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jdavidb (1361)

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J. David Blackstone has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering and nine years of experience at a wireless telecommunications company, where he learned Perl and never looked back. J. David has an advantage in that he works really hard, he has a passion for writing good software, and he knows many of the world's best Perl programmers.

Journal of jdavidb (1361)

Tuesday July 13, 2004
05:05 PM

Fedora on macppc

[ #19830 ]

I didn't know it, but you can apparently run Fedora on an ibook. Wonderful things happen when people embrace a community development model.

My ibook story has unfortunately been one of woe. Long time readers of this journal know I used to have a blueberry ibook running Debian, dubbed amichan. They might recall how the power supply went nuts in September of 2002, on the day I was to start my fall semester. (What they probably do not know, unless they look closely at the chronology of my journal, is that the thing that most distressed me that morning was the prospect of losing all the emails I had been exchanging over the past couple of weeks with a beautiful young unmarried lady named Sarah from East Texas, now my wife.) The ibook was repaired, but several months later it died again and would need a motherboard replacement.

Still a lover of Mac hardware even though I've left Mac OS as my favorite platform since Redhat 7.1, I bought a much zippier snow white ibook. I've got to say that since then I have decided that in the future I will probably stick to commodity intel hardware, though this machine has held up well.

What has been a problem with the white ibook is support for the video card. I do have a dual boot Mac OS X/Linux system due to some unfortunate necessities that I hope will go away in a couple of years, but the Linux side has had a hard time dealing with the card. Text-only Linux was fun at RedHat 5.x, when all I wanted was a UNIX command prompt, but now I insist I need X and Gnome.

Debian's X at the time of install just couldn't handle my card. I perused the mailing lists and watched a lot of people with a lot of knowledge fail to correctly answer errors people were reporting because of the simple fact that the X distribution was too old. I found some people on the net who purported to be able to provide a later version of X that would work, but nothing I tried did. I had been a convert to Debian since months before the first ibook and did not want to change, but after several attempts and hearing good reports about Gentoo, I begrudgingly downloaded a LiveCD image and installed.

Gentoo has served me acceptably. I had to get it going fast at the time because I absolutely needed this machine for school work. But to be honest the Gnome desktop is customized beyond recognition. Somebody picked out a theme for me -- why? Somebody did some things to make my machine more Mac-like -- what if that's not what I wanted? etc., etc. High on my annoyance list is that the changes made to Gnome's presentation hinder playing my favorite game, Freeciv. It's actually easier to play in X under OS X, where I'm missing two mouse buttons.

I've since heard that Debian has upgraded their X, and I now see that Fedora (which is being developed the way I believe an OS should be developed ... doubly so now that I see they allow for multiple architectures) also seems to support this card. So, once I get a spot where I can reinstall without losing too much effort in school, I'm definitely going to attempt one of these and lose Gentoo (at least for now).

Hmmm. The purpose of this exercise was to post the link at the top. :)

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