Shall I switch to a Powerbook? - Portable

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Thread: Shall I switch to a Powerbook?

  1. Shall I switch to a Powerbook?

    Hi,

    I have a small notebook with Linux, but my usage of my notebook
    changed in the last year. I think that I now need a Centrino-NB with
    1GB RAM. In this category there is no really cheap nb so I'll have to
    pay roundabout 2000 EUR. This is more or less the price of an Apple
    Powerbook.

    So my question is. Are there any issues I have to think of, when I
    switch to a Powerbook? I never worked with an Apple. I know that MAC
    OS X has a *nix-engine underneath and that there is Fink etc. I would
    like to use MAC OS X first. Only if I miss some software I would
    install GNU/Linux on it.

    Is dual boot possible?

    How can I switch my data? (Text, OOo-files, images, flac-files)

    Does it make sense to use a PB in a Linux-network? Or is it a tedious
    workaround?

    I don't want to ask this in a apple-newsgroup, because I think they do
    not know much about Linux.

    TIA
    juh



  2. Re: Shall I switch to a Powerbook?


    Jan Ulrich Hasecke wrote:

    Hi Jan,

    I am beginning to think about some of the same questions, due to a
    project I'm working on that requires me to use a Mac as a Linux box.
    See http://www.larwe.com/technical/current.html for more details of
    that, if you want. Anyway, some answers based on my limited
    understanding so far:

    > So my question is. Are there any issues I have to think of, when I
    > switch to a Powerbook? I never worked with an Apple. I know that MAC
    > OS X has a *nix-engine underneath and that there is Fink etc. I would


    Current OS X is built on NetBSD, yes. When I last tested it, X
    integration was very poor, and this is important to me. It was like
    running XFree86 under Cygwin on Windows, only worse For this and
    other reasons, I am not even considering an attempt at dual-boot - I am
    erasing MacOS as soon as my Mac mini arrives, and installing Debian
    only.

    There are numerous quirky things you might have to think about when
    installing; the state of PPC Linux is not as polished as the one-step
    friendly graphical installers of x86 Linux and particularly so on
    PowerBooks. Suggest you read carefully
    http://www.debian.org/ports/powerpc/ and in particular look closely at
    the notes specific to whatever model of PowerBook you intend to buy.

    > Is dual boot possible?


    Yes; it's not difficult to set up. I don't think there are interactive
    partition-resize tools provided though, so you have to reformat and
    reinstall MacOS. This is not such a big deal.

    > How can I switch my data? (Text, OOo-files, images, flac-files)


    Not sure what you're asking here. You can mount shared partitions on
    the Linux side.

    > Does it make sense to use a PB in a Linux-network? Or is it a

    tedious
    > workaround?


    I'm considering the purchase of a PowerBook myself. I currently run a
    2.somethingGHz Athlon XP-M laptop with FC3 (not dual-boot) as my
    primary machine. I am strongly attracted by the lower heat, less fan
    noise and - yes, I admit it - the damn cute form factor of the 12"
    iBook.

    > I don't want to ask this in a apple-newsgroup, because I think they

    do
    > not know much about Linux.


    I think the question is at least worth crossposting to
    comp.os.linux.powerpc, don't you think?


  3. Re: Shall I switch to a Powerbook?

    Jan Ulrich Hasecke writes:
    > I have a small notebook with Linux, but my usage of my notebook
    > changed in the last year. I think that I now need a Centrino-NB with
    > 1GB RAM. In this category there is no really cheap nb so I'll have to
    > pay roundabout 2000 EUR. This is more or less the price of an Apple
    > Powerbook.


    You can get a decent Centrino machine for much less than that, at
    least over here. I know that European VAT is higher but the USD is
    way down against the Euro, so you should be able to do ok if you shop
    around. I paid about 1200 USD for my Thinkpad X40 (512mb ram though)
    and that was several months ago. These machines get cheaper by about
    5% every month.

  4. Re: Shall I switch to a Powerbook?

    Jan Ulrich Hasecke wrote:

    > Is dual boot possible?


    yes

    >
    > How can I switch my data? (Text, OOo-files, images, flac-files)


    why would you need to "switch"? openoffice is available for OS X.
    images?! i think a Mac can handle images?
    >
    > Does it make sense to use a PB in a Linux-network? Or is it a tedious
    > workaround?


    makes perfect sense. not tedious at all.

    >
    > I don't want to ask this in a apple-newsgroup, because I think they do
    > not know much about Linux.


    i run 2 linux PCs, an iMac and a winXP machine on the same network. no
    problems at all.

  5. Re: Shall I switch to a Powerbook?

    In article <1111340978.090669.142000@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups. com>,
    larwe@larwe.com wrote:

    > Jan Ulrich Hasecke wrote:
    >
    > Hi Jan,
    >
    > I am beginning to think about some of the same questions, due to a
    > project I'm working on that requires me to use a Mac as a Linux box.
    > See http://www.larwe.com/technical/current.html for more details of
    > that, if you want. Anyway, some answers based on my limited
    > understanding so far:
    >
    > > So my question is. Are there any issues I have to think of, when I
    > > switch to a Powerbook? I never worked with an Apple. I know that MAC
    > > OS X has a *nix-engine underneath and that there is Fink etc. I would

    >
    > Current OS X is built on NetBSD, yes. When I last tested it, X
    > integration was very poor, and this is important to me. It was like
    > running XFree86 under Cygwin on Windows, only worse For this and
    > other reasons, I am not even considering an attempt at dual-boot - I am
    > erasing MacOS as soon as my Mac mini arrives, and installing Debian
    > only.


    It does not sound like you are speaking from recent experience. X
    windows apps are nicely integrated with Aqua now. Also Mac OS X is
    based on a Mach kernel and FreeBSD userland not NetBSD.

    >
    > There are numerous quirky things you might have to think about when
    > installing; the state of PPC Linux is not as polished as the one-step
    > friendly graphical installers of x86 Linux and particularly so on
    > PowerBooks. Suggest you read carefully
    > http://www.debian.org/ports/powerpc/ and in particular look closely at
    > the notes specific to whatever model of PowerBook you intend to buy.


    Depends on which distro you pick, Yellow Dog Linux installs just a
    nicely as Redhat or any other x86 Linux distro. Debian is a pain (and
    outdated) regardless of what architecture you install it on.


    > I'm considering the purchase of a PowerBook myself. I currently run a
    > 2.somethingGHz Athlon XP-M laptop with FC3 (not dual-boot) as my
    > primary machine. I am strongly attracted by the lower heat, less fan
    > noise and - yes, I admit it - the damn cute form factor of the 12"
    > iBook.


    I would investigate extensively to verify that your chosen distro
    correctly supports power management on a laptop. You do not want to fry
    an expensive machine.

    Along these lines, Terra Soft Solutions (the Yellow Dog Linux people)
    sell pre-configured machines for no more than you would pay Apple for
    one and no I don't work for them. Their available hardware
    configurations are here: http://www.terrasoftsolutions.com/store/

    Mike

  6. Re: Shall I switch to a Powerbook?

    Hi Mike,

    > > Current OS X is built on NetBSD, yes. When I last tested it, X
    > > integration was very poor, and this is important to me. It was like
    > > running XFree86 under Cygwin on Windows, only worse For this and

    >
    > It does not sound like you are speaking from recent experience. X


    (rummaging through disks) I was using OS 10.2.6; how recent do I have
    to get?

    > windows apps are nicely integrated with Aqua now. Also Mac OS X is
    > based on a Mach kernel and FreeBSD userland not NetBSD.


    Sorry, since I don't use *BSD I keep getting Net vs Free confused in my
    head. I plead insanity, and if you knew what my work week has been like
    so far you'd set me free

    > Depends on which distro you pick, Yellow Dog Linux installs just a


    I'll try it out then. I'm all in favor of simple and painless wherever
    possible (especially since I don't want to waste any unnecessary time
    on the installation part of this particular project; I want to get it
    all over and done with quickly because it's kind of a side project that
    I'm just doing to get the free Mac mini).

    > Along these lines, Terra Soft Solutions (the Yellow Dog Linux people)


    > sell pre-configured machines for no more than you would pay Apple for



    Apple gives a student discount, though. Terra Soft only gives an
    educator discount.


  7. Re: Shall I switch to a Powerbook?

    On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 17:58:32 -0600,
    Mike Murphree , in
    wrote:

    >+ Debian is a pain (and outdated) regardless of what architecture you
    >+ install it on.


    It is abundantly obvious that you've not used the Sarge release
    candidate installer.

    James
    --
    Consulting Minister for Consultants, DNRC
    I can please only one person per day. Today is not your day. Tomorrow
    isn't looking good, either.
    I am BOFH. Resistance is futile. Your network will be assimilated.

  8. Re: Shall I switch to a Powerbook?

    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    Hash: SHA1

    Mike Murphree writes:

    > Depends on which distro you pick, Yellow Dog Linux installs just a
    > nicely as Redhat or any other x86 Linux distro. Debian is a pain
    > (and outdated) regardless of what architecture you install it on.


    I've just this week migrated from i386 to a Mac Mini. I installed
    using the Sarge netinst CD image, and it installed very easily (my
    first new Debian install in 6 years!).

    It's certainly not a pain to install (though I did manually set up
    LVM) and it's not outdated either.


    Regards,
    Roger

    - --
    Roger Leigh
    Printing on GNU/Linux? http://gimp-print.sourceforge.net/
    Debian GNU/Linux http://www.debian.org/
    GPG Public Key: 0x25BFB848. Please sign and encrypt your mail.
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  9. Re: Shall I switch to a Powerbook?

    * larwe@larwe.com wrote:
    > Jan Ulrich Hasecke wrote:

    [...]
    > > So my question is. Are there any issues I have to think of, when I
    > > switch to a Powerbook?


    You have to be careful about the hardware.
    E.g. NVidia is not providing drivers/information for their
    graphic cards on powerpc architecture. So you won't get
    3D acceleration (yet?).
    Also, the "Airport Extreme" aka WLAN uses a Broadcom (IIRC) chip
    and the people at Broadcom give no specs (and rumor has it they
    never will) so it's unusable under Linux.

    > > I never worked with an Apple. I know that MAC
    > > OS X has a *nix-engine underneath and that there is Fink etc. I

    would

    Fink works just fine; though it naturally doesn't give you as huge a
    list to choose packages from as i.e. Debian does.

    I think, if you have learned to love your Linux installation for a
    poke-around-and-type-away kind of working (and playing with the
    system), it might be hard to adjust to and be eternally happy with OS
    X's way of (mostly) click-what's-there-and-if-it-isn't-forget-it.
    That's of course heavily biased by my personal experience, but so to
    make you cautious on your preparations and make you think early about
    "Plan B" ;-)

    > Current OS X is built on NetBSD, yes. When I last tested it, X
    > integration was very poor, and this is important to me.


    I found X11 on OS X to be enough for my needs, as there exist OS X
    ports for some major programs I use, i.e. OpenOffice.org(or try
    NeoOfficeJ), Mozilla-Firefox, Psi (instant messaging), VLC (video),
    Blender, and the rest like Gimp just works fine IMO.
    You can use OroborOSX to even more integrate the X11 windows into the
    OS X interface.

    [...]
    > > Is dual boot possible?

    >
    > Yes; it's not difficult to set up. I don't think there are

    interactive
    > partition-resize tools provided though, so you have to reformat and
    > reinstall MacOS. This is not such a big deal.


    Be sure to read your distribution-of-choice's manual before
    partitioning, as you might need to create an extra boot partition
    somewhere at the beginning of the drive!

    It seems that parted as of version 1.6.22 can resize hfs/hfs+.
    See <58e4053a.0503200703.7d24da6c@posting.google.com>
    Anyway it would certainly help to reformat the drive to your taste
    before using OS X (and reinstalling it from the DVDs if you want to try
    it ;-) because resizing always puts a (commonly tiny, but still
    non-zero) danger to your data of beeing damaged.

    > > How can I switch my data? (Text, OOo-files, images, flac-files)

    > Not sure what you're asking here. You can mount shared partitions on
    > the Linux side.


    True; maybe you have to use hfsplus (deb-package), to not damage the
    extra things hfs(+) adds to the files/folders that e.g. Finder under OS
    X relies on, when moving things around.

    There exists http://sourceforge.net/projects/ext2fsx/ which let's you
    access ext2 filesystems from OS X.

    With my spring-2004 PB OS X (10.3.4) came (excerpt):
    TextEdit which can handle txt,doc,rtf formats. for OOo you just install
    OOo, for images there was GraphicsConverter bundled, but I prefer
    TheGimp (via fink or 'ported'), for flac IIRC there exists a tool (if
    not even a iTunes-plugin?)...

    Try macupdate.com to search.

    > > Does it make sense to use a PB in a Linux-network? Or is it a

    > tedious
    > > workaround?


    It works fine. Even includes CUPS.

    [...]
    > I am strongly attracted by the lower heat,


    Just be aware that some(?) PBs make use of the casing as a heat sink...

    [...]
    > and - yes, I admit it - the damn cute form factor


    indeed, cute they are :-D

    HTH
    tuXLifan


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