Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tor Browser Bundle for PowerPC

A little birdie left a comment saying there was an unofficial Tor Browser Bundle for Tiger and Leopard at sourceforge.net/projects/osxpowerpcpackages. Given that I wrote a long torturous post about how to use Tor without the bundle since Tor officially dropped PowerPC, I naturally wanted to check this out.

So I downloaded it and it turns out it's no joke. It really is the Tor Browser Bundle for PowerPC. From the ReadMe:
The packages in this directory are UNOFFICIAL builds of the Tor Browser Bundle for Mac OS X Tiger (10.4) and Leopard (10.5), PowerPC architecture. Optimized builds are available for the different PowerPC versions, namely, the G3, G4 (7450) and G5.

The bundle is based on the official Tor Browser Bundle with changes to make it work on older Mac OS X versions and the PowerPC architecture. Most notably, Qt is downgraded to the last Mac OS X 10.4 compatible version (4.7.4) and Firefox is patched with suitable parts from the TenFourFox changeset.

Note that the 2.3.25-15 bundle version is already outdated. More current version based on Tor Browser Bundle 3.5 is in the works.
As said, it's a bit outdated so it's more proof of concept, but everything works. It all comes in one app bundle, and inside it are Vidalia and Firefox, with Firefox having its own profile in TorBrowser.app/Library/Application Support/, so you can run this side-by-side with TenFourFox with no problems.

It also sets your user agent to the default Tor user agent, has private browsing enabled, and sets network.proxy.socks_remote_dns to "true," so all your bases are covered. It comes with two add-ons, HTTPS Everywhere and NoScript. NoScript is set to allow scripts by default, so you want to click the "Forbid Scripts" option.

Basically all you need to do is start the application, watch Vidalia establish a connection until Firefox opens to a page announcing you're browsing anonymously. Easy like it's supposed to be.

I'm also intrigued by the account name on that Sourceforge page. It's called "OS X PowerPC Packages" with the description, "A repository providing binaries of open source packages built for OS X Tiger (10.4) and Leopard (10.5) PowerPC." So maybe there'll be more in the future.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Vevo Videos on Youtube

For a few months now you may have noticed Vevo titles on Youtube aren't working with Mactubes and a number of Greasemonkey scripts. If you like watching music videos, this puts a serious crimp on things as most "official" video releases are Vevo vids. Right now, the only third party tool I know of that can get around this is youtube-dl. So install* it if you don't have it, or update your copy with:

youtube-dl -U

With the newer version you can either download the videos or retrieve the links and stream them through a player like Mplayer (see Some Cross Platform Flash Alternatives). Both methods work.

*On the download page, if you don't have curl or wget, you can just click the download link at the top and then move it to your /usr/local/bin before running the chmod command. It can also be installed with Tigerbrew or Macports.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

First Person Shooter Party Fun Time!

As I'm not one to manage my time well in general, I never have enough time to enjoy the finer things in life — like the mass carnage of first person shooter games. But I do manage to download things and try them out once in a while, which is what I did recently with Open Arena and a few other open source first person shooters. So why not a roundup? This is a blog, that's kind of what we do here. So here's the story on some open source FPS games for your PowerPC Macs.

Open Arena

Heavily based on Quake III Arena, Open Arena is, well, Quake III Arena. That about covers it. Okay, there are slight differences. The game characters and maps are different, but the concept and game play are pretty much identical.

On my aluminum Powerbook (1.5 GHz, Tiger), this performs really well in a 640 x 480 resolution. In tweaking the settings (not just in Open Arena but in everything reviewed here), I found that screen resolution and the number of opponents are by far the biggest factors in getting good frame rates. So adjust accordingly. The game is a 460 MB download, and there's also a single player mod called OARemix available at Mod DB. OARemix is a separate game folder where you copy the OpenArena.app into it and play with all new maps (the one on the oil rig is really good).

If you're having trouble getting sound, turn OpenAL off in the Sound settings, and if your mod doesn't have that setting (like True Combat mentioned below), switch to the console with Shift + ESC and enter /s_useopenal 0, then restart the sound with /snd_restart.

Also, reader Peter S. compiled OpenArena for G3s (altivec disabled) available at this link.

(ADDENDUM: There's a Quake III mod that also works on Open Arena called True Combat. The physics and weapons are all about realism, and it's the best Quake III/Open Arena mod I've seen. Just download it and put the "truecombat" folder in your Open Arena folder, then start Open Arena and click "Mods." To do single player, choose "StartServer" under the Combat tab, and then you can choose your mission type and skill level. Further instructions are found on the True Combat features page.)


Cube 2: Sauerbraten is another title that's been in development forever and shows no signs of going away. It's much like Open Arena, though a major difference is the addition of a Campaign mode where you can progress from level to level.

This is slightly more resource hungry than Open Arena, and there's a wider disparity in frame rates from map to map. Most rendered well, but a few were very slow (You'll notice I resisted the temptation to type out a dozen w's at the end of slow. It always bugged me how much bandwidth that wasted.). When you download the DMG file, it installs as a simple app package. No need to hunt for binaries or change file permissions, so that's nice. Like Open Arena, the game play is very fast and challenging.


Nexuiz, or Nexuiz Classic, stopped development with version 2.5.2 when one of its developers left to develop a new version of Nexuiz with IllFonic, and those left behind created an new open source fork called Xonotic. But Nexuiz Classic is still available for download at Sourceforge.

Although Nexuiz comes with a nice in-game tutorial, I had real difficulty getting good frame rates out of this. I could really only play it with one bot, and even then it was iffy. So I didn't explore this one as much as the other two. Xonotic may be an alternative for Leopard users. I know they don't support Tiger, but Leopard PPC, I'm not sure (that linked post was from 2010).

There are other games out there, too. There's Aleph One, which is an open source update of Marathon. There's also Tremulous, which I haven't tried. Those alien spiders were a bit too creepy. Maybe later. Also, Alien Arena advertises OS X support, but OS X (and Linux) users must compile from source, and I found no references on the net of anyone succeeding. Maybe later.

The only one of these games I tried on Linux PPC was Open Arena. I got good frame rates, but the colors were all messed up. Apparently the Radeon driver doesn't agree with my ATI Mobility Radeon 9700. I'll be on pins and needles for bug fixes.

Friday, January 3, 2014

New PowerPC Blog!

So I was cruising around the internets, and in my habitual browsing I came across powerpc-liberation.blogspot.ca, a spiffy new blog about our beloved computing platform. It's surprisingly in-depth and comprehensive for such a young blog, with posts about Debian 7, all kinds of content on video playback, an amusing post about scrolling vs. page up/page down...

Wait. That sounds suspiciously like Zen's blog at http://powerpcliberation.blogspot.ca/. In fact, it is his blog, lifted word for word except for the "-" between powerpc and liberation. With ads, too! Well, well, it seems we have a copycat among us. As soon as I got over the hurt that my blog wasn't copied, I got righteously indignant. This is about as blatant a case of theft as there is.

So Zen wrote about this on his blog, and I'm just passing on the warning. To all the PowerPC bloggers out there, it's probably a good idea to google your blog every now and then to see if someone out there is ripping off your content.

The really disappointing thing is the imposter didn't have the guts to copy Zen's last post ripping him a new one. As long as you're gonna steal word-for-word...

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Scratch Another Off the List...

Even Bar Refaeli is parting with her PowerPC:

Must we all be forsaken?