PowerPC Challenge Master Post

THis is a masterpost of every PPC Challenge daily log. They've been left largely unmodified from their original posts, and mostly serve as an archive.

PPC Challenge: Day 1

Day one of the PowerPC challenge is underway.

What is there to say so far? Not much, really. Day one only really consists of a few hours, since the challenge only begins once MacYak for that week ends, which leaves very little to report for day one. I spent most of my time downloading music via Soulseek to listen to in iTunes - I spent my Sunday ripping my CD collection to the Mac, and I can't get Navidrome to reliably download files to my system from my server via InterWebPPC. I might be able to scp the music files straight from the server, but I'm not sure if this Mac's security protocols are able to communicate with my DigitalOcean droplet.

However, I did start the challenge a bit early - I watched this week's episode of MacYak on my G5! Using PPCMC to play the stream at 360p, I opened chat as a pop-up in Safari and talked that way. It wasn't...the smoothest experience, but it worked, which is what counts! After stream ended, I logged into TinkerDifferent and posted for the first time there, which was a bit of a hassle since Safari didn't want to send my posts but InterWeb wanted to take three thousand years to load the website.

Tomorrow, I'll likely see if I can install Adelie Linux on this thing, per Action Retro's suggestion. That'd be a fun time - apparently KDE with this rig is pretty responsive. That'd be an interesting experiment!

So far, I'm already feeling a bit of loneliness. My Mastodon instance has been down all day, so I can't talk there, Twitter runs at 3 seconds per frame when logging in, and Discord notifications don't work the same so I don't post there as often either. Maybe I'll post on SpaceHey instead. I don't know. Definitely feel the 'away from social media' anxiety, but hopefully that will subdue. Maybe I'll even be happier to step away from it when the challenge is over.

I gotta figure out how to get this posted to the blog, though. I might have to use the Neocities web editor, I'm not sure if Dreamweaver is gonna work with my HTML files. Just have to wait and see, I suppose!

That's all I've got for day 1. Excited for day 2 to try and do more things.

Amber out.

PPC Challenge: Day 2

Alright, day two of the PowerPC challenge under my belt! Only...twelve days to go. Got it.

Spent a good amount of my time trying to mostly optimize my system and figure out how to get the most of it. This one is a bit of a wild ride, so please pardon me if my thoughts seem a bit scattered. ADHD brain is making it a bit hard to write this, but I'm true to my word, dammit.

Unfortunately for me - but luckily for you, dear reader - is that not much went to plan, which makes for a fun story but not so much a fun time for me.

Entering? The Void?

I set out on a day-long journey to install some modern form of Linux on this G5. With a suggestion from Sean of Action Retro, I set out to install Adelie Linux with the KDE Plasma desktop environment. This seemed like a fairly simple task - make a USB, boot it, format the partitions properly using the terminal, and then install. Nothing I can't handle.

Easy start - making the USB. This was a pain, not because it was difficult, just because it was slow. Even when wired, Lillium's download speeds weren't anything to write home about, capping at what seemed like around 2MB. It took about 30 minutes for the Adelie ISO to download, and then I took a nap while waiting for it to DD to the USB drive. When I woke up, I restarted the Mac and booted into the USB environment.

Now, for the funky stuff - formatting the drive. Apple's Open Firmware requires a specific partition layout in order to boot, which the GUI version of the Adelie installer was incapable of creating. With some tips once again from Action Retro (who made a whole video describing the process), I was able to format the drive and install Adelie, and then installing Plasma and SDDM.

It took a few minutes for the Mac to boot into Linux, and it wasn't very long until I noticed something was...wrong. The default KDE cursor, which was the only thing rendered on my screen at the moment - was ...blue. I thought maybe it was just a custom cursor for this specific distribution's Plasma defaults, but, nope. SDDM shows up, and it's all blue. I log in, and I'm at the Plasma desktop, and...it's still all blue.

This is the part where I normally would have checked the display configuration, or reinstalled the graphics drivers. Unfortunately for me, there was no display configuration panel anywhere - or any semblance of a settings app, for that matter. So naturally, I went to go reinstall my GPU drivers and...Konsole was missing, too. There was no terminal emulator.

It was at that point I gave up on Adelie, and instead went back to OS X and re-did the whole process with Void Linux PPC. After fiddling with disk partitioning again, I was able to pretty easily install Void with XFCE. It ran modern Firefox, had working GPU drivers, and everything, but ultimately, it was incredibly slow, and I decided at that point it was best to keep using OS X Sorbet Leopard for the time being, keeping Void around if I really needed some specific modern-ish software.

Guess who's Mac

On the OS X side, I decided it was time to start caring a bit more about performance, so I finally sacrificed some aesthetics for performance, disabling the 3D dock and translucent menu bars. I miss them dearly, but the system does generally feel more responsive, so a small price to pay. To aid in my browsing escapades, I also installed TenFourFoxPEP, a configuration file tweak that changes a bunch of stuff under-the-hood for TFF/InterWeb that makes browsing a much more enjoyable experience. I spent a good amount of time just browsing Neocities sites, following some new ones, and catching up on the PPC Challenge thread on TinkerDifferent.

I did end up getting a tiny bit of actual, real-life work done on the G5, filling out a W2 form and sending it off, but that was about the extent of my productivity in terms of real-life work. Google Drive didn't work on either browser I had installed, so I simply used my iPhone for this.

As for gaming, I have a bit of interest, but not sure what to play. At one point in the night, I tried to play Quake 3 Arena online, but quickly exited when I first joined a lobby, because I had realized that this was actually my first time ever playing Quake 3, and as such I decided that maybe it was best I practiced offline first. I do eventually wanna play it though, the tutorial stage I played was pretty fun.

I am way too used to matchmaking, though. Dedicated server setups scare me. (PS if anyone has suggestions for fun shooters for PowerPC Macs that still have active multiplayer communities, please let me know on Twitter or Mastodon or something!)

I believe that's all for today's log on the PowerPC Challenge. Thanks for reading, see y'all tomorrow for day 3!

Amber out.

PPC Challenge: Day 3

Practically nothing much happened today. At all.

I got out of bed at about 2pm, ate lunch, and then got back into bed and just watched YouTube on my phone. I did not feel like doing anything, and as such, I barely touched my Mac. Or my desk at all. I didn't even write anything. I'm posting this late. I wrote this on the 9th.

Day 4, of which the log is coming out early because my brain is running rampant with thoughts as of right now, will have much more content.

I did find a cool new website called reFlash, though. I'll be putting a button to it in the other sitez section soon.

Amber out.

PPC Challenge: Day 4

My post for PPC Challenge Day 4 was far, far too long to combine into a PPC Challenge masterpost. Click here to read it.