Tuesday, 16 July 2013


See what I did there? Never mind...

So, as the name suggests, this is a kind of Mac-centric blog docummenting the comings and goings of a long-time Mac guy whom the times have left behind... not really by accident either. You see, in the mid-2000's Apple had the world at their feet with the cutting edge PowerPC G5 64-bit CPU... that thing was, in a word... nuts. Even today the G5, is a more than capable chip in regards to perfermance, but sadly has become a white elephant with the rapid, some could argue slightly forced, move away from PowerPC support that came from Apple's adoption of Intel processor architecture. Even the G4 that preceeded, whilst now dated, and limited by it's 32-bit architecture, is still usable in its faster forms in the 20teens. But I digress...

Basically the point I am making is that I am from the "if it isn't broken, why fix it?" school of thought. The PowerPC was in its prime with the G5 but  was quelled almost as fast as the new wickid-fast 64-bit chip was introduced, to make way for the Core-duo-based Intel-macs that at the time, were the subject of much hacknied debate and division within the Mac using community. There were some who welcomed the change of direction and the supposed  benefits that it offered... some of which are credible, but others could be considered a weak justification at best. Many Mac users, including myself, however flatly believed that we had been stripped of our identity, and been swiftly belted about the face with the long-standing loyalty shown to Apple for in some cases 20 years. It felt as if the very fabric of what we believed in had been torn apart, and that Apple, the "Think Different" company, had suddenly made a decision to sell out and think the same. In an effort to be seen to be innovating, they had made a choice to alienate a large portion of their loyal user base.

It was utter bedlam in the Mac community of 2005-2006... opinions were flying thick and fast... the PC hordes were sitting in their trees wetting themselves with delight at the fact Apple had sold out, pointing fingers saying "nyaa nyaaaa now ya have to use Peeeceeees", in their typical small-minded fashion. It was like the GM/Ford debate of the computer world had gone mental... The sad thing is however, the PC whores were half right. Obviously there was a particularly heated debate happening on the likes of the now-defunct MacAddict forums that was at the time, my online home, TMO, and many pages like it. Mac users were up in arms one way or another... whether it be the pro- or anti- side, people had an opinion.

In any case, most simply got over it and after a short time, moved on and accepted the change... some more begrudsgingly than others. Not me however. At this point in time I was just out of my senior year at high school, and my pro-user needs were dwindling rapidly after deciding graphic design, publishing, video production which I had so fondly embraced as enjoyable pastimes in my teenage years, were no longer something that particularly interested me after I got into the world of Volkswagens and a particularly mechanical mindset. The Powermac G4 ... my video and graphics workhorse with it's small fortune worth of sweet upgrades including a Sonnet Encore 500mhz cpu upgrade, was becoming little more than an internet kiosk and jukebox. My Lombard Powerbook, also far from stock, whilst a little slow by virtue of its half-supported grapgics controller under OSX, was still more than usable... and the secondhand Pismo I eventually built to replace it out of a Pismo with a broken LCD panel and various lombard parts and new things, picked up that slack with ease. So basically,  as my needs were diminishing and my trusty old workhorses had performed more than acceptably with the worst i could throw at them (the G4 was built for video-editng after all), i decided that I was going to just trundle along as normal, dig in my heals and rock the old tech for as long as possible.

 Not long afterwards, I moved out of home... eventually I moved interstate and became a bit of a meatlifer. In fact I was basically off the internet entirely except for the occasional internet kiosk stint to check out a couple of car forums i was on. In fact throughout the entirity of 2007-2009 i didnt have an internet connnection at home at all, by choice, and my mac spent most of its time gathering dust, while my PC only came on when i felt like playing Flight Simulator 2004. I was living life free of the net and enjoying it thoroghly. My best friend made me a facebook account in 2008 so she could swindle it for farmville things, expecting that maybe one day i might actually use it. Well... one day came towards the end of 2009. Come 2010, I was in a fairly brutal car crash, had my girlfriend cheat on me  three days later whilst pregnant with my son to be, and i finally pulled up stumps and moved back to my home town. After that was when I started to embrace the net again. It was when 2011 came along that I explored my old nerd roots again... That was when I built the Pismo and rememebred how satisfying it was resurrecting an old Mac, or generally making old junk work again. I was given a bunch of iMac G3's from the local school shortly after, and set about building myself a snow iMac 600 maxxed out to buggery known as Frankenmac II (Frankenmac I was an iMac 350 reboarded with a 450 logic board with firewire from a later DV, and a 20Gb HDD and DVD-ROM from another iMac again)... the satisfaction I got from hearing that startup bong and seeing that happy mac face was awsome. I had rediscovered my love of tech.

Since then, I have made it a bit of a pastime of mine again to tinker with, build, fix, restore, preserve old Macs. Lately I've been playing with the NewWorld stuff, paricularly the iMac G3, Powermac G3/G4 and Powerbook G3, all of which I  became pretty expert on as a result of basically keeping 2 computer labs of the iMacs running and maintained for nearly 5 years when in high school and built at least half a dozen up from various wrecks, and having owned a Powermac G3 and Powerbook G3  for over a decade and replaced every bit of both of them. They are fun to play with, nice to look at, and still usable even today. My latest build was a Graphite iMac DV SE rebuilt from the ground up... a machine i wanted since they were new in 2001. However I have a much fabled wall of much older tech that represents my conquests from many years ago... including an SE I was given by my dad in 1998 that was my first ever Mac. I have a 512K, Pluses, SE's Classic's, "pizzabox" LC's and Performas, Mac II's of various models, 5xx LC's, Powermac 5xxx, 6xxx, 7xxxs, Gossamer G3's, IIgs's.... boxes of peripherals and cars... you name it, chances are i probably have it.

Why though? Well... simply it all represents a time in my life, and a time in the history of Apple, and indeed microcumputing in general, that is significant and at least for me, fondly memorable. I guess some might say I am clinging to the past for dear life, refusing to move forward with the times... I guess they are probably right. But who is to judge?  We sit here in 2013.... MacAddict mag is long gone, and more sadly so is the much loved 10-year standing MacAddict forum to which I gave so much time. The internet has gotten fat and clunky, become a capitalistic tool of control and exploitation. The face of computing has changed such that the line between computation and telecommunication has become blurred beyond recognition. In fact the world of technology has become scene of boring conformity, and as much as it has changed to the point where I feel like an alien in it, it lacks so much now in the way of real development. Technology itself has become expendable.... something that is taken for granted and thrown away for the next flashy development or innovation, which seems more and more to be simple eyecandy or token bits of fluff that those marketing gurus tell us we want. Respect for the tech has gone, whic is why I choose to preserve my own little piece of it, and hold onto a time when it was all still happening....



  1. Well Said... Another annoying fact is all these captchas and of course, paid-bundled, aka forced adware/malware in software installers. ugh.

    1. You're not wrong there... I couldn't help but notice it even in I believe it was the most recent AVG installer, or something similarly respected and mainstream, which annoyed and basically just outright disgusted me.

      The entire software industry of today absolutely reeks of desperate capitalism, with developers, web-corporations etc attempting to exploit any and every avenue possible to squeeze an extra couple of cents of profit out of their products, and they are trying to justify doing so by disquising it under a thin veil of a heightened and tailored user experience. It really is embarrassing... It reminds me of those used car salesmen in their cheap suits trying to extol the virtues of a used Kia Carnival with over 200'000km on it, whilst juggling a mouthful of tic-tacs to try and hide his unpleasant breath.

      The saddest part of it all however, is that in this day and age, the consumers have been massaged into a collective of mindless drones who will believe anything being spruiked to them, or simply begrudgingly accept what get's dished up to them. It has gotten to the point where if a developer tells the public they want something a few times, or that they NEED something to fit into the tech-heavy groove of the 21st century, the masses believe them without question, then they have a cry later on until the developer pulls out another Jedi mind trick that has them believe v2.0 is going to fix all the world's problems, and so on it goes....

  2. Whilst I respect your collection, and the passion you obviously feel, I cannot agree with your conclusion.

    > Respect for the tech has gone

    ...so saith every passionate subscriber of every era. Yes, in 2013, the respect for 2005 tech is gone, because that level of tech has become "expendable". But 2005 thought the same thing about 1998. And 1998 thought the same thing about 1990. And 1990 thought the same thing about 1984, and 1984 was building on the expendable tech of the 1970s...

    I'm sure that in 2020, there will be folks looking back on their heyday of cool tech from the dawn of the smartphone era, and bemoaning how it's all just expendable these days, and nobody respects it... :P

    I agree that there are lessons from the tech of the past that have been ignored and forgotten, and there is much to learn from history. But dismissing all the advances is just... I dunno. hipsterish? :)

    1. A fair point you do make sir! :) This said however, I wouldn't say I'm entirely dismissing the advances in tech as such... just not entirely embracing them. It's not so much the tech itself that is the issue, more the current motives and thought paradigms that are at play leading to the development of some (though not all) of the aforementioned tech that I am more inclined to bring into question.

      For instance I wouldn't for a second dismiss my iPhone as being a fluffy bit of ephemeral crap! :D