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chINeSe mIDgEts
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 8:10 pm    Post subject: New to PPC Reply with quote

Hey all, I am looking for a decent used notebook and today I came across a sleek ibook G3 700/128 meg/20 gig ,etc., and am quite interested in purchasing it (the alternative being an IBM thinkpad). Now, I would like to think I am quite honed in my x86 gentoo installation skills, and there doesn't seem to bee too much different in installing Gentoo on a PPC except for the partitioning process/scheme and the bootloader. Now what I ask of my fellow Gentooers is to aid me in this transition process (x86 -->PPC).

Are there any pitfalls i should know of?
Is configuring xorg the same? -- How would I configure the touchpad instead of a regular mouse?
Is this a wise purchase (550$USD)?
Anything else I should know?


Regards,
~Willy
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Mark Nye
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Joined: 14 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have an iBook 700 running Gentoo, and have been pretty pleased with the performance. Certainly easier to setup than a newer Powerbook. The video is supported, sleep works well on my machine, sound is fine, and the performance is good. You're going to want more memory than 128MB. You can download a good working kernel config from http://www.desertsol.com/~kevin/ppc/

Problems: I've not had the best luck with direct rendering. I've had problems with OpenGL screensavers crashing X, and sleep wakeup difficulties with DRI enabled. There are probably fixes or work arounds for both issues, but I don't really need DRI so I just turned it off. Preemp isn't great for PPC yet. I was having trouble emerging C++ packages, and it took me a while to figure out that having preempt turned on in my kernel config was the root of the problem.

My feeling is that $550 might be a little high for a used machine with 128MB, but not terrible. I bought mine over a year ago referb from Apple (full warrenty) for around $800.
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samuraisam
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For that much there should be more RAM. What are the specs on the Thinkpad as an alternative?

-Sam
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chINeSe mIDgEts
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In comparison:

iBook: 550$, Thinkpad: 500$
G3 700, P3 around 500mhz
20 gig, 6 gig
128meg, 128 meg
CD-rw/Dvd, Cd rom
2 USB, It has Usb, don'y know how many
PCMCIA , Pcmcia


both have network hookups, batteries, etc. all the necessary things I don't feel like listing. I believe the ibook comes with OSX while the thinkpads (both from separate local vendors)come with no OS installed.
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Last edited by chINeSe mIDgEts on Tue Mar 01, 2005 7:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ruben
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The iBook does not have PCMCIA. It does have a slot for an Airport card (not Airport Extreme) though. Is the Airport card installed in that iBook ? I also think that 550$ is rather on the high side. Allthough i've noticed before that secondhand Apple computers sell for prices which seem pretty high. Also, in general secondhand laptops seem to sell for higher prices than one would expect.

The iBook i have is very similar to the one you mention, it's the same model i think: an iBook G3 800Mhz, 640MB RAM, 30GB hd, dvd/cd-writer combo and i'm very happy with it. The only thing that annoys me a bit at times, is that the harddisk is rather slow, but i guess you'll see this with most laptops. But aside from that, i think it's a really nice laptop. On linux almost everything works: wireless, 3d acceleration, network, usb, lowering cpu speed when on battery, sleep. The only thing i didn't try, is external display (some report that you can get this to work however), and the firewire connection. Something that i tried and did not get to work is the builtin modem (there are drivers a linuxant for the modem, but they are only succesfull in locking up my machine so far).

All in all, i think the iBook is a better deal than the Thinkpad. I don't know how well supported the Thinkpad is on linux.

I also installed the ibook with only prior x86 linux experience, and i didn't really encounter any problems. Configuring xorg is just the same as for an x86... and i don't remember doing anything special for the touchpad. There is something you have to do if you want to emulate a second and third mouse button with some keys, but this is documented. I probably don't have to tell you that some software is not available on ppc ? Most notably is a Flash plugin. For java, the jdks from ibm can be used.. IBM provides a jdk for 1.3 and 1.4, but the 1.4 version does not have a browser plugin. I think those are the most important pieces of software that do not work. In general, however, most open source/free software also runs on the ppc architecture. Another nice thing to know is that you can use MOL to run Mac OS X from inside linux at near native speeds.

I think the price is a bit on the high side, but on the other hand, i would definitely not sell my iBook for 550$. Or umm.. i would definitely not sell my iBook :)
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iTux
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2005 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

The iBook should be definitely faster than the Pentium CPU-wise. My iBook G3 700MHz is not far behind my AMD Athlon 1200MHz.

You don't think 550$ is expensive... considering that the new ones starts around 1000$.


iTux
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cazort
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes! Do not get misled by the megahertz rating. You can easily double that when comparing to a pentium; at some tasks, maybe even more than double. I am always a bit biased towards macs, but I like thinkpads too. :-) So both would be a fine purchase. I'd say too...if you can afford it, get more RAM too.
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