TenFourFox FPR32 will be the last release (Firefox for G4 and G5 Power Macs)

Sad to read today that the upcoming FPR32 release of TenFourFox, a browser built to run on older PowerPC G4 and G5 Macs, will no longer be developed.

I run TenFourFox on both a Power Mac G4 Quicksilver 2002 and a Power Mac G5, and have enjoyed having this option of a current browser that still runs and is able to access most modern websites on these older machines. Given that TenFourFox is developed and maintained by a single developer for free, it’s really nothing but outstanding that we’ve been able to enjoy having the option of running a modern browser on these aging machines.

Installing Windows XP on Virtual PC 7 for Mac OS X

Virtual PC 7 for Mac OS X comes with a preconfigured VM image for Windows XP. The approach for installing from disk image (.iso, .dmg) files instead of physical media is not so obvious, but here’s the steps that worked for me.

I’m installing on Virtual PC 7 on OS X 10.5 running on a dual G5 Power Mac.

Select the ‘Install from a Virtual PC for Mac CD’ option:

Next you’re prompted to install the install disk:

At this mount if you double-click the first of the .iso images for Virtual PC, it will mount the disk image, and should appear in Virtual PC:

This step seemed a bit flakey for me. If it doesn’t work, unmount the image, close Virtual PC and try again. I also noticed that it doesn’t work with the .dmg images, only the .iso images.

If it does pick it up, you’ll see in Virtual PC it shows the XP Pro disk is inserted:

Press Continue and it starts installing:

It only take a couple of minutes:

When it prompts for disk 2, double click the second of the .iso files:

Once installed, you’re ready to start up the VM:

XP starts up and you can continue through the XP setup steps:

Done!

Mapping network drives across Mac OS 9, Mac OS X 10.4, 10.5 and current MacOS versions

Having a NAS drive on your network is an easy and simple way of copying files to/from different machines on your network, even older machines. I have a small collection of older machines, mainly older Macs like a 2002 Powermac G4 and a 2005 Powermac G5. When working on blog posts like this one, it’s easier to drop screenshots in a central place where I can pick them up from my daily driver MacBook Pro to include them in a post.

I have a Netgear ReadyNAS drive which supports SMB as well as AFB drive shares which supports most clients. This post on the Netgear site says not to use both options at the same time, I’m not sure if this is still an issue, but in most cases SMB has worked well.

Recent Windows PCs and Macs are easily able to mount the SMB share, so no problems there.

OS X 10.5 on the G5 is able to mount either the SMB or AFP drive without any issue, the NAS shares for SMB and AFP both appear in the Finder under the network section.

OS X 10.4 on the Powermac G4 is able to natively mount the AFB share, but can’t see the SMB share.

Mac OS 9 on the same Powermac G4 though is a bit more tricky but still works natively. Go to the Apple menu and open the Network Browser, then press the Connect icon and then ‘Connect to Server’:

Enter the IP for the ReadyNAS:

Connect either as a Guest user or with specific credentials:

Done! Now you should be able to browser the shared drives and access like normal:

At some point I also looked at using a util called Dave to mount SMB shares on OS 9, but at least for OS 9 to the ReadyNAS using SFB this isn’t needed.

Mac Pro 2008: dead ATI 200 XT GPU replaced with not so dead Nvidia 120 GT

The ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT that came standard in the 2008 Mac Pro was a good looking card. I mean, chrome flames?! But unfortunately in this case, mine died:

I primarily used this card only to access the Mac boot screen to switch between MacOS and Windows 10, as my other card, an Nvidia 750ti doesn’t support the boot screen. Once the ATI card died, I was stuck in Windows 10 and couldn’t boot back into MacOS.

Not really needing an upgrade, just a replacement that supports the boot screen, I picked up a cheap Nvidia 120 GT on ebay for $30. Nowhere near as flashy looking as the ATI:

Got the card installed, and it works great:

Turns out the fan on that ATI card was also the noisiest fan in my Mac Pro. Now with the new Nvidia card, my Mac Pro is barely audible. I have 2 SSDs and one 2.5″ HDD, so other than the system fans, I guess with low usage it really shouldn’t be spinning up the fans that loud anyway. Turns out this new card is significantly quieter. Bonus!