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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

OS 10.4 - 10.4.11 update hosed some stuff on eMac

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Member Since: May 04, 2009
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Awhile ago, I got a first generation eMac with 256MB of RAM pre-loaded with OS X 10.4.0 off eBay. I know its specs are a joke by today's standards, but I don't care. I love it anyway.

I ultimately found 10.4.0 to be a little too slow and clunky, though. So I downloaded and installed the 10.4.11 PPC combo update in hopes it'd improve things... Which it did. A lot. The performance increase has been pretty **** awesome. Unfortunately, the update also took the liberty of doing some other things. Bad things.

First off, it jacked the screen's *base* brightness and contrast way up. Before the update, the picture erred on the side of being a little too dark. Now it's much too bright. It's like staring at a high contrast laptop screen.

Second, it applies way too much smoothing(bilinear filtering?) to any graphics that are scaled up. For example, I use some 32x32 icons in the dock, which are of course automatically enlarged to the same size as the rest of the dock icons. Before the update, it erred on the side of being a little too sharp. It hardly smoothed them at all. Now it errs on the side of going overboard in the other direction, smoothing them so much they look out of focus.

Third, for no obvious reason at all it neutered the iTunes visualizer to only display a grand total of 2 visualizer effects at once. Sure, doing that gives me a slightly nicer framerate, but it frankly makes the visualizer suck so hard compared to its former, pre-update glory(where it had so any effects going all at once it was hard to tell where one ended and another began) that I don't feel like using it anymore.

I realize I'm probably screwed when it comes to fixing even 1 of the 3 problems, let alone all of them. But I might as well ask for help anyway. And I at least want to know if these are known issues. If and when I ever get a newer Mac, I'd never upgrade it past 10.4.0 if that's what it takes to avoid them. That's how much these anomalies get under my skin.

Also not 100% sure I shouldn't be posting this in the hardware section since it's so eMac specific...
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Member Since: May 18, 2008
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Mac Specs: MacMini 2.4, 8 Gb, OS 10.10 and 10.6; MacBook 2.4, 4 Gb, OS 10.6.8

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Welcome to the (entirely unofficial) eMac fan club

On checking Mactracker, I note your eMac has the NVIDIA GeForce2 MX graphics card, whereas all later models used ATI. This might suggest the display, resolution etc problem relates to the video card.

Mactracker states that your model of eMac will accommodate OS 10.4.11, so the OS isn't likely to be the culprit.

The fix? Firstly, run a hardware check with Disk Utility and effect repairs if necessary. I would also recommend upgrading that RAM, 1 Gb is the maximum. Maybe reverting to the earlier OS X will restore its former display glory but, as you point out, there will be a decrease in performance, possibly remedied by increasing the RAM.
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