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G4 Powerbook Stability?
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scottula
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Joined: 05 Feb 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 6:00 am    Post subject: G4 Powerbook Stability? Reply with quote

I've been trying to decide between getting an x86 laptop or a Powerbook. I very much like the design of the Powerbook, but I have my doubts about how easy it would be to get a stable installation of Gentoo on it. I would probably be getting a brand new one with a Radeon 9600 (if that even matters). I intend to use it almost exclusively for school related work, so Firebird, OpenOffice, Evolution, etc must work flawlessly. Would this be doable or should I stick with an x86?
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SeJo
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Joined: 08 Oct 2002
Posts: 298
Location: Belgium

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

as long as you don't suspect to use the airport extreme on it i think it will work perfectly...

and if not use the osx on it, ain't that bad :p

i'm waiting for the airport extreme driver to get gentoo on it...
so i'm stuck with osx for a while...

never thought i would say but it's supprisingly good and stable...

I got me a Powerbook G4 1gHz, 1 gig ram, combodrive radeon 96000 64MB
runs like hell...
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rickb
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Location: The Hague, Netherlands

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gentoo works fine on my 1.25Ghz Powerbook, with the usual mainstream apps like OpenOffice (though I had to install that from binaries). Stability is rocksolid, that is something you don't have to worry about.

You do however have to put up with some drawbacks, most notably:
- Airport Extreme doesn't work, and may never. I use a pcmcia card for wireless, works just fine.
- Support for the Radeon 9600 is still limited. No 3D acceleration for instance. No video out either.
- Sleep-mode doesn't work (yet).

Some apps may not (yet) compile on ppc, or simple not be available (like Flash).

On the other hand: A lot of x86 notebooks have similar drawbacks when running Linux, for instance with internal wireless. On a Powerbook, you at least have OSX as an dual-boot alternative, which sure beats having to use Windows for stuff that is unsupported under Linux.... Plus most of the stuff I use on Linux also runs on OSX, and more and more Linux apps are being ported to OSX.

I tend to switch between Linux and OSX, sometimes I almost forget which OS i'm in..... ;-)

Getting everything up and running may be a bit more work then on a mainstream x86 box, but I guess you wouldn't be here if you really minded that kind of thing...
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feliperal
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Joined: 09 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2004 4:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was able to get almost all the components in my Powerbook 1.25ghz working on a 2.6 kernel, except for the airport extreme and backlight on the keyboard.

Most of the software can be compiled. I sucessfuly compiled OpenOffice 1.1 Ximian version KDE/GNOME, and ogle runs smoothly with no delay.

if you buy the new powerbooks with radeon 9600, use a 2.6 kernel at least 2.6.1, because it fully supports the laptop at full speed.


Good luck deciding,
Felipe
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rickb
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2004 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

feliperal wrote:
I was able to get almost all the components in my Powerbook 1.25ghz working on a 2.6 kernel, except for the airport extreme and backlight on the keyboard.


Strike that last one: https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic.php?t=126319
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heavyt
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Joined: 03 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2004 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a refurbished G4 TiBook (9000 Radeon 867mhz). It was cheap, it sleeps, airport works, rock solid, duel boot, what more can one ask for. :D
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scottula
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2004 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I ended up getting a 1ghz powerbook yesterday, I'm in the process of compiling from stage 1, so it'll be a while before I actually know how well everything is working.
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