A Fresh Start For An Eight Year Old Power Mac

The Mac OS X Leopard launch this weekend got me thinking about how I could get more out of my good ol’ Power Mac G4. I didn’t buy Leopard because I’m waiting to hear how it runs on G4 processors. Based on my experience with iLife ’08, Apple is clearly not optimizing applications for the G4 and its Velocity Engine anymore. Take iMovie ’08 for example. iMovie ’06 runs like a champ on my computer. I find it very difficult to believe that iMovie ’08 could not have been optimized to run on a G4. It does not make any sense to me. The performance of iPhoto ’08 is also a bit suspect on my Mac especially compared to the last version. Anyway, that’s a whole other topic.

The Leopard launch convinced me that it was time to give my Mac a fresh start. My hard drive was approaching capacity, and the performance of the machine was definitely starting to slow down a bit. To give a little background, the machine still had Classic (Mac OS 9) on it. It also had every file I had created in the last eight years. I’ll be the first to admit that a fresh OS install was way overdue.

With my internal 120 GB hard drive and 250 GB FireWire hard drive both almost full, I had a bit of a dilemma. It was time for another external drive so off to Costco I went. With a new 500 GB FireWire hard drive in hand, I was now ready to implement my master plan. The first step was to do a full backup onto my new hard drive. Once that was finished, I broke out my Mac OS X Tiger disk and did a nice fresh installation for the first time since who knows when. I have decided that my internal hard drive will be used almost strictly for applications. With over 140 GB of photos, music, and videos, I don’t want to keep my media files on the internal drive. I plan to use the 250 GB FireWire drive for my iLife media files. The drive will be a little over half full when I move all of my files over so I will have room to grow. That will leave the 500 GB FireWire drive to backup every file on my other two drives. That will give me plenty of room not only for a full backup but also incremental backups for the foreseeable future.

With my new setup in place, I feel like my Mac (barring anything catastrophic) should last for quite some time. I can see using this machine for at least another couple years. Now, don’t get me wrong; I would love a new iMac, but my Power Mac seems to be a lot more responsive so I am happy to keep on using it.