Let's make old Intel Macs useful again!
20th October 2020
Macs from 2008 not so long ago were considered as completely useless computers, however today I beg to differ. There are ways to make these computers work in modern environments. Of course it won't fulfill dreams of any human beaing, but for standard use and most importantly for fun - it's worth it. One of the ways is to turn a computer like that into a "Hacintosh" which would allow upgrade to a newer version of the OS. This however kills the magic period in which these computers were released, and besides it's just too easy. Let's try making MacOS X 10.7 functional again!
In most cases, MacOS 10.6 would've worked better and have that "retro" atmosphere, though I prefer 10.7. Differences in performance are minimal however differences in compatible software is a bigger deal. That's why for startes, let's install MacOS 10.7 Lion. Unfortunately I cannot share the link to download this OS since I am not sure how legal is this. You can surely Google it yourself. I believe in you!
What should a modern day Mac contain? For starters - a (more or less) modern web browser. Here are some of the options:
- Firefox Legacy - Special port of Firefox 68 ESR for Macos 10.6 / 10.7. I highly recommend ita because of its stability and more importantly the small amount of resources it requires
- Chromium Legacy - Port of Chromium, version 88.0.4298.0 for Macos 10.7 / 10.8. Unfortunately it demands a lot of resources, crashes often and has some issues with the interface over all.
- Spidersweb Browser - Something like Palemoon, but based on Seamonkey. It supports modern standards and encryption. Great for computers with low amount of RAM. For Macs with 32-bit Core Duo HERE
It's time for multimedia and documents:
- Libre Office 22.214.171.124 - Last version of Libre Office that works on both 10.6 / 10.7. This version supports files like .docx lub .xlsx just fine - but it also supports other file formats. You can of course replace it with iLife 2011 or Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac.
- Spotify 0.8.5 - Unfortunately it's the only version of Spotify that works. It keeps on warning us that "the current version isn't supports", but it's been happening for over 3 years. Everything still works :>. You can always launch the web version through a web browser.
- VLC 3.0.6 - Currently a classic video and music player. Some complain that it sucks - for me and this old Macintosh - it's perfect. They sadly have never backported MPV for older Macs :<.
- Keka 1.0.4 - 7-Zip for Mac. You need to extract archives from time to time, right? :3. I recommend replacing this ugly icon with something nicer.
- Wine 1.3 - Since this Mac supports 32 bits and is Intel based, why we haven't installed something so nice like Wine? Another way to play Touhou!
What about communicators? At first glance it looks bad... But it's not so bad, honest. Since the developers these days are lazy - 99% of modern communicators are web based. It simply means that having a modern day web browser we can use them. These are the communicators I have managed to work:
- Discord - Simply, Discord. It's really popular. It's like Facebook - you don't have to use it now but sooner or later you'll have to. It works just fine along with voice chats through the web browser.
- Microsoft Teams - Since we still have a modern day Firefox here - everything works just fine. Logging, teleconferences and of course text chat. Cases in workplaces haven't been so simple.
- FB Messenger - Just like any other web based / electron based communicator - it works just fine. Nothing to say here. I haven't tested voice communication but who in the world uses it on the Messenger...
- Element.io - Since the Matrix protocol is pretty young - we don't really have an option for older MacOS. Element.io (Riot.io in the past) works here just as expected.
- Telegram 1.8.15 - Last version of Telegrama, which still works on old MacOS. Thankfully no problems here.
- Adium 1.5.10 - Port of Pidgin. Excellent for communicating with Jabber/XMMP protocols and of course IRC.
- Colloquy 2.3 - My favourite IRC for MacOS. Sadly - its development stopped. If you want - there's a newer communicator called LimeChat.
Of course the programs mentioned above are not everything. I use a lot of other stuff that you can find in the z Repository of Piteusz
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