[clug] Powerbook G4

Nathan Robertson nathanr at nathanr.net
Wed Dec 1 19:58:17 GMT 2004

On 01/12/2004, at 8:38 PM, Michael Carden wrote:

> On Wed, 1 Dec 2004 08:20 pm, Andrew Pollock wrote:
>> subsequently got corrupted by MacOS X and am
>> more or less happily running MacOS X on it instead. I was intending 
>> to make
>> it primarily a Linux laptop until I discovered how badly Linux 
>> supported
>> it, and how nice MacOS X was. I feel so dirty...

> I too have enjoyed the OSX experience enough to leave it there and 
> defer a
> Debian crossover until I see a pressing need. It, um, just *works*. 
> And it's
> pretty. Sure, some of the system level stuff I'm accustomed to doing 
> on a
> Linux box is not there, but on the whole I don't actually need it. 
> Some of
> the paradigms require a brain-shift, but not a painful one.

Agreed. For a long time, Yellow Dog* (http://www.yellowdoglinux.com) 
were warning not to use the 17" PowerBook with Linux, because power 
management didn't work (meaning the laptop could fry itself). The 15" 
and 12" were ok, from what I heard.

If you haven't seen it, check out "Mac OS X for UNIX Geeks" (O'Reilly), 
which gives you the essentials of the differences. I think there is a 
later edition than the one I have, but I found it incredibly useful for 
things like NetInfo.

> Forgive me Linus, for I have sinned....

Agreed. I just couldn't find another 3kg 17" laptop with a 3 year 
warranty that would be guaranteed to run *a* UNIX without glitches. You 
lose a good 10% performance vs. Linux on PPC (I ran Linux on my 15" 
Titanium PowerBook for a fair while, and my 12" iBook G3 before that).

For those worried about the wireless not working, 15" and 17" PowerBook 
have a PCMCIA slot, and I've heard of people using PC-sourced PCMCIA 
wireless NICs before in these things under Linux. Never tried myself, 
but I'm told that does the job.


* Yellow Dog is a Fedora Core / Red Hat knock-off distribution for PPC. 
They have a good "Hardware" section, which tells you pretty much what 
will and won't work about any given Apple hardware with their 

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