Power Mac -- the NeXTstep

I was a big fan of the NeXT machines, and was quite dissapointed when NeXT stopped producing their own hardware. Then Steve Jobs went to Apple, and started turning them into almost NeXT like boxes. They aren't too bad, but often they are too toylike. It's complex, and too long for an intro. Here are how my viewpoints of Apple have changed over almost a decade.

Table of Contents

Random Notes

Check this out for details and notes on my experience with the PowerMac and MacOS-X.

Notes about Time Machine use.

Notes about iPhone

Apple TV notes

MacOSX 10.1.5

Use -no-cpp-precomp to turn off the stupid pre-compiled headers that Apple seems to be fond of.

Although gcc-2.95.2 is installed, it isn't gcc-2.95.2 and doesn't have the expected c++ libraries. Instead the libraries provided are incomplete and brain-dead. How come apple ships gcc-2.95.2 and doesn't provide the sources to people can install it correctly?

Try powerpc-apple-bsd as the GNU configure platform designator. powerpc-apple-macos doesn't work.

Apple made the Apple Digital Speakers; I believe they released them with the Cube and the survived until G5s came about. These things are are shaped like large spheres, slightly larger than a baseball, made of clear plastic, and have, silver/chrome and white speaker horns. I recently picked up a unused set to try with my old G4 -- man those are pretty nice speakers. Though small they have rock solid reproduction for quite a variety of audio output -- music, speech, sound effects. For their small size, their audio output is amazing:

If your G4 has a 1/8" output jack which looks sorta like a radar antenna (multiple curved (((mmm ) appearance, that is the digital speaker jack. Try them out -- I would already like to get another set for use on a second old G4 I recently acquired. They really are quite amazing; I wonder why Apple stopped supplying them.

Other Hacks

Miscellaneous Power Macintosh Info

Terminal Magik

Unforunately Apple treats technical computer users as idiots. They provide zero documentation and tools for doing useful things. Worse of all they keep on saying that everything that uses the shell is scary magic crap. Because of that, here are some starting points to using mac tools...

.mac and / Backup Issues

iPhoto & Aperture


For a couple of years my old versions of iTunes could no longer get tracks from CDDB / GraceNote. It Appears that as of Spring 2009 that the older version of iTunes are working again. I guess they turned the old interfaces back on. Yay!

iMovie & iDVD

iCal, Contacts and other Apps notes

Browser Issues and Versions

Publications & Publishers



Repair & Maintenance


For now these articles are all from Ars Technica, once I find some more this credit will go away. These seem to be an excelent history about what is going on with Mac OS X ... and it comes from a PC-specific publication to boot. Neat!

Backing up MacOSX

With MacOSX Leopard Apple provides a simple backup utility with every mac -- Time Machine. It's great, it works, etc. It isn't anything new though -- it is just a copy of several older backup systems which do the exact same thing. But the great thing about it is that it ships on every mac and everybody can do backups for the price of an external drive. If you got it -- USE IT!

It doesn't do everything, such as creating a bootable backup, but the leopard disk can restore your box from time machine, so you can get yourself back to just what it was before whatever broke.

Time Machine isn't a long duration backup mechanism -- unless you can backup the TimeMachine backups. I think Time Capsule's have an archive option, and I want to check that out.

HyperCard & Clones

HyperCard is/was a very powerful software project created by Apple Computer for the Macintosh. HyperCard allows you to organize information as a set of index cards. Just that functionality itself is quite powerful. You can generate address books, keep records, flash cards for studying, etc. But wait ... its also a database of sorts. But wait, it has a scripting language and the cards can actually do things... such as generating content. And they can work with all the various items and objects that a Macintosh has available ... image, sound, video, whatever!

To give you an idea of how powerful HyperCard is ... the computer game Myst, which has graphics, complex puzzles, interactions ... is just a HyperCard Stack! People have written multi-user business systems in HyperCard!

Unfortunately, Apple decided to abandon HyperCard, seemingly on the verge of its next release. Some other organizations and companies make HyperCard look-a-likes or clones. It is said that the original HyperCard leaves them in the dust, even with their years of improvement. Apple has left a HyperCard Player application to play existing HyperCard Stacks, but you can't create new content with it.

Some people argue that the SmallTalk environment is the logical successor to HyperCard. Smalltalk is a wonderful environment, a real programming language, tool, and graphics all rolled together. The only difficulty is that if you just want cards... you have to build it all over again.

HyperCard & Clones

HyperCard Resources

Cool Projects

Power Macintosh Info
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Last Modified: Sat Dec 4 11:47:36 CST 2010
Bolo (Josef Burger) <bolo@cs.wisc.edu>