PowerPC Challenge: Day Two

Posted Jul 3, 2017 by Liggysmalls

Day two of the PowerPC Challenge has come to an end and I have been having a great time! My Power Macintosh G5 system has been working very well and hasn't been holding me up with work or play much at all. Being Sunday I took a little time to surf the web doing some research on other vintage machines and checking out Craigslist, eBay and Goodwill as I would usually to see what's out there for sale. All of the sites I have visited are without a doubt slower and less responsive just as one might expect and I haven't yet come across a site which just wouldn't work at all. This again is what I anticipated, being on Linux I am running a reasonably new version of Firefox for the majority of my browsing so compatibility isn't an issue at all. Processing power is honestly the only thing I find myself lacking.

Doing a little research.

I have been doing my best to check in on the MacRumors PowerPC Challenge thread throughout the day to see how others are doing. A very common topic seems to be video playback and YouTube in particular so I figured I should give it a go for the sake of science. Visiting YouTube with Firefox and attempting to view videos as I normally would resulted in very poor playback, it was completely unwatchable on all but the lowest possible settings. I went ahead and installed VLC to see how it would handle streaming video directly from YouTube and I was instantly impressed. The first video I loaded up played perfectly smooth with ZERO dropped frames at 720p. Sure, it isn't as convenient as watching videos directly in the browser but it is perfectly functional and honestly looks great!

YouTube playback with VLC.

As you can see, the G5 is working at around 50% load to cope with the video playback along with the other background applications I have running. It seems like every time I try to push the machine to do things which should be out of reach I am pleasantly surprised. About half of my day today was spent working and with my typical work flow being so simplistic the G5 functioned flawlessly. Most of my time is spent inside a terminal which is in turn connecting via SSH to my development environment which is really just another Linux system. This sort of thing could be done on the weakest of systems so the load it presents to the G5 is almost non-existent. Work was smooth sailing and my productivity was what I would consider identical to an average session on my regular machine.

With day 2 in the books I can't stress enough just how enjoyable this has been. Some things present a bit of a challenge but so far nothing which can't be overcome, knock on wood!