Thanks to all of our Viewers!

It’s been a while since I last posted something and school has been eating away at my time for the past couple of weeks which unfortunately has stopped me working on posts for this site and the PowerPC Archive website. I have a list of software I need to add and cool stuff to discuss on here, which will hopefully start coming soon (YouTube tutorials and videos coming soon of neat PPC stuff). Depends on how my weekend will go (past few weekends have been pretty crazy!)

But here is where I am super stoked. I was looking at the site statistics for the PowerPC Archive, and we had 2,200 viewers (8,600 pageviews) from people in 74 (SEVENTY FOUR!!) different countries within August 15 – yesterday. I was beyond belief when I saw that. The only project I ran that was successful dates back to 2010 when I took Bamboogle’s Virtual PC, fixed the links, renamed it VHD Vault then got shut down (which received 2,000 page views per month). And yes – I am Gavin Stubbs.

Sooo, you guys rock! I constantly receive emails from users appreciating what I do here and on the Archive. All I can say is Thank You 🙂

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Dual 1GHz QuickSilver

I have never bought a mac local in my area. However, about a month ago I was able to find a 17″ PowerBook which I fixed up and still have. On Saturday my aunt had sent me a screen shot of this QuickSilver with the guy asking for offers. I figured it was a 733MHz or so and my offer reflected that of $20. The guy said there was a guy interested in it for $50 and it was mine if I had $55. I didn’t care at this point, but the next day he asked if I could do $25 and we agreed on that (I am pretty sure I was the only one to offer anyways).

I did get a picture of the insides, and I found out it had a AirPort Card, Modem, SCSI card, 2x Hard Drives, and 3 sticks of ram. I did a bit of research on the heatsink and the one in this machine was for a 1.0 GHz, and for the next 24 hours I was confident that’s what it was.

On Monday I drove to town and met the guy at his place of work about 9am. I walk in and run into a lady and asked if the kid was there. She said sure, and opened a door. I put my hand out as the door was coming close to my face and she was pissed thinking I was going to follow her and said “You can’t be back here.” Okay, whatever.

Get outside, walks over to his car and grabs it, I open the passenger door on my truck and he sets it on the seat. Paid him the $25 and he went back to work. The first thing I did was look at the back, and the spec label was pretty impressive. Dual 1GHz, 1024MB Ram, 2x80GB HDD, SuperDrive, GeForce 4MX, AirPort, Modem, SCSI, Keyboard, Mac OS X. Has almost every option besides the zip drive and the GeForce 4TI 128MB card. PowerBook Medic’s serial lookup thinks this machine is a 933MHz, but does say that it was made somewhere between June 10-16, 2002. Production number 1493, Assembled in USA – Elk Grove/Sacramento, CA (I tend to try making all of my Power Macs assembled here or Ireland, and Elk Grove is just a few hours away!).


30 3photo

Drive home and boot it up. 1.5GB Ram, 2MB L3 per CPU (MDD has 1MB per CPU), and the 2x80GB Hard Drives. Whoever owned this before was smart, they formatted each hard drive and installed Tiger. I then proceeded to install Leopard.

While this was happening, I grabbed a Canon EOS T4i (605D for you Europeans) and lined up my Graphite and MDD case to complete the tower collection. Took some neat pictures, more to come in the future!

G4 Generation 25

I’m happy, found a top of the line QuickSilver cheap and local. Originally my plan was to build the Digital Audio to the hill with a 1.3GHz Sonnet, however watching one go on eBay for $160 was way too much IMO. If I can score a 1.6GHz Sonnet of some sort, it’s going into the QuickSilver! This machine I plan to keep, the Digital Audio and MDD are for sale!

Posted in G4, Hardware | 1 Comment

Power Mac G5 – Resurrection

This is something I didn’t plan on, but it all worked out. The other day, my 2.7GHz G5 was being a nightmare so I cooked the logic board in the oven and now it works (however, I am still limited to 4GB of ram). But, there is a lot behind this, so be prepared for a long read!

When I was trying to get the other G5 working, I was planning on a logic board swap from my other 2.7GHz Mac that I was planning to turn into a 2.3 and as I was removing the logic board, I snapped a capacitor right off the logic board. Mad, I removed the logic board out of the current 2.7 (DR as I call it) and baked it. To my surprise, it worked and with the 2.3 (DN) I was planning on selling it.

However… fast forward to the weekend and I found myself throwing it all back together and hot gluing the ripped off capacitor (which worked!) and got everything back together. Put my newly arrived 2.3 processors (thanks Robby) on the 1.8 heatsinks I had, threw it all back together, booted up Thermal Calibration, and calibrated it. To both Robby and my surprise, it passed as these had earlier failed with errors.

Next mission was using a Leopard Upgrade DVD and install Leopard onto the thing. Went fairly fast with the hard drive that is in there (a 500GB Samsung out of my MBP in a IcyDock) as I had no other hard drives left to put in the thing. I was able to find screws that would work so the hard drive would stay in the slot rather than no screws at all.

I did some benchmarks, and the first time I ran Geekbench the 2.3 wasn’t very happy, with a score of 1668, worse than my 2.0 G5 that I owned this year, and scored 1844. Second time I tried, I got 2064 which sounded much more reasonable, and the 2.7 scored 2363. Here is a comparison in scores between the 2.3 and 2.7!

So now I’m happy, and have two working G5s, with one having the LCS and one with the Air Cooled setup. One for each desk, and if one fails I will always have a backup G5!

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iBook G4 14″ – 1.42GHz/1.5GB/80GB/APX/BT/SD

This is a super cool little Mac, and I didn’t recall seeing many 14″ iBooks, with a huge majority of people buying 12″ iBooks.

Wow, so you have a PowerBook G4 17″ that you’ve owned for a week, and now a TOL iBook? What’s wrong with you Gavin? This one is special for a few reasons. Recently we hit 200 likes on the PowerPC Centre facebook page in a year, and we don’t even have a YouTube channel. One is coming with some neat videos very soon, I’ll finally get to it for once! Second, this is from Good Guy Robby who, again, has done an extreme amount of work and I appreciate every second of work we get done! Third, this iBook is in almost immaculate shape. And as a fourth, I’m the third owner.

It’s clean, no cracks anywhere, two brand new official Apple batteries, and the keyboard wear is little. Rubber feet are in perfect shape, everything about this is perfect. The only spot something is broken is those two rubber feet on the display bezel, besides that, it’s the cleanest iBook I’ve seen in YEARS.

So from the title you can tell it is a maxxed out iBook, with a 1.42GHz G4, 1.5GB Ram, a 80GB 5400rpm hard drive (stock was 60GB, new hard drive was from a 12″ PowerBook), Bluetooth and AirPort, then a 4x SuperDrive. This was one of the last iBooks, being built between November 14-20, 2005 to only be replaced by the MacBook in May of 2006. This iBook has every bell and whistle that was ever offered.

The iBooks never saw a DDR2 introduction like the late 2005 iMac, PowerBook, and Power Mac, and was stuck with what was introduced in Mid 2005. The iBooks never saw speeds faster than 1.42GHz, and the PowerBook never saw a speed faster than 1.67GHz.

So what’s a con of this iBook? There’s two things that are a bummer, something Apple could have fixed if they invested a bit more of time into them. One which wouldn’t be realistic would be a backlit keyboard. Now the realistic cons. The audio jack has a problem with headphones, where you must pull it slightly out so the audio will work (seems to be a problem with headphones that have a built in microphone). The one other place Apple cheaped out is the display. Although it may be a 14″ you still share the 1024×768 resolution shared with the 12″ iBooks and PowerBooks. Would have been a bit expensive, but a 1280×1024 display would have been amazing!

So is there any true benefit of a 14″ over a 12″ iBook? Not much. The G4’s arent much (1.33 12″ – 1.42 14″) speeds, graphics, hard drive, screen resolution, and pretty much everything else. All the 14″ is, is a 12″ with bigger palmrests and a huge gap between the speakers and keyboard. And it was $300 more. It’s obvious to why the 14″ was the rarer model of the two, but they are still awesome 🙂

PB17" iBook14" iBook12"

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Yosemite Pack for Leopard

On a late Monday night after finally getting the G5 running after an all-day teardown (I’ll make a post about it in the upcoming days) I installed AQUAdock’s Mountain Lion themed pack for Leopard. I went on to further using FastIcns on my MacBook Pro and pull icons off from Yosemite and make Leopard a bit prettier.

I was able to get the Application icons transferred over, however Finder, Recycle Bin, and default folder icons (to use the Yosemite icon for every folder you create) I had to use CandyBar to do this. Going well so far, just need to keep pulling icons and put a pack together!

Yosemite Pack Preview 1

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PowerBook G4 – Refurb/1.67/2GB/100GB/AP/BT

“Travel light and fast. The new PowerBooks.” Describes the Early 2005 1.5-1.67GHz 15″ and 17″ models with a mild speedbump from 2004. There wasn’t much of an improvement besides 2005 models having a stock 128MB ATi Radeon 9700 versus the 64/128MB option for 2004.

“Welcome to the W8 club” is a famous title for the 2005 PowerBook 17″ 1.67GHz models, as Apple’s new displays specific to the PowerBook G4 models with serials that started with W8. Similar to the iMac G5 iSight displays, the PowerBooks would get quite a few lines running vertically down the LCD. Apple never issued a recall on these, and the popular choice by owners to keep these machines running was to purchase a used display off a 1.0-1.5GHz PowerBook. The DLHR PowerBooks don’t seem to have this problem.
display_front display_back

So, the actual PowerBook itself! It’s a funny story how I received it, there is this local Facebook group for my area where people (try) selling things. This lady had posted this PowerBook with lines all down the screen, wanting $125 OBO (posted June 15). I had offered $40 expecting to leave with it for $80. Nope, they were totally cool with $40. Got to their house and today (June 27) was their last day in my town before moving down the SoCal, so I lucked out! Went and picked it up, found out that it was a 1.67, 2GB Ram, 100GB HDD, 128MB Radeon 9700, and a few other things. A couple of things caught my eye, like the Refurb tag (refurbished by Apple in June 2005), and overall how clean the computer was. The original battery had 320 cycles yet had 46% capacity remaining, so my bet was it was a desk machine for pretty much most of it’s life and wasn’t around kids.
IMG_0279 IMG_7239

I did notice the F2 key didn’t work, which was semi-important to me for the brightness up. I removed the key and was trying to see if it was something I could fix, and twice I hit the F1 key and the display went dim entirely, so I found myself navigating the mouse with the flashlight on my iPhone. Ended up breaking F2, so a new top case will soon be ordered. On the bottom there are two missing screws along with two more in the battery compartment, so soon those will be ordered, and just to be on the safe side, a new battery will be ordered too.

My big issue with this laptop was the screen for sure. Yeah it’s usable and I spent most of my Friday getting Leopard all set up and whatnot on it, but the lines would annoy you to no end. I bit the bullet and spent $90 on a Grade A display that was the entire assembly. Could have ordered just the panel for $60 but I found it easier to get the entire enclosure so I wouldn’t need to mess around with tearing more crap apart. That will be here soon so expect an update with the install!

This is Mac #2 of 5 we have received this week so far.
Power Mac G5 2.7GHz
PowerBook G4 17″ 1.67GHz

iBook G4 14″ 1.42GHz
PowerBook G4 12″ 1.5GHz
Mac Mini 1.33GHz

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Using The 2.7GHz G5 – Day One

This is a post I wish I made video for, but enjoy the read! This was an entire day of stuff I had to mess with, I wanted to work on the MDD a bit but that’s for tomorrow! Keep some motivation, I was mad about stripping a screw when I could have avoided it, but went to sleep, woke up, and solved the problem 🙂

Later after I posted on here yesterday, my plan was to tear down the G5 entirely and clean out every spec of dust and avoid touching the LCS entirely. As I was removing the processors, I noticed the white rice problem was still here, so that meant I had to do what I really didn’t want to do. The rice was all over my carpet, late at night so I could care less, ended up vacuuming the next day so it all worked out! I stripped a screw entirely so this LCS was toast. However, the other 2.7GHz G5 that is here had a LCS with what we believed was a dying pump. Swapped the pumps and filled it up with coolant, and we were set. The old coolant was yellow (in the picture it’s green, I had to dump some new coolant into the LCS which ended up in the bucket, and ignore the bit that snapped off from the block on the LCS) and smelled horrible. The waterblocks had little black bits stuck to the copper fins, so this may have impeded coolant flow a bit. Lots of crap inside the coolant!
G5 floorG5 Coolant

But before this, my plan was to give the 2.7GHz cards a set of air cooled heatsinks to see if the CPUs would stay cool. I successfully got the G5 to boot 3 or so times, then once it was froze it would no longer boot (people have reported success with converting 2.7/2.5 to air cooled, I’ve tried twice to no avail.). However, when I would run Thermal Calibration, I would get the error “CPU0 Verify Check Failed” and this happened with the heatsinks, in two G5 towers. So then I fixed up the LCS and Thermal Calibration passed without an issue.

I’ve ran the G5 for 10 hours now, and not one lockup after passing thermal calibration. Before on the old G5, it could only dream of running this long without an issue. It’s been running great, and I finally own a G5 that is stable for more than a few hours (knock on wood). Temps have been low, and I have not seen anything higher than 189*F even after exporting some lossless video for 20 minutes straight.
G5 2.7

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Power Mac G5 – 2.7GHz Take Two

Earlier on my blog and throughout the PowerPC Centre facebook page, I have talked a bit regarding to a Liquid Cooled 2.7GHz Power Mac G5. I traded Robert (my now best friend, who has done quite a bit for me that I appreciate to the moon and back a billion times over) 2.0GHz G5 for this first 2.7, as I’ve never owned one and would like to see what it was like. Turns out this first one was a pile, and gave me issue after issue with the LCS. So in it’s soon future life, I will be getting some parts off Robert in order to help get this one into a 2.0 or 2.3GHz Air Cooled swap.

So this new one. A few months back I had just received the first 2.7, with UPS messing up the leg and damaging it. Robert happens to live close to a recyclers, so access to Power Mac G5s were easy enough (unlike me where everything has to be shipped into the boonies). The next week he sourced down another 2.7 for me, and this one happened to be in almost perfect shape besides a few missing parts here and there (graphics card, ram, hard drive, side panel). Months came by, and I finally was able to receive it on June 24, months after he had picked it up for me (which I really do appreciate, he is my Mac supplier!).

Standing in the parking lot of the Post Office, I unboxed it in the bed of my truck, and to both of our luck, not one leg was damaged. I brought some parts with me (250GB Hard Drive, 6GB Ram, ATi Radeon 9650 256MB) as I had planned to bring it into the classroom I had to work at but I didn’t get a chance to use it until I got home.

G5 truckG5 passenger

To my luck, again I was amazed. Booted right on up and the temps were low. At idle they were no higher than 165*F, and streaming a 720p YouTube video for 45 minutes raised the temps up to 188*F, which were miles better than the previous G5.

This post is long enough, expect more surprises from Robert and I, we have lots of great ideas and Macs to post about all summer long 🙂


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It’s been a While!

Sorry for no updates guys! The past two months have been super busy for the team, but now that school is out and summer is here expect some PowerPC awesomeness!


We are doing lots of work to the PowerPC Archive site, and we are expanding what we are doing. PowerPC History is a new page we were working on, talking about various Mac models. Right now we have (almost) everything from the iMac G3 up to the PowerBooks of 2005. Another thing coming soon is a Tiger selection as most of the software on the archive is for Leopard. Reviews, tutorials, and much more is coming! So is our future “PowerPC Talk” with people, coming soon!

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23″ Cinema Display HD

Figured next on the list would be a new display, and the 23″ model seemed like a good fit. The 20″ is small and the 30″ takes up an entire desk and then some. This display has a resolution of 1920×1200, which is higher than the 1080p resolution of 1920×1080 at a 16:9 ratio. Apple’s displays have always been 16:10 (for the most part, late 2009 iMacs and iPhone 5′s went to 16:9 among some other recent stuff). Going from the 22″ ACD (G4 style) the resolution is insane. That 22″ had 1600×1024. And, another bonus is the 23″ is much more brighter so we can see our Photoshop work in better detail! The USB hub is awesome, as it provides power so I can charge my iPhone right through the display.


With this new display (although really from 2004) nearly all websites are centered. On the old ACD everything was offset, so that was one of the first differences I noticed right away. One issue I had was image persistence which these seem common for. This was easily fixed by creating a pure white image and open it in preview, then go full screen and let it sit for half an hour. It took longer for it to completely disappear on my display. Besides that, this display has been awesome and the real-estate is amazing, and looks good on the desk!


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