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Apple Businesses Software Linux

Yellow Dog Linux Gets 64-Bit Version For G5 352

Posted by simoniker
from the apfel-apfel-apfel dept.
An anonymous reader writes "There is an announcement on the YellowDogLinux.com page regarding the new release of a 64-bit distribution of Yellow Dog Linux for the Apple G5 and some custom hardware from IBM. The 64-bit release is being dubbed 'Y-HPC' and is scheduled to be released along with the new 32-bit Yellow Dog 4 at the end of May."
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Yellow Dog Linux Gets 64-Bit Version For G5

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  • Just curious (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Neo-Rio-101 (700494) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @01:42AM (#8800722)
    Just curious.... but who wipes out MacOSX on the G5 to replace it with Linux? Call me a troll, but I just don't see the point when there are cheaper architectures out there.
    • Re:Just curious (Score:5, Insightful)

      by JanneM (7445) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @01:47AM (#8800756) Homepage
      Such a machine may well fall into your lap from somewhere - a friend always uppgrading to the latest wanting to sell off some stuff; getting an opportunity to buy it used, cheaply (from a failed business, for instance); or wanting a G5 for some reason, but not OSX.

      And don't forget the possibility of people that leave Linux to go for OSX, then, after a while, decide Linux was a better fit for their work after all.

      • by mrklin (608689)
        ---Such a machine may well fall into your lap from somewhere

        Don't tell me.

        Your real name doesn't happen to be Tony Soprano and you don't happen to live in New Jersey, where many such G5s fall into your lap from a truck somewhere, right?

      • by Reverant (581129) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @07:00AM (#8801773) Homepage
        And don't forget the possibility of people that leave Linux to go for OSX, then, after a while, decide Linux was a better fit for their work after all.
        You can't begin to imagine how true this is. I've been wanting to get a Mac for 3 years now, mainly because of OS X. When I did (Powerbook 667), I just found that KDE does the job better, quicker, and best of all, it's Free as in Speech. I can't tweak OS X (Aqua, the Finder, Mail.app, etc) and I'm not talking about the usual lame hints and tips, I'm talking about tweaking the code to add/remove that needed/useless functionality. Not to mention bug squashing that I can't wait for Apple to solve. The Powerbook (titanium) hardware is great (the first laptop in years to have working sleep/resume, the ACPI subsystem on pc notebooks just won't work on most laptops I have tried), save the orinoco driver for the Airport card that doesn't properly support scanning and has some issues here and there.
    • Re:Just curious (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 08, 2004 @01:47AM (#8800758)
      The people for whom:

      1. The hardware provides an advantage over other hardware.
      2. The existing OS (OSX) doesn't do the job.

      The hardware costs $$, yes. And OSX is a very very good OS, but for some purposes cost of the hardware is a minor issue and an existing linux solution may do the job immensely well with a strong stable track record
      • Re:Just curious (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Espectr0 (577637)
        Who knows, maybe one day we could get our macs without an OS. They are a hardware company after all.

        Apple, are you listening?
        • Re:Just curious (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Ryan Amos (16972)
          No; Apple is in the business of selling hardware. They create the software to sell the hardware. You'd still have to pay for the R&D on that software even if you don't want it, because they pay for the software by selling the hardware. Essentially, the software costs them nothing because they don't have to pay any per-machine licenses. But OS X is the reason most people buy a Mac. You'd probably just pirate a copy of OS X to put on it anyway; if you want a daily-usable unix system, OS X blows Linux out
    • Re:Just curious (Score:5, Informative)

      by xenotrout (680453) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @01:48AM (#8800763) Homepage Journal
      I don't know about the G5, but I have an iBook running GNU/Linux (just linux, not dual boot). The iBook is very light weight, slim, and quiet. There are a bunch of other good mechanical/design features as well.
      • Re:Just curious (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gantrep (627089) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @02:19AM (#8800890)
        Wouldn't it be just as light, slim and quiet with os x? The question is why run linux on a mac, not why choose a mac.
        • Re:Just curious (Score:5, Insightful)

          by JanneM (7445) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @02:30AM (#8800938) Homepage
          Um, because you prefer Linux over OSX?

          Because you're developing Linux apps, not OSX apps, and that is easier to do using Linux directly than try to do it via OSX?

          Because you like the hardware, but want to distance yourself from a user community seen by many as insular, conformant and intolerant?

          Because you are working on UI issues (either as a hobby or professionally) and it is easier to experiment with new and alternative UI designs on an OS that does not have a deeply ingrained standard UI already?

          There can be any number of reasons. Don't disparage people for making choices different from yours (see my third example above).
          • Re:Just curious (Score:5, Insightful)

            by jeremyp (130771) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @06:09AM (#8801616) Homepage Journal

            Because you like the hardware, but want to distance yourself from a user community seen by many as insular, conformant and intolerant?

            Which user community is that? The Windows, Mac, Linux or BSD community? There are people in all of those that could be described as you have described them.

            I'd never base my choice of hardware or software on what the other people who use it are like (if you can even make such a generalisation).

            • Let's break it down, just for fun....

              Insular: an "insular community" is something of an oxymoron, but Mac communities tend to be relatively accepting of people who don't own Macs, as long as they don't hate Macs either. (If you hate Macs what the hell are you doing at that forum anyway?) I never got into any forums of the others, but if real-world experience is anything like the forums, Windows would be the most insular. "Your computer should do this... well here's your solution.... buy a PC..." (And befor
        • Re:Just curious (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Mr. Frilly (6570)
          no, the question was why run linux on mac hardware when you can run linux on cheaper i386 hardware.

          and i also run linux on a mac portable (12" powerbook). i do it 'cause i got the powerbook for free, and i didn't like os x.
    • Re:Just curious (Score:5, Interesting)

      by pararox (706523) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @01:54AM (#8800790)
      While your point is valid in the way that many of Apple's customers buy a Mac for the total package. The cohesive nature of all things Mac (both on the hardware and software sides), which is so endemic to the platform, are a primary motivating factor.

      That said, I initially began using Linux to fulfill both my curiosity, and for the availability of such high-powered software - all of which is largely free. That was back when I began my college work; I'm now old enough, and thereby have enough money in the bank, that the latter reason for my taking up Linux is not an important reason for my continuing use of it.

      Truly, my interest and love for Linux is now supported solely by my unending curiosity in complex software systems. I want to be able to take apart and piece together all elements of my system; I want to be able to inspect and tinker.

      I think a user's inability to do this on this still greatly proprietary MacOS platform, answers your original inquiry. YellowDog does support a true niche market; I'm glad they've been, and continue to be successful, and I think the reason for their success is that many people still cherish the ability of open software systems. Even if that system isn't as cohesive as MacOSX.
    • Just curious.... but who wipes out MacOSX on the G5 to replace it with Linux? Call me a troll, but I just don't see the point when there are cheaper architectures out there.

      Presumably people who want to run certain Linux applications on the G5 processor.

      Why was this a question? Isn't the answer pretty obvious.

    • Re:Just curious (Score:5, Interesting)

      by kitzilla (266382) <paperfrog@gGINSBERGmail.com minus poet> on Thursday April 08, 2004 @01:59AM (#8800814) Homepage Journal
      We don't wipe out OS X (well, we do -- then we repartition and reload). Then it's dual boot time.

      I love OS X, but am really looking forward to trying out 64-bit Linux on a dual G5.

    • Re:Just curious (Score:5, Informative)

      by bsartist (550317) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @02:05AM (#8800835) Homepage
      That's really two questions - why buy a G5, and why put Linux on it.

      For the first, the answer is I/O. For purely CPU bound benchmarks, the G5 compares fairly well with 64-bit x86 chips, but it's nothing to write home about. On the other hand, the I/O subsystem smokes, so unless you're doing almost pure number crunching, that's something you have to take into account as well.

      As for putting Linux on it, it's funny you should ask that in a comment for this particular story - prior to this release I would have asked the same thing. However, YDL appears to now offer something that OS X doesn't - a full 64-bit address space for applications. Mac OS X is not "full" 64-bit; the OS can manage all 8GB of RAM, and apps can use 64-bit ints. But, apps run in a 32-bit address space.
      • the G5 compares fairly well with 64-bit x86 chips, but it's nothing to write home about. Fairly well? You're not giving it anywhere near enough credit. So that nobody misunderstands... it dramatically outperforms all Pentium series chips... its a bit faster that XEON and roughly on par with AMD64.
      • Re:Just curious (Score:5, Interesting)

        by SEE (7681) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @03:02AM (#8801057) Homepage
        Given the G5 uses the same jointly-developed-by-AMD-and-Apple HyperTransport bus architecture that the only 64-bit x86 chips on the market use, I'm skeptical that the G5 outperforms them on I/O tasks. Have any numbers comparing the Athlon 64 and G5?
        • Re:Just curious (Score:5, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 08, 2004 @03:24AM (#8801118)
          The G5s are using a 1Ghz FSB..

          Athlons are up to 800 something Mhz, and Xeons are stuck around 400Mhz, at the top end.

          For moving data around, G5s are pretty damn fast.
          • Re:Just curious (Score:2, Informative)

            by Nutria (679911)
            Athlons are up to 800 something Mhz, and Xeons are stuck around 400Mhz, at the top end.

            • Athlon32 - 400MHz (200MHz x 2)
            • P4 - 800MHz (200MHz x 4)
            • Xeon - ???? (Probably 266MHz x 2)
            • AMD64 - no FSB between CPU & RAM
          • The G5s are using a 1Ghz FSB..

            Athlons are up to 800 something Mhz, and Xeons are stuck around 400Mhz, at the top end.

            Yes but:

            a) Only 2GHz G5's have 1GHz FSB. 1.8GHz has 900Mhz and 1.6GHz has 800MHz bus

            b) When G5 accesses the RAM, it goes through that bus. And that can eat ALOT of bandwidth. On the Opteron/Athlon64, the CPU talks directly with the RAM, it does not go through the bus. That reduces latency ALOT and it means that the 800Mhz the A64/Opteron-bus runs at is completely available to other I/O-

          • Re:Just curious (Score:3, Informative)

            by Hoser McMoose (202552)
            First point, Apple had exactly ZERO to do with developping Hypertransport. Nothing, nodda, zippo, zilch! Hypertransport is primarily an AMD developped technology with a little bit of help from the now defunct API (Alpha Processor Inc.). Apple may be part of the Hypertransport Consortium, but so are about 90 other companies that had nothing to dow ith the development of Hypertransport.

            Second point, the PowerPC 970 does NOT use Hypertransport as it's bus! Hypertransport in the PowerMac G5 is ONLY used as
      • Re:Just curious (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Shinobi (19308) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @04:53AM (#8801399)
        You've been reading too many Anandtech and Tom's Hardware "reviews". Read up on some science-related mailing lists, newsgroups etc. For some tasks, the x86 variants are faster, for other tasks, the PPC970 is faster. Hell, Linpack is mostly CPU-bound, and 2200 PPC970's beat the crap out of 2816 Opterons at 2GHz.

        Also, check out the performances at various tasks such as FFT's. Or why not crypto? Don't make such blanket statements, instead do some research aimed at what you wish to perform on the hardware.
    • Re:Just curious (Score:5, Informative)

      by seanadams.com (463190) * on Thursday April 08, 2004 @02:08AM (#8800847) Homepage
      This is a really good question, and not a troll at all.

      The answer is "people like me" and the explanation is as follows: roughly once or twice a year, I find that my job requirement shifts a bit, and the platform of choice for said work might change overnight from windows to macos to linux. One of the reasons I used yellowDog for about a year was because I really liked my g4 machine and its cinema display, and didn't want to junk it just so that I could run the OS (linux) which I needed at the time to get my work done.

      These days I usually spend about 1/3 of my time in windows, 1/3 in linux, and 1/3 in MacOS. Certainly I enjoy my life the most while in MacOS, but that's beside the point. The solution for getting my work done has come down to runing Mac at the office, and Linux + vmWare at home. With this setup I have just one machine at each location, and between the two I cover all my needs in a day. The linux machine is the stablest and fastest a=of them all, and I really wish that masos could be one of my vmware sessions... but that's another story.

      Anyway, I agree that YellowDog linux is really a niche product, given that slicker OSes+applications exist for the hardware in question. But sometimes Linux is what you need, and sometimes a Mac is what you want to use, and that's when YellowDog is the answer.
    • Re:Just curious (Score:4, Insightful)

      by kc8apf (89233) <kc8apf.kc8apf@net> on Thursday April 08, 2004 @02:10AM (#8800855) Homepage
      I put linux on my Xserve. It's a server. Linux fit the problem better. No GUI overhead, easier to maintain, etc.

      For G5s, the person generally is either using it as a server or for sciTech work, such as long simulations or massive calculations.

      The sciTech programs are typically written on linux x86 systems and then someone else gets the job of finding the best system to run them. Putting linux on a G5 ends up being easier than getting the initial developer to port the app. Not to mention it gives a consistant interface for all the systems regardless of architecture. This has the nice side effect of making it easier for the admins to maintain the systems and keep up to date on whats new.
    • Check these pages for who [terrasoftsolutions.com] and why [terrasoftsolutions.com].

    • by AvantLegion (595806) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @02:16AM (#8800879) Journal
      Currently, Sun does not offer the WTK (Wireless ToolKit) for the Mac platform - only Windows, Linux, and Solaris.

      That's not the only software that is available for Linux and not for Mac. For some people, a couple missing programs is what they need.

      Personally, I would like to dual-boot Linux alongside OS X. You don't have to "wipe out" Mac OS X and run only Linux. The only thing that stops me from doing this is that my Apple is a PowerBook, and there is still no support for Airport Extreme wireless cards in Linux. I'm always on wireless nets (between my apartment, my girlfriend's, and the university campus), never plugged in. As soon as that is supported, I'll start looking to set up a dual-boot.

      • But Sun isn't shipping WTK binaries for 64-bit PPC Linux, just x86 Linux. I'm sure that most of the things that are available under Linux that aren't under OSX fall in this category rather than the porting open-source from Linux to OSX being too complicated.
    • Re:Just curious (Score:3, Interesting)

      by pyrotic (169450)
      I'm very impressesed by OSX, and I use it on my laptop, but I wouldn't want it on our servers. Partitioning disks, software RAID, tpmfs, RPM/yum, kickstart, logrotation, disk quotas, cron - these are all things that I prefer the linux way of working. And then there's all the shell scripts that we already use with linux that need to be tweaked for Apple's unix. I like the way you can install linux without a gui. If we were looking for a 64 bit 1U server, we'd choose the xServe over Sun's comparable hardware.
      • Re:Just curious (Score:3, Interesting)

        by gozar (39392)

        FYI, you can install OSX Server without the gui... In fact, you can install it on a machine without a keyboard, mouse or monitor. It could be locked away (but that would make it switching disks a little hard). The XServes have a serial port so you can even do it over a terminal.

        A lot of people only think of the capabilities of OS X Client when in the server role they should look at OS X Server. You can configure everything over SSH, and they are a bunch of GUI tools to make things even easier.

    • For the nerds who use a mac.

      Linux is faster then MacOSX and many Linux users like kde and gnome better then aqua. Of course you can run these apps wiht Fink underOSX, the applications seem to run better or compile better with Linux. Thinks like the Gstreamer and mplayer for example I have had trouble wiht previous versions of FreeBSD.

    • Re:Just curious (Score:2, Informative)

      by hak1du (761835)
      I can answer that because I did it: a Mac looked nice and fit in well with my furniture. But after trying OSX, I didn't find it to be a good replacement for Linux, so I wiped the disk and replaced it with Linux and have been quite happy with the machine since.
    • I do write scientific software and we use a bunch of x86 harware under Linux, and we are evaluating Dual G5, but the Apple linker gives us trouble [gnu.org]

      ld: xxx.o relocation overflow for relocation entry 587 in section (__TEXT,__text) (displacement too large)

      So we're looking at Linux with its pile of out of the box working dev tools.

      Laurent

      PS: I'll never see the MaxOS GUI, all boxes are accessed through an xterm under ssh :)

    • by Nice2Cats (557310) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @05:35AM (#8801513)
      Terrasoft, the makers of YDL, actually have an answer [terrasoftsolutions.com] to that question themselves. Their line: Yes, other laptops and desktops run fine. Therefore, we believe there must be people who want more than fine. They want the best.

      Cheesy marketing drivel, yes, but with a grain of truth. At the risk of being moded down to Hades by Mac lovers, let me very carefully point out that to some of us, OS X is not the operating system to end all operating systems. It has some problems (like a clumsy finder that dumps its bloody .DS_Store files all over every filesystem it can get its hands on), some severe limitations (like a Mail program that doesn't do TLS), and lacks important capabilities (no well-integrated office program except MS Office).

      Don't get me wrong, OS X is probably the best operating system available for pure-consumer type users. When my co-worker complained to me a few days ago that he caught some sort of dialer virus thingy, I told him (politely) to get rid of the problem (Microsoft) and buy a Mac. Is Linux for him? No. He would be very happy with Apple's closed-world, choice-is-bad philosophy.

      Some of us, however, like choice, and don't want to, say, pay extra for modern features like virtual desktops that Apple's engineers consider too confusing for us and are covered by shareware. I want a modern mailer (good grief, even the 0.5 BETA of Mozilla Thunderbird [mozilla.org] has TLS), I want Konqueror instead of the brain-damaged Finder, I want my right-click-lelf-click-done! mouse back. But I love the hardware: My iBook G4 is quiet under heavy loads, for example, and battery life is good.

      Linux on a PowerPC gives you the best of both worlds -- even more so because you can use Mac-on-Linux [maconlinux.org] to run your Mac OS X applications from inside Linux. Nobody is talking about wiping OS X off the computer (well, except maybe for this guy [osnews.com]), because, remember, though Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are jealous computer gods, Linus is not. I did dual-boot for years with Windows before swiching completely. You can have your cake and eat it, too.

      A lot of Mac people I have gotten to know after buying my iBook have no idea how good KDE and Gnome have become, they seem to think that Linux users still have to figure out the refresh parameters for X11 by hand. With more and more Linux people moving to PowerPC hardware, I think we'll see more discussions between OS X and Linux users. Linux can give OS X a good run for its mon-, er, can force Apple to try harder, a lot harder, in fact. And that is good for Mac fans, too.

    • I haven't looked around, but is it possible yet to build your own dual G5 based machine and put Linux on it?

      Or does Apple lock up all the G5s that IBM makes?

      I like the specs and power of the G5, but can't really afford a Mac.

      Just curious.
  • by bigredradio (631970) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @01:53AM (#8800785) Homepage Journal
    Since SuSE has locked up the deal with IBM, it would be good to have a less expensive or "free" 64-bit distro for pSeries hardware. Right now all you can get is SuSE and Redhat. (Debian will run on an rs6000, but not 64 bit AFAIK). To get one of these you have to shell out at least a grand. Then again, if you have a 64-bit pSeries, you are not worried about money.
  • by ShatteredDream (636520) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @01:54AM (#8800791) Homepage
    I first started using Linux almost 6 years ago when I was a 15 year old high school sophomore. Most of my friends and I thought it was da shit until OSX came out and then most of us dropped Linux like a bad habit for OSX. There are so many areas that OSX beats Linux for most geeky things that I couldn't even begin to start.

    Since so many geeks are fond of comparing computers to cars, think of it like this. A Mac is like a cross between a BMW and a V6 Accord. It's fast, stylish, reliable and expensive, but it definitely looks cool to most people. A PC can be anything from a pinto to a ferrari, but is usually like a typical late 80s, early 90s American car on reliability. It may go faster and turn sometimes better, but it falls apart a lot faster than the more expensive hybrid Honda/BMW (aka, the Mac of cars).

    Many of my peers in CS used to not be able to understand why I almost never use PCs anymore. We do a lot of work in Java, some of it in C/C++. They cannot comprehend how the Mac JDK runs faster than a Windows JDK. Or for that matter how convenient it is to have your Swing apps look 99% native. If I demonstrate an app to my prof on my laptop, which is a 1Ghz G4, it usually has more of a wow factor because Apple's Swing defaults to Aqua which is a hell of a lot slicker than anything from KDE or Redmond.

    It's all of the little things that make MacOS X worth using over Linux. From the ease of which you can install software to the consistency of the interface to the amount of good software for it as opposed to Linux. Linux is great, but it's not really got much of a place on modern Macs. Between the services that Apple provides like its own version of Apache and Fink, you have most of the software you'd use Linux for.
    • A Mac is like a cross between a BMW and a V6 Accord
      but if you open the dashboard you see that everything including the car radio is well-secured inside one big chunk of epoxy?

      Sorry, tried to get into the car analogy mindset :)
    • You may like MacOS, and prefer it over other, cheaper, functionally equivalent alternatives. Fair enough.

      I don't think your car analogy works though. Car "geeks" don't drop their late 80s, early 90s car for a new BMW/Accord for "geek" reasons. If they do, they aren't car "geeks", they are "ricers".

      This is what car "geeks" do to their Hondas - The New LCRX [honda-perf.org].

      Could you be a MacOS "ricer", and not know it?

    • by KrispyKringle (672903) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @02:45AM (#8801002)
      I'm a very recent (about a month and a half) convert to OSX. My desktop is Gentoo, which I also use on my PC at work. I run a Debian server, use RedHat far more than I'd like at work, and run OpenBSD on my own server. I've also got similar experience running FreeBSD. I used to have Windows on my desktop as well, up until late last year, simply for the software compatibility. It was only recently that I decided that everything I did in Windows could be done without significant extra effort on Linux.

      I had, prior to buying my 12" Powerbook, used OS9, and found it to be quite unpleasant in that the interface is perfectly friendly, if a bit archaic-feeling, but that there seemed to be a complete and utter lack of any real features in the area of networking, no multi-user capabilities, and generally poor reliability and usability. I had also used OSX a small amount, and it seemed to be, if a bit slow (and still does feel that way, even on my Powerbook), a perfectly tolerable Unix-ish OS.

      Nevertheless, I suspect I'll have a Linux desktop around for a long time (and in some respects truly do prefer it over OSX). Firstly, I found switching to a closed-source OS to be a bit of a bother. Certain minor things I'd like to change I can't, at least, without significant work. While the initial installation is easy, and getting a working desktop for basic stuff like email, web browsing, etc, I can't change certain things how I'd like. The sec ond issue I have is more anticipatory--sooner or later, I just know Apple is going to bite me in the ass with upgrades. OS 10.1 users are apparently expected to upgrade to Panther. When 10.4 comes out, am I going to be expected to plop down another $120 just like that? And finally, in terms of usability, yes, OSX has many nice features. And it's pretty. But it runs X11 apps clunkily at best, Fink and OpenDarwin ports and all are great, but there's not NEARLY the range of Free software available (e.g. the lack of a non-alpha level, non-X11 Free, or even free, word processor). Closed Broadcomm drivers mean I can't put my Airport Extreme card into passive mode. And of course, I'm simply less familiar with OSX, as well. If I decide to implement GRSec and PAX protection on my Gentoo box, I can do it. Being a bit of a security hobbyist, how do I know my Apple is as secure?

      OSX is great, to be sure, for a desktop. It patches the weakness of desktop Linux and is, in many ways, a paragon for that endeavor. And XCode and all are certainly good enough that I have no real issues doing development ON OSX, though most of what I write is written FOR Linux/x86. But I'd never use it for a server, rarely for anything truly serious, certianly not on a desktop where the price of Apple hardware is prohibitive, and not simply because Aqua apps look ``a hell of a lot slicker'' :P

      Overall, however, I am happy.

    • They cannot comprehend how the Mac JDK runs faster than a Windows JDK.

      Is this true?

      Are there any benchmarks/evals online anywhere?
    • The Mac has traded on three things: Ease of use, looks, and low power consumption. In recent years, the low power consumption has come to the fore because of the benefits to portables.

      The Powerbook is the VW Golf DTi (up to 150BHP, but at over 40mpg), the iBook is the Polo equivalent.

      There is no BMW equivalent in the computer world (Compaq were the nearest thing till Ms. Fiorino came - perhaps she should be put in charge of Iraq?), but I'd suggest that Sony is roughly equivalent to Honda, and Toshiba to To

  • by fredmosby (545378) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @01:58AM (#8800808)
    I always see posts where people rationalize buying Apple laptops buy saying "if I don't like OSX I can always put linux on it". This makes it a lot easier for apple to get people to switch from linux to OSX. Maybe apple should try to make macs that are capable of running Windows so more people will switch to macs from the Windows world.
    • Maybe apple should try to make macs that are capable of running Windows so more people will switch to macs from the Windows world.

      But since Windows only runs on x86 architecture, MacOS would have to be ported to x86. The neat thing about Linux is that it runs on everything.

      • Actually apple already has an x86 port for OSX. It is after all based on Next Step, which originally ran on the x86. So mostly they just had to recompile the GUI stuff. They could release an x86 mac that can boot into windows or OSX and encourage developers to release their programs as 'fat' binaries that run on PPC and x86. Then they just have to decide if they want an Intel Inside sticker or not.
    • They've already tried that. First they had emulators, then they had PC cards that fitted inside your Mac, then they had emulators again, then they had PowerPC's that did both, then emulators again... I think they have emulators atm..

      • Emulators and PC cards are not like actually having a PC. No one would seriously consider running all their programs through an emulator. They are way to resolve some compatibility issues for people who already know they want a mac, not a replacement for a PC.
    • From the Gates of evil, no less. Of course, he might not mind Mac users who are interested in running Windows as well. From my experience, it's quite decent for office applications and light work with Windows-only development tools. Old games are great, for new games you probably want a native version.
  • Good to hear it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by menace3society (768451) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @02:14AM (#8800871)
    Being locked into an OS, even if it's the niftiest thing in the universe (which OS X is), and even if it's core is open-source, is a bad thing. If you buy a refrigerator, you don't want to be locked into whatever food it comes with, plus whatever further food stipends the manufacturer provides. Having another good software reason to buy a mac (64-bit Linux with AltiVec) will only help Apple's sales, and make the newest Macs a force to be reckoned with in high-end personal computing.
  • Aha! (Score:5, Informative)

    by RadRafe (632260) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @02:37AM (#8800969) Homepage
    There's the long-awaited IBM G5 blade server! I knew it was coming, and now it's here.

    BladeCenter JS20 [ibm.com]

    Specs, as stated on IBM's page:

    Modular blade server optimized for the BladeCenter enclosure

    Two PowerPC® 970 processors at up to 1.6GHz standard

    512MB standard/4GB max PC2700 ECC DDR memory

    Up to two IDE hard disk drives for 80GB maximum internal storage

    Two Gigabit Ethernet controllers standard with load balancing and failover features
    $2,699

    How disappointing. For the sake of perspective, here's the Xserve G5 Cluster Node:

    Dual 2GHz PowerPC G5

    512MB DDR400 ECC SDRAM

    80GB Serial ATA drive

    Mac OS X Server (10 Client)

    Dual Gigabit Ethernet
    $2,999

    OK, so the IBM server is slightly cheaper. But look what you get:

    slower processors: 1.6 GHz vs. 2.0 GHz

    slower memory: 333MHz vs. 400MHz

    slower storage: ATA-100 vs. SATA

    no storage in the standard model: 0 GB vs. 80 GB

    less expandable storage: 80 GB vs. 750 GB

    less expandable memory: 4 GB vs. 8 GB

    That being the case, I'd say this is a disappointing product. Why would anyone choose it over the Xserve?

    • by DF5JT (589002)
      Does the word "license fee" ring a bell?
  • Ever Used YDL? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Becho62282 (172807) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @02:43AM (#8800996)
    Have any of you ever used YDL at all?? I first used YDL in 2000, it was my first time touching Linux on a PPC and I felt it quite robust. Sure people wonder why you would used YDL on a Mac that has OS X on it. For the same reason that some people have Win 98 at the same time as XP.

    Flexibility. Sure you may want to use OS X day to day. But sometimes you just need to be in a true X environment. Yes you could do that otherwise in OS X, but it tends to have a high overhead (2 window managers, one sitting on top of another), and OS X is a bit quirky when it comes to certain NIX things (case sensitivity, others).

    The other issue is that YDL is a GREAT solution when you want to just do number crunching. No need to run the OS X GUI, just a rock solid number crunching OS. If I remember correctly the Navy is using a bunch of XServes (G4 era) with YDL on them for this reason.

    Basically it boils down to whether you want to run the OS X window manager and OS X apps, or you want to run "real" LINUX with it's app suite and it's window manager.

    Besides, if you X86 zealots can have 18 differant distros why can't PPC users have a few too.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 08, 2004 @03:25AM (#8801122)
    I'll give you two reasons:

    - Performances ! Run lmbench or do large HPC and compare. There is a real market for such type of applications, and so far, OS X is still way too far behind (lack of 64 bits address space is one thing, lack of large pages support is another, raw kernel perfs gets in the loop as well). The G5 makes a very good 64 bits machine to run linux on for such applications.

    - Choice. There are other reasons to choose an OS but "it's slick". Some of us (I know some people have difficulties getting this concept) do actually value the concept of Open Source and want to actively participate for personal and/or political reasons. I prefer running Linux even if it isn't as great as OS X for doing "end user" things, but then, I also contribute in making linux better hoping we will reach that level one day. Apple definitely defines a goal to reach when it comes to GUI (though some aspects of the latest OS X versions can be criticized I beleive).

    It's funny, it's always the same question popping up, some of the Apple folks themselves, on mailing lists or conference keep asking that same question, they just can't imagine somebody would want to use something else than their pet OS, but life is about choice & diversity, as much as I like what Apple produces, I'd hate to see it become a monopoly.

    In short, as a linux box, a G5 is great :)

  • In our case we were already supporting 3 operating systems (OS9, Windows XP and Linux). Upgrading some of our machines to OSX would add an additional OS to support. Some of our Macs are too underpowered to run OSX. By turning those machines into servers runing YDL we can continue to get usable service out of them. My experience has been that YDL on older G3's has been extremely solid. As we are using YDL mostly for server applications, the advantages/disadvantages of the GUI don't matter. Trying to run
  • by btbo (769556) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @06:39AM (#8801701)
    For me it would be really useful if there's also a 64-bit JVM for it.
  • by leandrod (17766) <l AT dutras DOT org> on Thursday April 08, 2004 @08:01AM (#8802028) Homepage Journal
    It is interesting that for /. crowd everything not an IBM-compatible PC is either proprietary or custom or whatever.

    The truth is there is nothing more custom or proprietary to RISC than to the IBM-compatible PC, probably less. While the BIOS and such became common knowledge and the legal ability to produce x86 clones became widespread, there is nothing inherently open there: AMD-64 and IA-64 can well shed all that and become AMD and Intel exclusives. In fact it seems that IA-64 is already there.

    On the other hand, SPARC is a standard, the PowerPC is joint developed, and all RISCs use open standards like OpenFirmware. And definetely IBM stuff is made in volume and widely available, if pricier than your standard white box stuff.
  • Fan Control? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TVC15 (518429) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @08:46AM (#8802275)
    The press release doesn't mention if the OS supports the G5 fans correctly. Will all 8-9 fans (+1 for the 9800 Pro if upgraded) be blowing full throttle the entire time? My understanding is that current non-OS X installations do this.

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