You know the ones I mean: those Power Macs, PowerBooks, iMacs, iBooks, Mac minis, etc. based on the PowerPC processor that Apple sold a few years ago. Sadly, support for them is dwindling, but the software is still out there that would enable their continued use, if not with an older version of Mac OS X, then perhaps with one of the numerous open-source alternatives.

Maybe you still have one of these fine old machines. Resist the urge to throw it in the dumpster and buy a new computer. The addition of more RAM, a bigger hard drive, an updated graphics card, or a faster processor might be all it needs. It won't be sitting in your local landfill leaching heavy metals and other bad things into your drinking water. And, you won't be perpetuating the evil practice of assembling the "latest and greatest" in low-wage sweatshops around the world.

Old Mac Related On the Web

Lucas Nussbaum Re-Elected As Debian Project Leader Slashdot, 4/14/14. PowerPC Mac users, Debian is probably our best bet for continued support and timely security updates.

NSA Allegedly Exploited Heartbleed Slashdot, 4/11/14. They deny it, but no one believes them. Thankfully, OS X seems to be immune to this latest "bug".

Long life computing (plus: Quad G5 CPU swapping for dummies) TenFourFox Development, 4/9/14. Cameron Kaiser has done more to maintain the PowerPC platform than just about anyone.

Windows XP holdouts: Meet the diehard faithful who refuse to move on Ian Paul, PCWorld, 4/7/14. The situation with Windows XP is much like what happens with Mac OS X every three or four years. Apple pulls the support plug on a particular version and we are left with perfectly good kit that we're just supposed to junk and buy new.

I Don't Want a Smart Phone, I Want a Fairphone Kyle, iFixit, 4/3/14. This article is about being responsible with your consumer choices. Repair first, then recycle. NEVER mindlessly throw your old kit in the dumpster just so you can run out and buy the so-called "latest and greatest", whatever it is.

One week before its end of life, 28 percent of Web users are still on Windows XP Peter Bright, Ars Technica, 4/1/14. Even though much of Windows XP's web presence comes from pirated copies in China, Microsoft still supported it for 6 years after they stopped selling it. Apple decided to pull the security plug on PowerPC Macs after only 3 years. That's why Debian is now our best bet for security.

Learning Python with Raspberry Pi Liz, Raspberry Towers, 3/27/14. OK, I'm envious. Why can't something from PowerPC have the same impact on education around the world that this little $35 ARM board has had? Is it about money, maybe? The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a non-profit, while Freescale and IBM aren't. They follow the big money, and that's certainly not in education these days.

Rare earth recycling: Is it worth it? Chris Lee, Ars Technica, 3/25/14. This is why repair is better than recycling, and is SO much better than just throwing your old kit in the dumpster and buying new.

Compton Comes to Debian PPC Luddite, 3/22/14. This gives Debian some of that "polished" look we got used to with Mac OS X. It will be interesting to see how it affects performance, especialy on older PowerPC Macs with limited graphics resources.

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© 2014 Thomas Carlson
Located in Santa Fe, NM
Contact: Thomas Carlson
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Old Macs I Have Known
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Color Classic
PowerBook 180
PowerBook 1400
Useful Links:
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Insanely Great Mac
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Mac OS 9 Lives
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Open Source PPC:
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