Surfing Bondi Blue Style

I’m here, right now, blogging and surfing quite merrily on a Bondi Blue G3 iMac. I’ve finally consigned my laptop to the Vaults of Doom (AKA the laptop bag) until I can face trying to power it up again. In the meantime, I’m having a blast seeing just how far it’s possible to push a ten year old iMac.

The biggest challenge with this iMac is the operating system, that’s for sure. OS X 10.1.5 is drop-dead gorgeous and stable as heck, but the problem is a serious lack of software for this particular version of Apple’s flagship operating system. Hopefully, I’ve a copy of 10.2 coming in the mail Real Soon, and that’s the version when all the stops are opened and software becomes readily available.

Heck, even finding a halfway decent browser was a problem. OS X 10.1 comes with the gawd-awful Internet Explorer for Mac, version 5.1. I’ve upgraded that to 5.2 and it’s still every bit as terrible as… well, as any other version of Internet Explorer, really. There’s no version of Firefox for any release of OS X below 10.2, and ditto for Opera 9. I tried a release of Mozilla 1.7 which as ok-ish, but too much of a memory hog, and much too insecure for comfort.

In the end, I’ve settled on Opera 8.54 for now; it’s stable, renders pages nicely and can chearfully handle multiple open tabs, even in the mere 96Mb ram on this iMac. Nice.

The only problem is that this version of Opera doesn’t like a few key sites, most notably gmail, Google Reader and twitter.com, so I’m having to use a real mail client (how retro is that?), the surprisingly good Bloglines and Hahlo 3 as my twitter client. They’re all pretty good substitutions, and it’s a perfectly livable setup. Heck, it sure beats swearing at my laptop every ten minutes as it crashes again.

One thing I’ve noticed about using such an old browser is just how many adverts there are online; I’m used to using Opera 9.5 (which has built in ad blocking) and Firefox’s Adblock add-on and both do a terrific job of cutting 90% of the netcrap before it even hits your screen. Take that away and it’s quite a shock. There’s a lot of adverts out there! Wow. I’ll be very happy to go back to Firefox 3 again, and kiss that overt consumerism goodbye.

I’m still finding my way around the iMac; I loe the mini keyboard but hate the hockey puck mouse. How on Earth can Apple get the iMac’s looks so great then screw up something as simple as a mouse?! Give me a properly shaped scroll mouse, any time.

The main thing I’m going to miss while using this iMac is Poser; that ain’t gonna happen, but I’ve tested out it’s image-handling and card reading capabilities, and it worked just fine, so photography shouldn’t be a problem provided I don’t fill the hard drive too much :)

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