Support for ancient machines and operating systems

Sergey Fedorov vital.had at
Mon Jan 8 18:17:51 UTC 2024

I do not particularly get the question. By “not using as a hobby project”
you mean using it commercially? Obviously, “the latest software” condition
restricts this to open-source.

I can name at least a few areas where macOS PowerPC *can be* used either
commercially or with the latest software but rather for not-too-demanding
academic applications. Obviously, even the best machines from 2005 cannot
compete speed-wise with the modern ones, so if a commercial application is
sensitive to processing speed (or portability), PPC is not a reasonable
There is nothing preventing one from using a PowerMac today for print media
design and prepress, commercially. But software won’t be the latest.
There is nothing preventing from using a PowerMac for something like
econometric models in R. Perhaps not a very commercial stuff, but not a
hobby project either. Everything I did for Bayesian modelling on an Intel
Mac I can do on a PowerPC.

What is the real stopper is portability. If someone would give me a
PowerBook with G5 quad or at least dual cpu, I could use it as the to-go
Single G4 – no, thanks, that is only good for a hobby project.

On Mon, Jan 8, 2024 at 11:45 PM Nicklas Larsson via macports-dev <
macports-dev at> wrote:

> Hi all!
> I’m seriously curious: does anyone still today use a PPC machine today as
> (1) main/only workstation with (2) necessary use of latest software and (3)
> without using it as hobby project?
> Best regards,
> Nicklas
> > On 8 Jan 2024, at 15:50, Perry E. Metzger <perry at> wrote:
> >
> > There's been a bit of tension recently because of a group of people who
> are very interested in keeping MacPorts working on PowerPC hardware, none
> of which has been made for the last 18 years or so.
> >
> > I'd like to float the idea that we create a fork of the MacPorts
> repository that is devoted to operating systems and hardware that is more
> than (say) a decade old, and that we allow the people who are interested in
> maintaining that software to freely work on it. It doesn't hurt the rest of
> us after all, and it absolves us of the need to keep the main MacPorts
> repository complicated by patches to support very old systems.
> >
> > This way, people interested in old systems can keep them running, and
> their work doesn't take up time for the rest of us and vice versa.
> >
> > Perry
> >
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