3. 6. 2009

iMac G3: Mac OS X 10.3.9 - Internet browsing & other applications

Software for Mac OS X 10.3.9 is usually old and not supported. That was the first thing I noticed. Another reason to go for Tiger. I had to search old releases and sometimes I found only Windows versions. And sometimes I had to experiment - will it work or not?


Of course I tried Safari in latest version for Mac OS X 10.3.9. The speed was accepatble but untill I visited pages with Flash (ver 9 for Panther) or JavaScript. I can say that the Safari was unusable. I had to wait too long. My next steps were of course for Firefox. Unfortunately I couldn't download latest version for Panther, only version 2. This version was slower than current version that I have on Windows, so I didn't dowload this old release. To the contrary, I could download the latest Opera browser. It worked well but still slow with Flash and JavaScript.

I searched again and I found Camino. It is something like Firefox but only for Macs. I could download the latest version again, what was great. I visited the same pages like with Safari or Opera and the speed with Camino was amazing. You can't expect 200% boost, but still - I could watch videos on YouTube (not 25 fps, but I got the idea from video :-)) and even use Gmail with JavaScript! Of course You should be still patient, but it is possible.

And I want write just one thing. When I compare web browsing with IE in OS 9 and Camino for example in Mac OS X, it is like ... I don't know, huge difference - and on the same machine!

For web browsing I'm using these two browsers: Safari with disabled Flash, Java and JavaScript - for fast browsing and Camino only with Flash disabled, but you can just click on any Flash object and it will run.


First of all, this is one of the first pages you should visit -> http://www.opensourcemac.org/. I have downloaded some apps, e.g. Seashore - very nice and fast image editor, Adium - must have IM, VLC and Mplayer - again old releases for Panther.

NeoOffice is OpenOffice for Mac, you can download version 2.2.5 for Panther here. Work with NeoOffice can be fine (I didn't work with it like I normal do with OpenOffice to be honest), but programs load slowly and you have to be patient.

For me very interesting applications were these two: TinkerTool and OnyX. Both are tweaking utilities, but OnyX can do more - clean and optimize system. I was curious about this optimization and I did two benchmarks with Xbench v1.3:

Before optimization: 9,47
After optimiation: 9,49

So no big difference. But the system was newly installed and clean and therefore results are very similar.

I could download QuickTime in version 7 but not the latest. I had some problems with codecs but I have found some old versions for Mac and finally I could play videos with QuickTime. The playback was not smooth. Maybe 20 fps, but not smooth at all.

Quake 3 Arena Benchmarks

I like do benchmarks with Quake 3 on any machine. For me it is very reliable result and I like watching the demos :-). And of course I was wondering about GPU performance on iMac.

If you want to know how to make Q3 benchmark on your own here is short guide:
1) Drop console - in windows version you just press ~, but where is tilda on Mac keyboard? Press F13 and console will magicly appear.
2) Type \timedemo 1
3) Type \demo four - you can use other demo as well but for compatibility or comparison with my results use four.

I have installed version 1.32c for Mac and used demo four. Game Options were like this: Simple items – on, Dynamic Lights – off, High Quality Sky – off; and System Setup: GL Extensions – on and Fullscreen. I changed resolution and some settings like this:

Resolution, Color Depth, Lighting, Geometric Detail, Texture Detail (%), Texture Quality, Texture Filter = Result in FPS
640x480, 16, Vertex, Low, 0, 16, Bilinear = 27,20
640x480, 32, Vertex, Low, 33, 16, Bilinear = 27,00
640x480, 16, Vertex, Low, 33, 16, Bilinear = 27,20
640x480, 32, Lightmap,Low , 33, 32, Trilinear = 25,60
640x480, 32, Lightmap, High, 100, 32, Trilinear = 7,30
800x600, 16, Vertex, Low, 0, 16, Bilinear = 27,10
800x600, 32, Lightmap, Low, 0, 16, Bilinear = 24,30

Very surprising results for 640x480 that were almost the same as for 800x600 - I could use only these two resolutions. On my laptop I got like 60 FPS for 1024x768 in high detail and I consider this performance as very good for gaming.
But you can get basic idea about GPU performance and that was the goal of this benchmark.

I can play Quake 3 on iMac but I wouldn't dare play it as internet multiplayer. iMac G3 is for older and more simple games.

Tomorrow I'm planning install Tiger (using XPostFacto) and I'm very impatient about the performance and usability.

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