New author arrives, and a shout-out to Michigan

B-rock, the author of Power of PowerPC, has joined the PowerPC Liberation author team, so please help me welcome him.  As a G4 and G5 user, he will be able to provide both a similar and unique perspective compared to the preexisting G3/G4 authors here.

He's a computer science grad and has a big passion for Linux, software development, and PowerPC of course.  I don't mean to sound cocky...  but this is now the most well-armed PowerPC blog out there author-wise.  It will only grow from here.  Remember - PowerPC is only dead at Apple.  We shall live on as long as there are users to write for.

Lastly, I want to give a friendly hello to the people of the US state of Michigan.  Not only are Americans the largest audience here, but the state of Michigan is responsible for at least 20-30% of all hits from the USA.  There are at least 100 there who are regular visitors here, and from every corner of the state.  So to the people of Michigan I say thanks for the loyalty and sheer number of you still interested in PowerPC.  They must put something PowerPC-friendly in the water there.

Are you a driver or a passenger?

There are really only two types of computer users in the world, and some good analogies to explain these two types are drivers and passengers.  Some insist on driving their hardware, while others are content to just be along for the ride.  This post is made with the intent of helping us all understand how and why we individually ended up being one or the other, or maybe you share some traits with both.  Think of this post as a computer culture research venture, but one that will also have a strong intent to inspire others by sharing personal stories.

My definition of the two types:


These are people who aren't content with the Apple and Microsoft abilities/limitations, and desire more control and capability from their hardware.  These are people who don't settle for what the mainstream industry spoon-feeds them, and demand more from themselves and the people they share knowledge and helpfulness with.  People who refuse to stagnate or devolve their computing education and journey as they continue computing throughout their life.


People who are content with pretty much any solution that just works, regardless of limitations.  They will happily sacrifice ability and skill evolution by always choosing the path of least effort.  Many of them also like to encourage others not to bother evolving; without realizing that no one needs help to not learn something.  Basically...  people who don't like to combine computing with too much thinking.  This is not to say they are dumb - certainly not - but rather that they have been conditioned to believe the two (computing and genuine thinking) don't go together.

What I need from you:

I want to know which you consider yourself to be and why, along with a brief history of how you arrived there.  This will also help guide us here to a better understanding of what type of new content to write in the future.  I personally have not made a truly meaty post in a while, and would like to have a better understanding concerning the current state of the audience here.

My (zen's) story:

I consider myself a driver, and I arrived there naturally by UNIX/BSD being the first OS I ever used, and continue using today, both personally and professionally. I started in the mid-80's on UNIX and didn't use another OS (full-time) until the early 90's.  So I started as a driver and stayed that way.

Please share your user type and story in comments.  I look forward to reading them.

viva PowerPC gets a new URL

This is just a brief post to help spread the word of viva PowerPC's new address.  Logout has switched from .tk to .eu, and posted the explanation here.

So if you link to his site, you need to update the URL.

Here is the new link for the clickophiles (I made that word up).

Also, a guy who has commented here a few times (B-rock) has a blog that I recently discovered called Power of PowerPC, which I encourage you to check out.  He has always seemed like a very bright and knowledgeable guy, and I didn't realize his computer science education, along with his interest in Linux and software development.

Mobile version re-enabled

After about a year or so with the mobile version of this blog disabled, I have decided to enable it again.  The reason I disabled it in the first place is that Blogger gives you very little control over it.  After getting requests, from both readers and Google, to make the blog more mobile-friendly, I have decided to do so.

While Blogger has now greatly improved the control the admin can have over the mobile version; it still leaves a lot to be desired.  I simply just don't have the time to write all the HTML myself, but do use some CSS of my own here.  The main issue with the mobile version, for me at least, is that it doesn't show the CC license at the bottom.  Maybe one day I can re-write all the HTML here and overcome that, but for now I am just using as simple a mobile template as I can.  This will hopefully encourage more mobile users to browse the standard version.  It's just short summaries and a link to the standard/web version.

Even though the mobile users here only make up about 2% (all mobile OS combined) of the visitors; I don't want to leave them out.  The main reason mobile users bring up to me is they desire larger text, and you get that with the mobile version.

This place will always be best viewed on a proper computer with at least a 1024x768 display, but now the mobile people who visit here can have it their way also; while still having the option to view the standard version.

I would like the mobile users who visit here to share any thoughts they might have to make their experience better.

Non-mobile users can view that version of the blog here.

Is Your Mozilla Browser Displaying the Right Colors?

I don't know how this happened, but somehow I stumbled on all these pages on color management in Firefox and I found out something interesting, unlike when I usually get lost surfing. It turns out my TenFourFox wasn't quite getting color management right with its stock settings. In fact, most of my browsers were failing the test (the exception being Iceweasel). Unlike the others, however, Firefox has the ability to ensure accurate color management with a little about:config tweak.

First, perform the aforementioned test. Go to BEST FIREFOX TEST PAGE and see if colors are correctly displayed. If they're slightly off, it's because the browser isn't converting untagged images to your monitor's profile. For me, WebKit (on OS X) and QupZilla (on Linux) failed as well as TenFourFox. So to bring full color management to TenFourFox, or any Mozilla browser, go into about:config, then type "gfx.color" in the filter bar to see the color management preferences. Change "gfx.color_management.mode" to 1 (from the default 2). After a restart, TenFourFox will apply color management not just to tagged images, but untagged ones as well.

I'm not sure why Iceweasel passed the test even though it had only partial color management with the default "2" setting, but I'll take it. I'm also not sure why full color management isn't the default. If it's because there's a performance hit, I haven't noticed it. I've been running TenFourFox with full color management enabled and haven't had any problems.

For further reading, check out these links:

Color Management on the Web

How To Enable Color Management in Firefox

This is not "zen's blog" anymore

I notice that in a large number of places that link to this blog, many still refer to this place as "zen's blog", but I'm only part of the machine these days, and its been that way for quite a while when you go back to Dr. Dave.  Mark (fiftysixk) has been here for almost a year now, and Dan from PPC Luddite has been here for at least a few months.

To refer to this place as mine is disrespectful to them.  I am the founder and admin, but in terms of content (writing) I am only 1/3 of the brains here.  Mark, the creator of Rated Win, is a very qualified and capable guy that works in the Houston space industry for a company owned by NASA, and Dan is the all-knowing Debian chef who created the greatest PowerPC blog ever, PPC Luddite.  These are two very capable and competent people which I respect a great deal, and they shouldn't be left out when referring to this place.  If you want to refer to it by author like that, then call it zen, Mark and Dan's blog, or maybe just PowerPC Liberation.  They deserve as much acknowledgment as I do, and maybe more.  Please read the author page for more info on the writing team here.

So please...  stop referring to this place as "zen's blog", because it isn't.  It's named PowerPC Liberation, and has three authors; not one.  There are three different perspectives to read here (four with the dr.dave content); not just mine.  I also plan on adding more authors in the future.  Logout from viva PowerPC has expressed interest in writing here at some point after his child is born.  Best wishes to him and his family.

 I only allow truly qualified people to write here, so you can take their words as gospel with confidence.  The one downfall is that qualified people are often very busy people also, so we don't have as much free time to write as some other sites.  This is why I will always be adding more authors as time goes on.  More authors means more perspectives and content.

Lastly...  I want to give another heartfelt thanks to both Mark and Dan for making this place more dynamic and fresh.  You've both been nothing but amazing with everything you've done, along with the pleasure I have knowing your great minds are working together with me here. 

Dropped Box

Dropbox announced in the recent past that they are dropping support for PowerPC.  I'm late to the table posting about this, but have been as busy as ever, and fellow author here Dan wrote about it on his blog.

I'm not a Dropbox user at all personally, but since my friend Logout from viva PowerPC was concerned enough to write an open letter to them, which I will include below, I thought this was well worth informing the readers here about.

Here is his open letter to Dropbox:

Dear members of Dropbox team,

Today I received your e-mail about ending support for Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5. and I want to say something about that.

I am member of small but not-dead-yet worldwide community of users of Mac computers equipped with PowerPC microprocessors. Since 2005, when Apple announced switch to Intel CPUs, support for our computers vanished from almost all kinds of applications. Dropbox was one of the last still supporting us and I want to thank you for that effort. Let me just ask you not to cut us off.

You advise us to upgrade to OS X 10.6, which will still be supported after May 18th. This makes little sense to me, since there are just seven Mac models from 2006, for which 10.6 is the final version, all newer can upgrade to 10.7. On the other hand, Mac OS X 10.4 or 10.5 is the final version for much more computers, all Apple computers from summer 2000 to the end of 2005 to be exact. There are even some 1999 Mac models that can run 10.4 and many older can be upgraded to do so - with proper CPU upgrade it's possible to use Dropbox from Mac made in 1995. So with this one step you will cut off the whole decade of computers, but you will still support seven models from 2006, some of which have less CPU power than final PowerPC models from 2005.

I started with Dropbox five years ago on my on PowerMac G5 and now I still use it on that very same PowerMac G5 with OS X 10.5 as well as on PowerBook G4 with OS X 10.4, Lenovo T400 with Linux, HP desktop with Windows 7, iPad and BlackBerry Z10. You can probably say, that removing two computers from this list will do a little harm, but the opposite is true: I have Dropbox installed on all my computers to get my data to the PowerMac G5 on which I do all my typing, programming, photo editing, etc. Two months ago I even bought Samsung camera with Dropbox support to get pictures to this desktop without wires, now my complete ecosystem will be broken with demise of its central element.

Without my PowerMac, it has no sense for me to use Dropbox on other machines and devices. Even after you stop supporting 10.4/10.5 there will probably be some ways how to sync on these systems, like installing qemu (or other x86 PC emulator) with Linux and sync Dropbox via shared folder from this emulation. But I don't want to do things this ridiculous just to have my favorite cloud service on my favorite computer. So please, reconsider support for 10.4/10.5, you still support Windows XP (2001) and our systems are no older than this one.

Thank you.

Martin Kuka─Ź, Dropbox AND PowerMac user

So if you're a concerned Dropbox + Mac OS + PowerPC user like Martin/Logout; please add your voice to the ether here to let the developers know.

This is a trend that has been going on for a while with virtually all apps that still or once supported PowerPC, and it will keep happening until Cameron Kaiser is the last Mac OS/PowerPC developer.  It's inevitable.  All the more reason to add Linux into your computing cocktail.