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Apple Businesses Software Linux

Terra Soft Ships Macs with Linux Preinstalled 332

Posted by pudge
from the gimme-gimme-some-lovin dept.
dhovis writes "Do you think the Xserve is cool, but you wish it ran Linux? Well, MacCentral is reporting that Terra Soft Solutions, an Apple 'Value Added Reseller,' is now shipping Macs. They are offering several new Macs with Yellow Dog Linux preinstalled now, and are promising the Xserve will be available soon." They are currently shipping Power Mac G4s, iBooks, and iMacs, as well as AirPort cards. See the Terra Soft Store for more information.
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Terra Soft Ships Macs with Linux Preinstalled

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  • My two cents (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Apple's have great hardware, (yes the motorola is MUCH better than the intel), so it seems natural to couple them with good software. At my work, the sysadmin just bought a bunch of iMAC's, stripped them of their OS and stuck Linux PPC on them. Works for me, now this just saves us some work. More power to them, options are ALWAYS good.
    Check this out for an artistic commentary on how this will effect the computer industry [nathandial.com]
    • Re:My two cents (Score:3, Insightful)

      by frunch (513023)
      so it seems natural to couple them with good software

      You mean like OS X? Honestly, I don't see much point in paying for a switch from a Unix-based machine to a Linux-based machine. (And a Linux-based machine that won't run iTunes, iMovie, or iPhoto)
      • The people to whom YDL are aiming their machines are the people who have switched to the Mac from Solaris and Linux and want their X11 chugging along at speed, instead of the relative slowness that it now does. They probably also don't want to have to wait for ports for Mac OSX of their favourite commandline utilities.
        • The people to whom YDL are aiming their machines are the people who have switched to the Mac from Solaris and Linux and want their X11 chugging along at speed, instead of the relative slowness that it now does.

          If what you are referring to is the speed of the GUI of OS X, it's not X11.

          However you can install XDarwin, which is the OS X version of XFree86, and your favorite window manager and there you go. You can even run it rootless, right along side native Aqua apps.

          Maybe some pople just like Linux better?

        • They probably also don't want to have to wait for ports for Mac OSX of their favourite commandline utilities.

          Wasn't the big selling point for open source *NIX software was there was no need for porting, just take the code, recompile on your machine and poof, your own version? Did they lie to us?
    • Re:My two cents (Score:3, Interesting)

      Is anyone really going to care if the XServe has the ability to run Linux? I really don't see the XServe as having that much value unless you really, really want to run Linux on a PowerPC rack-mounted server. The fact is that the XServe runs a bunch of IDE hard drives which would seem worthless for any real-world applications without any sort of RAID. What kind of business needs 480 Gb of non-fault tolerant disk space? In the end, why not just run on Intel or AMD hardware that will have much better software support.
      • The XServe has built-in software RAID. Its standard in the OS.
      • The fact is that the XServe runs a bunch of IDE hard drives which would seem worthless for any real-world applications without any sort of RAID.

        Each IDE drive has it's own controller however, so the performance is better.

        Apple Drive Modules use 7200rpm ATA/100 hard disk drives. Each drive has an independent Ultra ATA/100 bus, an arrangement that allows maximum individual drive performance without choking the throughput of the other drives. The ATA drive subsystem has a high-bandwidth I/O bus that minimizes bottlenecks, even when all four drives are engaged at once. That's how Xserve can achieve a theoretical peak performance of up to 266 megabytes per second, compared to a 160MB/s theoretical performance with SCSI Ultra160 disk drives -- at a significantly lower cost, and while generating less heat than SCSI drives.

        Apple's point in using IDE drives was the cost. You can get an XServe with more capacity than the other 1U racks, and for a LOT less money.

        You can have 480GB of storage per XServe. $7,799.00 for the dual 1GHz version with 480GB and 2.0GB DDR SDRAM @ 266MHz. Price some other system with the same specs.

        They do have a RAID coming out, and nothing is stopping you from adding a SCSI RAID PCI card.

        The XServe was made because some companies (like Gentec) wanted smaller G4 servers.

        Check out some XServe benchmarks: Xinet [xinet.com]

  • A while back I tried burning the Yellow Dog ISO images using a Linux x86 machine, but had a real painful time and never did get it to work. The image seemed to burn fine, but they weren't bootable on my Mac (9500/150).

    I looked at Mandrake's stuff and they had a special statically built version of cdrecord that dealt with HFS+ support, or something like that. Still couldn't get it to fly. (I suppose I'd have the same problem with Mandrake, but I had really wanted to try Yellow Dog.)

    Anyone know what the trick is to get bootable Yellow Dog CDs by burning them on an x86 Linux machine?
  • by jkujawa (56195) on Friday August 09, 2002 @10:59AM (#4039370) Homepage
    Three years ago, this would have made sense. Apple has always made good hardware, putting good software on it makes a winning combination.

    But now? OS X is a first-rate Unix, which I'm actually much happier using as a Unix than Linux.
  • by krog (25663) on Friday August 09, 2002 @10:59AM (#4039372) Homepage
    Slam me into -1, Flamebait land if you want.

    But anyone who buys new Apple hardware and shuns Mac OS X in favor of Yellow Dog is throwing their money away. You can run Linux on PC hardware which is way cheaper than Apple hardware, and it will run better than Linux on PPC. Installing Linux or BSD on old Macs makes good sense sometimes, but when you have a top-quality Unix (OS X) which is more beautiful than any other Unix out there, why strive for second best?
    • I held out with my old PowerTower Pro and waited until I could get 10.1 running on it, rather than install Linux on it. I've already got Linux running on a couple of cheap PCs to do server stuff, and I really hate X-Windows as a windowing system (aside from its nifty remote capabilities which I never got far enough to use), something I won't even say about W2K.

      Now I get the best of both worlds, except for Finder label colors, and I can even get to see those by running Finder 9.2 as a Classic app. Once I moved the IDE card into a 25MHz slot, the machine was rock solid running 10.1, more stable than it's ever been since I bought it. Of course it took $800 worth of hardware upgrades over the past year and a half to get it to the point where it could run 10.1, but it was worth it.

      • Did you upgrade the processor? What upgrade card did you use, and was it easy to get OS X running on it? I have a Power Tower Pro with the original processor (225 MHz 604; when it first came out this thing screamed!). I still run MacOS 8.5.1 on it (8.6 and anything higher was way to slow). I also have SuSE 7.0 installed on it, but I would love to get OS X running on it. I've been considering a G4 upgrade card but they are practically the price of a new iMac.

        By the way and totally offtopic... I was at an art opening last night and there was a bunch of what looked like Apple prototypes. One that looked like the millennium Mac - a tall thin greyish box with a small monitor built in and tall Bose speakers .... Another was an iBook but it was dark green plastic and it looked way cool and weighed little. Also a message pad that looked like a cross between a Palm and an old Newton. Anybody seen these things? They all had the Apple logo and looked legit, though it could I suppose have been someone's art installation. None of them had accessible keyboards (the clam shell laptop was closed and the newton couldn't open either) or were plugged in or anything but they looked cool as hell.
    • Perhaps having solid hardware is an issue... not to mention good looking hardware. You can't find better stuff than what Apple is making. I'd rather use Free Software, however. I like where they are going, but Apple just isn't where I would want them to be, software wise.
    • You can run Linux on PC hardware which is way cheaper than Apple hardware, and it will run better than Linux on PPC.


      While this is the conventional wisdom, and I have always been an anti-mac guy, I priced a dual gigy PowerMac with a 17in FP and found that perfomance-for-perfomance (as opposed to MHz for MHz) the price is about the same as an Intel box. I think you may actually do a bit better with the Apple when you consider (hardware) support. For me the sexyness factor of the Mac puts it over the top. I mean, the MB is mounted to the side panel. It has handles. It isn't beige (or black, which was cool 'till it was over-done).

      -Peter
  • Why? (Score:2, Troll)

    by DarkMan (32280)
    I must admit that I'm a little blank on why anyone would particularly want a Mac runing Linux, to the point of buying it with Linux preinstalled.

    I mean, yes they're nicely built, and they're decent price performance, but why not use a PC compatable? It would give you more choice in terms of OS vendor, and much of the commercial Linux is PC only. PowerPC is a nice chip, but an Athlon will be as quick, for similar money.

    I suppose if you've got lots of PowerPC installed already, then you'd gain by matching architectures, but that's (IMO) unlikely.

    Even in terms of numerically power, the Athlons with SSE2 are faster than the AltiVec (SSE2 does double precision, AltiVec doesn't), for similar money.

    Don't get me wrong - someone selling Linux pre-installed is a Good Thing - I just can't see anything particularly gripping about Mac's pre-installed with Linux.
    • Even in terms of numerically power, the Athlons with SSE2 are faster than the AltiVec (SSE2 does double precision, AltiVec doesn't), for similar money. Uh, Athlon's don't have SSE2, they have "3DNow! Pro" which includes instructions that just so happen to be identical to SSE, but not SSE2 support. SSE2 = Pentium 4 or AMD Opteron (which isn't out yet)
    • Having gone through the PowerPC vs x86 life I have to say in the end x86 has won. Ok sure you can get the OS to run on most platforms, but what about the apps? THat is where the x86 platform wins hands down. Even with Open Source I have build my own software to get it to run on PowerPC. Sometimes it would not compile because the autoconf files or libraries were not updated to include PowerPC. And what little commercial software there is on LINUX is primarily x86 compiled. In the end I simply gave up. Apple has nice hardware, but you get much more mileage for your buck on x86.
    • SSE2 does double precision, AltiVec doesn't

      I don't know about the Athlon, but with the P4, the FP unit doubles as the vector unit, so it can only do one, or the other, not both. So you have a switching penalty.

      The G4 already has a double precision FP unit separate from AltiVec. Plus the MPC 7450 has four AltiVec units. Each AltiVec unit processes data at 128-bits. The G4 can perform four (in some cases eight) 32-bit floating-point calculations in a single cycle.

  • It's a dual boot (Score:5, Informative)

    by mblase (200735) on Friday August 09, 2002 @11:01AM (#4039390)
    For the record, the store page says that Mac OS X is also preinstalled, and that YDLinux is available as a second OS. So this is just a bonus feature for the hackers.

    That said, I'm not sure I see the point, except possibly bragging rights. If you want to get into *nix on a modern Mac running OS X, all you have to do is open a terminal window and go to it. (Yeah, I know it's BSD instead of Linux, but most of the functionality is the same. And if you really really want a Linux box, wouldn't it be safer to run it on its own cheap x86 hardware instead of having it take up hard drive space on your expensive PowerMac or iBook?)
  • Kudos (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rberton (456041) <riley AT mosey DOT org> on Friday August 09, 2002 @11:03AM (#4039403) Homepage
    I run YDL 2.2 and before that I ran 2.1 on a QuickSilver (867 Mhz) PowerMac. I have been running glitch free for over a year now and my uptime is currently 85 days (power outage caused a reboot).

    The one drawback is that setup was a PITA. I think it's great that Terra Soft is selling these pre-installed to take some of the ass sores out of the setup. Also Kudos to Apple for allowing them to resell with another OS on the machine.
    • I *think* that Apple knows that they are mainly a hardware company. Not sure though. (But this is decent evidence.)

    • I run YDL 2.2 and before that I ran 2.1 on a QuickSilver (867 Mhz) PowerMac. I have been running glitch free for over a year now and my uptime is currently 85 days (power outage caused a reboot).

      Somebody has to say it.

      I run Mac OS X 10.2 (6C106, developer seed) and before that I ran 10.1 on an iBook (500 MHz). I have been running glitch free for over a year now and my uptime is currently only 4 days, because I just upgraded to Jaguar on Monday, but before that it averaged around 80 days between reboots for 10.1.2-10.1.5 maintenance upgrades.

      And, unlike your experience with YDL, setting up OS X is definitely not a PITA. The new Jaguar installer is terrific. It's a two-stage install: boot from CDROM and install the new kernel and core OS on your hard drive, then reboot from your hard drive and install apps from the second CD. (This is all automatic. All you do is switch CDs when it asks you.) The really cool thing is that you don't reboot after installing from the second CD. The installer says, "You're all done, click Okay to quit the installer" (more or less), then you click Okay. About five seconds later, POOF! There's the login screen. It's not a big deal, but it's a great post-install experience. You finish the install, and then it's immediately time for you to log in and play with your new toy. Just great.

      My whole point here is that I respect your decision to use Linux on your Mac... but I don't understand it at all.
  • by SuperCal (549671) on Friday August 09, 2002 @11:05AM (#4039415) Homepage
    A friend of mine bought a base model iBook online and had it mail ordered home. By the time it reached his home he had already downloaded and burned a linux dist ISO at my house. We had that baby running (by we I mean he) linux in less then a hour. That resaler wants a almost a $200 premium for installing free software. I think spending a hour is worth saving $200.
  • ...are Linux and BSD really that different? Different enough to make someone go to this much extra effort?

    Sure, this would have made sense a couple years ago, but now? Do you really hate the Aqua interface that much?

    • by rberton (456041)
      Yes and no.

      Aqua is nice and all, but it is extremely heavy especially for all day use. I prefer something that is quick and lightweight and cannot get that behavior out of Aqua. Linux gives me more choices in that arena.
  • Why? (Score:3, Troll)

    by OS24Ever (245667) <trekkie@nomorestars.com> on Friday August 09, 2002 @11:08AM (#4039437) Homepage Journal
    Seriously, I'm not flaming or trolling. I have an iMac, and I have intel hardware. I've run Linux on Intel Hardware, and I've run OS X.

    Why would I want to replace a unix based OS with an excellent user interface, support for things like Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and heck even Flash/Shockwave plugins. None of this is on Linux (unfortunately)

    Now, on the XServe, this could be cool, but on a iBook, PowerBook, iMac or Power Mac I just don't get it.

    • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

      "Why would I want to replace a unix based OS with an excellent user interface, support for things like Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and heck even Flash/Shockwave plugins. None of this is on Linux (unfortunately)"

      Im glad somebody else said this. The answer is "You don't switch to Linux just to gain a few popularity points on Slashdot". Microsoft isn't holding a gun to my head to use Windows 2000, I'm using it because I use Lightwave, Photoshop, After Effects, lotsa games, and the internet in general extensively.

      Too bad my Windows 2000 preference has earned me a reputation for being 'pro-MS' as opposed to being practical.

      The OS is nowhere near as important as the apps you use on it. I wish the Linux zealots out there would learn that before spouting 'Switch to Maya!' every time I breath a word of Lightwave. I'm happy to switch to *nix *if* it benefits me. Until them, I'm a Windows guy. I did not make a bad choice.
      • This doesn't negate the message at all. While somehow I doubt many people actually would trash you for not using Linux to do your work (anyone who would isn't a real advocate) that doesn't mean that you can't use Free Software in your daily routine.

        So you want to stick with Windows 2000? Ok, then how about using Mozilla for your internet experience? It's better (read: more practical) than IE in various ways.

        Try using Open Office instead of Microsoft Office. Does Open Office not do what you need it to? Fine, then file a bug report with the team (wishlist bugs are great too) and move on and try the next release some time in the future. Consider using Abiword if you want something lighter.

        Do you use the internet for MP3 or other sorts of file trading? Try using Gnucleus, it's a very well done program. If you can't find what you need on the network, maybe then go and try one of the other networks, like KaZaA and whatnot.

        Linux won't solve the world's problems, and if it doesn't solve yours then don't use it. For some of us, it's great. It makes my life a lot easier on the desktop, but that's just because of my own personal uses, as yours are obviously different. But just because Linux itself won't work for you doesn't mean that you shouldn't consider using Free Software on your chosen OS. I personally try and keep all the programs I listed above and a few others on any Windows box I use regularly. They are very good programs, and like you said, it's the apps that matter to you.
        • That was definitely one of the more interesting responses I got. I'm not anti-free software. Actually I use Opera. I'm the type of guy who runs around and looks for new ways to improve productivity, and that's how I landed on Opera. All because it has an MDI interface heh.

          Funny thing is, Lightwave users are not really in a different world from Linux users. Comparing Lightwave to 3D Studio MAX is very much like comparing Linux to Windows. Lightwave is very much supported by the community. A good chunk of the plug-ins I have are free little apps that people write and give away. A good deal of LW's evolution came from it's users! Sadly, this isn't so true with MAX. It's very much like Lin vs. Win, where LW's Lin and Max's Win.

          That's one of the reasons it really bugs me when the Linux zealots (note: I did NOT say Linux users in general) give me shit about running Win2k and liking it.

          "For some of us, it's great. It makes my life a lot easier on the desktop, but that's just because of my own personal uses, as yours are obviously different."

          The average Linux user understands this, I think, and doesn't bug me about it. However, there are people who are so anti-MS that they can't see past their own nose. That's where a good chunk of the heat I've taken comes from. They think I'm crippling myself using Windows and have no concept of the idea that I'm actually kicking mucho butto with it.

          • Funny thing is, Lightwave users are not really in a different world from Linux users. Comparing Lightwave to 3D Studio MAX is very much like comparing Linux to Windows. Lightwave is very much supported by the community. A good chunk of the plug-ins I have are free little apps that people write and give away. A good deal of LW's evolution came from it's users! Sadly, this isn't so true with MAX. It's very much like Lin vs. Win, where LW's Lin and Max's Win.
            That's cool. It reminds me of my old Mac days, where we were all the dying breed and had to support ourselves. The only problem with it is that potentially the parent company can really mess things up, as Apple managed to do, which is what drove me to Linux in the end. They've made amends but it taught me a valuable lesson. Hopefully the Lightwave creators don't fuck up like Apple did (although it's kind of hard to fuck up quite as bad as Apple managed to do :-)

            They think I'm crippling myself using Windows and have no concept of the idea that I'm actually kicking mucho butto with it.
            Bizarre. Win2k is a really good system for the most part, as anyone who's used it will agree. Either way, a I think a lot of the people who will bash on you for not using Linux are the types who just got it installed for themselves and are feeling really cool about it. It's the idiots who don't even understand Linux that are the most vocal and adamant about it. Just forget them and keep kicking animated ass.
            • "The only problem with it is that potentially the parent company can really mess things up, as Apple managed to do, which is what drove me to Linux in the end."

              That possibility ALWAYS exists. Fortunately, though, Newtek doesn't appear to be so arrogant. Arguably, though, Mac has regained some ground. Is OSX interesting to you? (Never been a Mac guy, so I'm curious if Apple regained some respect with you lately...)

              "t's the idiots who don't even understand Linux that are the most vocal and adamant about it."

              Yeah, I think you're right. I'd add to it, though, that they have no idea what kinda stuff I do in 3D. Pity really. Linux users and Lightwave users have a great deal in common. Heh.
              • I think OSX is great. I used the old, slow version (10.0.something I think) for a little while, and aside from the speed it lives up to everything that people say about it here. I haven't used it since, but I think if you can afford a machine with a lot of RAM it's a great OS. It's really the best desktop OS on the market, in just about everything except game quantity.

                I think Apple has become a much better company ever since Jobs came back. He really turned the place around. I'm just wondering what will happen to it once he leaves again. He can't stay forever, and I get the feeling that no one else in the world will be able to properly manage it. It's sad really, but I think once Steve leaves for good, it's going to be a long and slow demise for Apple. I could be wrong, and I really hope that I am.
        • So you want to stick with Windows 2000? Ok, then how about using Mozilla for your internet experience? It's better (read: more practical) than IE in various ways.

          I have mozilla on my win2k box. As much as I admire it, and always use it for testing purposes. It will never by my default browser at the moment. I just can't stand the GUI. In IE, I only have one bar with all my controls. I like it that way. It's clean looking and maximises the space for the webpage.

          It's a pitty that no one has done the equivilant of Chimera for the windows paltform (taking a good browser engine and adding a good UI).

          Open Office not do what you need it to? Fine, then file a bug report with the team (wishlist bugs are great too) and move on and try the next release some time in the future.

          Ha. Unless you like to wait around for months I wouldn't suggest that. I'm still waiting for a bug to get fixed in Mozilla for OS X. Time ran out so I've had to completly re-write a peice of code for a project I'm doing. I don't have the time to wait around untill a particular bug is fixed.

  • Older machines? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by saintlupus (227599) on Friday August 09, 2002 @11:09AM (#4039444) Homepage
    I wonder if they'll expand their product line to older machines at some point. I love running OS X on my iMac, but Yellow Dog absolutely 0wnz my 7200/120.

    It just seems that exploiting the main strength of Linux/PPC, it's ability to maximize the potential of older hardware, would be a sound business move.

    --saint
  • Actually, no, I don't. I don't think I've ever found myself wishing computers that weren't designed and built around one particular operating system were able to run Linux, or any other OS. I consider myself a better, saner person for this.

    What is so bad about Mac OS X?

    - A.P.
  • I think this is great news, it's good that Apple is at least benignly tolerating Linux on their platform, even if not actively encouraging it.

    I don't see the value of this so much for Apple, but for the Linux/PPC platform in general. Linux PPC, unlike OS X, does not run uniquely on the Apple platform, other implementations are possible. And there have been some interesting developments in the PPC/Power world lately, for example:

    IBM's newly announced [com.com] desktop PPC processor. Possibly this will be the successor to the G4 in Apple's offerings.

    Also, the new Amiga [amiga.com] platform will be PPC based, and also runs Linux. Whether this new platform will have any substantial success is still open to speculation, but it will be an interesting experiment, whatever the outcome.

    Also, IBM is looking to eventually migrate their mainframe [com.com] line over to the Power architechture, probably starting with the Power6.

    It would be nice to see some competition to the x86 in the commodity processor market. I was ready to write off PPC/Power as doomed, but the recent flurry of activity on that front has caused me to re-evaluate my position. And an OS like Linux which can run across all the various implementations of the architecture would be great for encouraging it's propogation. Imagine applications that are binary compatable across everything from your iBook to a mainframe.
  • No. No, I haven't. (Score:5, Informative)

    by hatless (8275) on Friday August 09, 2002 @11:40AM (#4039648)
    No, I can't say that I've wished Apple's Xserve ran Linux. OS X is a more polished OS than Linux is, especially on this hardware. It can run essentially all the same software and then some, it has a better JVM and far, far better administration tools for everything from directory services and Apache to Samba. It's got great monitoring tools and drivers for its hardware, true plug-and-play support for things like Firewire RAID arrays, unified management of SMB, Appleshare and NFS file sharing, and commercial grade on-site support for all of the above.

    By going to Linux on it, you get rid of the nice development tools, you sacrifice a lot of the Mac OS 8.x/9.x application compatibility and all of the OS X compatibility. You trade wonderful, richly-featured and consistently designed distributed admin tools for things like webmin. And you give up several avenues for support.

    It's not like PPC Linux will let you run the many x86 commercial packages out there. So unless you're a Linux shop already and someone has given you a free Xserve, why put Linux on it? Surely you can find 1U hardware with comparable performance and more mature Linux driver support for a lot less money, no?

    So no. No, I haven't ever wanted to run Linux on an Xserve.
  • by Sloppy (14984) on Friday August 09, 2002 @11:40AM (#4039650) Homepage Journal
    There's multiple posts where people question running Linux when MacOS is already there, and in many ways, just plain better than Linux.

    This is pretty much equivalent to saying, even in the context of x86 hardware, "Why would anyone run Linux when they could run FreeBSD?" or even "Why would anyone run FreeBSD when they could run Linux?" Just because something is good doesn't mean alternatives are necessarily stupid.

    Linux does have features that Darwin doesn't have, BTW. Linux4Video, for example (not that I've ever got it to work on my hardware ;-). It's probably not important for 99% of the population, but no need to call the other 1% of the population stupid.

  • A while back I installed Windowmaker on my iBook and spent a bit of time configuring the desktop to behave well with only one mouse button.

    Except for x-cut-and-paste I didn't miss having multiple buttons.

    FYI, folks.
    • WHY are you using a one-button mouse? All Macs support as many buttons as you want.

      One button mice are free simple point and click devices for old grannies and 6 year olds to use until they realized how much more you can do with several buttons and a scroll wheel.
      • Because I use my iBook for portability. I'm not in the habit of lugging around any peripherals with it other than my headphones.
  • by dasmegabyte (267018) <das@OHNOWHATSTHISdasmegabyte.org> on Friday August 09, 2002 @12:22PM (#4039960) Homepage Journal
    So...you want to trade your decent BSD based OS with quality commercial support, a usable GUI, great built in software and ability to compile pretty much anything for Yellow Dog Linux?

    If so, you may be interested in knowing that I've got a BMW 330i which I've taken the seats out and replaced with phone books and installed an engine from a 1972 Super Beetle. It's a good, solid engine, very hackable. Price is only $3000 more than a new Bimmer.
  • by Mr_Icon (124425) on Friday August 09, 2002 @01:49PM (#4040641) Homepage

    A lot of questions here as per "why would anyone run linux when there is OS X?". I personally run YDL on my Titanium, and I have my personal reasons to. Let me see if I can cover them.

    1. I do this primarily for ideological reasons. Aqua is closed-source, proprietary software and I do not like that. Understandably, you may have different ideals, so this might or might not apply to you.
    2. I am a computer professional and whenever I am in OS X, I feel extremely constrained by the interface. Sure, it's pretty. However, I miss my virtual desktops, I miss my hotkeys, I miss focus-follows-mouse, I miss many other things that I'm used to. I miss having a usable mail client (I don't like Mail.app for several reasons that I won't go into). I know that I can "emulate" all those things, but in order to do that I would have to buy even more proprietary software that costs money -- as opposed to already having all of that available under X.
    3. I admit -- I am boggled by the prettyness: from full alpha transparency to the consistency of the interface. Then again, I recently looked at gnome-2, and I like what I see. Full power of X-window -- including network transparency, which is non-existent in OS X -- and nearly just as pretty. Full alpha-transparency support is, of course, not there yet in X-window (apart from cheap tricks like grabbing whatever is below), but I find it actually annoying on OS X most of the time. It doesn't do anything to me in terms of real usefulness. I mean, whooptie-doo, I can see what's below my terminal. Now that's useful.
    4. I don't like having to depend on one vendor for security updates. If I find that TerraSoft is taking too long to come up with a new version of a package, I apply the patches myself and install a patched RPM. In order to do that under OS X I would have to a) have access to the package source (which is not always available), b) guess and double-guess which patches Apple already applies to the packages to make them work, and c) install from source, possibly breaking the Apple's Automated Updater mechanism.
    5. Darwin sucks as a unix. :) You can't just take a product and compile it under Darwin and expect it to work like you would under Linux or most BSD's. I mean -- c'mon, it doesn't even have dlopen. You have to emulate it. Besides, we run Red Hat at the office, and I like to have all configuration files to have the same layout between home and work. It's saner to me that way.

    I do use OS X periodically. I have an MP3 player that can't be accessed from Linux at this time -- it only works from windows and mac classic; and I use Macromedia Fireworks with my Graphire Tablet from time to time. It has its uses. For real work I use YDL.

    From my point of view, OS X is an OS written and suitable entirely for middle-of-the-road users. It's a system that a grandma can use without getting hopelessly lost and confused. I am not a grandma -- I'm an enthusiast. To draw popular analogies to cars, I like to get my hands into the very innards of the system, including replacing the engine, overhauling the suspension, and putting oversized tires. I can only do that efficiently enough under YDL -- when I try to do something like that to OS X, I feel like I'm ricing a Civic.

    As there are companies who sell parts and tools to car enthusiasts, similarly TerraSoft sells a distribution to people who like to be adventurous with their computers. Branding that as "stupid" is not entirely correct, nor really called for.

    Now, why did I get an Apple notebook in the first place? a) I didn't pay for it, :) and b) I was intrigued by OS X. Would I get another Apple notebook? Probably, but not a Titanium. I might get a next-generation iBook, whenever they come out on G4's. Simply because I've already invested in some software on OS X that I would like to keep using (same MM Fireworks, for example). Titanium is like an all-leather interior: good for impressing your date, but no real use otherwise. :)

  • I will buy the first SCSI, silent RISC machine with digital video interface I can buy for less than CHF10K or US$5K with Debian preinstalled.
  • YDL (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ryan Amos (16972) on Friday August 09, 2002 @03:03PM (#4041232)
    These are also the guys who ship Yellow Dog Linux, an EXCELLENT professional distro for the PowerPC. This is really old news to the PPC Linux community, Terra Soft has been doing this for years. This is mostly aimed at people who want to set up servers/labs, NOT home users. Their Black Lab clustering system is bar-none one of the coolest things I've seen a company do (yes, you CAN have a beowulf cluster of these... they'll even set it up for you!) Anyway, if you have a PowerPC system, check out Yellow Dog, it's a very cool distro (it's apt based, which is another plus.)
  • Instead of delving into the OS X v Linux debate that this has pretty much become (OS X rules all btw... guess I couldn't go without adding my two cents on this one), I am more intrigued by how Terra Soft thinks they carve a slice out of the already small pie that is Apple hardware sales. Apple had about a 5% market share last time that I checked. Of the people buying Apple hardware, I would be willing to wager that 80-90% don't even know what Linux is. Of the people who would buy Apple hardware and would commonly be considered potential Linux users (wanting a good *nix OS, at least decently knowledgeable about computers, and willing to spend the time to install/learn Linux), a large majority are people who are in love with OS X because of its Unix foundation and beautiful GUI/ability to run most commercial software. So this leaves a very small portion of Apple hardware users (with Apple already being a small portion of the hardware market) who would want to run Linux. Of this small crowd, how many do you honestly think would want to pay about 200 extra dollars for someone else to install Linux which they could do for free?
  • Geez, everyone, it's as simple as this:

    Apple/OS X/Aqua fans, be glad the GNU/Linux users are supporting Apple in the form of hardware sales. No matter what a reseller does, Apple will get some portion of the price. (Probably the same no matter what the reseller does.) This will inevitably go to development of OS X, to some extent. However, if you flame them, you may shoo them off to some other architecture.

    YDL and GNU/Linux fans, welcome to the club. Enjoy the hardware, but try the OS as well. If you need any help, be sure to check out Apple's support site, including the discussion boards. Just keep in mind that most people will be expecting Mac OS 9/X users, so they may or may not be of much help. And remember, it only gets better from here.

    You'd think people would realize that this benefits everyone.

  • I will be buying a new iBook 12"/700MHz next week. I will almost defintely be installing YDL on it, but I'll get the ISO's or buy the distro. I have used YDL on my present 333MHz G3 Powerbook and apart from Linux being much faster on older hardware than OSX, YDL has one of the best text based installers that I've ever seen. To be honest they are helped in this by the fact that the hardware options are restricted but having recently installed RedHat on a Dell Laptop I really apreciated the lack of problems installing YDL.

    Linux is just fine for what I do, and I can run OpenOffice, Mozilla, the Gimp and do my work in vim with less problems and headaches than I would have running the XDarwin environment in OSX. IN fact I have exactly one complaint in Linux on PPC and that is doing Java. Java is simply terrible without a JIT or HotSpot and there probably will never be one for PPCLinux. That is the reason I have to boot into OSX often. OK, that and EVNova.

Murphy's Law, that brash proletarian restatement of Godel's Theorem. -- Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"

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