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tyreth
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Joined: 27 May 2002
Posts: 238
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 7:53 am    Post subject: Mac vs x86 Reply with quote

Hi,

I'm planning to purchase a laptop but having difficulty deciding whether to go with maybe a powerbook, or to stick with an x86 based laptop.

This is to be used for work. The issues for me are:
* Access programming (something I unfortunately sometimes have to do) - will this run in Mac OSX with some sort of emulator or virtual PC reliably, or is it really only an option under windows?
* Linux - As a linux user on PPC what sort of things do you miss out on - are there nvidia drivers? Are there occasionally binary only downloads for Linux that you would find useful to use but unable? Or have you found you can do pretty much everything an x86 Linux user can?

Everything else I know about - these are the two big issues.

Thanks
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tinwood
n00b
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Joined: 05 Oct 2002
Posts: 36
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went though this same thought pattern when I was buying my iBook 2 years ago. I think I made the wrong choice. However, you're milage may vary.

My iBook used to run Gentoo (my desktop and servers do). However, about 1 year ago I abandoned Gentoo on it to go back to OS X and the 10.3 upgrade. I did this because most stuff 'just worked' under OS X and I reasoned I could use Fink for all my Open Source needs. This is largely true.

When it was running Gentoo the biggest issues were a lack of a 1.4 Java engine (solved last year by IBM) and the lack of a workable flash implementation. I admit the latter is not that important. I 'needed' java as I am very web to the jEdit editor - sad, but true.

However, as I doubt that my little G3 will be able to run Tiger it will probably revert back to Gentoo in the not too distant future. Reasons:

  1. Java is now 1.4 JVM
  2. I miss having Fluxbox on the laptop - Aqua is pretty but too slow
  3. Almost every app I run is FS or Open Source.
  4. I would keep OS X at 10.3 just for Office which I need occasionally - I'll run this in Mol.
  5. I don't want to pay for Tiger


If I was buying new again I would get an x86 based laptop, probably based on Centrino. They tend to be cheaper and better supported. Particularly if you are only going to run GNU/Linux on it.

Just my $0.02

Cheers
Alex.
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panyo
Tux's lil' helper
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Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tinwood wrote:

I would keep OS X at 10.3 just for Office which I need occasionally - I'll run this in Mol.


Openoffice is very nice now. I resisted it for a long time because I still firmly beileve that for editing text, a text editor in the right tool (emacs or vim). For formatting text, a typesetting program is the right tool (teTex) . In my view, the right tool for 'Word' is
Code:
 emerge antiword
I wish there were such a thing as 'anti-powerpoint' but there is not, so I emerged open office and found it to be about 90% on powerpoint files and perfectly compatable on word files. The issues in powerpoint seemed to be related to fonts and bullets leading to inconsistent layout. Maybe that could be fixed by installing the correct fonts.

*I* would keep OS X for iphoto. But that is no help to the original question. I had to make the PC-Mac choice just yesterday, and went Mac again (a surplus 8600 for $5.00). In general I get a better designed, better built piece of hardware and these days I am not sure if we are even paying a premium.
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kalisphoenix
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Joined: 28 Sep 2003
Posts: 211
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

panyo wrote:
I had to make the PC-Mac choice just yesterday, and went Mac again (a surplus 8600 for $5.00).


Damn. My mom's boyfriend has an 8600 with a G3 upgrade in it and he won't sell it to me. Bastard.

OP: If you're going to be running Linux, buy an x86. Not because the hardware is better (it isn't, and I am exquisitely ecstatic with my iBook G4), but because of compatibility. If, however, you think you might try OS X, I can highly recommend it :-)
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NewBlackDak
Guru
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Joined: 02 Nov 2003
Posts: 512
Location: Utah County, UT

PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

panyo wrote:
tinwood wrote:

I would keep OS X at 10.3 just for Office which I need occasionally - I'll run this in Mol.


Openoffice is very nice now. I resisted it for a long time because I still firmly beileve that for editing text, a text editor in the right tool (emacs or vim). For formatting text, a typesetting program is the right tool (teTex) . In my view, the right tool for 'Word' is
Code:
 emerge antiword
I wish there were such a thing as 'anti-powerpoint' but there is not, so I emerged open office and found it to be about 90% on powerpoint files and perfectly compatable on word files. The issues in powerpoint seemed to be related to fonts and bullets leading to inconsistent layout. Maybe that could be fixed by installing the correct fonts.

*I* would keep OS X for iphoto. But that is no help to the original question. I had to make the PC-Mac choice just yesterday, and went Mac again (a surplus 8600 for $5.00). In general I get a better designed, better built piece of hardware and these days I am not sure if we are even paying a premium.

try out gnumeric
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tscolari
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Joined: 02 May 2004
Posts: 602
Location: curitiba - pr - Brazil

PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i was going to post the same question...

i was about buying a ibook or some toshiba laptop...
so most of packages wont compile/work?

ive never used a mac before, no idea how is its original os even
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tinwood
n00b
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Joined: 05 Oct 2002
Posts: 36
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
i was about buying a ibook or some toshiba laptop...
so most of packages wont compile/work?


No, most of the F/OSS packages should compile and work. Some may not, some may be 'unstable' (i.e. you will need to put it in package.keywords). However, I understand that neither ATI nor nVidia support drivers for their graphics chips on PPC, there's no Macromedia support for Flash on PPC, etc. This may make your experience of Xorg less than that on an equivalent x86 with support from ATI/nVidia, and obviously for Flash sites as well.

My point was that one should buy a Mac if you're going to run OS X, and that GNU/Linux is better supported on x86 which means that if you are buying a laptop for GNU/Linux it will be an easier ride to have an x86 based laptop.

However, if you want to try OS X and GNU/Linux then iBooks and PowerBooks are very nice indeed. My iBook, an 800MHz G3, is starting to be left behind by Apple. Viz, the new features in iPhoto (iLife newest version) require a G4 - this will continue to happen and thus my little G3 will end up on GNU/Linux in the near future.


Last edited by tinwood on Sun Feb 06, 2005 5:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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tscolari
l33t
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Joined: 02 May 2004
Posts: 602
Location: curitiba - pr - Brazil

PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tinwood wrote:
Quote:
i was about buying a ibook or some toshiba laptop...
so most of packages wont compile/work?


No, most of the F/OSS packages should compile and work. Some may not, some may be 'unstable' (i.e. you will need to put it in package.keywords). However, I understand that neither ATI nor nVidia support drivers for their graphics chips on PPC, there's no Macromedia support for Flash on PPC, etc. This may make your experience of Xorg less than that on an equivalent x86 with support from ATI/nVidia, and obviously for Flash sites as well.

My point was that one should buy a Mac if you're going to run OS X, and that GNU/Linux is better supported on x86 which means that if you are buying a laptop for GNU/Linux it will be an easier ride to have an x86 based laptop.

However, if you want to try OS X and GNU/Linux then iBooks and PowerBooks are very nice indeed. My iBook, an 800MHz G3, is starting to be left behind by Apple. Viz, the new features in iPhone (iLife newest version) require a G4 - this will continue to happen and thus my little G3 will end up on GNU/Linux in the near future.


hmm but if i would use gnu/linux and mac os togheter, how is the fs suport? for example, is there a common kind of partition that bouth can read/write?
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tinwood
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Joined: 05 Oct 2002
Posts: 36
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
hmm but if i would use gnu/linux and mac os togheter, how is the fs suport? for example, is there a common kind of partition that bouth can read/write?


Well, hfs and hfs+ are supported under GNU/Linux so that is a common partition type. You can run GNU/Linux and OS X at the same time by using Mol (Mac on Linux) - you do lose accelerated graphics under Quartz, though, if you do this. So yes, you can share stuff between the two OSes.
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