Re: iBook G4

On 2006-02-13, mlehman0@xxxxxxxxx <mlehman0@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

I have used debian for years, but on an x86. I have heard that since
Linux is an intel 386+ based OS, that it is unbearably slow running on
a powerPC chip. Can anyone confirm this for me?

Where the heck did you hear this? Linux runs really well on my
iBook G4. A whole lot faster than OS X.

Also, all Mac's have hardware from the same vendor, Apple. (Well, not
always apple, but exclusive to apple usually) Does this mean that
installation of Linux distributions will be easy since they should have
drivers for every component in every Apple? In theory, this would make
sense, but I'm not so sure.

In practice, it will likely be more challenging for some devices.
For example, there's no public specs on the Airport Extreme, which
would likely be included with the iBook, so you either specifically
need to request the old Airport, or attempt to get the bcm43xx driver
working. It's not that difficult, but the driver is definitely
not stable yet. Similarly on the trackpad--the appletouch kernel
driver was only recently added to the kernel, and IME is a little
quirky. (For some reason which I haven't dealt with yet, the trackpad
occasionally dies after sleeping, and only a reboot helps.)

At any rate, you'd also likely have to go get some of these drivers
yourself. Almost certainly the bcm43xx drivers, possibly the
new kernel with the appletouch driver. It's also true that the
Broadcom chipset in the Extreme is used in other wireless cards
that are found in x86 boxes, so it's not exclusive to Apple. (In
fact, I am pretty sure the firmware I'm using for my bcm43xx
came from a Windows driver file.)

But beyond the newer or proprietary-driver hardware, I think you'd
find the iBook a nice box, and not any more difficult than an x86,
and certainly as fast as a comparable x86 laptop.


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