Charles Moore's Mailbag

Upgrade for Compatibility, SeaMonkey Fastest Mozilla, LimeWire, and Journalistic Credibility

Charles Moore - 2006.03.06 - Tip Jar

Upgrade for Compatibility, Ease of Use, Not Always Speed

From John Muenzberg


I have two comments on recent discussions in your Feb. 27 column (Dvorak Adoption Notice, Tips for Apple's Yo-yo Power Supply, Old iMac a Good Value?, and More).

For both Krista's iMac 333 and your discussion about 10.3 vs. 10.4:

About six months ago I bought an iMac 350 off of eBay for my 70 year old mother-in-law. I bought the iMac upgraded with OS X 10.4, a 20 GB hard drive, and 512 MB of RAM. She uses it for email and occasional Web surfing. This replaced a G3 upgraded 7500 that ran OS 9 very fast.

Like you, I was worried about the speed of OS X 10.4 on the iMac. I thought 10.3 might be better, but I did not own a copy. All my mother-in-law talked about was that the new computer was more compatible with websites and files, and that she gets no "you must upgrade" boxes.

I learned that she didn't care about speed, but as a nontechnical user she wanted compatibility and ease of use. Similar users, and perhaps Krista, should consider an upgrade to Panther or Tiger for ease of use and compatibility, despite the reduction in speed.

Another recommendation for Krista might be an external hard drive. External drives under 40 GB are very cheap online.

About the Lombard upgrade: You recommended to a reader the Daystar G4 upgrade for his Lombard. The positive reviews of this service are accurate. I upgraded my Lombard last summer and I have had no problems. The upgrade is stable and the heat of the G4 is not a problem. Highly recommended.

John Muenzberg

Hi John,

You're right about speed and light users. It's all relative. I'm sure some people would find the level of performance I find tolerable on my old 'Books running Panther and Tiger hard to live with.

My daughter has a 400 MHz G3 iMac and runs Tiger on it. She's not happy with the speed, but she can't afford to upgrade right now, and the computer is very usable.

Thanks for the report on the Daystar Lombard upgrade. I have a Daystar 550 MHz G4 upgrade in my Pismo, and it's been a flawless performer over more than two years now.


SeaMonkey 'Fastest of the Mozilla Browsers'

From Peter Tyler

Many thanks for your recent LEM articles on SeaMonkey (see SeaMonkey Preview Internet Suite and SeaMonkey Is a Workhorse). I've switched over to it for the bulk of my tasks on Macs as well as Windows PCs, as it seems to be the fastest of the Mozilla browsers for the tasks I perform.

Pete Tyler

Hi Pete,

I agree. SeaMonkey is the best performer of the Mozillas.

I love the look of Camino, but it's still too buggy.


What About LimeWire for File Sharing?

Hi Charles,

I noticed in your recommendations to the new iMac G3 owner that you omitted LimeWire when it came to file sharing options. I use an old version of LimeWire on an iBook G3 366 MHz running OS 9.2.2 and find it fairly responsive, though only since I upgraded to 320 MB RAM. Under the stock 64 MB, it was intolerably slow.

Patrick Fothergill

Hi Patrick,

I haven't checked out LimeWire for years, but some people seem to like it.

Thanks for the report.


Journalistic Credibility

From Jack Thompson

Hi Charles,

I've sent you email a couple times about this aging but venerable WallStreet of mine (which I hope will hold out till I can finance a 'new' replacement machine or a new Intel MacBook). Your comments around the Mac web such as Low End Mac (LEM) and other sites are always a valuable read.

However, the piece on LEM from 2002 that analyzed "traditional" ideas of journalism is worthy of high praise indeed. In fact, in many respects that article is prescient of trends observed since and continuing apace today. The "traditional" or "mainstream" media are teetering of their own weight, and have lost "credibility" across a vast audience which is searching out other ways and means of staying informed. Other voices lacking traditional credentials but bearing higher credibility are being heard more and more and are flowing through the cracks left by their lumbering brethren.


Jack Thompson

Well, thanks so much Jack. :-)

It's always gratifying to hear that one's musings are striking a resonant chord with readers.

There was actually a thread of columns on that topic:

I think it holds up pretty well four years later.

A friend of mine just migrated from a G3 clamshell iBook (his first Mac) to a new MacBook Pro, and so far he's delighted with it.


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Charles Moore has been a freelance journalist since 1987 and began writing for Mac websites in May 1998. His The Road Warrior column was a regular feature on MacOpinion, he is news editor at and a columnist at If you find his articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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