Liam Bedford wrote:
>>Kewl :) I'm a bit worried coz I heared the sound doesn't really work...
> subscribe to debian-powerpc :)
>> basically, with the new powerbooks:
> X is screwy (the radeon fb + X drivers aren't quite finished. 4.2.0 should
> do it)
The XFree86 4.1.0 radeon driver doesn't recognise the chip so I've only
tried with the fbdev driver so far. The colours are messed up and it's
slow. I'm in the process of grabbing the latest pre-4.2.0 source from
CVS and I'll give it a go when I have time.
> the winmodem is USB. It'll never work.
It's not USB and I don't think it's a WinModem either. If it is, it'll
be the first WinModem Apple have used in *years*. Even the AirPort base
stations have hardware modems. The modem appears to be detected as ttyS0
(ttyS1 is IrDA) but doesn't respond to AT commands. It's not listed on
either the PCI or the USB bus. I've seen some mailing list posts that
suggest it just needs some kernel config tweaks.
> Sound is very similar to the iBook 2, which works.
It tries hard but it doesn't work. It's detected, and the kernel gives
it a go. MP3s 'play' at the right speed as data is sent to /dev/dsp, but
I get nothing from the speakers. I haven't looked into it yet. Chances
are the drivers need a mixer update which will likely appear soon.
> Firewire I don't know about.
Not supported yet. It's a Lucent/Agere FW322 chip that claims to be OHCI
compliant so it really ought to work. Loading the ohci1394 module locks
the machine solid. My guess is the driver just needs a little work.
Ethernet is supported, at least at 100BaseT speeds which is all I can
test. I get wire speeds from it with ftp. I suspect it may not work at
gigabit ethernet speeds right now, but probably will in the near future.
> IrDA may work. There are strange problems.
> Sleep is screwy at the moment.
Idle Linux seems to be a lot heavier on power consumption than OS X -
the fan comes on at mid speed when doing almost nothing in the console,
and at high speed under very modest loads (50KB/sec scp). For me under
OS X the fan only comes on at mid speed when playing DVDs, and high
speed playing Return to Castle Wolfenstein (at a very acceptable frame
rate, though you'll want to plug in a USB wheel mouse).
> It's a nice machine, but if you want a linux box, what about the iBook2?
> It's about 800 quid cheaper in IE, and mine (the 500Mhz) is aboout 60-70%
> as fast as the G4.
iBook is definitely a great option. Smaller, lighter, and a lot cheaper
than the PowerBook G4. The main drawbacks are the smaller screen (12.1"
1024x768 vs. 15.1" 1152x768 wide format) and no PCMCIA slot - the latter
was high on my list of reasons for going PowerBook. I don't see IrDA on
the iBook Tech Specs either.
Both machines have wireless ethernet 802.11b card options that work well
(standard on high-end G4s).
IMHO the slightly slower CPU (G3/600MHz/100MHz FSB vs. G4/667MHz/133MHz
FSB) and weaker graphics chip (8MB Rage128 vs. 16MB Radeon) aren't
especially important in a laptop, though for a few specific applications
Altivec in the G4 CPU could be a significant advantage.
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