New to PPC - Powerpc

This is a discussion on New to PPC - Powerpc ; I've been given a few old PPCs and a Mac. I don't recall the model numbers of the Macs, but the most recent PPC looks like a G3. I've no interest in these with their original OSs, but I guess ...

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Thread: New to PPC

  1. New to PPC

    I've been given a few old PPCs and a Mac. I don't recall the model
    numbers of the Macs, but the most recent PPC looks like a G3.

    I've no interest in these with their original OSs, but I guess there
    might be some point in putting Linux on them.

    A few questions though.

    These have come without mouse, keyboard or monitors. How PC compatible
    are they ? Will I just be able to plug in PC monitor, keyboard and PS/2
    mouse, or will I need a shopping expedition ?

    I seem to standardising on Debian on my Alpha, AMD and Intel kit. Is
    Debian OK on PPC / Mac, or is there a better distribution for this
    platform ?

    Accepting that this isn't a strict 'like for like' comparison, what sort
    of Intel processor performance does a G3 equate to ? In other words,
    will it be worth the trouble ?


    Cheers, J/.
    --
    John Beardmore

  2. Re: New to PPC

    John Beardmore wrote:
    > I've been given a few old PPCs and a Mac. I don't recall the model
    > numbers of the Macs, but the most recent PPC looks like a G3.
    >
    > I've no interest in these with their original OSs, but I guess there
    > might be some point in putting Linux on them.
    >
    > A few questions though.
    >
    > These have come without mouse, keyboard or monitors. How PC compatible
    > are they ? Will I just be able to plug in PC monitor, keyboard and PS/2
    > mouse, or will I need a shopping expedition ?
    >
    > I seem to standardising on Debian on my Alpha, AMD and Intel kit. Is
    > Debian OK on PPC / Mac, or is there a better distribution for this
    > platform ?
    >
    > Accepting that this isn't a strict 'like for like' comparison, what sort
    > of Intel processor performance does a G3 equate to ? In other words,
    > will it be worth the trouble ?
    >
    >
    > Cheers, J/.

    Linux will probably work ok. It seems that none of the distros are as
    'mature' as their counterparts for intel hardware. Also some of the
    application software is not ported to ppc archetecture or is ported
    later. Personally, I have the most experience with Debian. You will
    likely have to find mac keyboards and mice or else install USB cards to
    use pc inputs. The mac devices will be a better choice. For monitors
    the stock connection is for a mac monitor but adapters can be had for
    reasonable prices (under $5.00 US) on eBay and perhaps other places that
    will allow the use of vga/svga monitors. PCI cards can also be used but
    be careful to see that mac is supported by the card you choose. I
    think that it is possible to configure the machines to run only Linux
    but most people use some sort of dual boot setup(yaboot, miboot, quik,
    or Bootx). There is much accumulated wisdom on this list and people are
    most willing to help. Good luck.
    kk


  3. Re: New to PPC

    John Beardmore schreef:
    > These have come without mouse, keyboard or monitors. How PC compatible
    > are they ? Will I just be able to plug in PC monitor, keyboard and PS/2
    > mouse, or will I need a shopping expedition ?


    I think it'll be okay, at least my "PC" USB mouse works without a problem.
    Remember that because Linux runs mainly on x86, PC hardware is likely to
    be supported.

    > I seem to standardising on Debian on my Alpha, AMD and Intel kit. Is
    > Debian OK on PPC / Mac, or is there a better distribution for this
    > platform ?


    I use Ubuntu, which is debian-based but modified to be more "it just
    works" and focussed on the GNOME desktop. If you are experienced with
    Debian, it shouldn't be a problem for you. If you do run into problems,
    you can always try Ubuntu (it's a 1-CD download or shipment).

    > Accepting that this isn't a strict 'like for like' comparison, what sort
    > of Intel processor performance does a G3 equate to ? In other words,
    > will it be worth the trouble ?


    Memory is a very important factor with Linux, in my experience, more so
    than with MS Windows (but less than OS X, which is a big memory eater). As
    for processor, a G3 is roughly equivalent to a Pentium 2 (maybe slightly
    faster). It's not as fast as a P3. However, with Ubuntu Warty, GNOME 2.8,
    kernel 2.6, eerything works with a good speed. OpenOffice.org takes about
    30 seconds to start up but works fast after that. I usually have Pan,
    Evolution, OOo, gaim and Epiphany (browser) open at the same time, without
    terrible speed loss (and I am picky concerning that!)

    --
    Kind regards, | E-mail: michel@klijmij.net
    | Web : http://michel.klijmij.net/
    | Jabber: michel@jabber.xs4all.nl
    Michel Klijmij | GPGkey: 0x8A43CF30


  4. Re: New to PPC

    On 3/12/05 7:22 AM, in article
    pan.2005.03.12.12.22.25.563845@imac.klijmij.net, "Michel Klijmij"
    wrote:

    >> Accepting that this isn't a strict 'like for like' comparison, what sort
    >> of Intel processor performance does a G3 equate to ? In other words,
    >> will it be worth the trouble ?

    >
    > Memory is a very important factor with Linux, in my experience, more so
    > than with MS Windows (but less than OS X, which is a big memory eater). As
    > for processor, a G3 is roughly equivalent to a Pentium 2 (maybe slightly
    > faster). It's not as fast as a P3. However, with Ubuntu Warty, GNOME 2.8,
    > kernel 2.6, eerything works with a good speed. OpenOffice.org takes about
    > 30 seconds to start up but works fast after that. I usually have Pan,
    > Evolution, OOo, gaim and Epiphany (browser) open at the same time, without
    > terrible speed loss (and I am picky concerning that!)


    I have a Powerbook Pismo running Warty and now the preview of Hoary. I
    upped the memory to 768Mb and it runs faster with Linux than the OS9 that I
    blew away with the install. The Powerbooks will take up to 1Gb of RAM
    despite Apple's claims to the contrary - and you should consider a moderate
    upgrade if you can.

    I disagree that it is like the Pentium 2 -- I found it feels more like the
    early Pentium 3's for speed (I use Intel chips for computers at work and
    have a variety of hardware and OS'es to play with) - though the point that
    it is NOT going to be a speed demon with Linux is true by my experience.

    Given that my sysadmin skills are 15 years rusty (read: nearly useless) I
    needed a distro that didn't require a lot of mucking about and Ubuntu fit
    the bill - and being based upon Debian (cleaned up, debugged, packaged for
    general use) means you shouldn't have a bit of trouble.

    As a side note: Given the UNIX system installed on all recent Macintoshes -
    and the developers tools (X11, compilers, etc.) distributed with the OS - I
    cannot see a huge following in PowerPC going forward - though it is a way to
    get older machines (G3 and older) working great.

    Linux PPC suffers from the lack of Flash support, Plug-ins, and drivers for
    video cards. While the x86 Linux support is there at leats to a certain
    level, the powerPC is lacking. Doesn't stop me, just won't motivate me to
    change the OS on my main system (dual 2GHz G5 Mac) because of the Unix
    system it is already running and access to an effective command line
    interface.


  5. Re: New to PPC

    In message <1134v67177vig7c@corp.supernews.com>, jim bob and joe bob
    writes
    >John Beardmore wrote:


    >> I've been given a few old PPCs and a Mac. I don't recall the model
    >>numbers of the Macs, but the most recent PPC looks like a G3.
    >> I've no interest in these with their original OSs, but I guess there
    >>might be some point in putting Linux on them.
    >> A few questions though.
    >> These have come without mouse, keyboard or monitors. How PC
    >>compatible are they ? Will I just be able to plug in PC monitor,
    >>keyboard and PS/2 mouse, or will I need a shopping expedition ?
    >> I seem to standardising on Debian on my Alpha, AMD and Intel kit.
    >>Is Debian OK on PPC / Mac, or is there a better distribution for this
    >> platform ?
    >> Accepting that this isn't a strict 'like for like' comparison, what
    >>sort of Intel processor performance does a G3 equate to ? In other
    >>words, will it be worth the trouble ?
    >> Cheers, J/.

    >Linux will probably work ok. It seems that none of the distros are as
    >'mature' as their counterparts for intel hardware. Also some of the
    >application software is not ported to ppc archetecture or is ported
    >later. Personally, I have the most experience with Debian. You will
    >likely have to find mac keyboards and mice or else install USB cards to
    >use pc inputs.


    Sounds like a good option !


    > The mac devices will be a better choice.


    OK. Why ?


    > For monitors the stock connection is for a mac monitor but adapters
    >can be had for reasonable prices (under $5.00 US) on eBay and perhaps
    >other places that will allow the use of vga/svga monitors.


    OK.


    > PCI cards can also be used but be careful to see that mac is
    >supported by the card you choose.


    Isn't that down to the OS rather than the hardware platform ?


    > I think that it is possible to configure the machines to run only
    >Linux but most people use some sort of dual boot setup(yaboot, miboot,
    >quik, or Bootx). There is much accumulated wisdom on this list and
    >people are most willing to help. Good luck.


    OK thanks.


    Cheers, J/.
    --
    John Beardmore

  6. Re: New to PPC

    In message , Michel
    Klijmij writes
    >John Beardmore schreef:


    >> These have come without mouse, keyboard or monitors. How PC compatible
    >> are they ? Will I just be able to plug in PC monitor, keyboard and PS/2
    >> mouse, or will I need a shopping expedition ?

    >
    >I think it'll be okay, at least my "PC" USB mouse works without a problem.
    >Remember that because Linux runs mainly on x86, PC hardware is likely to
    >be supported.


    So it's hardware compatible with the mouse socket then ?

    I suppose there's always a serial mouse anyway.


    >> I seem to standardising on Debian on my Alpha, AMD and Intel kit. Is
    >> Debian OK on PPC / Mac, or is there a better distribution for this
    >> platform ?

    >
    >I use Ubuntu, which is debian-based but modified to be more "it just
    >works" and focussed on the GNOME desktop. If you are experienced with
    >Debian, it shouldn't be a problem for you. If you do run into problems,
    >you can always try Ubuntu (it's a 1-CD download or shipment).


    OK. Can do debian, but normally with KDE.


    >> Accepting that this isn't a strict 'like for like' comparison, what sort
    >> of Intel processor performance does a G3 equate to ? In other words,
    >> will it be worth the trouble ?

    >
    >Memory is a very important factor with Linux, in my experience, more so
    >than with MS Windows (but less than OS X, which is a big memory eater). As
    >for processor, a G3 is roughly equivalent to a Pentium 2 (maybe slightly
    >faster). It's not as fast as a P3.


    OK.


    > However, with Ubuntu Warty, GNOME 2.8,
    >kernel 2.6, eerything works with a good speed. OpenOffice.org takes about
    >30 seconds to start up but works fast after that. I usually have Pan,
    >Evolution, OOo, gaim and Epiphany (browser) open at the same time, without
    >terrible speed loss (and I am picky concerning that!)


    OK, thanks !


    Cheers, J/.
    --
    John Beardmore

  7. Re: New to PPC

    In message , Brent
    writes
    >On 3/12/05 7:22 AM, in article
    >pan.2005.03.12.12.22.25.563845@imac.klijmij.net, "Michel Klijmij"
    > wrote:
    >
    >>> Accepting that this isn't a strict 'like for like' comparison, what sort
    >>> of Intel processor performance does a G3 equate to ? In other words,
    >>> will it be worth the trouble ?

    >>
    >> Memory is a very important factor with Linux, in my experience, more so
    >> than with MS Windows (but less than OS X, which is a big memory eater). As
    >> for processor, a G3 is roughly equivalent to a Pentium 2 (maybe slightly
    >> faster). It's not as fast as a P3. However, with Ubuntu Warty, GNOME 2.8,
    >> kernel 2.6, eerything works with a good speed. OpenOffice.org takes about
    >> 30 seconds to start up but works fast after that. I usually have Pan,
    >> Evolution, OOo, gaim and Epiphany (browser) open at the same time, without
    >> terrible speed loss (and I am picky concerning that!)

    >
    >I have a Powerbook Pismo running Warty and now the preview of Hoary. I
    >upped the memory to 768Mb and it runs faster with Linux than the OS9 that I
    >blew away with the install. The Powerbooks will take up to 1Gb of RAM
    >despite Apple's claims to the contrary - and you should consider a moderate
    >upgrade if you can.
    >
    >I disagree that it is like the Pentium 2 -- I found it feels more like the
    >early Pentium 3's for speed (I use Intel chips for computers at work and
    >have a variety of hardware and OS'es to play with) - though the point that
    >it is NOT going to be a speed demon with Linux is true by my experience.
    >
    >Given that my sysadmin skills are 15 years rusty (read: nearly useless) I
    >needed a distro that didn't require a lot of mucking about and Ubuntu fit
    >the bill - and being based upon Debian (cleaned up, debugged, packaged for
    >general use) means you shouldn't have a bit of trouble.
    >
    >As a side note: Given the UNIX system installed on all recent Macintoshes -
    >and the developers tools (X11, compilers, etc.) distributed with the OS - I
    >cannot see a huge following in PowerPC going forward - though it is a way to
    >get older machines (G3 and older) working great.
    >
    >Linux PPC suffers from the lack of Flash support, Plug-ins, and drivers for
    >video cards. While the x86 Linux support is there at leats to a certain
    >level, the powerPC is lacking. Doesn't stop me, just won't motivate me to
    >change the OS on my main system (dual 2GHz G5 Mac) because of the Unix
    >system it is already running and access to an effective command line
    >interface.



    OK, thanks, J/.
    --
    John Beardmore

  8. Re: New to PPC

    On 3/13/05 9:13 AM, in article 98yW+SRIqENCFwfn@wookie.demon.co.uk, "John
    Beardmore" wrote:

    >> PCI cards can also be used but be careful to see that mac is
    >> supported by the card you choose.

    >
    > Isn't that down to the OS rather than the hardware platform ?


    Absolutely - but drivers do not exist for everything in Linux - and
    sometimes the drivers are quite minimal.

    For instance, while dirvers exist for the AirPort 802.11b card, no Linux
    drivers exist for the Airport Extreme 802.11g cards.

    For instance.


  9. Re: New to PPC

    John Beardmore schreef:

    >>I think it'll be okay, at least my "PC" USB mouse works without a problem.
    >>Remember that because Linux runs mainly on x86, PC hardware is likely to
    >>be supported.

    >
    > So it's hardware compatible with the mouse socket then ?


    I'm not 100% sure, but assuming that Apple uses either PS/2 or USB mice,
    it should connect without problems.

    --
    Vriendelijke groet, | E-mail: michel@klijmij.net
    | Web : http://michel.klijmij.net/
    | Jabber: michel@jabber.xs4all.nl
    Michel Klijmij | GPGkey: 0x8A43CF30


  10. Re: New to PPC

    On Wed, 16 Mar 2005 14:31:51 +0100,
    Michel Klijmij , in
    wrote:

    >+ I'm not 100% sure, but assuming that Apple uses either PS/2 or USB mice,
    >+ it should connect without problems.


    I don't think Apple has *ever* used a PS/2 device. Depending on the
    age of the machine in question, it's either ADB or USB.

    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.

  11. Re: New to PPC

    On 3/16/2005 4:14 PM, I R A Darth Aggie said:
    > On Wed, 16 Mar 2005 14:31:51 +0100,
    > Michel Klijmij , in
    >
    >>+ I'm not 100% sure, but assuming that Apple uses either PS/2 or USB mice,
    >>+ it should connect without problems.

    >
    > I don't think Apple has *ever* used a PS/2 device. Depending on the
    > age of the machine in question, it's either ADB or USB.


    Though I think you can get PS/2->USB adaptors. Sure I've got one
    floating around somewhere...

    cheers,

    David H

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