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iBook boots Linux

Hemos posted more than 14 years ago | from the bring-another-machine-into-the-fold dept.

Apple 181

robat writes " You might be interested in the fact that an iBook booted Linux. " Another machine brought into the fold. The first set of patches with a binary kernel are online already.

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Re:g4/altivec (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1590455)

How much code that would benefit from a vector processor is there in an OS anyway?

Wasn't AltiVec supposed to include instructions that were useful to servers, like networking stuff? I remember this being one of the design goals anyway.

iBook Site I Found (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1590456)

I searched for "iBook" and found this site [ibookzone.com] that appears to be the best site for iBooks on the web. iBook Zone is what it's called.

Thats Spiffy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1590458)

Now all they need is Accelerated X and it would be a sweet linux laptop

Of course they run Photoshop and Quark you idiot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1590461)

Hey folks, don't feed the troll. Even if the troll can't even WRITE an effective troll message.

It's about as stupid as someone trolling: "Linux doesn't run any programs or run on Intel based computers."

Everyone knows iMacs run Photoshop and Quark, so therefore your troll is stupid.

But I like what that other guy called you, a Beavis. That pretty much fits.

Re:Oh gee, what a suprise. People bashing Apple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1590462)

Yep, /. is filled with people who have nothing better to than whack off while posting about how much they hate _____ (Fill this space with either: Microsoft, Apple, or anything related to computers that doesnt have an obese penguin for a mascot)

Re:Thats Spiffy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1590463)

Yeah, I really like Accelerated-X! I wouldn't use any other X Server.

Re:Mac toilets... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1590464)

Damn straight, down with pathetic shit that's only justification is open source. It belongs in the crapper with other comp shit that justified itself by being against microsoft (ie. Apple, or Netscape, good god Netscape was hilarious)

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1590471)

First off, it is, second off, its something to do. Its fun. Install Win on Legos and I'll convert.

Got one on loan and it can run any x86 OS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1590472)

First off, I actually got my hands on an iBook [apple.com] on a loan from Apple at my company. It does look like a Japanese High-Tech Toliet especially the blueberry one. Its wild and funky on the outside and built like a tank on the inside. Its heavy (6.6 pounds) and rugged (kevlar-like) -- perfect for hardcore travel. I used it for two weekends before I gave it back to my editor. It really turned heads in NYC when I walked the streets with it using its built in handle. Its a Notebook Super Model -- my curvy Apple PowerBook G3/400 [apple.com] is plain in comparison. A very cool machine w/ many cool hardware features like breathing and its yo-yo style power "brick"! My only gripe was the 32 meg of RAM. It really needs to be 64 meg. We are supposed to get an AirPort on loan soon w/ additional RAM. Wireless IRC sessions on the balacony at work while catching the nic buzz a commeth!

Not only can/will the iBook be able to boot a native flavor of PPC Linux, but it is currently able to boot DOS & Windows plus nearly any x86 distro of Linux. There are many pentium emulator proggies out there for the MacOS which the iBook runs it's full form. Ranging in price from $25 to $189. With the Connectix Virtual PC [connectix.com] product, I was able to boot Red Hat Linux 6.0 after a net install on my PowerBook G3/400 (World's Fastest Consumer Notebook). I even made a dual boot Windows 98 and RH 6.0 hard drive image.

Now if Mac hardware sucks according to many x86-/.-ers and Mac hardware can emulate x86 hardware then it is logical to say, "Macs just suck less than what you have."

I like my blinders on and my source closed. - Some guy named Bill

Umm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1590473)

If you want to know about how an OS interfaces with apple hardware, go download Darwin. Everything you could possibly want to know about this is in there, it's an open source example of how to write an OS for the mac. What more do you want?

Re:No, its how R&D works. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1590474)

And the "most creative" people are out on the sidewalk selling their sand candles.

Come on, now. Let's get beyond the hippy myths.

Re:Fucking linux people, stop wasting your time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1590478)

Amazing. How is it that this didn't get moderated down to -1? Or at least marked as Troll? Maybe it's because everybody else found his comment just as funny as I did. Though that would be scary.

Re:Airport, and other trade secrets posted. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1590479)

*Insert Laugh here* They have, have they? Then what was with the whole PPCLinux G3 controversy a number of months back? Apple WASN'T giving up specs at that point and the Linux guru's were polite enough not to reverse engineer..

If specs were everywhere, I have doubts we'd be this excited. It sounds like the guy is honestly borderline reverse engineering, just playing with values.

Re:iBook Site I Found (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1590480)

Would you happen to be Doug B. Landry, admin of said site? Really, self-promotion is quite tiring. You'd have better luck than "I searched for Ibook" which sounds like a spammed porn ad... "Check this site out!" You'd have marginally better luck doing something like: "Hi, My Name is Doug Doug, I run ibookzone.com. I'm thrilled to see that Linux users have the ability to use another fine piece of quality Apple hardware. For iBook information, check my site!" -me

Re:Can you give me what is cheaper and outperforms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1590481)

Tons and tons and tons of 'x86 hardware comes to mind to me.

Re:Seriously hoping they perfect the installations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1590482)

Here's my take on the situation: I like G3's. I like G4's.

I disliked Apple's marketing of the G3's. They thought they were being funny by flaming Intel and claiming a 233 MHz G3 beat a PII 400 (ok, I'm sure. Now load Q3Test and say that..).

I disliked Apple's crap surrounding the G4. They shafted Mac owners who should have been able to upgrade a G3 to a G4. Through a crippling OS upgade no less.

I dislike Apple's attitude to USB, like they invented it or something.. Intel and a bunch of others invented it. Apple licensed it. It's been on Intel motherboards since the 430HX chipset. That's like Pentium 133 era, a few years ago. At the same time, I commend Apple for adopting a good standard and pushing it hard into the market (and one kick in the teeth to MS for not having decent USB support before Win98 when USB was around in '97)

I like the G3 boxes, and the G4 ones. They look pretty sweet, they're loaded with nice hardware (Firewire, Rage128's, and now, AGP (Gimmie a G400 with that, baby!)). The price isn't right for my tastes though, and MacOS is not my bag baby. BeOS, please! Linux, please! But Apple wants to hang onto it's hardware, through ROMs and what not..

So really, I guess I'm saying I like Motorola for their CPU's and I'm glad that third party G3/4 systems are finally a reality. If only Be hadn't put all it's effort into the x86 platform =( Macs are good systems, but in the end, Apple is a company that has to fight MS, and through fighting fire with fire, are acting like MS (proprietary).

- Not an AC, but this is offtopic/mild flamebait.

Linux iBook boots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1590485)

It's great to make a fashion statement, but it would look just a bit garish. Imagine the nasty contrast Tux would make on top of yellow and white vinyl footwear...

Re:I just don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1590487)

I actually had nothing against the iBook when it was announced, and I tend to dislike Macs. The problems came when I saw it in person... the cuteness factor, or whatever it was that got me, faded.

It's a hoss, guys. It might have a great CPU, overall decent specs, but DAMN is it big!

The Powerbooks, on the other hand, now that can be taken seriously in almost any setting. Simple black color scheme, and a much slimmer design. It's a Mac that I'd be willing to carry around. The iBook just feels wrong to me. Maybe the Sony VAIOs and other slimlines spoiled me.

Doug! Buddy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1590488)

Long time no see, pal... remember me, floppy from freshman year, we did bong hits together during logic 101. So anyway, good to hear you've jumped into the erush and you're making a buck with this ibook thingy. And I just luv the guerilla marketing!

Re:Thats Spiffy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1590491)

Its a Rage Mobility, its not derived from the 128 but the Rage Pro. Besides, Accelerated X rocks your world.

Boots use iBook Linux... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1590492)

but they can't run Photoshop or Quark, so they're just as useless as iMacs.

Can you give me what is cheaper and outperforms? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1590493)

Sorry, I guess I'm a little new. could you direct me to the computer that for less than $1600 has all the features of an iBook (active matrix display, G3 equivilent processor, built in USB and ethernet ports) yet can outperform it and runs a major OS (not something like WinCE)? Thanks for the info...

Re:Boots use iBook Linux... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1590495)

Gee, I run Photoshop and Quark on my iMac all the time...

And of course, the iBook can also. Can run all the Mac programs.

But you knew this because you're just a FUD spewing little idiot Beavis that just sits around and trolls...

Re:Thats Spiffy (0)

C.Lee (1190) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590496)

>Yeah, I really like Accelerated-X! I wouldn't use any other X Server.
Who really cares one way or the other?

Re:No, its how R&D works. (0)

sinan (10073) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590497)

I don't think much of R&D. R&D is basically creativity by edict. Thus those who do R&D tend not to be the best and the brightest, but the best salesmen/politicians. FWIW.

Sinan

I just don't get it (0)

Upsilon (21920) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590498)

I don't mean to sound like a troll or something, but I just don't get what is so great about an iBook. It's an overpriced, underperforming, oversized, heavy laptop that looks like a toilet seat. Why would I WANT to run Linux on this thing? Why would anyone (unless of course they're a mac fan, in which case everything Apple does is by definition good)? Of course, I never got the iMac either. I guess I can see non-techies being attracted to its styling or something (although personally I think it's incredibly ugly), but these don't strike me as the type of people who would run Linux.

Can somebody explain to me why these things are so damn popular?

Linux on iBook (0)

thopkins (70408) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590499)

I have nothing against iBooks but I would think that the kind of person who wants to run linux isn't the kind who buys one of these portable toilet seats.

Re:iBooks SUCK (0)

JoeDecker (102304) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590500)

They are ugly but you didnt need to say they suck that much dude

Re:I just don't get it (0)

ActionListener (104252) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590501)

>>First of all, it's very stylish.

Yes, it looks like a very stylish purse! I'll stick with my ThinkPad. However, this may be just what we need to increase the number of female Linux users... All Apple needs to do now is add a small compartment to store your personal belongings.

Re:598 BogoMIPS on an iBook... (1)

sterwill (972) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590508)

400 MHz Alpha? They don't make them that slow anymore. :) One of these days I'll break down and buy a 666 MHz 21164, or whichever 21264 I can afford.

--

Re:Well (1)

sterwill (972) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590509)

Why would anyone need a floppy drive these days? I'm typing this on a 333 MHz PowerBook running Debian Potato. I haven't used floppies since the early 90's except on the occasional crufty old ia-32 architecture machine I need to use. I can't think of a real architecture that requires a slow and unreliable 1.44 MB drive these days.

--

Re:598 BogoMIPS on an iBook... (1)

sterwill (972) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590510)

BogoMIPS are bogus, hence the name. They don't scale across architectures and aren't a reliable indication of a processor's speed. The reason that your readings differ by 200 is completely unrelated to how well your favorite application will run or how fast a kernel will compile.

--

Apple design portable design innovations (1)

Deviant (1501) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590511)

I am writing this on a Dell Inspiron 3500 (Which does run linux quite well actually) and I really really love this machine. There are three things that annoy me about it, however. First, it gets awfully hot, second it chugs batteries, and third I have to plug in a network cord or a phone cord to use the internet at home (which arn't in the places I would prefer to use it). These are pretty standard gripes with all of the IBM Compatible laptops out there. Leave it to Apple to actually do something about these obvious and common complaints in all of their laptops. I owe much of how this beautifal Inspiron laptop looks and feels to Apple, believe it or not. If you look at the older PC laptops they ended at the keyboard, and the ergonomics and feel of them were terrible. If I am not mistaken the Powerbook was one of the first black laptops, and one of the first to sport an extended wristwrest with a touchpad and a great keyboard. I am a PC person, and I am a linux person, but I would buy a Powerbook. They are pretty nice looking, pretty fast, and they have great battery power. I know several people that feel the same way. The Powerbook appeals to me and my friends because that is it's target market, techies. It even fixes my first two gripes. This is owed to the very low power and cool running PowerPC chip. The iBook appeals to the average home buyer, not be a techie. So the way that I see it apple has their bases covered. If you are a techie you have the Powerbook, if you are not you have the bit more trendy less substance iBook. The only thing about the iBook besides the less than appealing to me design is the AirPort. This is something that anybody with a laptop has wanted, and once again it takes Apple to release such an innovation. I may not be a Mac person, but I do recognize that many developments on my laptop and PC have come from Apple, and I surely don't want them to stop innovating and go out of buisiness. Kudos to Apple, you have a sound product line and you have really come up with some great innocations, keep up the good work. Maybe we will see the PC world do what it does best and copy your AirPort and it'll be in my laptop soon :) I really do wish they would be more open with their specs and such so that those of us who would like to run linux on their machines can do so. That is what Apple's problem has always been, trying to keep all of these innvoations and products soo closed that it actually turns companies and people away from buying and developing for them. If I could buy an AirPort for my machine, I would. I would pay the hommage to Apple for coming up with it. It would catch on like wildfire, you would see Campuses completely covered by Airport so you could you a laptop anywhere, it would be a new standard lead by Apple. Sure, those without iBooks would have to stick an antenna on their laptop, but I am sure one could be designed to attatch most laptops. Hell, the iBook people would have the advantage of not having the funny antennas on the back of their laptops. But they won't, they will make you buy and iBook for it, and it will not gain acceptance. Somebody in the PC community will steal the idea, come up with an "open standard" for it, and make PC and Mac versions of it, that will cover college campuses and offices, and it will userp the glory from Apple. And I'll use it because Apple was too stuborn to open their technology.

Re:Apple design portable design innovations (1)

Deviant (1501) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590512)

I am sorry about the lack of paragraphs, I did have them when I wrote that one in the word processor, and they disapeared in the cut and paste... I won't let it happen again :)

Re:So why is it... (1)

Rendus (2430) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590515)

Has anyone from the OpenBSD crowd submitted a story about it? Rob and gang can't post news they don't know about.

SheepShaver (1)

Adnans (2862) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590522)


SheepShaver [sheepshaver.com] will take care of that for you.

Apple *is* a software company (1)

Ian Schmidt (6899) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590530)

The reason the Macs sold has *always* been because of MacOS (and certain "killer apps" that only exist on it or are radically better than the halfassed Windows ports, like DeBabelizer).

This is why Apple could have been Microsoft had "Star Trek" (the ill-fated x86 port of MacOS) been released prior to Windows 3.0. The Mac hardware has indeed often been spiffy, but it's also often had fiascos (the Mac IIci's unified memory slowing it to a crawl vs. the otherwise similar IIcx, f'rinstance). And their major hardware innovations have generally been asthetic rather than technical (the iMac, the curvy-tower PowerMacs, the G3/G4 slide-open side panel). Even their apparent technical achievements have frequently actually been cribbed (the Quadra AVs? 030/040 plus a DSP? Sounds a lot like NeXTStations.)

As far as the clone thing, yes all their revenues come from selling hardware. But again, why does that hardware sell? Becuase it's the only place you can get MacOS. Mac hardware would be a nonfactor if MacOS were on more platforms.

-Ian, another occasionally bitter former IIgs user
(listen to IIgs music on Win32, Linux, and FreeBSD with MTP/MTPlug at http://home.twcf.rr.com/ischmidt/warez.html)

So why is it... (1)

perry (7046) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590531)

Why is it that when people get Linux running on new Mac hardware, the /. crew immediately accepts the news story, but when NetBSD does so (we run on virtually every Mac around) the announcement is never considered newsworthy?

John Carmack and his iBook (1)

HomerJ (11142) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590534)

I'm not going to paste the whole thing, but an interesting read is John Carmacks's .plan file where he bought an iBook

Give ya'll a reason to use that "finger" command =)

Re:Questions (1)

BJH (11355) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590535)

PMU = Power Management Unit

FCR = FIFO Control Register

LinuxPPC will not create a linux graphics market:) (1)

threeJane[ltk] (13225) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590536)

Just because you can run Linux on a hot mac doesn't mean that Design/Graphics professionals will move there.

There are reasons too numerous to mention, but it has to do with many tiny and tightly integrated applications that only really run correctly under macOS. It'd take years.

Also fonts -- there are essentially no designer type foundaries (other than Adobe and other mega-foundaries) that produce fonts for *nix systems (even windows is incredibly behind)

The Design market isn't going anywhere methinks...

cheers,
.3jane[ltk]

g4/altivec (1)

mcc (14761) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590537)

someone tell linuxppc.org..
they don't seem to have heard about it yet.
http://www.linuxppc.org/hardware/

now we just have to wait for G4 support to show up.
question: there isn't an altivec-enhanced gcc out yet, is there? why not? isn't apple using egcs for mac os x? won't they have to release the version they're using to the public? is there even an altivec-enhanced version of mac os x server out yet?

mac_on_linux (free sheepshaver alternative) (1)

mcc (14761) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590538)

this is just the standard comment that i feel compelled to post whenever anyone brings up sheepshaver: you might want to consider checking out the mac_on_linux project instead. It's free and open, and unlike sheepshaver (which is still in beta) it has actually been released.
http://www.ibrium.se/linux/mac_on_linux.html

it's hardware support isn't that wide-ranging though, i don't think. i doubt it will work on an ibook at this moment, although they'd probably be happy if someone would make it work on an ibook (hint, hint).

Re:g4/altivec (1)

mcc (14761) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590539)

well, first off, since egcs is technically part of mac os x server, the most important thing an altivec-enhanced mac os x server release would imply is that it came with an altivec-enhanced egcs.

Either way Apple has been working to use altivec in the OS whenever possible, particularly in system API calls and things like graphics routines. Copybits is AV-enhanced in OS 9, for the only specific example i've heard yet outside of quicktime. the purpose is to make it so that even if you don't enhance for altivec you wind up getting some small altivec boost through the system so that altivec doesn't turn into a big joke the way MMX did.
I dunno what besides Quicktime and display routines would make use of altivec, but then again i've never written, say, a preemptive multitasking thread manager, so i wouldn't be very knowledgable about whether such things involve vector math.

but like i said the main point of asking about an altivec-enhanced mac os x server was not anything involving actual mac os x server itself, but that they would almost certainly wind up making whatever egcs compiler they used to build it publicly available. whatever

-mcc-baka
http://home.earthlink.net/~mcclure111/prog.html (copybits is your friend)

Airport, and other trade secrets posted. (1)

Lycestra (16353) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590541)

Apple has release ALL the specs of their computers. They haven't really said anything about it, but they exist in PDF format downloadable from their site, and they have them all from the original apple portable, to the duo, to the Yosemite, to the ibook. And in the iBook specs, they explain the interface to it is a standard ATA bus. It was stated that ATA is similar to ISA on the linuxppc devel list. Given that, its only a matter of time. Its prolly nothing more than a ethernet card.

Note: it has been written in G4 manuals there is a max 3 IDE drives, and to never ever have one as the secondary slave. this is why.

im sure we can think of some other implications, can't we.

I don't remember where these specs are, but i saw them on O'Grady's powerpage, and on the linuxppc devel list. anyone interested in knowing the archetecure of any american mac system (i didn't see the duo290 from japan), go right ahead.

Airport, and other trade secrets posted. (1)

Lycestra (16353) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590542)

Apple has release ALL the specs of their computers. They haven't really said anything about it, but they exist in PDF format downloadable from their site, and they have them all from the original apple portable, to the duo, to the Yosemite, to the ibook. And in the iBook specs, they explain the interface to it is a standard ATA bus. It was stated that ATA is similar to ISA on the linuxppc devel list. Given that, its only a matter of time. Its prolly nothing more than a ethernet card.



Note: it has been written in G4 manuals there is a max 3 IDE drives, and to never ever have one as the secondary slave. this is why.



im sure we can think of some other implications, can't we.



I don't remember where these specs are, but i saw them on O'Grady's powerpage, and on the linuxppc devel list. anyone interested in knowing the archetecure of any american mac system (i didn't see the duo290 from japan), go right ahead.



not just ibook, but UMA (1)

Lycestra (16353) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590543)

This is a huge achievment in that the iBook is of the new UMA board design, which is what the new iMac and i think the sawtooth (G4 450+) systems also use. The mother boards are all the same, they just change the daugher boards. Apple shelled out a lot for higher integration, so mass production of these works better.

The original iMacs were packed, the new ones are extremely open inside. the tranparent plastic and lack of fan is thus appropriate.

This is a change from the past systems. The difference between the black and bronze keyboard pbG3 systems was enough to annoy a few. like the backlight controls were changed. that made it hard to work with in the begining. With the new Unified Motherboard Archetecure (i think thats what it means), it is no longer a question of getting it booting, but a question of supporting the daughter boards. Since the iBook is booting (mostly), this means that it will be that much easier to make the new iMacs boot.

long live PowerPC.

Re:Well (1)

Tarnar (20289) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590548)

One word: Bootability.

Sure, CD's boot, but it's not an easy to task to make yourself a boot disk (read: rescue disk, on hand for the day you fsck your kernel). Which is easier to make? A CD-R that's bootable, or a floppy disk? They make a nice fallback =)

Mostly because there are more systems with floppy drives that can make boot disks then there are systems with CD-R's that can make bootable CD's.

Re:598 BogoMIPS on an iBook... (1)

cruelworld (21187) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590550)

I shudder to think what Apple's Marketing department would do with those numbers.

"Don't take our word for how fast an iBook is. The new 300MHz G3 iBook's are over 66% faster than a 400MHz Alpha using Linus Torvalds own benchmarks!"

See, if Apple weren't so much fun to abuse no one would do it.

Re:Why I bought an iBook. (1)

guacamole (24270) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590551)

4) Price. I picked up an iBook and a 128 MB memory module for less than $2000. A comparable x86 laptop would cost much more. And since I knew I'd run Linux on it, no matter whether I bought Apple or x86, the cheaper one wins.

You can pick a decent Toshiba laptop for ~1500 plus add amore RAM and PCMCIA card. that'll cost you less than $2000.

And yes they run linux very well. iBook does not really run linux, some kernel hacker got kernel to boot on it, but there is no a working Linux distribution that'd run on it ..

Re:g4/altivec (1)

gutter (27465) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590554)

yes - they are using egcs. Yes, their source will be released. In fact, they are working with the egcs team to integrate the numerous bug fixes and improvements they have made into the main source code, and I think altivec support is one of those improvements. So everyone shall benefit. Go Open Source!

Re:598 BogoMIPS on an iBook... (1)

msaavedra (29918) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590556)

I think you have to take BogoMIPS with a grain of salt. dmesg reports 448.92 BogoMips for my old AMD K6-233. I seriously doubt it's even close to as fast as that PII-400 or a 400 MHz Alpha.

No, its how R&D works. (1)

dmacon (30932) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590557)

If open source worked like this, it would be dead.

Re:Thats Spiffy (1)

qqaz (33114) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590558)

The Rage Pro runs the XFree86 Mach64 server, IIRC.

Hmmm . . . airport?? (1)

proboy256 (34710) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590560)

Now if they can get the airport business to work that will be incredible. I'm already drooling for the day when I can carry my G4 Powerbook to the breakfast table to the couch to my bedroom while surfing the web at LAN speed.

Honestly though, other than as a pure toy, and interesting application, I don't see that this will have too much of an impact on Linux. Now if a G4 with the Apple Cinema Display on it was working in Linux, we'd really be able to break into some new markets (like graphics). Maybe support for tablets.

Joey

Re:Seriously hoping they perfect the installations (1)

Afterimage (44695) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590565)

Amen.
Hopefully, the iBook boots consistantly. More mac support for Linux (and vice versa) is good for both platforms, IMHO. Course, I think the iBook would look damn cool in that new iMac graphite.

Congrats to the experimenter for proof of concept. Hopefully the modem issue will be easier to work around than WinModems appear to be on Wintel designed laptops.

Re:Linux on iBook (1)

TheHornedOne (50252) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590566)

You're wrong.. basically, what, if you can't sit around with the case open and have the processor cooled with yak fat, it's not the type of computer to run Linux on? The first thing I thought when I saw those is.. "hmm, that's a pretty decent price for a ruggedized notebook with a full-size keyboard. Let's wait to see if LinuxPPC will run on it..."

Don't forget the AirPort card! (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590567)

Think about iBooks sharing CPU cycles anytime they get close enough to make an RF connection.

-jcr

I want an iBook (1)

mister-e-dog (65996) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590571)

I want an iBook, I want it in the new graphite colour like the new G4s, and I want running Linux. I guess I,ll have to wait a while, hmmmph, I don't have the money now anyway. It's not overpriced althiough it could use a better keyboard, IBM portables stilll have the best.

Questions (1)

CmdData (68013) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590572)

I have two questions. 1. What is a FCR and 2. What is a MPU?

Re:Questions (1)

CmdData (68013) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590573)

I mean PMU?

Re:Mac toilets... (1)

CmdData (68013) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590574)

Post your stinck somewere else.

Re:what's tablets (1)

punkass (70637) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590576)

Unless I'm mistaken, I believe he's talking about the tablets used in high-end graphics, something the size of a mouse pad that responds to the pressure of a wand or pen, used for data input (re: drawing). But I could be wrong...

Re:Wow. (1)

cheese63 (74259) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590578)

regardless of what it looks like, it's a computer. who really cares what the fuck their computer "looks" like? (aside from people who do, that is)

what's tablets (1)

cheese63 (74259) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590579)

sorry for my ignorance

Re:I just don't get it (1)

cheese63 (74259) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590580)

Not to mention the hassle of dealing with Winwhatever or GeekOS-es like Linux.
(hangs head in shame)

Mini-supercomputer (1)

kafka (79081) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590583)

Maybe someone can make a Beowulf cluster of them :-)

No, it IS how open source works (1)

Mox-Dragon (87528) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590586)

Actually, it is how open source is. You think linux was designed by an R&D team? Open source works because the pepole who write for it are, for the most part, devoted hackers who like coding and making things work.

Re:g4/altivec (1)

Keith Higgins (87533) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590587)

is there even an altivec-enhanced version of mac os x server out yet?

There is a persistent story that MacOSX Server 1.2 will have G4 support (hence Altivec? - one would assume it means that - ), and that 1.2 will be released in November (this year).

Re:Questions (1)

rdarden (87568) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590588)

You corrected yourself to "What is a PMU?"
If I'm not mistaken, it's Power Management Unit, in charge of making sure you don't eat up your batteries too quickly and making things like sleep mode work. It has apparently changed a lot with the UMA (unified motherboard architecture) and other aspects of the iBook.

I don't have too much experience with PC laptops, but my PowerBook's power management kicks ass compared to the PCs I have used. I just bought a second battery and it's great going all day without the power adaptor.

Hope this helped.
Randy

Slashdot spell checker? (1)

cheese_wallet (88279) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590589)

Perhaps Slashdot should have a spelling checker/suggestor in addition to the preview button? I know I would like to see that.

--Cheese

Re:sigh (1)

nowindowz (92284) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590591)

I argee you that this anti-MAC stuff is stupid. IF you look at it from a objective standpoint the Mac's hardware has been Kicking the PC's ass ever sence the the Mac was released. MY grips about Apple is that they are to closed(this is what has hert them so bad. If Apple would open up and quit worring about people ripping off there designs we would all be useing Mac's instead of PC's MY other grip is that I very strongly dislike there OS (but it is a personal opintion) I plan on buying a G4 laptop when they become avaible of cource I will be running linux on it :) I do think this is a very inportant achivment, and it would be alot easier if Apple open up and give us a break. It would probly help there marketshare with out the use of new and odd color combos (Expect the Gray color of the new G4's I like those colors)

Re:I just don't get it (1)

Mister Attack (95347) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590592)

It's an overpriced, underperforming, oversized, heavy laptop...

Its price/performance ratio is actually quite good for a laptop. Plus, the display is great. And don't forget AirPort.

Of course, I never got the iMac either. I guess I can see non-techies being attracted to its styling or something

I guess Apple can see the same thing, with the additional insight that most home computer users are not techies. Hence, many of them _are_ attracted to the styling of the iMac.

And even non-techies (such as the 2000 or so Dartmouth students with iMacs) occasionally take a CS course and realize that yes, Linux is an incredibly powerful OS for the people who aren't intimidated by command lines. What I don't get is why there are always several posts which work from the assumption that a) everybody WANTS to run Linux and b) everyone in the world is turned off by the colors of the iMac. I personally don't like the colorful computers. The new graphite iMac, on the other hand, is definitely cool...

Re:Boots use iBook Linux... (1)

arcum (96149) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590593)

If they are running the Mac OS, yes, they can run
Photoshop, and most other software a Mac can run.

If, OTOH, it is running Linux, like this one is, you are far more likely to be running GIMP on it...

Yes, you just don't get it. (1)

magicpaul (98982) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590595)

You fail, Upsilon, to inform yourself about the product you're criticizing.

The iBook costs $1,600, contains a 300-MHz PowerPC G3 processor with 512K backside level 2 cache, 32 MB RAM (with support for up to 160MB), 3.2GB IDE hard drive, 24x-speed CD-ROM drive, a 12-Mbps Universal Serial Bus (USB) port, 10/100BASE-T Ethernet, 56K modem (V.90) with FAXstf, 16-bit stereo sound output, 4MB of SDRAM video memory (2X AGP-ATI RAGE Mobility graphics controller), 12.1-inch TFT SVGA active-matrix display (640x480 and 800x600 with millions of colors), 6-hour battery life (ENERGY STAR compliant), and full-size keyboard (76 keys).

The iBook can be configured with a 11-MBPS Air Port wireless networking card (IEE 802.11 DSSS compliant).

I would not call the iBook oversized, but you can judge for yourself: width 13.5 inches (34.4 cm), height 11.6 inches (29.4 cm), average depth: 1.8 inches (4.6 cm), from 1.24 inches (3.15 cm) to 2.06 inches (5.2 cm) Weight: 6.6 pounds (3.0 kg)

For more info check out http://www.apple.com/ibook/ [apple.com] .

Re:cool (1)

magicpaul (98982) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590596)

Please talk about things you understand. The iBook is a very inexpensive portable computer containing a 300 MHz G3 chip. It is an ideal Linux solution.

Well (1)

jdube (101986) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590598)

I guess the only question left is... "why?" I'm not bashing macs here, they're fine, but... doesn't this thing have no floppy drive? Why not just get a notebook / laptop that does? What is the advantage to using Linux on an iBook than, say, an IBM laptop / notebook? Maybe I'm missing the point here, and if so don't smash me in moderation points just tell me.


If you think you know what the hell is really going on you're probably full of shit.

Re:cool (1)

JoeDecker (102304) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590599)

I dont know about cool...I mean...if you want a Linux Notebook why spend all that money on the iWhack?

My friend really needed this (1)

asink (106056) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590603)

Now all I have to do is convince Russ, a mac fiend to partition out some space. But perhaps I can find other people with these to put it on their computer, like my mentee :) But Linux can find it's way into the discussion again in the Computer Repair Lab(macos doesn't boot? Try booting off that Linux CD)
But I'd like to see the performance difference up and close(and wonder where the LinuxPPC version uses the Apple BIOS)... But nonetheless, yet more options for those poor new frosh people(I'm in NE)

Wow. (2)

Jerenk (10262) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590609)

One word: wow.

A toilet that runs Linux! And, didn't someone say that Linux doesn't work well in embedded systems? This'll show them.

Justin

598 BogoMIPS on an iBook... (2)

InfiniterX (12749) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590610)

I tried using the development kernel on my iBook, and it works surprisingly great, despite the missing network/modem support, etc. Linux flies on it, although that might have to do with how I have 160 MB of memory on it.

Here's the thing that really freaked me out though, when I booted it up: the dmesg output reports 598.02 BogoMIPS. My Dell PII-400 only reports around 390, and I'm getting 598 from a 300 MHz Mac. Even the 400 MHz Alphas I use only report 360.

I have two speculations - either a) the iBook is a serious powerhouse crippled by a bloated MacOS, or b) the G3 has some optimization in it that throws off the numbers.

Can anyone shed some light on this? I know BogoMIPS isn't an absolute indicator of performance, but how does one account for a 200 point difference from a machine 100 MHz slower? If the G3'S really are this fast, I will never buy another x86 box again.

Why I bought an iBook. (2)

InfiniterX (12749) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590611)

I better put on the asbestos suit for this one.

Since everyone out here is bashing the iBook, let me play devils advocate and say why I bought one.

1) Everything is integrated. I have no need to go out and buy PC cards for modem & network, it's all built into the same box at one price.

2) AirPort. You gotta love the AirPort. CompUSA was giving away free AirPort cards w/ iBooks the weekend I bought mine, so that made it even better.

3) Strength. As a college student, I already have enough junk to carry around with me, much less a bulky laptop bag. Since the iBook's case is so strong, I can just shove it in my backpack along with my books and not worry about it getting hurt. Plus, since the battery lasts so long, I don't even need to carry around a power adapter.

4) Price. I picked up an iBook and a 128 MB memory module for less than $2000. A comparable x86 laptop would cost much more. And since I knew I'd run Linux on it, no matter whether I bought Apple or x86, the cheaper one wins.

5) Design. This really is a great-looking notebook (at least the blue one is... the orange is pretty ugly).

6) No M$ tax. I refuse to give Microsoft any more money, and if I buy an x86 machine from a reputable manufacturer, I'd probably end up buying a machine subject to the M$ tax.

I bought a Dell Inspiron 7000 over the summer and sent it back a week later. It weighed 10 pounds, but felt flimsy and fragile. The iBook is nothing like that - it feels like a tank.

Yellow Dog Linux runs great on it despite the lack of support for a lot of the hardware. I can't wait until it's fully supported...

Re:No, it IS how open source works (2)

Lycestra (16353) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590612)

this phenomena is not exclusive to Open Source. The thing is Mr. Herrenschmidt didn't just buy an iBook and think "could i get it to work", but rather, LinuxPPC GAVE him one. Why? He is the primary author and maintainer of BootX, which made booting Linux on macs with bad OF possible, like powerbooks. He has also worked very hard on the PMU drivers, making it possible to sleep the WallStreets (pbG3), of which i have one and am greatful.

This is a tribute to the productivity of the Linux initiative, i think, and not purely an open source thing.

Re:Consistency: Where's The Specs? (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590616)

What I am interested in knowing is why anyone who had Mac OS X would have any interest in running Linux anyway. Soon after release people will start porting the open source stuff to Mac OS X, plus they will have Carbon plus all the legacy Mac apps. What does Linux offer? Just the open source stuff. The cost of OS X will be irrelevent because of the bundling that will go on.

So just what is the benefit of running Linux on a Mac after Mac OS X is out, anyway???

The thought that Apple's software interests(OSX) are causing specifications to be hidden about their hardware products(mmm...G4...) is mildly disturbing, to say the least.

What a load of crap. Just because Apple hasn't released the Technotes on the G4 hardware yet doesn't mean they won't. Nor does it have anything to do with OS X - all the G3s, iMac and iBook tech notes are out - these machines are just as likely to run OS X as the G4s.

Complaining about Microsoft becomes much more disturbing when you realize what any number of other software companies would do in their place...

What pipe were you smoking when you came up with that one? Apple is not a software company. Apple is in fact, a hardware company. If they were a software company they wouldn't care about clones and in fact would encourage them. But they can't because almost all their revenues and profits come from selling - hardware.

Re:g4/altivec (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590617)

is there even an altivec-enhanced version of mac os x server out yet?

I am not sure what an Altivec enhanced version of Mac OS X server would do any differently than a non-enhaced version.

How much code that would benefit from a vector processor is there in an OS anyway?

there isn't an altivec-enhanced gcc out yet, is there? why not? isn't apple using egcs for mac os x?

See my first comment.

now we just have to wait for G4 support to show up

There were a number of posting here a couple of weeks ago indicating that Linux was up and running on the G4 Macs.

As far as applications that take advantage of Altivec, (Photoshop, Halo, Quicktime) I imagine that they are being compiled with either a Motorola or Metrowerks compiler. If gcc/egcs support for Alitvec is going to come from someplace I imagine it would come from Motorola rather than Apple. AFAIK Apple hasn't done any compiler writing in a while.

It would be interesting to ask Moto if they have a gcc/ecgs compiler that supports Alitvec.

..lookin' forward to getting a mac. (2)

Wah (30840) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590618)

I just got a raise so I'm looking at picking one up for Christmas (g4 maybe). I haven't used a mac for a long time, but they're pretty. I don't use MacOs much (slight support), but it's easy and pretty. Just another tool for different work.

Re:Thats Spiffy (2)

Foogle (35117) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590619)

Doesn't the iBook use the ATI128 chipset? I thought that was supported by Linux?

-----------

"You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

Apple is helping! (2)

tm2b (42473) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590620)

Ac cording to Hason Haas of LinuxPPC [deja.com] Apple was helping the Linux PowerPC folks on getting Linux working.

Please don't automatically assume that Apple is on the wrong side on this.

Re:sigh (2)

jamesoutlaw (87295) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590622)

I agree with you, itachi.

And on another note... The speed and useability of MacOS and Wintel systems are pretty comparable now, each platform had advantages over the other but for a lot of people, either platform would be suitable. Because of that, there has to be some other way for companies to distinguish their products from others... and the nest way to do that is through the style. I consider myself to be a pretty technical guy but I also appreciate stylish-looking computers. I get sick of sitting at my desk and staring at a beige box that looks like every other computer ever made.

I'll confess to being a Mac Guy... but I have owned a couple of PCs in the past. Also, I have a 450 Mhx PIII from HP as well as an HP C3000 Workstation on my desk at the office. At home I've got a B&W G3 and a Wallstreet model PowerBook. The last PC i owned was a "home built" system with a cool-looking case and one of those Black & green Acer monitors- primarily becuase it was interesting to look at and caused people to comment when they saw it.

I'm glad that Apple has moved to these radical new machine designs.

Now, to comment on this thread, so that this comment will not be completely off-topic.... I think that the guy who got Linux to boot on an iBook should be commended. He took the time to work through all of the technical details and spent his time programming to solve a problem- and he got it to work.

Re:Airport, and other trade secrets posted. (2)

magicpaul (98982) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590623)

Apple has not released the specs for all their computers.

The G4 PowerMac specifications are conspicuously absent.

- Apple Hardware Developer Documentation [apple.com]

- Apple Spec Database [apple.com]

You can see for yourself. These are very good resources.

Re:g4/altivec (3)

Erich (151) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590625)

There is a large difference between what marketoids say things are for and what they're really designed for.

AltiVec helps a very few things. It ends up that a lot of the instructions are like a lot of other SIMD (Single Instruction Multiple Data) instrcutions that have abbreviations we know and love... MMX, 3DNow, SSE... as it tuns out, it can help some things, such as graphical processing, but isn't so useful for general-purpose stuff.

So, AltiVec might be able to improve a certain 3D render or a certain photoshop transform by xxx%, but as far as doing a compile or booting your operating system AltiVec (and MMX and 3DNow and SSE) don't help that much.

Re:Consistency: Where's The Specs? (3)

Effugas (2378) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590626)

What I am interested in knowing is why anyone who had Mac OS X would have any interest in running Linux anyway. Soon after release people will start porting the open source stuff to Mac OS X, plus they will have Carbon plus all the legacy Mac apps. What does Linux offer? Just the open source stuff. The cost of OS X will be irrelevent because of the bundling that will go on.

So just what is the benefit of running Linux on a Mac after Mac OS X is out, anyway???


Trust.

I'll be blunt, I don't know how much I trust OSX to be a mature and fully functional Unix. It might rule. It might not. For the same reason I've become fascinated with *BSD, I've got alot of respect for Linux on the Mac platform.

Having recently taken SparcLinux off of a bunch of cheap IPC's and put on Solaris 2.7, I can tell you that while it's impressive that Sun's latest OS works on ANCIENT hardware, it doesn't work all that fast. Linux did.

Anyway, I look forward to Beowulf clusters w/ G4's, and I don't think Beowulf works cross-platform.

What a load of crap. Just because Apple hasn't released the Technotes on the G4 hardware yet doesn't mean they won't. Nor does it have anything to do with OS X - all the G3s, iMac and iBook tech notes are out - these machines are just as likely to run OS X as the G4s.

I stand corrected, then. I based my assumption on the fact that the iBook coder talked heavily of having to reverse engineer entire chunks of the iBook architecture.

(Yup, every once in a while some guy on Slashdot actually admits he fucked up. It happens.)

Complaining about Microsoft becomes much more disturbing when you realize what any number of other software companies would do in their place...

What pipe were you smoking when you came up with that one? Apple is not a software company. Apple is in fact, a hardware company. If they were a software company they wouldn't care about clones and in fact would encourage them. But they can't because almost all their revenues and profits come from selling - hardware.

That doesn't change the fact that if information is withheld from Linux developers but delivered to OSX people, Apple is ignoring the needs and desires of customers. I was unaware about the tech spec releases for the older macs--therefore, yup, I was wrong when I implied that Apple did alot of this.

Of course, when Apple banned MpegTV from supporting the codec that the Star Wars .MOV was encoded in, they weren't exactly being too friendly. Or do you disagree?

Re:I just don't get it (3)

HeghmoH (13204) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590627)

I won't bother to explain iMacs to you, but I will explain why I will probably purchase an iBook as soon as the airport stuff ships.

(NOTE: I am a big Mac fan, though I try to be open-minded about stuff. Be forewarned.)

First of all, it's very stylish. Now, I know a lot of people either don't like how it looks or don't care, but I like it. A lot. It's a far cry from those ugly boxes that PCs (even the notebooks) come in. Now, I'm not going to spend sixteen hundred bucks just because it looks cool, but it's a definate plus.

The design also goes far beyond looks. First, it has a nifty handle. Now this may sound like a marketing gimmick, but the handle is really, really nice. It's most definately not cheap (quality-wise, not price), and it's very solid and feels useful. It makes it very easy to carry around. Also, the things opens and closes without a latch, just a very well-designed spring. It feels right. It also looks like you could really bang it around without damaging it. The curves make for better support, and the material is solid. There's also a large amount of space between the outside and the components inside (except, obviously, for the CD-ROM drive and such things).

As far as price goes, it seems reasonable to me. It may be somewhat more expensive than a PC portable with the same features, but the iBook makes up for thta in some ways. First of all, the battery life is far beyond what you'll find on a PC. I'm sure Apple is being optimistic with 6 hours, but reports from early purchasers say it goes 4-5 hours without recharging. Also, the screen on it is really a beauty to look at. A bit small, perhaps, but it is definately of very high quality.

The final, and probably most important reason, is that the machine just feels perfect. I don't know how to explain it, but I got to handle it at the local Sears, and it's just right.

Another reason for an iBook: I wouldn't run Windows to save my soul, and Linux just isn't friendly enough for my tastes yet. Nothing against Linux, but I just can't stand to use it for too long, and I don't have the patience to learn.

Re:I just don't get it (3)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590628)

Can somebody explain to me why these things are so damn popular?

Not everybody needs 20 GB of hard disk space, a 15" LCD, a CPU that requires 3 fans, asbestos pants and a fuel cell to keep going more than 20 minutes. Not to mention the hassle of dealing with Winwhatever or GeekOS-es like Linux.

These things are competitively priced with hardware you would get from other major vendors, have plenty of horsepower for what most people use a computer for, have interesting styling, and are much easier to setup and use than the Wintel equivalents. They also have some very nice features that you won't find anywhere else, like a 6 hour battery life, and the Airport.

The fact that most slashdotters don't 'get it' as far as the iBook and iMac is concerned is no surprise. These machines aren't intended for the slashdot market.

What amazes me is how chauvanistic the response here is. Many people here can't seem to grasp the idea that because a computer doesn't statisfy their needs, it can't POSSIBLY be a good choice for anyone else, either.

The iMac and iBook are popular for the simple reason that they fit the needs of a lot of people. And don't listen to that BS about only Mac loyalists buying these things. Something over 50% of iMac buyers are first time Apple owners. I would expect for the iBook that percentage would even be higher.

Will I buy one? No. They don't fit my needs. But I am in the asbestos pants crowd. I'm one of the people who doesn't mind doing a Linux install on a state-of the art laptop, and all that implies - hacked X-Server+twiddling VGA modes in LILO.conf to get framebuffers to work, no sound support, kludging my way around BIOS and CardBus/PCMCIA compatability problems, etc. But is Jill the English major going to do this? No. She is going to buy an iBook.

Neat, but neads work (3)

Minstrel78 (28344) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590629)

To me, this is an prime example of how open-source tends to work. Somebody with the hacking ability says to him/herself, "I wonder if I can get this to work on an iBook" and then does it, posting his work so that others can help out if they want to.

Super, and keep up the good work.

Seriously hoping they perfect the installations.. (3)

jeremy f (48588) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590630)

Around my college, and likewise with many other people who liken themselves to be 'IT' professionals and are too snooty to use a mac, I'd love to carry one of those around with LinuxPPC installed.

Maybe it's just me, but I'd really get a kick out of people snickering, maybe even laughing at me until they came over and saw KDE running in X. (Or even better, came over and saw the linux CLI on the screen. I can imagine it, "whoah, is that a screensaver?")

Sad thing is that many folks are completly set against Apple & Macintoshes in general, that they forget that they can be a very useful computing system. Ask most who does computer graphics or animation for a living, and if they're not using Be (they could EASILY overtake Macintosh if they pushed their OS to software developers more), they're using a Mac.

...And I'd much rather have Mac OS X on my computer than Windows.

Re:I just don't get it (3)

InfoVore (98438) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590631)

I just don't get what is so great about an iBook. It's an overpriced, underperforming, oversized, heavy laptop that looks like a toilet seat.

I played with one yesterday at a CompUSA, so perhaps I can help answer this with a short review. I guess the best way is point by point:

- Overpriced. Not that I can see. I have been pricing comparably spec-ed consumer laptops lately. Most fall between US$1300 and US$2000, so the iBook is right in the middle at $1600. Also, it has some unique and appealing features: a tough rounded case, latchless clamshell lid, built-in handle, open port cover (no more broken or snagged covers), easy access to upgrading memory via the liftoff keyboard, and the AirPort wireless LAN option.

- Underperforming. This one is harder to judge. It depends on what you plan to use it for and whose performance measurements you use. One quick criticism is that Apple should ship these things with a minimum of 64MB of RAM. Subjectively, it was quick and responsive. Bugdom (Mac only 3D game) looked and felt smoother than on a 233Mhz desktop G3 with a RAGE ORION card. Various applications launched quickly. I noticed no glitches or hiccups when simultaneously running several quicktime movies. The sound from its single speaker stunk. Ergonomically, the combination of the active matrix LCD plus the white screen border and light case cover made the screen seem even brighter and crisper than a regular active matrix screen. The trackpad is the best, bar none, I have ever used. The keyboard was a comfortable size. The keys seemed a bit small in size and had a short clicky throw that I thought could feel better. My wife, who is a Unix sysadmin that regularly uses a Dell laptop 15+ hours per day for her job, said the keyboard felt normal to her.

- Oversized & Heavy. It did seem large compared to other laptops I have used. It was not near any others, so I could not do a direct size comparison. It is heavy. As a consequence, I think they need to reshape the handle to make it easier to get a good palm grip versus a finger grip. Smaller hands probably can easily palm grip the handle, though. Unlike other laptops I have used, the iBook feels sturdy. Close the case, flip up the handle and it feels like you could batter down a door with it. The springloaded latchless closing works well and feels solid. The rounded case feels very comfortable when holding in both hands. The case is lightly textured and is easy to hold without slipping. When closed, it has a frisbee-esque feel to it. The salesman literally lunged when I mimed a frisbee throw motion with it.

- Looks like a toilet seat. Maybe it does on TV. In person, it looked like a truncated teardrop. I think this is a personal taste issue for most people. Besides who owns a two tone, aqua on white toilet seat?

- Why run Linux on iBook. Because you can. The Universe is infinitely perverse. Seriously, if you run both MacOS and Linux why buy two seperate laptops? I remember when the iBook was first announced. The first /. post I read said "so when will it run Linux?". If someone built Babbage's Analytical Engine, the first comment on /. will be "so when will it run Linux" followed shortly by "FreeBSD would make it more secure."

- Can someone explain why they are so popular. Because it is fun. Because its simple. Because they like the colors. Because it sets you apart from the rest of the pack. Because it is a conversation piece. Because it does the jobs people want done. Because it is different.


A last bit. I went to look at the iBook because both my USMC daughter and soon to be high school graduate son both called me long distance ON THE SAME DAY to beg for their own iBooks. After looking at one for 20 minutes, my unix-guru wife turned to me and said "I want one too!". Sigh.

I hope that helps.

IV

Consistency: Where's The Specs? (5)

Effugas (2378) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590632)

Those who complain about Microsoft keeping their OS specifications close to their chest, thus making their partners commit all sorts of beautiful First Wave anti-trust-be-damned actions:

MS ties their OS and their Applications together. Apple ties the OS and the Hardware together, which if you really think about it is really quite a bit more exclusionary than MS could even dream about. Linux has long since become enough of a force that companies that choose not to open their specifications to it have long since implicitly ignored the needs of their customers.

I'm a former Apple IIgs user, so the concept of me wanting a Mac is...a foreign concept. LinuxPPC is the first thing that's ever made me interested in owning a Mac again. The thought that Apple's software interests(OSX) are causing specifications to be hidden about their hardware products(mmm...G4...) is mildly disturbing, to say the least.

Of course, the whole CHRP(Common Hardware Reference Platform) fiasco does make all of this at least mildly expected. Complaining about Microsoft becomes much more disturbing when you realize what any number of other software companies would do in their place...

Yours Truly,

Dan Kaminsky
DoxPara Research
http://www.doxpara.com

sigh (5)

itachi (33131) | more than 14 years ago | (#1590633)

It had to happen at some point. Someone, somewhere, trying to do something neat, got linux running on an iBook. Someone else submits the story to /. Then the /. anti-Mac bias kicks in, and rather than having a of discussion about the technical achievement, or people wondering if this might provide some insight into solving their problem with a funky piece of hardware, we have people talking trash about a computer that they have never used. It would be nice if once, we could have an Apple article posted to /. without the trash talk and dismissal of someone's hard work as garbage. The gent who got Linux running on an iBook has quite clearly done his reasearch and put a lot of effort into this. I, for one, think it is commendable.

Having gotten that out of the way, I think it's pretty slick. I'd much rather have an iBook (blue, the tangerine looks awful) that is dual boot than a PC laptop of the same price, regardless of the OS(s) on the PC. It's all about style, and let's face it, there isn't a single major laptop manufacturer out there with interesting industrial design, except for IBM and Apple. Now both IBM and Apple don't necessarily make the perfect laptop at any given point in time, but they make very slick laptops that are interestingly designed, and they both have a pretty solid track record for that. The clincher is that there's no way that you can find a ThinkPad that competes with the iBook for the same price. Though the stubby-eraser dealie is still a nicer design than a pad, imho.


itachi, who still wants an iBook running Linux
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