Claim your computing freedom
Computing in 2012 is full of more fluff and BS than at any point in the past. It’s all so pathetic that it sometimes makes me physically cringe. Not only is most of it silly, but it’s also very constricting and limiting. Too many technologies today force you to be locked into certain OS or hardware. The only reason the industry gets away with all this is because regardless of people’s displeasure with things, they still continue using them. This is a habit that too many practice, and the only way any of us can change this is to change our habits, and the devices and/or software we grow attached to.
Hardware, Software and other things
The only thing that I have attached myself to is the PowerPC architecture, and this is for no reason other than reliability and longevity. When you have used something for 18 years, and it has never failed you, there is no reason to stop using it as long as it can still achieve all you need it to. In terms of OS X, everything after Snow Leopard is covered in horrible. Since 10.5 is so similar to 10.6, I find it a capable OS option for PowerPC while still not needing Intel hardware. As a Mac tech I have no faith in 95% of the Intel hardware Apple has produced. The early stuff in 2006-07 is still to this day the most reliable. I am seeing a lot of 2009-10 model MacBook and iMac the last few months. I have seen SATA controllers on unibody MBP just up and die about 4 times so far. One failed intermittently and the others worked one moment then died the next. The Mac Pro and Mini are the only current Macs I can recommend to people in good conscience, and those are easily the two least purchased.
Not only is much of the newer Intel hardware lacking in quality, but Apple has turned MacBook screens into glossy overdone iPad look-alikes. It’s as if the cast of Jersey Shore helps design things at Apple now. Everything is covered in a horrible, tacky, dithered mess. Anyone with any computing needs beyond basic consumer stuff should be repelled by a dithered glossy screen. I find them unusable personally, and the style is now well saturated in the desktop LCD market also.
This deals with some of the things I mentioned in my “Why the Sawtooth is the greatest Mac ever” post. I am referring to choosing a device based on its usability rather than its aesthetics. No matter how pretty you find something like a computer or tablet; it needs to be a tool before anything else if you ever hope to get any practical use out of it. If you’re really that obsessed over the look of something, then it would be far more practical to have a high res photo printed for your wall above your computer, and buy a device that will give you all the computing ability you actually need.
People need OS and software selection whether they realize it or not. You never know what needs will come along over the years, so having hardware that lasts and offers software flexibility is ideal looking forward.
All the people still running PowerPC hardware would all be very wise to start adopting Linux into their computing world. This is the best thing for all of us looking forward, because the more of us that use Linux, the more the OS will grow on the platform. Apple dumped the architecture 7 years ago now so it's time for those of us still using it to pave our own computing path, at least in regard to achieving new abilities we don't get from old Mac software. There is no reason to abandon the Mac OS versions our systems can run, but in terms of modern secure software Linux is the most logical choice. BSD is an option also, but it is in no way user friendly, so anyone cutting their teeth on *nix for the first time is better off on Linux.
Clinging onto Mac OS and its associated devices at this point is a bit of a fools game for PowerPC users. You're just inevitably going to sink further into the New World Order Apple trash can. More on this in a moment.
I can understand the need some have for an iPhone, but an iPad is really obnoxiously bad and limited in so many ways. It may be more capable than an iPhone, but as a portable computing option an iPad is one of the most limited and incapable devices that exist in the portable market. Exactly how much capability are people willing to give up to own a certain device? Apparently quite a lot.
A 10 year old PowerBook is actually far more capable than any tablet, other than web or h.264 video. If all someone wants to do on a tablet is video and web then go for it. You will still be limited to what browsers and technology is available to you. For those that want to do more than waste time on YouTube, and actually need some real computing ability, a PowerBook (or any portable that allows multiple computer OS) is a better option. iOS is not a legitimate OS, and I will argue that to the grave. It’s really Apple's attempt at stroking the lowest common denominator that is the general market trend now, and they started it.
Apple has turned people into apes that are so caught up in dragging their fingers around, and using the motion sensor, that they don’t realize how much they're getting screwed. When I say screwed, I mean by the price they pay; combined with the limitations that come with it. Is embracing a gimmick or social status symbol worth all you give up? Is a true computing device like a PowerBook really so much bigger, and is flipping a screen up (that you cannot drag your fingers across) really so bad for all the extra ability it gives you? You could buy 2-3 quality used laptops for the price of an iPad. This allows you to shape what OS and software you want working together, which puts you in the drivers seat of your computing journey; where you belong. Even the best tablet OS cannot touch a full computer OS in any regard, other than touch access. The truth is that the whole touch technology craze is as much a gimmick as anything else. Small things amusing small minds.
I compute so much at home, that when I go out I use that as a break from technology. This is why I don't need portability at all. For those that truly do need portability, you're far better off with a full blown computer like a laptop. A netbook is also far more capable than a tablet.
The problem with some PowerPC resources online
It's obvious that anyone who writes PowerPC related content in 2012 does indeed care about the architecture, but most of them deal with things in a way which is influencing the reader to stick to this dead end Apple path. The MacRumors PowerPC board, Low End Mac, and My Mac Collection are good examples of this. All are done with good intent, but they are really just pushing people further down the dead end one way street. I say that because all they do is point their readers to solutions for making their way in a dwindling market; rather than point them to liberating and forward thinking options such as Linux.
The other aspect of this is that many of these sites and blogs only point people to things, and offer little practical knowledge or thinking outside the box in how to get things done, other than limited on their way out for PowerPC technologies. In 2012 you need to offer people practical know how, and different ways of thinking and using things, because that is what is required these days.
With rapidly dwindling PowerPC support on OS X, people can no longer just get by playing follow the leader any longer, by using whatever the industry spits out for them. If you intend on continuing to use your old Macs, you need to think outside the box, and learn how to adapt without giving up capability. We all need to stop adapting methods to keep being a slave to something no longer supported, and focus that energy on true alternatives which often use different technologies, but produce the same end result.
I have even seen some of them point people to the modified flash pluggin, which made me cringe. This is still the very insecure Flash 10, but with a modification to the version it reports so that sites that need 11 or higher will work. It is still Flash 10 in every way, and to recommend this to people is just ignorant and shameful. The key is to look for flash alternatives, and if some day there are none, then we should all just stop trying to watch flash online on PowerPC.
Apple started leaving us in the dust in 2005, and these days even an iPod shuffle needs an Intel Mac for goodness sake. Apple left us for dead, so I really don't get the PowerPC users who are Apple fanboys to this day. Stop loving your PowerPC because it's made by Apple, and love it instead because it has the best computer architecture ever inside, and Apple had very little to do with its creation compared to the actual hardware manufacturers (Motorola/Freescale and IBM).
All of us in the PowerPC community need to focus on what can move our hardware forward, and Open Source OS is the best way to do that while still keeping Mac OS around for other needs where security isn’t a concern. Linux and BSD are the only OS still developed for our platform, and the more of us that embrace it the more it will grow. Simple cause and effect.
There is a learning curve involved, but once you learn Linux or BSD then you have truly empowering computer skills that will give you a clear road directly around any limitations the industry throws at you. The expression “knowledge is power” is particularly apt for computers. Gain the knowledge, and you have the power to compute the way you want, rather than how the industry tells you.
I’ve got a fever and the only cure is Linux growth on PowerPC. I think Dan at PPC Luddite is going about things perfectly with his Linux content, and we should all look to his amazing example.
The Linux content here will only grow over time, as I am totally dedicated to getting all I can out of it, and helping others do so.
Published on Saturday, September 29, 2012