Welcome to the first episode of Terminal Tinkering, the podcast where Jeff Butts tinkers with older and newer Macs, plays around with electronics, and tries not to break things so badly he can’t fix them again. In this episode, Jeff will help you decide on a flavor of UNIX for your older, PowerPC-based Mac and then he’ll tell you about the TMO Hackintosh, Valtur. To finish things off, Jeff shows you two ways you can record the screen from your iOS device using your Mac (or Windows PC, with one way).
THE ELDERLY POWERPC MAC
Here are the flavors of UNIX Jeff has tested so far. Some work better than others ..
THE FLAVORS OF LINUX
Here are the four main Linux distributions offering at least some PowerPC support:
The PowerPC port of Debian version “Jessie” –
Ubuntu’s PowerPC Ports page –
OpenSUS’s PowerPC Portal –
Gentoo’s PowerPC Ports Page –
IF YOU WANT TO GIVE BSD A SPIN
There are three primary flavors of BSD, but Jeff hasn’t had much luck with any of them. Regardless, here are the links:
FreeBSD’s PowerPC support page –
OpenBSD’s PowerPC page –
NetBSD – –
The NetBSD PowerPC wiki page –
hey everyone welcome to terminal tinkering I'm Jeff butts from the Mac Observer and this is the podcast where I find new uses for older Mac computers hack away a PCs and Macs and tinker with electronics in this episode I'm gonna talk to you about finding newer more secure and more modern operating systems for that older Mac like your PowerBook g4 or your Power Mac g5 I'll also tell you about Val tours the Mac observer hackintosh and we'll finish the episode out by looking at two different ways you can record your iOS device on your Mac so let's go ahead and dive in first I want to talk about older Mac computers I'm thinking like your G for your g5 maybe even the g3 now Apple hasn't supported the PowerPC architecture since OS 10 leopard 10.58 was the last version of OS 10 that supported PowerPC and that was eight years ago in August 2009 so you can just imagine how many security holes it has in it now the good news is is that you do have other alternatives there's other operating systems you can install and we'll go over some of those now I started this project playing with the PowerBook g4 by installing Linux I caught a lot of flack for that people gave me a hard time asking why I didn't go with some flavor of BSD which kind of makes sense you know since the Apple operating systems we have now are based on BSD it would have made sense to start with BSD but Linux is what I knew that's what I went with and by the time I'm done I think you'll understand why I'm still not ready to throw BSD on there and have that be my operating system of choice so let's get going and talk about Linux there are four major flavors of Linux that are still around and offer at least some PowerPC support no yellow-dog isn't one of them that that project was pretty much abandoned about five years ago your major choice is now in the Linux world our Debian Ubuntu open Seuss and Jen – don't rush to write down the links that I'm gonna put on the screen I will include those in the show notes here's the bad news Debian has dropped power CC support as of this year since if boon – is based on Debian that means you won't see updates for that one on PowerPC much longer either if there's any updates at all but if you want a version of Linux that's up to date as of right now and there's a relatively easy distribution to find and install then DB and Jessie and Ubuntu are good choices both of these as I said are easy installs and you can get to a graphical desktop pretty quickly DB n is available from Debian org the they have a dedicated web page for the PowerPC support Ubuntu is at Lubuntu dot-com if you go to Ubuntu org you get something vastly different so don't go there Ubuntu calm and they also have a PowerPC web page dedicated to that the next choice is open soos both it sleep and it's tumbleweed variants I really like tumbleweed because it's bleeding edge and it looks like power seat PC support might stick around here a bit longer now this one does require a bit more tinkering than Debian and Ubuntu and you don't get a graphical desktop right away like you do with with the other two but open SUSE org is their main webpage and they have split pages for tumbleweed and leap leap is more stable and tumbleweed is a rolling release so every day it's a new release their PowerPC portal page is available and I'll give you that link as well and then we'll talk about gen 2 now if you really love to tinker and you've got time on your hands this is probably the distribution with the best PowerPC support the main drawback is that almost everything other than the base operating system on PowerPC at least you'll probably have to compile it from source some binary packages might be available but most things you will have to compile if you're looking for a quick install with a graphical desktop right off the bat this is this ain't it but if you've got time on your hands this is quickly becoming my favorite partially because I've got a lot of experience with it it was one of the first flavors of Linux that I used for running servers and it's very very it's very customizable so that's Linux now let's talk about BSD now you think since max are running a custom flavor of BSD that there'd be strong support for PowerPC here unfortunately that's not really the case in fact the BSD variants I've tested so far have almost all turned out to be nearly complete failures I don't think I have yet to get a graphical desktop installed on any of them and that's even though I've tried for weeks I know it's got to be possible I just haven't found the right magical formula yet to make it happen with that said if you're looking for a console based server BSD might be the way to go I've had no problems at all with BSD running in console mode in text only mode and PowerPC support for that use is still pretty strong and it's continuing to be developed if you want to try BSD here are the three main variants that have PowerPC support there's FreeBSD which may be the oldest out there and they have a dedicated PowerPC project web page that gives the the status of FreeBSD on the PowerPC latest news hasn't been updated in quite a while because they've had new versions come out since then but it does give you links to download the ISO image and get that installed next is open beefs BSD this one it's it's just the the idea behind open BSD is to keep everything open and transparent and to make as much of the software on it open as well I did have I did have some success with OpenBSD but not for the graphical interface so you know there there's that they have their own math power PC support page that gives a history of it current status and I think it's pretty up-to-date they tell the supported hardware and down near the bottom of the page they should give unsupported hardware and possibly yep getting an installing OpenBSD it gives known problems it gives information about other features and how things will and will not work so there's that next is net bsd just another branch of BSD and this is the one that is at 7.1 and they're PowerPC support page which gives instructions on how to get it how to install it and net BSD actually has the most comprehensive install document that I've seen for BSD the only downside to this is that it's a little bit outdated my Power Mac g5 has open firmware 4.0 and this only goes to open firmware 3 so there's that but most of the information is still applicable and still works okay so that's BSD my somewhat final verdict is of I still prefer Linux but I'm going to keep tinkering with BSD until I get something right that's just what I do okay let's switch things up a bit and talk hackintosh now if you don't already know this a hackintosh is a non Apple PC that's running Mac OS or OS 10 it's definitely a bit harder than it sounds because well you know Apple doesn't want you to do it and that might be why it appeals to me I've void warranties as you might have heard me say before on other podcasts now to build a hackintosh you've got two choices you can buy a computer that closely matches what Apple builds or you can piece together your own I've tried both routes I've done both routes because I love to tinker my latest project I pieced together my own that takes a fair bit of research so I did that and I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the folks at Tony Mac x86 as well as insanely Mac along with folks in the hackintosh subreddit on reddit again links in the show notes anyways here's what I came up with Val tore the TMO hackintosh is running off of a gigabyte z170 x ud5 motherboard he's got an Intel Core i7 6700 K CPU that's a skylit processor if you're keeping notes voucher has 32 gigabytes of ballistics extreme memory a 1 terabyte m2 SSD from crucial and a 10 terabytes Seagate Barracuda probe SATA Drive for extra space the motherboard has an Intel HD 530 graphics chipset built in but I also got a gigabyte AMD rx 460 video card this is all plugged into my 32 inch AOC display and right now it's running high sierra public beta 3 when I picked that rx 460 video card to be honest I thought it would work great out of the box that's actually a chipset that Apple has used pretty recently so I figured it would be well supported yeah I was wrong yeah Apple used it but they must have had their own custom video wrong because I found out that the OEM cards have a funny little problem what you have to do to get this to work is have an integrated graphics card or graphics chipset configured as the primary in your motherboards BIOS then you have to boot blind and by that I mean you have no video at all from that AMD card until Mac OS hits the desktop or the login screen and that's a little bit nerve-racking I find myself wondering is this gonna be the time when Valtor doesn't boot up but so far so good now when I did the install I had to use the Intel integrated chipset for that installation of Mac OS Sierra once I had that working then I could switch over to the Radeon and other than putting blind it works great I don't need any third-party drivers I've got full video acceleration right out of the box now I've heard someone say that you can actually flash the video ROM on the RX 4 60 to make it closer to Apple specs I haven't tried that yet but I'm researching it and it may be coming in the future alright that's enough about hackintosh for right now in future episodes I'll dive in more about the hackintosh including how you can get it up and running for example how do you create an install disk so that you can get it installed because you can't just boot off of a regular OS 10 install disk apple does even provide them anymore so I'll talk to you about how to do that other tips and tricks other tools that you can use to get everything working and running properly for right now let's switch to a real Mac and talk about recording your iPhone or your iPad screen well okay when I say real Mac I mean any Mac whether it's an Apple Mac or a hackintosh because these tools will work on both of those there is a free way that you can record your iOS device screen and there's a paid way to do it I have my preference for the paid way because it offers more bells and whistles and a little more stability but if you don't want to spend any money on it you just need to do it once in a while here's how you go about it you plug your iPhone or your iPad into your Mac and then you fire up a QuickTime Player so I'll fire up QuickTime Player file new movie recording and it takes a moment now in this case it went straight into my iOS device because I had already set it up that way but basically what you're looking for usually this will show you your webcam and you'll look at yourself and you'll think that's not what I want to record that's not what anybody wants to record oh wait that's what I think yeah so there's a little downward facing arrow a little downward facing triangle next to the record button if you click on that once your iPhone is plugged in make sure it's unlocked you should see your iOS device whether it's an iPhone or an iPad listed click on that – called Pippin and then for microphone if you want sound from what you're recording click on that as well with that done quick time will be set up to make your reporting for you okay next there are several paid apps that do the same thing these guys offer some extra bells and whistles though and I've got a favorite and that's reflector I use it almost everyday for my articles over at app advice with reflector what you do is you go into airplay streaming on your iOS device I'm on iOS 11 might look a little bit different if you're still in iOS 10 once you get into your control panel you go to screen mirroring and you see I've got Valtra selected and so my iOS screen is is being recorded or is being streamed to my Mac through reflector once you do that and you've got it connected reflector screen shows up and shows your iOS screen now you can one of the really nice features of reflector is you can record your iPhone with a mock up around it with a frame around it and you can even choose different colors for that frame so let's choose the product red edition and so now I can record my iPhone and I can have it set up so that the the frame goes around it and it looks like it's a product red iPhone pretty cool right I'm gonna go back to jet black because that's what I have so that's what I usually record okay so once you've got it set up the way you want it you click record it starts reporting your iOS screen you do whatever you wanted to do and once you're done you click on stop record and you'll get an mp4 file that you can then save it you can send it to YouTube use it in the app store or whatever you want to do honestly I don't know why more developers don't do this the app is cheaper than dirt it works like a charm and it creates gorgeous videos oh well when you're done you stop mirroring and reflector just Flitz into the background and it's ready for you later on okay that's all we've got time for today if you've got any comments or suggestions just shoot me an email at Jeff B at Mac observer comm or tweet me on Twitter I'm at clef Meister in the Twitterverse until next time happy tinkering