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Penguins for old Macs - No fly

Since I'm more of the sentimental kind not only in real life but also in all things digital, from time to time I feel the urge to feed my old hardware with new stuff.
October is a wonderful time for this, because every other Linux distribution publishes either betas or final versions of their stuff. And it's not so much fun to burn petrol on two wheels any more since it's getting cold and dark early and so on ;)

So I tried to upgrade my good old lime green iMac's Ubuntu "Feisty" to a beta of their newest, which they call Gutsy Gibbon.
Which failed and left me with an unrecoverable system for no apparent reason.

No problem, best time to try out something else, I tell myself.
As if there were worse options for time to kill.

Well, others buy new devices and do odd things to with them, I just want to have my lime iMac back.
(I should mention that I don't expect too much from this over 8 year old computer with an odd CD drive that doesn't swallow stuff it dislikes. But I figured out it could at least serve as a typewriter/surf station)

So here is what I tried out:
- Fedora 8 test 3 - netinstall. Installs, but unbearably slow Gnome desktop for this machine. Will have to wait for final version to decide.
- openSUSE 10.3 - netinstall. Installs, but without a bootloader after first reboot without any mention. which leaves you in doubt if it's developers are analphabets unable to explain this in a README at least. But fortunately there's a solution. (Just boot from cd again and run from "installed system". Then sth. like "firstboot" kicks in and lets you finish installation)
- kubuntu 7.10 - live CD doesn't work at all. Tried all options. "Alternate" CD boots with "video=ofonly" option and installs, but the kernel doesn't seem able to come up, if installation not within the first 7 GB of the hd. Sigh.
- yellow dog linux 5.02 - Installs and boots without problems. 12 points! Nice innovative "e17"desktop that no other distribution has. But based on an older version of fedora core and with unfortunate default multimedia options (ogg only), so I decided not to bother with it, since I hadn't figured out everything of the other distros, yet.

After fiddling around with everything for which seemed to be weeks I got openSuse 10.3 working. Without WiFi, that is. Who would want wireless access with usb-sticks in 2007 anyways ;)
The green of the desktop fits perfectly and it's a beautiful system overall. But already I feel unhappy. Because. Yast. Sucks. Big. Time.
It's getting better, okej, since it's worst times around 10.0.
But who wants all those repository choices when the "ppc" option doesn't work anyway...
And why can't they test the sound system (which - in all it's configuration glory - sucks as well)?
But I'll stick with it for the moment. I have other machines for media playback.

The result of all this for me is that the times when you just installed Linux on old hardware to squeeze amazing new power out of it and got a fast and rejuvenated system seem to be over.
At least on abandoned architectures like the PowerPC.

Next I'll tell you about my latest hardware experiments.
Somehow I think even this may still be better than you watching TV.
Unless somebody proves me wrong, of course.


( 2 Kommentare — Kommentar hinterlassen )
21. Okt 2007 01:15 (UTC)
yup, the fat ape on ppc is a bitch... after 1.5h downloading updates and another 1.5h of actually updating my juicy fresh feisty fawn was a gutsy gibbon... and, lets guess? failed to boot on the playstation3... even with the old kernel - no go. excellent....
21. Okt 2007 08:42 (UTC)
Technically my innovation hopes in Linux are with Fedora 8.
I hope they'll have some nice tools for the "spin your own distro" thing.
If that is true, I'll abandon Suse and Ubuntu in no time ;)
Of course, somebody needz Compiz and eye candy and questionably legal codecs.
But I 'd rather stick with the crowd that persues inner elegance ;)
( 2 Kommentare — Kommentar hinterlassen )