Friday, December 22, 2017

The Feverish Fixing of Nadia, Part II

She's back in action!

For the umpteenth time, I've resurrected Nadia.  Longtime readers will know what I mean, but for those who don't (or won't click on the link), Nadia is my Apple Powerbook G3 "Lombard", bought in 2006 to serve as my main blogging and writing machine.  I named her after retired British adult film star Andrea Spinks, aka Nadia, of whom I was, er, enamoured at the time.

My reason for hanging onto (and repairing) a nearly twenty-year old laptop?  Stubbornness, for the most part, but the most important reason is that I like it.  I like using it, I like the form factor, I like that it's easily repaired, I like the apps in both Mac OS9 and OS X 10.3.9, and I still have all the hardware I've bought over the years.  I made an investment, damn it!

Unfortunately, things ain't the way they used to be, as many of the apps I loved no longer work.  Ecto, the blogging app I used, will no longer connect to Blogger/Google as it can't handle newer authentication protocols.  Neither can Microsoft Entourage 2000, OS X's Mail app, most websites, and my WebDAV clients.

The standard Facebook and Twitter took forever to load in their web incarnations, but the mobile versions still worked as beautifully as they did back in 2011.  Google+ doesn't work, though, which kind of pisses me off.  Ah well.

It was fun fooling around with the Powerbook, but as stubborn as I am, it'll never be more than a novelty or curiosity piece as it stands.  So, I took a calculated risk and downloaded a utility called xpostfacto, which lets one install Mac OX 10.4 onto unsupported Macs... such as Nadia.

I say "calculated risk" because I've been down this road a few times before, and it's never ended well.  I usually end up with a Powerbook that will no longer boot.  This time, however, I was determined to make it work.  So, I downloaded xpostfacto, threw in my 10.4 DVD, set it to upgrade my 10.3.9 install, and after an eternity, I was booting into OS 10.4!

It took a lot longer for Nadia to boot, but once up and running she seemed normal.  My installed apps worked, although a touch slower than in 10.3.9.  Out of curiosity, I tried a System Update, and practically jumped out of my chair when the system actually started updating!  This came as a shock to me, as the update servers for OS X 10.3.9 no longer work.

After a few hours, Nadia was running a fully upgraded 10.4.11.  SSH works, web pages display correctly in Safari and TenFourFox, Google+ works (eventually), and all my old stuff still works.

Most importantly, I can get on the Usenet, which is 90% of my internet activity these days.

Here I am, Usenetting like a motherfucker

My ISP dropped Usenet support a few years ago, so I've subscribed to a couple of free Usenet providers who only deal in the non-Binaries groups.  I've also subscribed to RSS Feed-to-Usenet service GWENE, and its sister service GMANE (a mailing list-to-Usenet service) so I can read RSS feeds from my favourite blogs and websites in my newsreader.

10.4 also lets me run SyncTERM and MultiMail (neither of which ran under 10.3.9), which meant I can once again log into my favourite BBSes and get updates from all my favourite message echos!

Party like it's 1989!


It took a few hours of work, but I turned what was essentially a nostalgia piece into a daily driver!  For what I need in a computer, Nadia can do the job.  Anything else I can do on my Android tablet or Linux box.  If I ever decide to take her mobile again, it's just a matter of getting her batteries re-celled.

Here's hoping she lasts another couple of years...

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