Installing Mac OS X 10.5 on my first generation 17-inch PowerBook G4

Mac OS 10.5 running on my first generation 17

My PowerBook is five years old now, and doing a little research the other day, I figured that it wasn’t in such bad shape that it couldn’t handle a bit of an upgrade when it came to the operating system. It started out with 10.2 (Jaguar) when I first bought it, and the moves to versions 10.3 (Panther) and 10.4 (Tiger) were simple upgrades. Over the years, performance has gotten sluggish, so my thought has always been that if I were to take this aged beast to 10.5 (Leopard), I’d have to do a clean install.

The whole process took about four hours to complete, reformatting the hard drive, installing the OS, and getting the needed updates all in place. Network traffic seemed to be the major slow down, but there wasn’t much in terms of hiccups. Just needed a little patience while it all worked its way through.

The big thing for me was getting all the data backed up, but I keep more of the important info stored on my desktop at home. The PowerBook is more of a mobile device when I need to have that ability, so it was mainly making sure that nothing was missed that I couldn’t live without.

When it came to applications, I was willing to part with programs like Microsoft Office or Photoshop that I’ve been able to obtain from my remaining days of college (yes, legally) because I’ve come to rely on so many open source options like GIMP, Google Docs, Open Office, Smultron, Cyberduck, or whatever neat files that seem to pop up on I have also tried iLife alternatives like Picasa and found that it’s fairly well adapted for my situation because I always have that desktop to go do some major photo work when needed.

Getting everything in place today, I have been extremely happy with how my PowerBook has been performing with Leopard on it. The UI has taken a little getting used to, but I keep getting the cool factor more often than none. I’m rarely one to complain because I find ways to adapt to various situations without too much problem, something I do consistently with my day job in a Windows environment, mixing in hints of Linux.

Alas, the battery on this baby is far passed its life cycle, so I’ll never know how it does with Leopard because it would only last from about 20 minutes on a full change with Tiger. Firefox is already behaving better, especially when it comes to Google Reader, my major lifeline to keeping up with the rest of the world.

It hasn’t been 24 hours since I got the install done, but I’m impressed with what I’ve seen so far. It gives this old laptop some extra worth until I can replace it with one of those new, fancy MacBook Pros that came out just this week. I’m good in the short term.

July 11th is the day for the iPhone 3G in Canada

The day has finally been set, so we can finally stop all the complaining about how the neighbors closest to the country who originated the iPhone can finally get the same ability to use and abuse Apple’s latest got-to-have-it. We can also stop our whining and pining for an Apple Store of our own in Vancouver so we can be sure that we don’t have to go all the way to Toronto to buy it from one of the three locations there.

Alright, so I’m still complaining, but at least I can say that it’s about time.

For those not in the know, the 2008 Apple World Wide Developers Conference kicked off today with the traditional keynote address. In all actuality, this is more like a sold out rock show that all the cool kids wanna be at. Difference is that all these “cool kids” are major tech heads that get some major kicks out of seeing what Apple has hiding up their sleeve, and you know that I’m a sucker just like the rest of them.

Before any talk of the new iPhone, I thought it was interesting that the next version of the Mac OS, 10.6, is being previewed at this conference. That’s basically all we really know, other than the rumors that the next release will be less cosmetic and more of a back end strengthening of the OS. More details in time, I’m sure.

So the iPhone 3G, on the other hand, is the huge news. So what makes it better than the original iPhone? Lots, and John Biehler has a lot more details on today’s events, even taking in the coverage as it happened at the Vancouver Apple Store.

This new iPhone is wicked, but why does the “3G” tag on the end mean anything? No, it’s not a throw back to the G3, G4, or G5 processor mumbo-jumbo of Mac days past[wiki]. This is 3G in terms of mobile phone standards[wiki]. It just means faster methods of data transfer beyond simple voice send and receive of a normal phone call.

But that’s not all. At my day job, I get a Blackberry. It’s… ok, but there are so many things about it that frustrate me. However, it’s tied to an Exchange Server, so I get all company email to it as well as contacts, appointments, tasks, etc. The new version of the iPhone operating system, “2.0”, promises to work with Exchange Servers. Combine that with a 3G network in terms of speed and the ease of use of the iPhone interface, because the limited experience I have with Rebecca’s, would make me happy not only as a consumer, but as a network administrator as well.

Of course, out of the gate, there are going to be serious elements to look at before any enterprise use is widespread, but that’s the nature of the beast. Even if Apple hits it on the head, you still have to convince the skeptics at the top of the I.T. food chain. That can be challenging, to say the least.

But there’s still more. The iPhone App Store is going to open up a whole new world in terms of what you can actually do with your iPhone 3G. Applications that you can buy to monitor network traffic, get baseball updates, or the Plum Record app that caught my eye, which is software to record audio on your iPhone. Who needs adapters when the hardware is there to record the audio and someone just needs to write the app for it to work? Potentially very cool for the podcast recording needs.

There is going to be more over the coming month to see how this all pans out. First thing to figure out is how Rogers and Fido will price the data plans for these suckers in Canada. After that, it’s just a matter of how you want to position yourself in line. Elbows out on July 11th or wait till Christmas?

Welcome to Vancouver, Apple Store

In less than twelve hours, the first Apple Store in Vancouver will be open.

Apple Store Pacific Centre - Under Construction
Photo credit: gregeh on Flickr

In the wee hours of tomorrow morning, the crowds will descend, a line shall form, and madness will ensue. In fact, people are most likely camped outside of Pacific Centre on Georgia Street at this moment. I would love to be there for an Apple Store opening and have heard nothing but cool things about it.

Sometimes they even hand out super fun free stuff, crazy discounts, or the odd gift certificate. Still, not enough to really want to make me suffer in line on a day off from work. Plus I’m holding out on replacing my Powerbook G4 with something more of a MacBook flavor, so that’s more of a priority in the near future.

There also won’t be any iPhones to speak of, but that will be changing in the very near future. John Biehler has more on that with some good points.

Unfortunately no details other than it’s coming ‘before the end of the year’.

The big questions to me are:

1. How much for the phone itself in Canada?
2. what does the data and voice plans look like? They better resemble the US pricing
3. How long do we have to lock in? Rogers seems to like 3 year terms
4. Will it be the rumoured new 3G model or as Rogers tends to be behind in releasing phones, will it be last year’s model [johnbiehler]

So an Apple Store within easy walking distance plus the iPhone on the horizon. Things are finally starting to happen for B.C. About freaking time, Apple.