Which iBook is best choice for Linux? - Powerpc

This is a discussion on Which iBook is best choice for Linux? - Powerpc ; So I've decided to sell my brand new 15" PowerBook (Blatant advertising: See for more info if you are interested and in the SF Bay area) because of the lack of current Linux support for 1) Airport Extreme and 2) ...

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Thread: Which iBook is best choice for Linux?

  1. Which iBook is best choice for Linux?

    So I've decided to sell my brand new 15" PowerBook (Blatant
    advertising: See
    for more info if you are interested and in the SF Bay area) because of
    the lack of current Linux support for 1) Airport Extreme and 2)
    accelerated 3D on the ATi 9600 video card.

    Now I'm thinking about an iBook, for these reasons:

    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?
    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.
    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.
    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.

    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.

    However, with a G3 I'd lose
    a) Altivec.
    b) A slightly nicer-feeling keyboard.
    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?).
    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.

    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.

    --
    Read my Deep Thoughts @ PERTH ----> *
    17:55:02 up 3 days, 20:05, 11 users, load average: 2.01, 2.02, 2.00
    172 processes: 168 sleeping, 3 running, 1 zombie, 0 stopped
    CPU states: 6.3% user 4.1% system 89.5% nice 0.0% iowait 0.0% idle

  2. Re: Which iBook is best choice for Linux?

    Yeechang Lee wrote:
    > So I've decided to sell my brand new 15" PowerBook (Blatant
    > advertising: See
    > for more info if you are interested and in the SF Bay area) because of
    > the lack of current Linux support for 1) Airport Extreme and 2)
    > accelerated 3D on the ATi 9600 video card.
    >
    > Now I'm thinking about an iBook


    As an aside....

    Another way to go is to try to find the older TiBook--they've
    got good Linux support. I got one about a month ago...found the
    last one in a Mac shop's basement. :-) The YDL install went
    really smoothly...easier than some x86 Linux installs I've done.

    Duke





  3. Re: Which iBook is best choice for Linux?

    In comp.os.linux.powerpc Yeechang Lee 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.


    True that.

    > 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, smbergeron@bigfoot.com

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