Mucho Macs 'n stuff
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Several months ago I found a super bargain on a Digital Audio logic board through eBay. I bought it thinking I could play around with overclocking the bus speed per this guy's instructions. After some tedious wire and resistor placement I soldered everything into place and put the board into my Digital Audio. It worked! OS XC even seemed to boot faster. System Profiler didn't recognize the change but after running X bench I noticed a fairly big difference (668 to 748). But then reality set in. I started getting asked if I wanted to permit various programs to run and the system clock couldn't seem to hold the right time after every reboot. Sadly, I had been defeated. Oh well, it was worth trying. Now if I could only get the L3 cache on that dual 800mhz processor to register...
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Apparently there is a team at MIT that wants to build computers based on the Apple II for developing countries. The price for 30 year old technology? Just $12. In the same vain as the One Laptop Per Child program (which has failed miserably) this project aims at teaching people rudimentary skills instead of providing play toys (although with Apple II's I'm imagining there will be lots of required programming, which isn't so rudimentary). I say good for them! This is a great idea that will reach a ton of people. Thinking back to my own computer skills history, I actually started out on an Apple IIc circa 1985. It wasn't until 1997 that I was introduced to modern computing platforms in the form of Windows 98 and Mac OS 8. What a design that can last 30 years and still have such a following.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
After my overclocking mishap I'm back in business with a dual 800mhz processor! I scored this marvel from eBay at the astonishingly low price of $81 shipped. Normally these go for $100-$130, I got lucky. I have it installed now and it's running like a champ. The half-breed lives to fight another day.
Monday, July 14, 2008
My Wife is frequently on my case regarding the slowness of one of our G4s. It has the dreaded 733mhz Quicksilver processor that lacks an L3 cache. Although this is bad for performance it's good for overclocking. I've seen websites as well as ebay listings that support this processor running up to 933mhz. Since my Wife and I just got hired on to do a big translation project I decided I better get things running faster so we can make more progress. With the best intentions I broke out the soldering iron and mapped out my plan. I had previously desoldered one of the resistors on this processor to bump it to 800mhz so I felt confident I could make the necessary solder drip for 867mhz. I was right. I put everything back together and it worked like a champ. Yay! But I got to thinking that if 867mhz was good, 933mhz would be great. Out came the soldering iron again. Surprisingly I was able to lay down two more solder blobs with little difficulty. I again reassembled everything and BAM, it wouldn't start up. Kernel panic. Oh well, I had to do it, otherwise I would constantly wonder. So with that gone I tracked down a new processor on ebay. I'm not sure how but I was able to find a dual 800mhz for $81 shipped! Hopefully that works out, otherwise I'm a computer down.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Ebay is a very dangerous tool. I was checking things out the other deal when I found a deal too good to refuse, a G4 Digital Audio motherboard for only $10 ($20 with shipping). That was too sweet of a deal to pass up, especially since I've been thinking to attempt a bus speed bus like this http://jonathanrenaud.g.googlepages.com/home2
Now that I have an extra motherboard I guess I have no excuse but to try for 150mhz over the 133mhz stock speed. Well, I guess I do have the excuse that I can't solder very well. But that's beside the point.
Friday, May 16, 2008
At 768mb my G4 hack project (DA computer with QS processor oc'd to 800mhz) has never been well endowed with RAM. Until now. I decided to spring for 2x 512mb sticks from other world computing . I decided to go with OWC for compatibility reason. I didn't expect any issue with other major brands but I wanted to be sure that in the severely unlikely event that it didn't work on an Apple that I could get a refund. Not much to say about it besides it's RAM. Now I'm sporting 1.25GB of crushing random access memory. It definitely helps performance but it's still a dog with the Quicksilver 733/800mhz processor (stupid lack of L3 cache!). I'm tempted to through in a dual 1.0ghz but those are pricey ($200 on ebay). My other thought was to do a dual 533mhz. Less numbers but more processors. Given Leopard's love of multiple processors that might be the way to go.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
I run Leopard on my unsupported G4's and I think it works great. Personally, I don't think there should be a mechanism to prevent you from installing Leopard on your computer, it just doesn't make any sense. My two unsupported Macs, an 800mhz Digital Audio/Quicksilver (DA computer, QS 733mhz processor, overclocked to 800mhz) and a 500mhz Dual Gigabit, run it just fine. In fact, there isn't much difference from Tiger. If anything I think the dual 500mhz runs BETTER with Leopard. So if you want to install it on your G3 266mhz iMac and have nothing work and blindingly slow performance, that should be your call. That said I'm all for programs like Leopard assist, which helps you get Leopard going on your unsupported Mac.