Recently, I was given a Mac G4 to replace the ancient PowerMac 9600 I had (that was incapable of running OS X). Now with the G4, I can finally learn the ins and outs of OS X. For a guy who used to work for Apple as a Windows/PC-basher, it’s been humbling.
Since the computer lacked its original discs, I didn’t have a way to update it or boot from CD should something go wrong. Thank you to all the people who offered me their old OS X discs.
Major kudos to Kevin S. for the computer. I can’t thank you enough.
And major kudos to Aaron M., my old drumming buddy, for coming through not only with a OS X Tiger DVD, but also a DVD-ROM drive! I did not expect that last piece in the puzzle at all.
A memory store online was blowing out RAM, so I got an additional 512K for an exceptional price. Yesterday, I transferred my old second hard drive into the new Mac and it mounted, so I’m good to go!
If anyone’s got any suggestions on free essential software, I’m listening.
(One open question for OS X gurus: My old drive I took out of my 9600 will mount its two partitions on the desktop; I can access them and move files between them and the G4s original drive. But for some reason, when I’m in an application, I can’t save from that application to the old drive’s partitions because the partitions don’t show up in the drop-down “Save As…” menu. Is there a trick to get the computer to display them from within an app’s “Save As…” menu? Big thanks to anyone who can answer this. I tried Googling for an answer, but have come up short. Oh, and the computer’s still running OS 10.2.8. I’m not going to switch over to 10.4.X until I’ve got the hang of the file system in OS X and can rest assured that formatting the original hard drive will go the way I want it to.)
9 thoughts on “The Mac Guy Thanks You (+ A Question)”
Essential free software:
Web browsers: Camino, Firefox. Try them both. Even better, search for G4 optimized builds of both. Even faster.
Email: Mozilla Thunderbird
Instant Messaging: AdiumX
System tweaks/tools: Cocktail
Video/audio playback: VLC
Those are the ones that come to mind immediately. All can be downloaded by going to http://www.macupdate.com or http://www.versiontracker.com and all are free.
Thanks for the recommendation on the G4-optimized Firefox. I had no idea such a thing existed!
I know the other software, but not Cocktail. Will give that a try, too.
I used to be a devoted VersionTracker guy in my Mac OS 7, 8, and 9 days.
“Is there a trick to get the computer to display them from within an app’s “Save As… menu?”
(this is how I’d do it on 10.4… I don’t know how much will work with 10.2)
You may be able to open up a Finder window, then drag the mounted volume from your desktop to the side bar (where it should normally appear). That may force it to reappear.
If that doesn’t work, you can always hit a “/” in the “Save As” dialogue to pull up the “Go To Folder…” dialogue, then type “/Volumes/”, and your disk will be in there.
You could even add an alias to /Volumes/ on your desktop (or something) for easy access.
Thanks. I previously noticed the “/Volumes/” dir when I did an info check in the Disk Manager.
I will try your solution. Being old school, it pains me that the solution is geekier than it should be. The Mac lost a bit of its ease of use going to OS X. Smacks of DOS too much.
And yeah, I have a built-in antipathy toward Terminal, too. If the Unix buffs want to go that direction, great. But everything else should be intuitive and without the need to resort to Terminal—ever.
Yeah, I know: blasphemy to the Unix gurus. That’s just me. Sorry!
Ah, yes… I am one of those Unix gurus, so that is a perfectly reasonable solution for me.
Oh, and one more thing that no one seems to have mentioned: Quicksilver: http://www.blacktree.com/ — click “Quicksilver”.
You’ll need OS 10.4, but it will be well worth the upgrade (I don’t know how I live without it)
As a PC guy, this post made me smile. I recently did essentially the same thing – moved our ‘data’ second hard drive to a new PC that we use as a server of sorts. The 2 laptops access it wirelessly and we store all of our data on it to make backups easier.
It was almost immediately accessible on the new machine in all apps and once shared and re-mapped on the laptops, was accessible there too.
I know, there are plenty of PC issues that mac folks snicker about, but it’s nice to see the roles reversed for a change. 😀
Don’t laugh too hard. Try putting a hard drive formatted FAT16 into a Windows XP box and see how far that gets you. That’s about the equivalent here. Those two drives were OS 9 and I put them into a Unix OS and they mounted right away. That’s pretty incredible.
In contrast, it took me almost 45 minutes to get my my wife’s relatively recent Dell notebook with XP SP2 to see our networked laserprinter. On the Mac? Two minutes. And I’d never attempted such a thing on OS X before. I’d done the equivalent on the PC dozens of times.
Nearly everything is harder on the PC. Trust me, I literally wrote the book on that at Apple. And that’s still the case today. It’s why Macs keep gaining market share. The only place it gets dicey is when you have to run some arcane Unix line command when getting into core functionality of Mac OS X. A little like running a DOS command on Windows. That capability is there for the geek, but the average Joe will never need to access it, especially on a fresh box. This G4 is a cobbled-together thing that should probably have its hard drives wiped and the System reinstalled. How many computers are nine years old and can still run and play well with recent software? Hello, Windows 98? Windows ME? *Shudder* I’m running Firefox 3 Beta on this Mac no problems.
Aw, come on, let the PC guy have his moments, OK? 😀
I know, mostly Macs are easier. The box I was referring to is actually a 7 year old Dell PC with a SCSI boot drive originally made for Windows NT 4.0. It’s been wiped and I installed XP Pro on it. It does pretty good running MS Office and the stuff my kids throw at it. The drive I installed is a 3-4 year old Ultra ATA drive. I did have one minor issue as the on board IDE/ATA controller didn’t recognize the second drive right away. I had to enable the IDE in the bios, so I guess I had a similar issue as you. Once I flipped the bios switch, though, all was good.
Right out of college I was a Mac guy all the way. Of course then (1991-1992), the alternative was DOS I think. I’m not sure when Windows came out. When we got our first computer in 1995 we had to go PC because my wife was going to use it to work from home. (It was a Packard Bell, Windows 3.11, Pentium 60 MHz and a 400 MB hard drive, 8 or maybe 16 MB RAM – Woo-hoo!) I hated that thing compared to the Macs of even 3-4 years prior. Nowadays, Windows is not as bad.
My fondest recommendation would be to get Open Office at openoffice.org for your OSX (I’m running Leopard on a G5 iMac). It is both Windows and Mac Microsoft Office compatible. It is free. Or, priceless, if you prefer.