The Perfect Blogging Computer – The Final Chapter *UPDATED

Please Read before Main Article

The G5 is Dead, Long Live the G5!

I’m sad to report that my G5 has died on me and it is not easily or economically repairable. I believe the fault is all related to the VLAN which apparently is an issue some of these iMacs had. The question is do I take back what I said about it being the perfect blogging computer. No I don’t it did it’s job perfectly and for 2 years I had a reliable computer that did all that I asked of it and was a pleasure to use. I would advise anyone looking for a specific use to maybe consider old tech. It can be an affordable way for your computing needs as long as you don’t need some of the high end new software.

Where do I go now on my computing needs. I financially in the short term cannot afford a replacement for the G5 unless some incredible £10 comes my way. At present I am using my Wife’s Lenovo laptop as my main desktop. It is attached to another monitor so I have a double screen on the go. Luckily for me my Wife only uses her Laptop rarely and it is easy for me to detach it from my present set up for her to use. I also have an old eMac that has some useful old graphic software so that is on my desk for those resources. I miss my Mac OS and am not a fan of Windows 10 but at present it’s doing the job. Long term I am planning on getting another old Mac hopefully by the end of Autumn. My plan at present is to get a Mac Mini which hopefully will be a bit more up to date to allow me to run some slightly newer software. We will see though as you never know what will happen between now and then.

I may do a brief update (no guarantees) on this temporary set up as sometimes I find interesting what other people manage to make do with in an emergency. I hope others might find interesting how I’m working and what I’m using at present. I do hope you will continue reading about my G5 and find the information I shared in this series useful.

‘When you left me I had just upgraded the RAM to the lofty heights of 2GB’

My G5 in all it’s glory, ignore the eMac on the left that is another story for another day.

It’s all about the software, what do you install on a 15 year old power pc iMac? I obviously didn’t want to spend much money if any. I was however lucky as I had quite a repository of software left over from previous foray’s into the Apple world. The first thing was I had a copy of OS 10.5 leopard, it then made sense to install the newer operating system. Along with the OS I also had copies of iLife ’09 and iWork ’09, that meant I had installed Pages, Numbers, keynote along with iPhoto, iWeb, iMovie and Garageband.

To start with that was a pretty good list of basic software to use. I love pages as a word processor I write all my blog post in pages before uploading and formatting in wordpress. The only annoying thing that iWork doesn’t include is a Database. Appleworks that was already installed does but the problem with it is it is not compatible with anything else (not even more modern Mac software), which is a shame as it’s a really powerful database program. I need a DB that the files can be opened in both Linux and Windows, even old versions of Mac Microsoft Office never had Microsoft Access on them. I went in search and found an older power pc compatible version of Libreofice that has Base their Database program. The files save in Open Document Formats so it will be cross compatible. I’ve only recently installed this so I haven’t had a chance to see how good it is for the databases I want to do. The next thing I decided to do was Time Machine, for those that don’t do Apple Time machine backs up your Hardrive several times a day and stores it on an external drive. It’s not really an archive facility more of an incremental back up system, you can restore single items or restore the whole system. I luckily in a box of delights had an old Buffalo hard drive, 150gb so the same size as the drive on my iMac.

My next issue was a browser. I’m not using this as a surfing machine and the only sites that will be visited are my website and a couple of other trusted sites so I’m not worried about antivirus but I do need a secure browser that works. Luckily that comes in the form of Tenfourfox which provides an up to date (mozilla based) browser with security updates. Email wise I’m not a huge fan of Apple’s mail client so I installed TenFourBird which is a client based on Thunderbird. It is no longer supported but works fine for my uses and is clean and straightforward to use.

A List of Extra Software Installed

  • iLife 2006
  • Audacity
  • VLC
  • Adobe Photoshop CS
  • Audiobook Builder
  • Tenfourbird
  • Tenfourfox
  • Libreoffice

Positives of Using an old Mac

I saw a video on you tube stating that in 2020 you couldn’t use a Power PC Mac as an everyday computer. In my opinion the arguments were weak and reading the comments so did many people. This iMac G5 circa 2004/05 is my everyday machine I write on it, I go onto the internet on it. I read and write emails. I can edit photos and graphics in photoshop. I rarely find a thing I can’t do. I could even watch you tube on it if I wanted but I don’t as I have so many other places to access you tube. The only thing I can’t do is edit HD video this however isn’t a big issue (or an everyday issue) as the few times I need to my wife has a Lenovo laptop I can use for that.

I couldn’t afford a modern 20” Mac with the array of software I want so for me this is the best option. Is old Mac computing for you? Well a lot depends on what you want from you everyday computer. If you want the latest and most up to date tech obviously no. If however you are prepared to use older versions of software and you don’t need the most powerful update machine it may be worth looking at. If you start looking at Intel Macs because the speed of technology has slowed down 10 year old iMacs with upgraded RAM can compete with the newer machines on many things.

I have been using this iMac for around 18 months now and it has done everything I have asked it to. In the end it has done and does more on a daily basis than I expected It to, it is also quite nice to think you are using something that society in general deem outdated and even scrap. I can quite easily see myself using it for a few more years and I have a few plans for it including installing an SSD at some point as that will hopefully increase the speed a little. In conclusion it is a machine that I can just get on and use, I don’t have to play around with it it just works for my everyday needs

Links to the previous posts in this series are below and if you have any questions please ask. Even though this is the last in the series like ‘The Final Chapter’ of any cult slasher movie is the final chapter really the end?

Previous Episodes:

The Perfect Blogging Computer, my £10 iMac -Episode 1

The Perfect Blogging Computer, my £10 iMac -Episode 2

The Perfect Blogging Computer, my £10 iMac – Episode 3

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