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.
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.
Published on April 26, 2017
In anticipation of an updated or remastered Starcraft, Blizzard made the big news of releasing the classic version for free. Here's the bad news: It works on newer Macs but not on older machines like my G5.
I still have both an original Starcraft disc, Brood Wars expansion disc, and original key, so using the carbon installer, I was able to get Starcraft back on my Mac and in action. And you know what? The game still rocks.
Some games do not age well, but Starcraft still feels spry, fun, and gripping. The story line is fine, but it's the way the missions are put together and the difficulty grows bit by bit. Multiplayer is a blast, although I doubt I'll try to find a game. The graphics actually still look good and have a ton of charm, even while the cut scenes look pretty awful by today's standards.
I've been asked to toss up more games on the site, so look for me to do that in the coming weeks, including Diablo II which is another classic that still works great on our Macs.
Published on April 24, 2017
One of the great Youtube links for Power Mac machines lately comes via ItsMyNaturalColor, a guy with a ton of enthusiasm and love for old Macs. He has a series about putting together the fastest Blue & White G3 tower ever, including an upgraded CPU, SSD drives, RAID drives, ATI 9200 Radeon Card, and Bluetooth. It's a monster machine, and even if you think it is a waste of time, his enthusiasm will get you in the end.
While that is Video 5 of the series, start from the beginning if you want. It's a fun waste of an afternoon.
As a followup, I enjoyed this video as he unboxes a G5 quad and then absolutely gets devastated when he sees what a mess it is in.
Enjoy! -- Nathan