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Do I purchase a Powerbook G4 and install Gentoo?
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Joined: 01 Feb 2005
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 12:33 pm    Post subject: Do I purchase a Powerbook G4 and install Gentoo? Reply with quote

I'm debating getting an Apple Powerbook G4 after Apple boosted the specs slightly and dropped the price. I've done a bit of research and I know that the Airport Extreme card is not going to be supported by Linux until Broadcom pull their finger out, but I've also read some other stuff that (slightly) worries me:

1. Some people suggest that the powersaving stuff works: is that sleep/suspend to disk and does the processor support throttling like Intel processors do?
2. Following on from that, what sort of battery life are people seeing from Linux on this laptop? The specs say 4.5 hours (for OSX) but how close to this do people get with Linux?
3. The screen resolution is 1280x854, does this mean thats the maximum I'll get with X? My current laptop is 1400x1050 but I'm sure the display under Windows was much higher than this, so I've never been sure about this resolution lark!
4. Because the Airport Extreme card isn't currently support I'm thinking about getting a Netgear WAG511 card and, although this isn't a PPC question, does anyone have any experience with this card?

I realise that these are pretty general questions and probably better asked elsewhere, but Gentoo seems to be quite reliable on the PPC platform (both functionally and from the user support) so I'm going to take the plunge and move to it from SuSE.

I'd much appreciate some guidance as I'm not going to spend £1500 on what could turn into a doorstop!

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Joined: 05 Jan 2004
Posts: 260

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the forums matt!

At first have a look at this thread:

1. Regarding sleep:
Currently the sleep patch is real unstable - I hope this will change soon. I don't know about swsusp, but I guess it should work.
Regarding cpu throttling: Throttling on my PB15" works fine with "cpufreqd".

2. Average battery life (normal usage): 2.5 hours (don't know about Mac OS X - never used it that long ;-) )

3. 1280x854 is the maximum under X - but this is fairly enough! The display is awesome in comparism to other notebook displays!

4. Be careful with Netgear cards - there are often various chipsets under the same name. I use a Orinoco Silver pcmcia card and it works perfect. Before buying a wifi card be sure that it is working under Linux with PPC architecture!

I am very satisfied with Linux on my Powerbook. The only thing which is still annoying is the lack of driver support for the ATi Radeon chip - no 3D accel.!

Are YOU high - on bonsai?
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