TenFourFox for Intel iMac?

boom_transpac's Avatar


09 Jun, 2012 08:00 PM

I am really confused. My iMac 5,1 with 2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo has been running Mac Os X 10.4.11 just fine with the most recent Firefox browser available for this OS. Yesterday, suddenly from morning to afternoon, the Firefox would not open with the message that I could not use it with my OS. There was no advanced notification. There were no suggestions what to do.

I discovered TenFourFox but it seems designed for older Macs with the Power chips. I could not find a version for my Intel iMac. I have downloaded TenFourFox 10.0.5, and fortunately it gives me access to all of my bookmarks again, but unfortunately it is just terrible. With almost every selection, including registering with you, I get a "Warning: Unresponsive script" message. And about every 5 minutes the whole program crashes. At least it can be restarted and recover tabs, but the whole experience is horrible.

Do you have any suggestions that might improve this situation for my OS 10.4 iMac?
Thank you for your assistance.

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Chris (chtrusch... on 09 Jun, 2012 08:35 PM

    Chris (chtrusch)'s Avatar

    Hello boom_transpac, you're right, TenFourFox is made specifically for PowerPC Macs. It does run on Intel Macs up to Mac OS X 10.6 using Rosetta, but Intel Macs are not officially supported.

    Now what can you do?

    1) Keep using TenFourFox. Please make sure you download the G3 version. All other versions are likely to crash on Intel Macs. Also see here for how to deal with the "unresponsive script" message: https://tenfourfox.tenderapp.com/discussions/problems/134-in-the-la...
    2) Keep using Firefox 3.6.28 (re-download if necessary). This is the last Firefox version for your 10.4 system. But it's a security risk because security holes aren't fixed anymore by Mozilla, so this is not recommended.
    3) Update your Intel Mac to Mac OS X 10.6. and run the latest Firefox.

  2. Support Staff 2 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 09 Jun, 2012 09:35 PM

    Cameron Kaiser's Avatar

    There are a couple other options to try:

    • Disable the JavaScript JIT. Depending on your Mac and its ability to run Rosetta well, the PowerPC JavaScript compiler may be slower than the JavaScript interpreter because Rosetta must interpret what the compiler generates (but on very fast Intel Macs, this may well still be faster than the alternative). In about:config, change javascript.options.methodjit.content and javascript.options.methodjit.chrome to false. (If you don't understand what this means, don't do this; you can mess up your settings by changing the wrong one.)

    • If you are very technically oriented, it should be possible to build an "Intel TenFourFox" using the TenFourFox changesets, but building on an Intel machine instead. I've never tested this, and it may need some tweaks to work correctly, but I see no reason why it wouldn't work in general. However, because our first priority is Power Macs, we will not be issuing such a version ourselves for the foreseeable future.

    Also remember Intel 10.4 is much more likely to be exploited than PPC 10.4, so it really is to your benefit to update to at least 10.6. Apple can help you with this (because they want you to buy from the Mac App Store). A nominal fee for the disc may apply. 10.6 will still run most of your old software, including PowerPC applications, and can run the latest Firefox as Chris already pointed out.

  3. 3 Posted by René Schiff on 11 Jun, 2012 12:34 PM

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    How about running AppleWorks 6 on Apple OSX 10.6 ?

  4. Support Staff 4 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 11 Jun, 2012 01:16 PM

    Cameron Kaiser's Avatar

    According to the AppleWorks Users Group, 10.6 is able to run AppleWorks: http://www.awug.org/news/rosetta.html

  5. 5 Posted by boom_transpac on 11 Jun, 2012 09:27 PM

    boom_transpac's Avatar

    Aloha Chris and Cameron,
    Thank you very much for attempting to help me. As you recommended, I downloaded TenFourFox 10.0.5 and it does not crash nearly as often. Also followed your directions for about:config and stopped getting the unresponsive script warnings. I do not know what version of Firefox is running because it will not open. But my Mac Hard Drive / Applications file says it was last modified on 6/8/12.
    The problem is it is really slow and unresponsive now, especially for sites with lots of graphics and advertising. Forget about video. Do you have any other suggestions for about:config settings, or Preferences settings, etc.
    Actually my old Safari 4.1.3 is better -- but not very good. I did not keep updating it because i put my faith in Firefox. Do you know where I could update my Safari to the latest version that runs on OS !0.4.11? Thanks.
    I don't know how Firefox can shirk their corporate responsibility to customers with no warning, no suggestions, and no direct contact options. Do you remember when pioneer Netscape changed their operations, they clearly communicated with everyone? When I do upgrade to OS 10.5 and then 10.6, I will certainly consider Safari, Chrome, and even (shudder) Internet Explorer, before Firefox.
    Sincere thanks for your assistance to me and any other victims.

  6. Support Staff 6 Posted by Chris (chtrusch... on 11 Jun, 2012 10:40 PM

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    You probably have Firefox version 4 or later. How that ended up on your hard drive is a mystery to me because FF 3.6.x has no auto-update that would go beyond the major version without asking first. Silent auto-update hasn't been enabled for Mac-Firefox at all (yet) by Mozilla.

    For better performance I suggest the following extensions:
    1) Adblock. It removes ads (esp. ad scripts loaded in addition to the actual website) that eat up processor cycles.
    2) either NoScript or YesScript. NoScript basically turns off JavaScript, and you turn it on only for sites that really need it (whitelist). This also improves your security. YesScript lets you turn off JavaScript for sites you visit often that keep nagging you with long loading times due to excessive scripting (blacklist).
    3) Finally, turn off or uninstall all extensions you don't need. You can do all this using the Add-Ons Manager (shift+command+A)

    Safari 4.1.3 is already the final version that runs on Mac OS X 10.4. Internet Explorer on the Mac used to be a very fine browser back in 2001, but it's probably a bit outdated now :-)

    On 10.5 (Intel) and 10.6 you can just use the latest Firefox, it will take over your bookmarks and settings, so you'd be up and running in no time.

    And let me repeat that TenFourFox isn't made for Intel Macs. Its code must be sort of translated live to work on the Intel processor family which is completely different from the PowerPC processors, and this is the main reason for your performance hit. It will never run as fast as a browser that's compiled for Intel processors.

  7. 7 Posted by boom_transpac on 12 Jun, 2012 08:46 PM

    boom_transpac's Avatar

    Aloha Chris,
    Thanks for your further suggestions. Should I drag the Firefox program out of the Applications file and put it on the Desktop? I tried adding Simple AdBlock 1.0.5 and that seemed a little better. So I also tried NoScript 2.4.5 but that caused crashes every few minutes. So I turned it off and just left AdBlock on. But later TenFourFox crashed and would not restart. Finally I tried a secure start-up [+ Option key] and it opened, plus seems to run fairly cleanly, but the AdBlock is not available. Any other recommendations you have will be appreciated, and might help others too.
    Thank you -- Robert

  8. Support Staff 8 Posted by Chris (chtrusch... on 13 Jun, 2012 01:22 PM

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    If your Firefox version is for Mac OS X 10.5 and up, you can just trash it. Or let it sit on your hard disk until you update your Mac to a more recent OS version (which I think will be your best option).

    As for the crashes you still get (but shouldn't), I really don't know how to help you. I don't have an Intel Mac to test, and Intel/Rosetta specific bugs won't be fixed right now because we have enough to do on the PowerPC side. Intel Mac owners at least have the privilege to update their machines and run any Mac browser they like.

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