Re: Which iBook is best choice for Linux?
From: S. Bergeron (bergeron_at_ripper.cox.net)
Date: Fri, 06 Feb 2004 17:34:02 GMT
In comp.os.linux.powerpc Yeechang Lee <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> 1) Longer battery life. For reference, I have primarily used my
> PowerBook as a Web browser, movie player (often with the files in
> question SMB mounted) with mplayer, and remote X/SSH terminal for
> my home Linux box. I found that I typically got a few minutes above
> or below three hours with my 15" PowerBook. Would it be reasonable
> to expect four hours with a 12" iBook under these circumstances?
Depends. On my 12" iBook G4, I get about three and a half with the
wireless up, and about five and a half with it turned off. Enough to
watch two DVD's, basically. If you're doing things over ethernet, and
not over 802.11, you should get close to six hours.
> 2) Greater durability. I like the idea of being able to toss the iBook
> into my messenger bag without any extra protection. By contrast, I
> feel like I have to treat my PowerBook with kid gloves.
My iBook feels more fragile than my Compaq notebook, and certainly more
fragile than my old toilet seat iBook. The cover is also very slippery,
so you have to pay particular attention while handling it.
> 3) Smaller size. Yes, the 15" screen is beautiful, but for the kinds
> of things I do I really don't need *that* much real estate, and if
> anythin I prefer the slightly higher DPI of 1024x768 resolution on
> a 12" screen.
The 12" is fine for most times, when you're working with it right in
front of you. Sit it down on a desk with a external mouse and keyboard,
and it gets tough to read.
> 4) Support for accelerated 3D under Linux, whether with the ATi 9200
> in the current G4 models or the 7500 in the most recent G3
> incarnations. Not that I really expect to play a lot of Open GL
> games on it.
When you find some OpenGL games to play on Linux on the PowerPC, let me
know. :-) Ain't exactly stuffing the shelves there, bud.
> So the question now is whether I go for the current 800MHz G4 12" or
> the older 900MHz G3 12". If I were to go with the G3, I'd also gain
> 5) Support for Airport, even if not the Extreme variant.
> 6) General Linux support for every nook and cranny of the hardware,
> including sleep. I don't believe the G4 models can do sleep right
> yet, but am willing to be corrected.
> 7) A few hundred dollars' savings.
Yes, Yes, and maybe. I wasn't able to find a 900 G3 12" *anywhere* when
I was looking to buy back in November. I found a store with a 900 14",
and haggled with them a bit. It ended up costing me $50 more for the
G4, which was similarly-equipped feature-wise (100Mhz difference, and
12" versus 14"....both had 256M/30/airport/combo).
> However, with a G3 I'd lose
> a) Altivec.
> b) A slightly nicer-feeling keyboard.
*much* nicer. Coming from an old iBook, trust me on this one. There is
no comparing the two after some use.
> c) A significantly nicer screen (at least based on two side-by-side
> display models at Fry's. Were they aberrations, or did the hardware
> actually change?).
I think they're pretty much the same panels.
> d) The option of getting built-in BlueTooth as a BTO option. As a
> T-Mobile subscriber with a BlueTooth-capable phone this is actually
> somewhat important. A USB dongle is always possible of course but
> would be inconvenient.
>From what I can tell, you have to get that with the machine -- it's not
something you can add-on later, from what I can tell.
> One thing I am *not* concerned about is the well-documented G3
> reliability issues, as I'd probably buy a refurbished model from the
> Apple Store.
> So here's where you come in. Given my stated purposes above, would a
> G3 be sufficient for my needs? Or should I go for the G4, perhaps on
> the (quite possibly futile) hope of eventual Linux Airport Extreme
> support? If Broadcom were to relent and release documentation for
> their 802.11g chipsets tomorrow a G4 would be a slam dunk, but as it
> stands I'm torn.
I think we'll see drivers eventually, because Cisco/Linksys will have to
give up the code on this router/firewall they're selling that uses the
chip. Either that, or, the Linux or BSD people will come up with
something. The only thing I worry about is this windows driver wrapper
thing really killing driver development.
-- S. Bergeron, email@example.com