Mozilla Firefox 4 for Apple Mac OS PPC Systems G3, G4, G5

Just a brief note to all you Apple Mac fans who still continue to run G3, G4 and G5 PowerPC Chip systems, why upgrade when you obviously have such a great bit of kit ? I never thought anyone would ever consider us, other than lowly step-cousins, but step forward Flood Gap Systems. These are my ‘new best friends’ as they have taken mozilla firefox 4 and tuned it for the GPU graphics chips we have in our older kit. I’ve loaded their recent version about 20apr.2011 for a test drive, and i can say it DEFINITELY leaves Safari 5.0 in the dust. Look at the stats and graphs then you can find their download by clicking here then download if you feel the need for more speed … and who doesn’t ???

Their developer blogg is here and you can see what they have planned post F/F4+

And my other ‘new best friend’ has got to be OtherWorld Computing  in Chicago cos they have a batch of 1GB memory chips for my circa 2000 iMac G4. They also stock lots of tasty mac bits for the older versions. Look here at http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/apple/memory/iMac/G4_1.0GHz_1.25GHz  and also http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/apple/memory/iMac

Ok,  i DON’T want to break my system by replacing the unreachable factory memory chip set wedged in the top of this box. So i just picked up a 1GB PC2700 chip to replace my 512MB memory chip and expect great things. Even the $48USD price (about £30 gbp)  includes shipping from Chicago to western France. It came in perfect condition in the 8-14 day delivery window quoted. Will install it tomorrow and possibly get come piccies for you. Then we’ll benchmark it. Ha !!!!

Update: So to replace the user-memory chip, just needed a small phillips head screwdriver to loosen the 4 retaining screws on the base plate. These are spring-loaded and will not come loose from the bottom panel, just saves me from loosing them 🙂

First take a backup of anything dear to your heart, just in case. You do take backups, don’t you ?

Power off your system then disconnect any/all wires to your precious apple to avoid static electricity issues.

Had an absolute shed-load of dust, dirt and fluff up under the bottom grill, so took a vacuum to remove loose debris, which should also make it run cooler in the summer and hopefully save my hard disk from a premature death. i DON’T fancy replacing the hard drive in this baby.

Lay your flat panel screen face-down on a towel to reveal the base plate. I was expecting torex screws to stop me from doing this, but there were none on the outer bottom panel, though once the bottom plate is off, there are torex screws inside to prevent you from cracking open baby for further inspection.

The bottom plate came off quite easily to reveal the airport express card and the memory chip holder with two arms to retain the existing 512MB pc2700 micron chip. Easy does it, so just ground yourself first to get rid of static electricity before handling these parts. Prise apart the retaining arm at each end of the memory chip and it almost  jumps out into your hand. There are a lot of copper contacts along the bottom of the memory chip with a small plastic  thumb about 1/3 of the way along it. Something like 4 or 5 pins to the left of the thumb and 12-ish pins to the right of the thumb. When removing the existing memory chip, be sure to note which end has the smaller number of contacts and be sure to place your new chip in the same way. Replace cover gently and avoid brute force to screw in small screws in cover plate.

Return baby to normal standing position, re-connect wires and cables for mouse, etc. Power on and wait. And wait. Ok, so my first power on seemed to go ok with my screen-saver showing in about a minute of power on. The power-on-self-test ( POST ) did not bark about anything but the o/s never started. Had mouse cursor action but no icons, buttons, etc. After 3 minutes of waiting, decided to press power off button which i hold in for about 8 seconds before the system dies.

Tried power on again holding down C key on keyboard cos i read somewhere that it helps the o/s to load properly. No difference, so after 2 minutes, did a power off again. Went to find my old iMac install CD version 10.3 – ouch ! But could not get CD drive door to open until i did  power-on, this time holding down D key and also the CD eject button during power up. Eventually the Cd door opened but Don’t ask me what it did, but something twigged and the system started normally even without using the install CD. Beats me :}

Now, my iMac G4 has 1.28GB of memory and really halls ass. I can run iTunes in background, 2x copies of TenFour Firefox (see my other post on this beauty), plus photoshop and a raft of widgets. Now i am a happy bunny 😀

And even better, i’ve found that OtherWORLD Computing may give me a refund for the 512MB chip i just took out. Will update you on this in due course. I will not take a refund, but hope to apply any rebate against my next upgrade in my MacBook core 2 duo with 2GB of memory. Spec says 3GB is max so may also send in 1 x 1GB memory chip with my iMac chip and get a shiny new 2GB chip to max out my MacBook at 3GB. Zounds, Batman !!!!

UPDATE: OtherWorld advise that they will send me a check for the princely sum of USD$3.50 for my 512MB chip. The postage from here in france to chicago is about euros 6.00. See my round filing bin over there in the corner ? See this memory chip ? See how easily it flys thru the air with the greatest of ease, directement dans la poubelle ?? Voilà  !!!!

Thanx guys 😀

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