, Apple announced that it was finally introducing a new file system to its line of Macs and devices. (Haha!) HFS+ has lived a long life, and it was about time. But with a new file system in the works, it points to yet another distancing of our old Macs with the inevitable future.

The question will be - how long will we on Leopard (or Tiger) have some interoperability with newer Macs? HFS+ support will be ongoing on newer Macs, so it's not something that will be imminent. Someday, HFS+ support will go away. Then, for those of us who may use those newer machines on a regular basis, we may have to make difficult choices or find workarounds to keep all of our Macs working in beautiful harmony.

I was also struck by other developments. TenFourFox, our beloved hero of the PPC community, will continue to face hurdles to get later versions of Firefox (and the security fixes and features that go with them) working. Cameron's work is amazing nonetheless.

I was excited to see Leopard Webkit with a new version out, but it's likely less secure than TenFourFox and potentially will always be.

The Dropbox hack is also likely facing its end of life - pretty soon, I won't be able to sync my various files between devices quite so easily. *sigh*

At some point, we will all face the difficult reality that our Macs are not going to get any younger. Already, on some websites, my G5 sputters and chokes a bit, taking its sweet time to catch up on html, images, videos, and javascript that my iPhone 6+ renders in seconds. It makes you appreciate simpler webpages and simpler times.

Already, my G5 longs to play newer versions of Minecraft instead of the old outdated version someone shared on MacRumors sometime ago.

While a 11 year old may seem quite young compared to some old mainframes chugging along after all these years, I do expect that someday I will come downstairs, press the power button, and hear a final sad whirl as my G5 shuffles off into restful sleep. Until then, I'll continue to marvel at the noisy behemoth and enjoy the many productive hours it has given me creating cool things and interacting with the world.

-- Nathan

Updates & Links

Published on April 23, 2016


It's a nice, wet spring afternoon up here in the lower northeast, so I got a bit of updates done on the website that have been brewing for a while. I continue to want to improve the readability and accessibility of this website. If you have suggestions or feel like something is missing, please let me know in the comments below.

Meanwhile, one subtle change to the website is that I am trying to include notice of when each page was last updated. Below the introduction text on each page, you'll see a new line:

last updated screenshot

I hope it is helpful as you make return visits, looking for new links and other updated information.

Meanwhile, around the PowerPC world:

  • TenFourFox is now at 38.8.0.
  • I came across Hack5190's pretty solid beginning to hardening your G5 to hackers and other potential attacks. Read it here. He lists more information in the posts that follow, if you are so inclined.
  • lotvai77, another MacRumors poster, managed to hack CorePlayer and keep it working on Power Macs. I don't use CorePlayer, but it may interest you.
  • Updates are coming to SimpleMarkPCC... soon.

Enjoy the rest of your Saturday!

-- Nathan