Problems with open source on OS X

A couple of weeks ago, I got an old eMac (1 GHz, 640 MB RAM) that is a wonderful addition to my collection of hardware. I've been pretty happy using OS X, and at the moment I don't plan to install Debian on this box. After all, I use Debian already now on an old iBook (600 MHz, 384 MB RAM). Furthermore, using OS X makes it possible for me to edit the Excel and Word documents when necessary for my studies.

I just would love to install more open source applications on this system to make the computing experience even better than it is now. Unfortunately, this is not as easy as it is with Linux. It is probably easier even with Windows than with this box.

The problem is caused by the fact that this computer has OS X 10.3.9 installed. Most of the open source projects do not consider it necessary to support a few years old version of OS X - even the Firefox cannot be installed on this old version. Fink project should provide a great selection of open source applications ported to OS X. Unfortunately, Fink has ended the support for 10.3 more than a year ago. MacPorts targets the latest OS X versions, as well.

I am not going to invest in a new version of the OS X just in order to install a few open source applications. It seems that I have to learn to use the OS in the way it is most probably not meant to be used - that is, the hard way.

2 comments:

Pepo said...

hey, first of all, sorry for my english, i dont speak nor write it well. I´m a long time mac user, and i should point that there is a lot of open source for 10.3.9, but NOT for earlier versions, actually i have tested all the OS X versions (even release candidates years ago), and there is a big difference betwern pre and post 3.9. There are ports of firefox, adium (IM), pidgin, etc. they are always hidden or in a very little link, you just need to look for it. Anyway, probably the best browser for mac is Camino (http://caminobrowser.org/) you should check it. Great blog!

Mikko said...

In fact, Camino was the web browser I installed on my eMac during the very first evening I spent with the box. I just could not find a recent version of Mozilla Firefox that would run on 10.3.9 and the Safari 1.x (?) just didn't succeed in showing some of the web sites I regularly visit.