The Low End Mac Mailbag

iMovie 08 and G4 Macs, DVD-RAM Support, iSub Works with Intel iMac, Home Page Alternatives, and More

Dan Knight - 2007.08.30

iMovie 08 Requirements

From Luke R:


I have been reading Low End Mac for years now and always find it a valuable resource for me. I currently own and use a MDD Dual G4. I never felt it was underpowered or out of date. It was brand new in December 2003.

But alas, it's August 2007 now and my Mac is showing age. One area is iLife 08. When I got my Mac, I had bought iLife 04. It was great, and I used it for everything. Sometime later, when the time came, I upgraded to iLife 05. I never upgraded to iLife 06. But now I really want iLife 08.

But reading everything, I can I always see this one thing that bugs me, the reqs for iMovie 08 do not list a G4 processor anymore. Do you know if I get iLife 08 can I use all its goodies on my MDD Dual G4? It would be really sad if it's another Mac app I cannot use.

I've noticed other apps and games I can no longer play. There is a Lego Star Wars (original and sequel) games I wanted to play on my Mac. I tried the demo and it would not work. After emails to Feral, the game developer, they told me the games needed a G5 or Intel processor. So sad.

Thanks so much for a great site.

Luke R. of Novi, MI
MDD Dual 1.25 GHz G4, 2 GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce 4 Ti 4600 128 MB


There's a difference between what hardware a program can run on and what it can run well on. In looking at Apple's system requirments for iMovie 08, I'm puzzled that it's supported on a 1.9 GHz iMac G5 but not a dual 1.8 GHz Power Mac G5. Primate Labs reports the 1.9 GHz iMac G5 has a Geekbench score of 1137, the unsupported Power Mac G5/1.8 GHz dual rates 1566, and your Power Mac G4/1.25 GHz dual achieves a 1048 - virtually the same as a Power Mac G5/1.8 GHz with one CPU.

I thing iMovie 08 would run decently on a dual 1.8 GHz Power Mac G5 - probably better than on the last generation G5 iMac, since it has dual processors and a faster system bus. And I suspect iMovie 08 could run on your four-year-old G4 system - but poorly. You'd probably find the experience very frustrating, as the new version of iMovie is a completely different program than earlier ones and demands a lot more horsepower.

If you want to run iMovie 08, you could look into a dual 1.6 GHz CPU upgrade ($629 and up) and a better video card to give your G4 the horsepower iMovie 08 calls for, but when you can buy a dual G5 starting at under $1,000, that might make even more sense.


Updating an Old Apple DVD-RAM Drive

From Scott Koenig:


I was just browsing the Low End site and wasn't finding anything to answer my questions. I picked up an old G4 (AGP Graphics) with a DVD-RAM drive. From what I've found, a DVD-RAM drive of this age works with 2.6/5.2 GB discs. Do you know of any way to update a drive like this to handle newer 4.7/9.4 GB discs ?

I appreciate an info you have to offer.

Scott Koenig
Ibaraki, Japan


I remember when we got our first blue & white G3 Power Macs at Baker Book House. We thought it was incredible being able to burn 2.6 GB of data to a DVD-RAM disc. Prior to that, we sent design projects to the typesetter using 100 MB Zip disks or 1 GB Jaz cartridges. Then we discovered how s-l-o-w DVD-RAM was.

Also, those old DVD-RAM drives used in Power Macs require media in a cartridge.

Today's DVD-RAM is a whole 'nother story. You can pick up a Pioneer 16x SuperDrive (I have a DVR-110D in my Power Mac G4) for $60 or less. It supports DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, dual-layer DVD-R, and DVD-RAM.

There's not a lot of information on DVD-RAM use with Mac OS X on the Internet, so I can't say for sure if or how well it will work with a modern drive. Maybe a reader can provide that information.


iSub Works with Intel iMac

From John Martorana:

Hi Dan,

Saw John Hatchett's letter in today's mailbag about his iSub not working with a new Intel iMac. I think the iSub is one of the best Mac accessories around, and I'm happy to report that my iSub works quite well with my Macbook. All I had to do was plug it in. It works when plugged directly into one of the Macbook's USB ports and also when plugged into a 4-port hub - iSub level control pops right up on the Sound control panel and everything.



Thanks for sharing your story. I'll forward it to John Hatchett.


Panic Coda an Alternative to Claris Home Page?

From Rudi Riet:

Dan -

I'm always amazed that you have stuck with Claris Home Page as long as you have, given that it has long been out of production and that Web standards have completely passed it by. But if I've learned anything about you over the many years I've read Low End Mac, it's that you are up to these kinds of challenges.

Which I why I'm puzzled about your choice of KompoZer as your HTML editor of choice. While it's a decent package with an attractive price, I find it lacking in terms of interface and ease-of-use: a bit too cluttered, a bit too retro, and lacking in everything that is "Mac-like." I've tried to like KompoZer, but it's just not ready for the land of newer Web tech, like PHP and content-managed sites. In many respects, it's stuck in the land of Web 1.0.

That's why I urge you to give Panic's Coda a try.

Coda is a Mac-centric user experience from the get-go: It organizes sites visually, with a wonderful WYSIWYG editor, a top-notch site manager, CSS and scripting capabilities (with full manuals built in for HMTL, XML, and other languages), and a built-in version of Transmit, one of the best FTP apps on the planet.

I'll be the first to admit that I prefer to get my hands dirty and hand-code sites when I can: It's how I learn. But Coda has won me back to an all-encompassing Web development app because it does many things right:

  • It produces amazingly clean, cruft-free code. Even KompoZer leaves traces of its influence in the code, like CHP did in the past.
  • Its live editing of both boilerplate HTML and script-driven sites (e.g., sites running WordPress, Moveable Type, or Joomla content management systems) is phenomenal: You can edit templates in real-time while still being able to test the look-and-feel offline, before you commit a change to the Web.
  • The built-in CSS editor makes editing styles easy for everybody - even those who don't fully understand the syntax get WYSIWYG representation of changes in CSS.
  • It harnesses a lot of built-in Mac OS X technologies, such as WebKit, SFTP, and Quartz screen rendering to produce a very spry, Mac user-friendly experience. And for power users, it harnesses full Unix terminal and shell capabilities for server-level tweaks.

Most of all, though, it works - and wonderfully, at that. Yes, it costs money, but the sum total of the various parts is well worth the price of a license.

I'm still a person who loves his Text Wrangler for basic hammering out of code, but Coda is the perfect tool for times when I need to get something done with rapid turn-around. I've used it for my own static HTML, WordPress and Joomla sites, and it is a life saver (and a half). And the streamlined workflow is an incredible plus: in this case, one application can legitimately do the work of three or four.

Panic offers a free, 14-day, full-featured trial of Coda - it's well worth a try.

Keep up the great work!

Rudi Riet
Washington, DC


Thanks for writing and recommending Coda. I've got a copy of Dreamweaver 2004 MX on the way, which I've heard very good things about. Coda sounds worth a try, especially since most of Low End Mac uses a standard page template, and we've been integrating PHP/MySQL to some extent for five years now.

I have no objection to spending $100 for the right tool. I spent that much last year on iLife 06 only to find out that iWeb is as far from that tool as possible for my needs.

I've played around with Coda a bit. If I were an HTML jockey, I think I'd love it. But I'm first and foremost a writer, not a coder, so I don't think it's going to work for me. Home Page and KompoZer give me the WYSIWYG I need as a writer and editor.


Rapidweaver Rocks

From Martin Sørensen:

Hi Dan;

Just read one of your old mailbags.

I had to do a website "by yesterday", and even if I know html I knew I wanted WYSIWYG.

Starting from scratch, it was wonderful, and the company's website works as manual.

Downsides until now:

  • I have to do the naming pages of pages manually if I want meaningful names (e.g., booking.html instead of page13.html)
  • The publishing tool does not delete pages that you have deleted in your project. Cleanup is manual.

You can see the result here:

It is some of the best money I have ever spent on software. For an existing site, the situation may be different.

best regards
Martin Sørensen


Thanks for writing. If I were starting from scratch, I'm sure Rapidweaver or iWeb or Freeway or Sandovox or something similar would probably be wonderful. But I have a lot of legacy HTML files that use include files, PHP/mySQL calls, and my own Cascading Style Sheet that I've developed over the years.

Believe me, it has its pros and cons. There are legacy pages on Low End Mac that have design templates we haven't used in years and years. Someday it would be nice to get all the content using a consistent design, but even if we switched to a new system today, it might be years before a lot of that legacy content got put into the new system.

We have a second-hand copy of Dreamweaver 2004 MX on the way, which I've heard very good things about. I'll see how that goes as a stopgap tool. The eventual goal is to move to a content management system (CMS).

I've downloaded ExpressionEngine, which has received rave reviews, and hope to expermient with the free core version. If it works for me, it will make things better for everyone. Writers will be able to submit articles and I'll be able to edit them online. No more receiving an email, cleaning up and styling text, editing locally, and then uploading to the site. And we'll be able to have comments and forums.

Always looking for a better way to do this.


Connecting an LC 575 to an OS X Mac

From Alvin:

Hi. I can't find a burning software for OS X that wil burn CD-RW to just 2x speed so that the LC 575 can read it. I'm trying to burn IE 5 for System 7 to test if the 575 can still do some basic Internet. Do you know of any LAN to LAN methods using a crossover cable (which I have)? Thanks in advance. Gbu.


If you have ethernet in the LC 575, you can create an instant LAN between it and another computer with that crossover cable. Open Network in System Preferences, create a new Location, and tell your OS X computer use something other than ethernet (modem, AirPort, FireWire) to connect to the Internet. Be sure to enable AppleTalk, as that's the LC 575's preferred way of communicating.

Next go to Sharing and turn on Personal File Sharing.


Hi. How's everything there? I can't make them see each other, I've done this before, even connecting the LC 575 to the Net (it crashes when it runs out of virtual memory with iCab, which is expired already. I might need that old IE5), just that I've forgotten how. But then that was when we didn't have a router and we used Internet sharing using Windows. Our Windows and this OS X one has its NIC configured to automatic IP addressing. The router is Linksys set to PPPoE (where the password and name is written), set to default factory settings. The router has the usual address of

Other details I have for the LC 575 is that it's running 7.5.5 and is using MacTCP. From 7.1 through 7.5.5 I used typical install for this Mac. You have to turn on AppleTalk in order to access the network, and from there you could choose between Localtalk and Ethertalk. If you choose Ethertalk, you will see Ethertalk and Ethernet in MacTCP. In MacTCP there are three types to obtain address by Manual, through Server and Dynamic and three classes of IP address: Class A, B, C - this last one starts with 192. The subnet is the usual 255.

I have two ways I could connect them: I can use a RJ-45 crossover cable or the normal RJ-45 I'm not using with my OS computer right now that is connected to the router. Btw, is OS 8 free to download legally now like 7.5 is? It'd be much easier with that for sure, coz' it has TCP/IP. Thanks again, in advance.



Things are good here in Michigan. The hottest days of summer (90-100°F) are behind us, and after almost two months with minimal rain, a week with several wet days had grass turning from brown back to green. I need to finish mowing the front yard today.

Every OS X Mac can function as a server, and by going the LocalTalk route instead of using TCP/IP, you don't have to worry about IP addresses and masks. It's easiest if you have a router with DHCP that automatically allocated IP addresses to your computers, in which case you can use either LocalTalk or TCP/IP to connect and copy files.

No, Mac OS 8 isn't free. The highest free version is 7.5.5; not even 7.6 is available for free. On the other hand, OS 8 is cheap these days. I don't think you'd pay even US$10 if you wanted to buy a copy. However, it's a bigger memory hog than 7.5.x, so you'll want at least 12 MB of RAM - and more is better.


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Dan Knight has been publishing Low End Mac since April 1997. Mailbag columns come from email responses to his Mac Musings, Mac Daniel, Online Tech Journal, and other columns on the site.

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