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<3
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 9:29 am    Post subject: Why GNU/Linux on ppc/ppc64 instead of x86/x86-64? Reply with quote

I have been dying to ask this question for a while. Not that I am planning on buying any new computers, I am just curious.

From what I seen from post on this forum is that a lot of people buy a computer with ppc/ppc64 hardware just to uninstall Mac OS and install GNU/Lunix on their machine. Now I'm not an expert on ppc/ppc64 hardware but from my findings, it seems that ppc/ppc64 hardware is more expensive than x86/x86-64 hardware. So my question is why do people buy ppc/ppc64 hardware just to run Linux when they can get x86/x86-64 hardware for cheaper? What are the advantages/disadvantages to using ppc/ppc64 to x86/x86-64? Seems to me that more software and hardware drivers are made to run on x86/x86-64. Is it faster? More stable?

Yes I do know that are other architectures out there like ia64, mips, arm etc and the same question could apply to those architectures, but for now I am only interested in the differences between GNU/Linux on ppc/ppc64 and x86/x86-64.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've bought an iBook G3 a couple of years ago, just to use it with Linux.

One reason I bought it has nothing to do with PPC: I had allways used Windows as my primary OS, and I wanted to force myself not to.

But well, on to the real reasons. First of all, an iBook is not expensive! In fact the major reason I bought the iBook was it's price: it was _the cheapest_ 12" laptop I could find. Also, hardware support was great, everything except perhaps the TV-out adapter was well supported - 3D graphics, sound, wifi, sleep mode - everything (the uniformity of Mac's eventually leads to this).

I am now a happy user of MacOS X. I'm still a student, and loved both experiences (Linux and now MacOS) - experimenting/learning is important for me at this point. Linux will most certainly come back to this machine: if not sooner, as an "end of life" OS.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought the mini, because it was the cheapest machine that met my demands: 1. quiet, 2. low power, 3. small. That is is more powerful than my previous system and incredibly much better designed are just bonusses.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm interessesting the difference and advantage of ppc instead x86, me too!

these is some problem using gentoo or mac os x with the mini with the s-video or composite tv adaptor?
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

there are the same problems as in x86 i guess :-)

mac os x and tv adapter is apple-like handled.. stick it in.. boot.. done.

i am struggling atm for a modeline that works on Xorg..
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So it seems as if price was the deciding factor for most of you. I probably would consider ppc if I could find a store that sold ppc motheroards and CPUs and the price was comparable to x86 parts. Most stores only sell preconfigured ppc computers, and they usually cost more because they are bundled with Mac OSX.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

.a Mac doesn't cost more than an Intel station, execpt perharps PowerMac G5.
The Mac mini and ibook are very cheap, and powerbook are not very expensive fort their configuration an design.

Except perharps Pegasos, you'll never find powerpc motherboard or CPU in shop, and it's not an handicap. With this there is an uniform hardware... so less job for developers.
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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mostly it's stability... I've had my TiBook 1Ghz for about... 3 years, now, and it has NEVER had a problem (unless I created one.. hehe).

And longevity.. I know people who still use their old G3s (the ones with the black rubber covering) as their main computer. They're mostly biology people, though, who don't push their computers too hard.

I hope to never buy another laptop again... unless this one bombs out. I push it pretty hard, though, and it IS developing a few 'quirks'.

-Justin
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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i had a used g3 from a friend and it worked perfectly. i use it at school and the power management works too. just close it and it sleeps.

i got a mac instead of a PC because:

i have a PC with gentoo only (clean from any M$) and wanted somethinng different

i can use osx if i needed software that wasnt supported on linux and didnt have to use M$

light and easy to carry around




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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought a iBook G3 800Mhz, 640Mb RAM 2 years and 3 months ago. The reason i chose the iBook are actually similar to what KruzeS said.

The iBook G3 was actually pretty cheap and it just had all the features i wanted. I wanted a small and light laptop, that is easy to carry around with me, so i wanted 12". Now, there are/were other 12" laptops, but a lot of them had an external cdrom-drive, which you have to carry with you, so also there the iBook is just great, the cdrom-drive is builtin. The wireless connection is also builtin, i believe the antenna for the wireless connection is like a loop around your screen, which let's it give a very good reception. It had very good battery life compared to other laptops at that time (the centrino laptops have very good battery life these days too), i think that while being carefull, on linux i could initially get at 4-4.5 hours. These days, i still get around 3-3.5 hours battery life, and it's still the same battery as when i bought it. Also, if you buy an Apple laptop, then the warranty is valid world-wide, that was something important for me too. I also kinda "believe in" the Apple company, in a way that i trust them about customer support and about the quality of their hardware; i think these things are very important for a laptop.

(On a side note, something that really impressed me, was something from in the beginning of the 90s. My father took over a shop and that shop still had their office computer, which was an Apple, i think it must have been a Powermac or something like that. Anyways, i remember he had bought a new x86 computer just before, a 486, probably 16Mhz, 2Mb RAM, and can't remember the size of the harddisk. But anyways... i was just like "wow, what a machine... this thing is giving the word 'computer' a totally new meaning". First off, the screen... not your regular computer screen, nah... an A4 screen... so, when you're writing a text, you can easily get the whole page on your screen. It was black-and-white, but color screens were not that common in that time. Then... the printer.... well... i had used a black-and-white little matrix printer before, which i thought was really cool and all. But there, there was a "printer"... oh yeah... an A3 printer... which did not only black-and-white, but which was a 4-color printer. Nice, nice.. very nice. Then i went to check out the computer... umm... no power on/off button? ah... just a key on the keyboard et voila it starts up. Then i started to wonder about the diskette drive... no button to get the diskette back? ah... you just do that from within Mac OS. So, then i wanted to check out what was inside the computer. I wanted to see how much RAM it had.... 8Mb ?!? I remember that 8Mb was more or less standard when i bought my first pentium, this computer was already some years old at the time i got to see it. Then i checked out the harddisk... 40Mb, which was also a lot for that time... and guess what.. not your normal IDE, but it was SCSI. Let me tell you that i was really impressed with that kind of machine at that time. And then.. what do people keep on saying "Apple is more expensive"... yeah, right.. you can't expect to get such a machine for free, of course it's gonna be more expensive. At that time, Apple didn't just put the standard stuff in their machines, they put higher quality stuffs in -i think- all their machines. Alright, that's just something that made a really big impression on me at that time and i guess i just had to let it out :P oh, and btw, that machine is still up & running as far as i know. Oh, and also, at that time i was also thinking... "no wonder that this previous company went bankrupt, they must have paid a whole lot for something that they probably didn't really need... i mean.. such a machine in the office of a small supermarket...")

Aside from that, i think that Apple is using cheaper parts in their machines in the last couple of years. That's probably the reason that the iBooks are so cheap. The Powerbooks are more expensive, but i believe that they're also using higher quality parts in those. In any case, the iBook is good enough for me.... allthough, if i ever buy a new laptop, i might be tempted to go for a Powerbook :P

Another reason that i wanted to go the Apple route, is that Mac OS X looked like a nice OS, an OS i could live with, if i didn't get Linux to run well on it. But like KruzeS already said, it's almost like it was made to run linux, i experienced few problems, everything almost worked out of the box, and i mean things like changing cpu speed, sleep,... well, just about everything. I think there's still some trouble to go through if you want to use both the external vga and your screen, and although there is a binary-only modem-driver available, i didn't get it to work on my laptop. Anyways, this is not true in general for ppc. The ibook i have is one of the last G3 ibooks, so i guess that the same hardware was (mostly) already in use for some years, which makes the chances that it's supported higher of course. Another advantage with Apple computers is that developers have to focus only on a small set of different models. The same is true of course, if you buy an IBM Thinkpad, for example... if you buy a well-known (popular) model, then chances are a lot higher that it's gonna be well supported on linux.

So, i got a mac because at that time it was one of the most interesting options (since i didn't really care about x86 or ppc, but as being generally interested in computers, it's nice to have some experience on another platform too).

I have a friend who bought an Compaq laptop with an Athlon cpu in it, he bought it several months before me. Well... he had a lot of problems with it... it seems to overheat really fast and then it shuts itself down, which makes it very unstable, unless you just switch it on and then don't touch it. (btw, another advantage is that ppc-cpus produce less heat than x86-cpus, so i think that in general ppc-laptops run cooler than x86-laptops, and the ppc-cpus also consume less energy than the regular x86 ones) Also, his batteries didn't last very long. All in all, i think he just had bad luck with his laptop. I also had bad luck with my ibook, since i had to bring it back to Apple 4(!) times for having its logic board repaired. Now, the good thing is that Apple admitted that this kind of problem was a fabrication problem, and repaired this for free, even if your laptop was out of warranty (and guess what, mine was).
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have AMD64 as my primary desktop machine with Linux only. My girlfriend is working with MacOS at her university, but she loves Linux and also used my computer a lot. We wanted to have a mobile computer, too, so the best solution was to buy an iBook G4. This way my gf can have her video/graphics apps on it that she also uses at university, and for every day work we both have our loved Linux install on it. Also, the iBook was not very expensive, at least not more expensive than comparable x86 hardware. And for this price, you get a wonderful looking machine that doesn't use the fan at all (except during long compiles) and thus is virtually noiseless. Everything works as I expect it, and setting up Gentoo on PPC is really almost identically as when setting it up on x86/x86_64.

Tom
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2005 5:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With apple going x86 now I really don't see much of a future in ppc.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2005 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

<3 wrote:
With apple going x86 now I really don't see much of a future in ppc.

Agreed. The rabid mac fans are going nuts about this.. they've spent all this time trying to extoll the (fabricated) virtues of PPC over x86, and now Apple itself is proving them wrong.

But to directly address the question:
Quote:
Why GNU/Linux on ppc/ppc64 instead of x86/x86-64?

No good reason whatsoever, unless you think the Mac mini and Xbox 360 count.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 7:58 am    Post subject: Re: Why GNU/Linux on ppc/ppc64 instead of x86/x86-64? Reply with quote

<3 wrote:
I have been dying to ask this question for a while. Not that I am planning on buying any new computers, I am just curious.

Yes I do know that are other architectures out there like ia64, mips, arm etc and the same question could apply to those architectures, but for now I am only interested in the differences between GNU/Linux on ppc/ppc64 and x86/x86-64.


Easy answer,
- fight the monopoles, since the Desktop Market ist now (since apple moved to intel and i dropped apple ;) nearly completly in the hand of x86 with out competitor. (no in my eyes ther is no competition in between Intel and AMD since they both need to deliver x86 compatible things.) New paradigmas in buildiong CPUs cant be put in the market since everything would violate the (in my eyes unneccassary bullshit of ) compatibility (since there is no real "cpu" difference in most cases since using the compiler ...).
New technologys cant be invented, since in a monopolised market there is no room for innovation. AND monopoöl companies dont need to innovate and Intel and AMD show clearly that "new technology" is alwasys invented elswhere, impplemented elswhere and then maybe bought by them. (wich is supprising, since most of the money sits at x86 ...)
- development, look at IBM and the PPC, with a market share of maybe 5% they are capabale of building competetive CPUs compared to the x86 Moneydonkeys additionally IBM (and Mototola) are selling their CPUs with a comparable speed for much less, since they are less complex. But IBMs semiconductor part never makes a positive result so well see how long IBM will survive this.
-variability to many architectures died for worse ones. Look at the Alpha (at their development for the ev8) Intel and HP still have prpoblems getting out performance aut of ther itanium (but the itanium is maybe the only invention of Intel in the last 20 years). Or the MIPS cpus are vanished from, Desktop market, etc, etc, only PPC, SPARC and x86 are left (maybe itanium but this share is extremly small).
-flexibility many think a "new fast cpu" can help solve a problem as good as another. Depending on what you need to do there are differences bigger than a factor of 2 you can gain or loose with an architecture.
- power consumtion, real mness, no architetcure is worse then x86 ...

so for me its more "ideologic" than technical, since im more interested in the development of the field as in one cpu line, but it seems that Marketing is developing the development at the moment :(
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