Linked by Jon Atkinson on Tue 20th May 2003 18:14 UTC
Linux I entered the world of Apple hardware about 3 months ago now, with a second-hand iBook2. It was a 500mHz, 256mb, ATI Rage 128 model, with a standard CD-Rom drive. I spent the first few days trying to tweak Mac OS X to my liking, then a few further weeks installing and learning to use the applications I thought I'd need. Chimera, BBEdit, the developer tools, even the Fink X server so I could use Gaim.
Order by: Score:
Performance?
by Andrew on Tue 20th May 2003 01:37 UTC

So which is the real performance drowner? The ATI Rage 123 or his 500mhz cpu? I would think OSX would run better on a mac system like this.

i wish linux was the answer for me...
by Anonymous on Tue 20th May 2003 01:48 UTC

..but the GUI's too inadequate (KDE or GNOME), usability too low, the apps crash too often, and sadly, XP runs faster on this hardware than Linux does. Bah.

Ok...
by :-) on Tue 20th May 2003 01:52 UTC

If he is a power user then he shouldn't be using an ibook in the first place, for power usage anyways... he shouldn't expect so much from a laptop that is intended to be a slightly lower brand. The lag should be expected, i think :-)

Great review
by Jay on Tue 20th May 2003 01:54 UTC

Great review, Jon! I've got Yellow Dog 3 on a 600 MHz G3 iMac. It has 1 GB RAM which helps. I have never seen the quality and performance of a Linux distro leap so high from one version to the next. Everything is a million times better than 2.3. Amazing. The iMac too only has a ATI Rage 16 MB card. The performance though. compared to 2.3, is phenomenal.

a few days installing OS X?
by debman on Tue 20th May 2003 01:55 UTC

uhhh...yeah.....

No tweak attempts?
by NeoWolf on Tue 20th May 2003 01:57 UTC

He demands such performance yet he apparently never gave any of the tweaking apps aimed specifically at power users and those that have older systems? I mean the application bouncing he complains about it right in the standard system preferences.

I was very excited to try YDL when it became publically available for download several weeks ago. For some reason it didn't the monitor and the video card which I found strange because YDL 2.3 was able to for its' graphical install. For the record i'm using a 500mhz imac w/ Rage 128.

I too had the delayed CUPS startup during first boot. No biggie. However, on both YDL 2.3 and 3.0 for some reason it offsets the monitor to the left about half an inch and there's also a high-piched squealing which seems to happen anytime I move my mouse. It also happened on 2.3

The thing that was the worst for YDL 3.0 was whenever I would logged out the screen would go black. I was not able to kill X and had to reboot.

I want to give the folks at YDL the benefit of the doubt because they are a PPC-only distro but frankly I've had nothing but problems and I'm much happier with Mandrake 9.1

There's my 2¢. ;)

Even Better: Don't leave OS X behind!
by Felix Cortez on Tue 20th May 2003 02:16 UTC

I've got an iBook of the same vintage as the author, as well as a TiBook 667 (no DVI). I installed Mandrake 9.1 PPC instead of YDL3 on them though. I boot into MDK, then use Mac-On-Linux to boot OS X simultaneously on VT9. I hit ctrl-alt-F7 and ctrl-alt-F9 to toggle back and forth between Linux and OS X. Works quite nicely, and OS X even runs pretty respectably under MOL, even on the iBook (NOTE: You want to have lots of RAM for this...). I've installed YDL 3 on a desktop machine, and their MOL support isn't near as good as Mandrake's, but I've made it work under both. Lets you have your cake and eat it too... I still prefer OS X on a Mac that is a bit more powerful (my dual G4/800) and Red Hat on x86 hardware (my dual Athlon MP 2000), but not a bad compromise.

>on both YDL 2.3 and 3.0 for some reason it offsets the monitor to the left about half an inch

This is _normal_. It happens with almost all alternative OSes, depending on the driver. You see, each different driver has different settings on initialization and parametres, this is why you will find one inch of offset left or right everytime you use another OS or even just another driver, on Mac or PC.

> and there's also a high-piched squealing which seems to happen anytime I move my mouse.

I don't know about that. File a bug report with YDL.

OS X and Apple Hardware
by Jose Badeau on Tue 20th May 2003 02:20 UTC

Opinion 1: OS X 10.2.6 is a beast of an OS and will bring any current G3 to it's knees.

Opinion 2: Apple hardware is expensive yet also extreamly well built and designed.

Opinion 3: OS X is an extreamly capable UNIX OS that hold's it's own to any OS in existence.

Don't think for a minute that Aqua somehow negates OS X's UNIX underpinnings. Aqua is easily the most elegant, user-friendly and function GUI in the unix/Linux universe. However, if GUIs are not your forte then there is always the command line for your power-user needs.

To quote Mr. Atkinson"For now, and more importantly, for me as a power-user, OS X just isn't good enough for doing the things I need to do."

What "THINGS" exactly would he not be able to accomplish on OS X that Yellow Dog Linux(YDL) was able to do?
I agree that YDL is an excellent alternative for those without fast Apple hardware but to confuse hardware issues with OS X functionality is silly and ignorant.

He makes me...
by IWouldToo on Tue 20th May 2003 02:25 UTC

...want to get an Ibook too.
I would be the same way with OS X, though. I mean, it is nice and everything, and it is Unix enough. But, I think it is just as difficult for anyone who has used Linux for a long time to switch, as it is for windows users. I wouldn't last 10 minutes with OS X. I don't like big, fat bloated GUIs, which is why I don't use Gnome or KDE. Give me fvwm, xterm, xfe, adie, firebird, thunderbird, prozgui, abiword & xmms and I am happy.

X Windows
by Chris on Tue 20th May 2003 02:28 UTC

You have several options if you want to run X Windows on mac OS X. You run it rootless via Xdarwin or Apple's X11/ You can also run it full screen with Xdarwin and use a key combo to switch back and forth between Aqua and your window manager. This is what I prefer.

You can slo boot in console mode and run an X Windows enviroment, without aqua, etc, if you want that Unix-y experience.

Jose, NeoWolf, :-):
by Greg on Tue 20th May 2003 02:33 UTC

You seem to be accusing him of not doing enough to make OS X perform. This is essentially a review of Yellow Dog Linux. I don't think the author uses his computer to prove to himself that OS X is powerful and that enough tweaking will make it run fast. Yellow Dog ran well for him without such tweaking. Taking it as a mortal insult whenever OS X proves to not meet someone's requirements is ridiculous. This applies to many Linux trolls, as well.

I had the same experience.
by Bob the Monkey on Tue 20th May 2003 02:34 UTC

I had the same iBook, and Mac OS X was almost unusable.
My 4 year old Celeron 400 with 32 MB of RAM was much faster running Win98SE.

I ended up selling my iBook. Oh, and I didn't find that OS X lived up to the hype, either.

I'd rather be running Linux. Works for me?

RE: Jose, NeoWolf, :-):
by Eugenia on Tue 20th May 2003 02:34 UTC

Very nice post Greg, thank you. ;)

Yawn
by Anonymous on Tue 20th May 2003 02:36 UTC

"I bought the slowest Mac CPU with the slowest video card and for some reason, the computer seems slow and unresponsive to me."

RE:i wish linux was the answer for me...
by zank on Tue 20th May 2003 02:38 UTC

>..but the GUI's too inadequate (KDE or GNOME), usability too >low, the apps crash too often, and sadly, XP runs faster on >this hardware than Linux does. Bah.

XP runs on PPC hardware now? Wow, amazing.
By the way, publicizing this article was a big mistake since we all now that Mac people are even worse zealots than Linux users.

Re: Yawn
by Bob the Monkey on Tue 20th May 2003 02:39 UTC

Yes, but when he ran a different OS on the same hardware, it became responsive, and not so slow.

Plus, when I bought my iBook, it was the best one available.
And it came with Mac OS X pre-installed. So you expect it to be usable.

tweaking
by Hiryu on Tue 20th May 2003 02:40 UTC

Well, isn't Mac OS X supposed to run "well" without tweaking? Isn't that what apple has aimed for? "It just works"?
I'm thinking if I tried Mac OS X and found the same performance issues, I would have also guessed that there wasn't much to do about it since Apple seems to try and have it all working automagically perfect from the very start or at least, that's what has been implied.

Also, the monitor-shifting thing:
by Greg on Tue 20th May 2003 02:41 UTC

I've noticed this occur with many alternative OSs as well--BeOS shifts the screen right, my framebuffer console shifts it far left, X shifts it around the middle. Vesa drivers, for some reason, never have this problem. Is it inherent in the Vesa specification?

RE: RE:i wish linux was the answer for me...
by Andrew on Tue 20th May 2003 02:41 UTC

XP runs on PPC hardware now? Wow, amazing.
By the way, publicizing this article was a big mistake since we all now that Mac people are even worse zealots than Linux users.

I think he was talking about general linux. And as far as the mac zealots..

They seem to be worse than the linux zealots.. Since the linux zealots usually only attack Billy and hardly ever attack Steve since most of them would rather run OSX. The Apple users attack everyone that doesn't run MacOSX..

Damn 97% of the world!

DVD & Multimedia output?
by iBooker on Tue 20th May 2003 02:42 UTC

Can you watch DVDs (if you had a DVD drive) with this sort of hardware on YDL? Does the VGA Out dongle work yet? How about the RCA Video/Audio out that plugs into the headphone jack?

In sort, how does it handle multimedia output besides the lcd?

I really liked debian on my ibook, but at the time multimedia sucked on it. 500mhz doesn't seem to be enough. Given on 10GB, I had to choose only Mac os X (since 10.2.6 with dev tools _seems_ to take up 5+ GB maybe I did something wrong, but installing 10.0, then 10.1 upgrade, then 10.2 upgrade then software updates, then dev tools left me with not much space)

I would hope eventually to move back to linux as that is what I code on most of the time, but this I need it for multimedia as well, and unfortunately (or fortunately if you have them) the later ibooks use a different video card, so I doubt much effort is being put on this driver.


RE: Jose, NeoWolf, :-):
by NeoWolf on Tue 20th May 2003 02:47 UTC

Yes it's a YellowDog review, but the first page is basically a performance complaint with Mac OS X. And a lot of his points are perfectly valid, no one's arguing that it's a speed demon. I was just pointing out that one of his complaints, "Simple little things can kill your computing morale; I don't want to watch an icon bouncing up and down while an application starts; I want those extra cycles put to use to make said application start faster in the first place.? Is right there in the preferences.

I've got no problem with him liking YellowDog more. I haven't had the chance to try it lately but it and RedHat 9 actually look very pretty to me and the distro comming with rpm and apt in harmony sounds great to me.

I have the same model of iBook...
by Bascule on Tue 20th May 2003 02:52 UTC

500MHz G3 w 256MB RAM. On OS X I have applications like Photoshop, Illustrator, Painter, Reason, Final Cut Pro. Were I to install YDL I could replace these with... the Gimp... and Kontour, losing some 90% of the functionality on the latter. Of course, there are no usable OSS counterparts to things like Painter, Reason, and Final Cut Pro.

Did I mention I can also watch Flash animations in any one of IE, Safari, OmniWeb, Mozilla, or Camino? In Linux I could try watching them with... the open source Flash plugin that lacks things like clipping masks.

Scrolling a Finder window with more than 10 or so icons in it would produce skipping and visible refreshing, something I thought died with Windows 3.1.

This is what I saw as his primary reason for switching to OS X. Well, first, this would hardly motivate me to drop all the applications I use and switch to Linux. But... OS X composites frames and draws them to a backbuffer then pageflips at the end of a vertical refresh. It's impossible for there to be "visible refreshing" in OS X... the compositing engine simply "drops frames". You will never experience tearing artifacts... so I don't see how he can claim that there's "visible refreshing".

I still fail to understand the arguments about OS X's performance compared against GUIs circa 1991. Certainly these GUIs didn't have performance problems... but on the flipside they were visually apalling.

In the end, it seems if you don't "do anything" with your computer on the creative side, Linux may be a suitable choice for you, however you might want to consider why you purchased a Mac in the first place.

Ibook Speed
by Uroboros on Tue 20th May 2003 03:18 UTC

I have a 600Mhz iBook, very similar, and a new power mac. OS X is just fine on it. However, what I did do immediately was max out the ram to 640mbs. I think to be truthful, that this is key. My Power Mac also has maxed out ram, and I've never ever had speed problems with it. Of course, this is fairly useless advice because maxing out the ram is not a cheap thing to do, but before you say the processor sucks, I'd look to the ram. OS X just eats it up, kind of like it eats up your money. Its worth it to me, because I really love OS X, but I can definately understand why some people will look at apple prices and turn their noses up.

expectations
by oberto on Tue 20th May 2003 03:20 UTC

A lot of the gripes expressed by the author are legit. Unless you are running at least a G4, MacOSX is just bearable to use. It will run fine on G3s as long as their is not much heavy processing involved.

Yellow Dog is fine but not as fast as MacOS 9 on the same hardware.

If you plan on running MacOSX, G4 is the way to go.

Missing the boat
by Jay on Tue 20th May 2003 03:26 UTC

Many of you are missing the boat in this thread. The subject is not OS X. The subject is YDL and its incredible leap from 2.3 to 3. If you could see them side by side, you would know what I'm talking about.

RE: Missing the boat
by Eugenia on Tue 20th May 2003 03:32 UTC

>The subject is YDL and its incredible leap from 2.3 to 3.

I agree. The 3.0 version uses the latest Red Hat stuff, plus some brand new pref panels AFAIK.

Jay, check your email please. ;)

re: DVD and multi media
by debman on Tue 20th May 2003 03:34 UTC

dude... make sure you are running the CK patched 2.4.20 kernel . then just set up the MM apps needed like K3B and xine (it is very stable and usable now)

also make sure you get the O(1) interactive proc scheduler and the rmap patches as well.

then renice X to 0 and you can run arts at the minimum framebuffer with no dropouts!!! DVD playback is perfect as well. I have no qualms with my system...I like it better than XPs MM.

Re: Bascule
by Rayiner Hashem on Tue 20th May 2003 03:36 UTC

I think that is his point. All the applications you mention are part of the traditional MacOS arsenal. The author clearly mentioned that he wasn't one of those media people, so he had a much greater flexibility to chose his OS based on preferences rather than application availibility.

The G3 isn't the bottleneck per se
by Anonymous on Tue 20th May 2003 03:51 UTC

His video chip is the bottleneck in addition to the low bus speed of his iBook (which I believe is only 66MHz as opposed to the newer iBook's 100MHz bus). But a huge bottleneck is the Rage 128. The Rage 128 is incapable of handling non power of 2 textures. Quartz Extreme needs this. Despite the marketing, Quartz Extreme really does make a difference. I've got an iBook 700 dual USB with 640MB and an ATI Mobility 7500. It runs OS X beautifully, and I'm a developer. I typically have apache and mysql running in the background, with a dozen large apps open like Project Builder. The G3 is seldom a bottleneck. I have seen Macs that don't support Quartz Extreme, and that is where the sluggish feel comes from. QE really does make a difference. For most users, running OS X without QE-capable hardware would be unbearable, so I can see where he's coming from.

EXACTLY
by Harish on Tue 20th May 2003 04:02 UTC

Simple little things can kill your computing morale; I don't want to watch an icon bouncing up and down while an application starts; I want those extra cycles put to use to make said application start faster in the first place.

Ahh, how many minutes I have wasted^H^H^H^H^H^H spent admiring those bouncy icons as I wait for apps to start. But besides that, and in general laginess, I don't seem to mind OS X.

seems backwards
by Hugh Jeego on Tue 20th May 2003 04:07 UTC

Visible refresh tearing and laggy scrolling?

These are the problems I always had with KDE before I switched to Mac OS X.

But then again, not everyone can be BeOS ;)

-hugh

Morphix
by Hugh Jeego on Tue 20th May 2003 04:16 UTC


So is there a YDL bootable demo CD like knoppix?
I'm so sick of these "how i installed linux" stories.
They are almost as bad as "Is Linux ready for the desktop?"

-Hugh

Ditching MacOS X... Ditching Mac...
by Anonymous on Tue 20th May 2003 04:38 UTC

Hello Jon,

If trying YDL 3.0 was motivated by the sluggish behavior of MacOS X on your iBook and if you have a broadband connection, download (it's free) the 3 iso images of Mandrake 9.1 for PowerPC (Bamboo)and try it.

Now that you've put Linux on your iBook, you might want to replace the iBook itself with a PC laptop. Again, your quest of trying to avoid sluggishness will be awarded.

I did the same thing you did but earlier than you. I was already using "soon to be sued by SCO" Unices on PCs for quite some time though.

MacOS 9 will run on my "obsolete" 1999 G3 laptop until the hardware dies. Meanwhile, I switched to Windows XP for the workstation (Pentium 4), Linux and BSD for the servers, mostly running on "not obsolete at all" 1999 dirty PC hardware.

Now, should I say that I'm not flaming either

He wasn't that interested in OS X
by Jason on Tue 20th May 2003 04:48 UTC

"To be honest, I only really wanted to play with Apples for the hardware"

So he probably just used it as it came from the previous owner.
I personally always do a clean install on any second hand machine I get.

Screenshots?
by Bryce Groff on Tue 20th May 2003 05:12 UTC

Why did he keep talking about how great he liked gnome and only had screenshots of KDE?

yeah
by Anonymous on Tue 20th May 2003 05:35 UTC

I have exactly the same iBook as the reviewer and OS X 10.2.6 runs beautifuly on it. Everything just works beautifully except for printing over a windows network.

RE: Screenshots?
by Eugenia on Tue 20th May 2003 05:43 UTC

>Why did he keep talking about how great he liked gnome and only had screenshots of KDE?

He didn't. I added the screenshots, they are TerraSoft's shots, not ours or Jon's. In fact, you could have seen that if you were more careful reading their URL.

RE: Screenshots
by Greg on Tue 20th May 2003 05:43 UTC

Uhm, there's only one KDE screenshot and two GNOME screenshots. Or is there something I'm missing?

Dumb
by White Hat Zero on Tue 20th May 2003 05:46 UTC

I am a coder, and I love Mac OS X. I am running the exact same configurations, and for the life of me, I can't see why you were having such a hard time. I don't have the visual refresh problems that your talking about, if you mean the whole window bluring out everything else as your scroll or resize. It has never happened to me, and yes I am a Unix User. I have X11, Fink, and all of the window managers loaded up, but primarily let the X11 Aqua interface be used. Personally, I think you wrote this article just for the attention. YDL 3.0 has a glitch in the installer when running on your configuration that I have yet to get around, and am tired of messing with personally. Once you put in disk 3, the entire anaconda installer freaks out and tells you to debug it, so I just restart. I was able to install YDL 3.0 with very very very minimal installation, of like gnome only GUI, and Abiword I believe, and that was the only way I was able to avoid the damn glitch. YDL sucks, I can do everything just as fast through Fink, and X11. Your ignorance amuses me.

Whatever
by Phuqker on Tue 20th May 2003 05:46 UTC

To each his own. I don't dispute his preference for YDL over OSX, but to me there's simply no contest.

It boils down to one word for me: aesthetics.

And that's why I love OS X.

Linux may have great underpinnings and marvelous "tweakability," but otherwise it's an ugly mess compared to OSX.

fonts ?
by thoems on Tue 20th May 2003 05:50 UTC

My 'biggest' problems with Linux has always been fonts. For example in Gimp only half of the fonts has been usable ( I could select all but only half of it worked with the effects). So maybe I'm the only one with this problem, but since then its always the first thing I try on a Linux Distro. So I'm wondering if this is a porblem in YDL. Would be nice if somebody could try it.

Thöms

Re: Dumb
by Greg on Tue 20th May 2003 05:53 UTC

Your comment was respectable until you said "You wrote this article just for the attention." Not only does this not make any sense (c'mon, off the top of your head, what's the author's name?), you don't appear to realize that it is possible that somehow, somewhere, a Yellow Dog Linux installation worked better than an OS X one. The author never said "OS X sux0rz!!!! lunix 0wnZ!!1!." Yet you seem determined to look stupid --- "your ignorance", "YDL sucks", the aforementioned "just for the attention." If you want to look like a serious "coder," don't act like a closeminded fool.

10 seconds for a terminal
by Nathan O. on Tue 20th May 2003 05:54 UTC

I get the 10-second load times for small apps problem, too. I'm on x86 hardware in Linux/KDE or GNOME. Anything from a K6-2 to a P4 takes forever to load KDE or GNOME specific apps. Anyone know why that is? Other apps load fine.

Re: fonts ?
by alley_cat on Tue 20th May 2003 06:27 UTC

For example in Gimp only half of the fonts has been usable ( I could select all but only half of it worked with the effects).


I just tried on my box, with gimp 1.3. It shows all fonts available to fontconfig, but not all work. The Gimp font engine needs scalable fonts (truetype or Type 1), the fonts that don't work are the X bitmap fonts. (Gimp 1.3 has a small preview in the font selection, that one looks strange for bitmap fonts, so it's easy to see what fonts work, though i think they should just be removed from the font selection)

Re: 10 seconds for a terminal
by Anonymous on Tue 20th May 2003 06:30 UTC

GNOME and KDE specific apps tend to make use of more shared libraries than other apps which increases load time.

Re: Dumb
by Nom on Tue 20th May 2003 06:32 UTC

I also thought the start of this article was some attention seeking strategy, (and that perhaps it was posted because of this - more impressions). The comments about OS X are completely unnecessary. If this was a decent review of YDL then it would not of started in such a "troll" like fashion. It _should_ of concerned it self purely with YDL, and maybe mentioned why it was chosen towards the middle (after covering installation). Example reasons could be; the need for a particular application, or work/study requirements or simply because the author likes checking out new operating systems.

This kind of article reflects poorly on the author and OSNews.

fonts the 2.
by thoems on Tue 20th May 2003 06:48 UTC

The Gimp font engine needs scalable fonts (truetype or Type 1)


Thx for testing.
That was my first thought, but roughly half of the scalable fonts didn't work. Red Hat 9 has been the first distro I tested where I didn't had this kind of problem.

OSX Zealots
by Andrew on Tue 20th May 2003 06:56 UTC

If you'll notice from earlier on the MacOSX Zealotry in these comments was predicted, and you guys all came through! You guys are ruthless.

@Nathan O.
by wakeupneo on Tue 20th May 2003 06:56 UTC

Nathan,

I found most of my Linux setups to be quite sluggish until I ran across a little utility called "hdparm"

It seems that most distroes don't turn on things like DMA, and 32 bit access for your hard drive when going through the installation so you have to do this manually. As an example, the transfer rate of my drive went from 10Mbps to 48Mbps with some simple tweaking ;)

Hope this helps.

Re: Bouncing icons
by Bascule on Tue 20th May 2003 07:00 UTC

Simple little things can kill your computing morale; I don't want to watch an icon bouncing up and down while an application starts; I want those extra cycles put to use to make said application start faster in the first place.

I can't believe how many times I hear idiots complaining about "bouncing icons" as if it's some horrible flaw in the overall design of OS X.

Don't like the bouncing icons? System Preferences > Dock > Uncheck "Animate opening applications"

Now, was that so hard? The bouncing icon will now be replaced by a pulsating arrow to indicate the application is loading.

KDE has similarly useless eyecandy. It's just off per default. Window Maker has it, other window managers and desktop environments have it. I don't see the problem with OS X having it, eveing having it on per default, especially when it's so easy to turn off.

Of course, knowing the utilitarian zealots who most frequently argue agains OS X, their window manager of choice is most likely twm, a symptom of their pointless quest to eek every last possible CPU cycle out of their system so their IRC clients run with optimum efficiency.

Dumb?
by westyvw on Tue 20th May 2003 07:02 UTC

Nom seems to think that the OSX to YDL was a kind of troll, or written in a way to get our attention.

Thats what you call journalism. Thats why they call a Lead Line a well, Lead Line.

Although I dont think it really was intentional, I think the author just followed a logical progression in his thinking, ie. I used OSX, wanted to like it, didnt work so well on my machine, tried YDL, report on the experience.

But never the less, this makes for good telling. If he had started some other way, and but OSX in the middle, someone would have complained that he was trying to "hide" his message of OSX bashing in the article.

Performance
by Ian on Tue 20th May 2003 08:00 UTC

Hmmm, jerky scrolling? Let me have a look. MacOS X.1 on iBook 500Mhz with 320M RAM. Nope! No jerky scrolling in a finder window with more than 10 icons. Oh, and with "reduce processor performance" ticked to lengthen battery time!

It has an "uptime" of 149 days too ;)

Linux hardware support
by poisti on Tue 20th May 2003 08:06 UTC

nice... this shows how well Linux can run if all of the hardware is supported, seems like Terrasoft has put a lot of work in this distro. I tried Debian and Mandrake on my iBook, but they just don't seem that "integrated" with the hardware, I guess I'll have to try YDL3.0.

Performance
by Billy G is not My Lover on Tue 20th May 2003 08:26 UTC

Yeah, I want to go out and buy an extra 300MB of RAM just to make my system "run flawlessly". Every post on here says "I've got 600MB of ram, and my Mac runs fine". JESUS... My notebook has 256MB of ram, and it NEVER runs slow, hell I could take out 128MB and it would still run fine. Maybe if OSX spent less time rendering PDFs, and more time doing what its supposed to be doing, then it would run better. A Mac that can't handle Quartz Extreme? Why in the world does Apple even make such a thing? They shouldn't be selling it with OSX if it can't hanlde it.

Re: Bascule
by Mike Hearn on Tue 20th May 2003 08:43 UTC

You appear to be misinformed. The flash plugin on Linux is most often the same as the one on Windows - Macromedia have made a (proprietary) Flash plugin for a long time now. I don't know why you think otherwise.

Could someone please do a review of Windows XP
by Anonymous on Tue 20th May 2003 09:00 UTC

Hello everyone,

I have a toshiba 200MHZ laptop that I am willing to ship to anyone wanting to review XP. Of cource when you have completed the reviewl, if you could install FreeBSD and tell us how responsive the OS is compared to XP. The author's only valid point is to show how valuable OSS is to people who can't afford new hardware.

Here's my article: For Mac users that want to try out Linux, Mandrake 9.1 is significantly better (in my opinion). They have much better Mac On Linux support (run Linux and Mac OS X simultaneously) and their default setup under Gnome is more Mac-ish (though you can configure it however you like).

Personally, I won't use any computer with less than 512MB of RAM. Buy more RAM; it's cheap, and it helps a ton, despite some people's claims of "fast performance" with only 128MB... Fast is really relative and open to interpretation. All computers perform better with more RAM; it's just a fact.

That all said, if you only want to run Linux, please just go buy PC hardware and run Red Hat (though I REALLY like what SuSE has done w/8.2). I've compared YDL3 and RHL9 side-by-side, and YDL3 is a decent attempt at recreating RHL8/9 on PowerPC hardware, but falls way short. If you want Linux and Mac on the same machine, then either YDL or Mandrake are viable options (I like MDK9.1 better).

For the record, I use primarily Mac OS X on the desktop (and laptop), Linux for my servers, but my RHL 9 & SuSE 8.2 machines are starting to get more play on the desktop...

YDL & Mandrake
by Riba on Tue 20th May 2003 09:10 UTC

Although I run OS X exclusively, I have installed YDL 2.3 on my Lombard hoping that it will require less resources. Turns out that if you use a decent DE, Linux is a resource hog just like OS X. And call me weird, but OS X is slow but usable on this 333 MHz G3 with 384 MB of RAM ;)

Anyway, I do have Linux installed and play a bit from time to time. I waited for YDL 3.0, and tried Mandrake 9.1 PPC because it was released earlier, and boy was I pleasantly surprised! Install was flawless, everything just worked, the assortment of installed packages is great (MOL is there and worked right away), not a single problem.
Then I gave a shot at YDL 3.0 expecting something even better, but it turns out that people at Mandrake have made a better job at PPC Linux than the YDL has.
I guess my point is to try Mandrake, don't just assume that YDL 3.0 is better like I did.

What's wrong with RAM?
by Zack on Tue 20th May 2003 09:22 UTC

So what if 256MB or 128MB of RAM is all you "need". Who cares about needs... I WANT 512MB or MORE of RAM in each of my machines, x86 or PPC. RAM is sooo cheap these days, I don't understand why anyone with a $1 doesn't have at least nearly a gig in their machines.

OSX is dog slow, even on G4
by Anonymous on Tue 20th May 2003 09:24 UTC

I had the same experience on a G4 TiBook. MacOS X just doesn't perform very well.

It's sad, but true. The 'most advanced UNIX GUI in the world' crawls on any machine less than 800Mhz without Quartz Extreme.

My 550Mhz G4 TiBook was nice hardware-wise, but I ended up using MPlayer to play DivXs because Quicktime didn't support them, and running Mozilla remotely from an 800Mhz x86 box because it was faster than native mozilla on 10.1.5.

With Photoshop now running properly under Crossover Office, I can't imagine myself buying another Mac instead of an x86 machine running Linux.



The screenshots are downright sad!
by Anonymous on Tue 20th May 2003 10:05 UTC

I would like to see some NEW screenshots perhaps of how the reviewer has HIS computer setup. NOT the lame undersized ones from yellowdoglinux.com

Bluecurve Icons
by Anonymous on Tue 20th May 2003 10:17 UTC

Those Bluecurve icons are fast becoming a cliche. It would be nice if Redhat would mix them up a bit, because they look pretty odd in their uniformity next to other random icons.

Mac bashers are out in full force I see!!!
by Ronald on Tue 20th May 2003 10:27 UTC

"OS X on Apple hardware should just work well out of the box."
Everything works fine here.

"I can't see how Apple can justify the cramped feeling of OS X on such a high-resolution display."
What cramped desktop? I run finder with 128x128 icons and there is plenty of space for iTunes and Mail apps.

"Even simple applications like the terminal were taking around ten seconds to load; unacceptable..."
Uh? On Windows XP(P4 1.7), it takes about 20 secs just to open I.E.

and last: "This article isn't a flame."
I'm not so sure about that. If it was really about Apple's hardware then you would have not written the first page filled with nonsense.

But then, why have simple and functional when you can have something over complicated right?

Don't know if anyone cares..
by Anonymous on Tue 20th May 2003 10:38 UTC

I used Linux as my primary desktop for 7 years. Beginning with Redhat, Mandrake, Suse, switched to Debian, used Sorcerer which got split up, then over to Gentoo, .. All very nicely set up, with all hardware configured.

Today I am working on an ibook (800Mhz, 384mb ram) with MacOSX. (on which it is pretty fast) You can say I ditched Linux for Mac OS X. Say what you want, but it offers a far superior desktop experience to do development, design and day to day business like mail and webbrowsing.

Linux is nice as a server product, but pretty much sucks on the desktop.

Re: Mac bashers are out in full force I see!!!
by Anonymous on Tue 20th May 2003 11:03 UTC

"Everything works fine here. "

That comment is not worth posting.

"Uh? On Windows XP(P4 1.7), it takes about 20 secs just to open I.E."

Not only is that a lie, it has nothing to do w/ the article. Unless you expect him to run XP on that APPLE laptop...

"I'm not so sure about that. If it was really about Apple's hardware then you would have not written the first page filled with nonsense."

You are grasping at straws now.

OS X slow?
by KOMPRESSOR on Tue 20th May 2003 12:17 UTC

Not really--just more FUD from the linux crowd.

I have an iBook (dual USB) 700mHz, with a scant 256Mb of RAM, and OS X is very snappy. Of course the heavier applications take a while to start up (~10s for ProjectBuilder) but to my mind that's more related to the speed of the hard disk.

I've been a linux user since 1999 and a PC user since 1991; I currently run 2 linux servers and an OpenBSD box. My next desktop system will also be a Mac. My next server...will be a PC. I'm willing to pay extra for the increased desktop quality of a Mac; nothing against Linux, but both KDE and Gnome have a long way to go.

KOMPRESSOR

@Anonymous
That comment is not worth posting.
OS X on Apple hardware works well out of the box. The author of this story obviously lied(false statement.)

Not only is that a lie, it has nothing to do w/ the article. Unless you expect him to run XP on that APPLE laptop...
Mac OS X's Console app took 5 secs to start with iTunes playing in background. Note that I am using an iBook 500MHz white dual-usb (1st gen.) with all current Jaguar updates applied.

You are grasping at straws now.
I am setting the record straight thank you.

Re Ronald
by Anonymous on Tue 20th May 2003 12:34 UTC

"Mac OS X's Console app took 5 secs to start with iTunes playing in background. Note that I am using an iBook 500MHz white dual-usb (1st gen.) with all current Jaguar updates applied."

You are not addressing your blatent lie.

That comment is not worth posting.
OS X on Apple hardware works well out of the box. The author of this story obviously lied(false statement.)

Wow! So you are disagreeing w/ or something now? What you said was:
"Everything works fine here. "
Which is a comment not worth posting on the Internet. Feel free to mutter it all you want in the bathroom.

Not a few invalid comparisons
by Jack Perry on Tue 20th May 2003 12:48 UTC

With a headline called "Why I Ditched MacOSX for Linux - A Yellow Dog Linux 3.0 Review" it's unreasonable not to ask Mac afficionados not to get upset. The headline is a little provocative.

Worse: I'm a huge Amiga nostalgic, and I'm prone to complaining about problems with the iBook. But this review gets downright silly:

Scrolling a Finder window with more than 10 or so icons in it would produce skipping and visible refreshing, something I thought died with Windows 3.1. I certainly wouldn't have expected such poor performance from from a 256mb system, when my Amiga 500 managed such tasks and performed better, at least in terms of responsiveness, than this in 1991.

Now, I owned an Amiga 500 in 1991, even souped it up in 1993 with more memory and a 40MHz processor. The reviewer is right: I remember it as blazingly fast -- with 4-color screens. If you pumped up the number of colors, and installed the necesary hacks to get icons whose colors stayed "the same" regardless of screen palette (e.g. NewIcons), opening a drawer brought the Amiga to its knees. Comparing the Amiga and the iBook is utterly inappropriate.

Worse, right now I have precisely the same iBook the reviewer has (same speed, same memory), and to call the iBook unresponsive makes me wonder if he isn't running OSX 10.0. I may not be enough of a "power user", but c'mon, it's an iBook, not a PowerBook. It is odd that the reviewer didn't think to mention which version of OSX he used, when he scrupulously detailed other OS's. He does imply Quartz Extreme so maybe he did get past 10.0, but it would be nice to have a precise idea.

I can't see how Apple can justify the cramped feeling of OS X on such a high-resolution display.

Doesn't seem cramped to me, although I confess I like my font sizes large enough that I can read without straining. Suum cuique.

That said, I found the Linux part of this review interesting. I have a question though about this bit of praise for YDL:

I tried the brightness and volume controls, which also worked flawlessly, as did the F12/eject button.

I would have thought that was a hardware issue, not an OS issue. Does anyone know? & if it's an OS issue, not a HW issue... WHY??? Making it an OS issue seems like stupid design to me.

Linux and apple portables are a great match
by Brian on Tue 20th May 2003 12:49 UTC

First off, I love OSX on my 600MHz iBook with maxed ram. However, the beauty of linux on an apple portable is that you can have awesome hardware and the option to run OSX via MOL is always present - which is very helpful if you are a linux guy and a media guy or share your computer with say your significant other. I am just glad there good alternatives to OSX that run on apple hardware.

In the end, all *nix OSes need to just get along. A larger user base will equal more apps which will equal a larger user base, etc. Apple is doing a good job using open standards in certain areas and including X11 has really opened OSX to the rest of the *nix world. OSX and linux should coexist happily and compliment each other.

In the end, all *nix OSes need to just get along. A larger user base will equal more apps which will equal a larger user base, etc.

I think this is flawed logic. MacOS X apps do not run on anything other than MacOS X. They are by no stretch of the imagination even portable. Software written for Linux/UNIX will run on MacOS yes, but then it'll run on basically anything else too with a bit of work, including Windows. The same is not true in reverse. Therefore, Linux has nothing to gain from more people using MacOS.

Apple is doing a good job using open standards in certain areas

Yes, but not the areas that actually count (application APIs)

including X11 has really opened OSX to the rest of the *nix world.

Yet there is no free implementation of Quartz or Aqua, or even a translation layer to X.

OSX and linux should coexist happily and compliment each other.

Unfortunately that is not possible. They compete at every level now, as this article has shown.

Comparisons...
by JP on Tue 20th May 2003 13:03 UTC

I understand the author's opinion of OSX considering the hardware he was using...but, he should not expect his iBook to perform well with OSX. You need a fast G4 with lots of RAM to be productive. The bigger point that I would like to express is that I am tired of all the Apple bashing that has been going on of late. Why? While I am sure that there are comparisons of OSX vs Windows vs Linux out there on current hardware, the most recent articles I have read (including this article) try to make far-reaching proclaimations about the inability of OSX to perform everyday tasks efficiently...USING OLD HARDWARE NOT DESIGNED FOR OSX. In other words, you need to put OSX on a current Apple system if you are going to compare it to a current P4 with XP. One reviewer out there might say, "I compared a P3 with XP to a G3 running at similar speeds." I'm sorry pal, but I think most people would agree that your setup is faulty. You cannot compare a G3 w/OSX and a P3 w/XP even at the same processor speed. Why? XP on Intel hardware is more mature than OSX on a G3. The timeframes are different for these products and comparing them would not provide a fair analysis. Windows has been running longer on the Intel/AMD platform than OSX (specifically OSX) has been running on a G3 or G4 platform. I think you need to start with a G4 with OSX before you can start comparing it to current PC systems. What is the point of comapring hardware from two years ago anyway? By the way, have experience across all of these platforms and I am not a fanboy for any of them.

Flash
by Mike Hearn on Tue 20th May 2003 13:13 UTC

Oops, of course I misinterpreted that comment. Yes, it's a pity the free flash player is not more advanced (rather that than a PPC version of the closed player, but hey).

It just needs somebody sufficiently motivated to sit down and hack on it for a while. Shows up the problems of proprietary software though.

@Anonymous
You are not addressing your blatent lie.
I did IEs start up time again and it took 17 secs. When I disable McAfee it starts up a lot faster. I guess I got a slow P4. ;)

[i]That comment is not worth posting.
OS X on Apple hardware works well out of the box. The author of this story obviously lied(false statement.)

Wow! So you are disagreeing w/ or something now? What you said was:
"Everything works fine here. "
Which is a comment not worth posting on the Internet. Feel free to mutter it all you want in the bathroom.[i]

My comment was on-topic. Yours wasn't. Silly troll.

OS Speed
by Jeff Flowers on Tue 20th May 2003 13:22 UTC

People need to realized that OSes are hardly ever fast on the hardware that they are introduced on. DOS was not fast on the 8086/8080. Windows NT (the OS that XP is based on) was not fast on the x386/x486 CPUs that were common when it was introduced. The classic Mac OS was not fast on the original Motorola 68000 CPUs. And Mac OS X is not fast on the G3/G4.

This is why is kills me when people talk about the classic Mac OS or Windows XP being fast. The ought to be, as they have years of CPU upgrades behind them. Besides, if speed was everything then we would all be using DOS.

nice article, but
by AdamW on Tue 20th May 2003 13:43 UTC

Would've been nice to mention Mandrake 9.1 in the alternatives section. To be honest, though, even as a Mandrake fan, I'd probably pick YDL if I bought Mac hardware - the Mandrake port is fairly "part time" ;)

I purchased a 12.1" 800mhz 128MB ram ibook around January on the basis of: a) durability (this is key for a university student) b) price c) elegance of hardware d) ability to run a few operating systems I like.

First of all I want to say I think it's obnoxious that Apple still ships machines with 128MB ram. This simply isn't enough for OS X. I would be willing to bet a LOT of the complaints about OS X speed and reponsiveness would dwindle if they simply made the lower ram limit 256.

Today I only have one os installed on the machine -- Debian GNU/Linux. I really wanted to enjoy OS X. I gave it my best, but for my usage I found the gui of os x to be horribly incompetant. What it comes down to is ability to customize. So many complain about how GNU/Linux has no unified desktop gui I find it to be it's strength. The ability to make X11 behave in several different ways is to me a strength. I personally prefer to be at the keyboard as much as possible in a gui as it is simply faster. So in GNU/Linux I have set up several keybindings to move about my virtual desktops, keys to start all my apps (emacs chain style at that -- hold alt, type the first 3 letters of the app, and it's running), keys to cycle through the windows and workspaces (hold alt, use vi style keys to move around), etc. I found such customizations in OS X are ei
ther impossible or not as extendable as in X11.

OS X definitely cuts it as a desktop os for the average user, but for power user hardc
ore unix geek developers it simply doesnt offer a gui that will conform to the user's
style.

Has anyone mentioned Dual booting.
by Jason T. Slack on Tue 20th May 2003 14:16 UTC

It is possible to dual boot, correct? So you can have both, right?

Say you have OS X pre-installed and wanted to load YDL or Mandrake or someting, how would one do it? It is easy on x86 hardware as I can partition during the Windows install and the load Linux later.

But os my Powerbook, how does this work, when I do an OS restore it takes up the whole drive automatically and I do not see an option to change that, Thoughts?

-Jason

Anytime an author writes 'this is not a troll'...
by doubtful on Tue 20th May 2003 14:18 UTC

Anytime an author writes 'this is not a troll', it is a troll.

I'm not even a mac owner, and I know that attempting to run OS X on a 600mhz ibook with 256mb of ram is going to be tedious.

Geez, gimme a break!

Here is my article proving that Windows XP sucks..

"I just tried running Windows XP on my P200 with 128mb of ram. It is so slow. Windows XP sucks. Then, I installed BeOS and it was really fast. BeOS is the best thing since sliced bread. The end."

Boot from Firewire
by Jason T. Slack on Tue 20th May 2003 14:19 UTC

While we are on the topic, is it possible to book YDL from a firewire drive?

Best of both worlds
by headwerkn on Tue 20th May 2003 14:25 UTC

I have MacOSX and and XDarwin. Click on an icon and in 10 seconds I have KDE running too - best of both worlds.

Incidentally, KDE taxes my 16Mb video card just as much as Aqua.

Oh, and one more thing. XP isn't fast, or responsive. Or even that stable. I've got it running on a lightly overclocked Celeron 500MHz (@562MHz) system with a heap of RAM and a 32Mb video card. Screen redraws are slow, glitchy, mouse responsiveness varies and apps crash all the time. Not only does Luna take a fair bit of tweaking to calm down, but all the folder actions and stupid wizards and stuff slow down your progress far more than they aid.

Compared to my G4-350 upgraded 9600 (which technically shouldn't be running MacOSX) with a scarce 216Mb, my Mac is fair-to-occasionally sluggish, but rock solid, dependable and still efficient to use.

Odd, huh?

re: OS Speed
by PainKilleR on Tue 20th May 2003 14:26 UTC

And Mac OS X is not fast on the G3/G4.

This is why is kills me when people talk about the classic Mac OS or Windows XP being fast. The ought to be, as they have years of CPU upgrades behind them. Besides, if speed was everything then we would all be using DOS.


Windows XP was released about a year after the first (non-beta) release of Mac OS X. The only significant difference from the hardware side is that x86 speeds have increased more in the time since XP was released than Apple's speeds have increased since OS X was released. Windows XP does fairly well on CPUs that were released long before the OS, if you give them enough RAM (I've had good XP performance on a 500 MHz P3 that was plugging along on 98SE before hitting the old hardware pile and then being resurrected as a testbed for software (I fully believe in testing my software on systems that are well below the capabilities of the system the software will be running on)).

Of course, if speed was everything I'd probably be running some archaic real-time Unix system (I've worked with a few of these over the years, very fast for single-task computing, but definitely not meant for normal users). Really, though, I only have a 2GHz PC at home for games (and it would still be a 1GHz PC if that one hadn't been fried in moving cross-country), and a 1.8 GHz PC at work to keep compile-times within reason.

i tried something like this...
by RevAaron on Tue 20th May 2003 14:26 UTC

Last summer, after having my iBook (same as this Jon's) for about a year, there was a lot of stuff coming out that I wanted to play with on Linux, but couldn't get compiled on OS X. Namely, OpenMCL (Mac Common Lisp), GNU Mono, GNU Smalltalk, and new versions of KDE and GNOME. Also, since I pretty much just use Squeak as my desktop, using OS X only as a platform for running a web browser and Squeak.

So, I thought I'd try installing Linux on my iBook. Before I bought my first Mac almost 4 years ago, I had been a full-time Linux/x86 user. I went with Debian 3, which seemed like a good idea at the time. Performance seemed to be quite a bit below OS X's. Things like OpenOffice took more time to start than Office. OpenOffice, Mozilla and Opera crashed all the time. The worst thing was that on the same machine, Linux tends to run Squeak worse than Mac OS 9 or X or Windows, depending on whether it is PPC or x86. I'm not sure why, but I wasn't going to take a 30% (!!) dent in Squeak performance and perhaps a 50% dent in subjective productivity for nothing. Although, I must admit to feeling a bit warm and fuzzy when the only thing vrms (a virtual RMS, heh!) complained about nothing other than Opera. One thing in its favor- Linux used a fraction of the RAM OS X did, and my 320 MB of RAM seemed excessive.

Perhaps it's time to try out this new YDL- it sure looks nice. I may end up switching back to OS X, but it's always fun to see what the "state of the art" with Linux is, even if it's a measure behind OS X.

I've found on this model iBook OS X performs quite well. I've never had issues with 10 icons slowing the Finder down, or any other GUI lag.

For me as a power user, Linux just wasn't up to the task. For me, being a power user means being able to do the things I need to do, and to not get in the way when I have other computing tasks I don't really want to do that I need to get done. Like dealing with spreadsheets and writing documents. Hell, now a days, I write all of my papers in LaTeX, and even that is less of a hassle than on OS X than it was on Linux. There was a time when I spent a lot more time playing with Linux than actually doing anything productive, but now a days, when it comes down to it, I want my computer to just work when I need it do. There are times when I still enjoy tinkering, and OS X is condusive to that.

Maybe this has all been said, but I've not read the replies. I'm too afraid it is a bunch of Linux cheerleaders and Mac zealouts chewing on eachothers legs. Doesn't sound like my idea of a good time, but maybe I'm nuts.

That is the comparison that should be made, not an old machine with an old OS like Bob the Monkey makes.

And what do you think you are doing, trying to be a poweruser on an old consumer machine?

I don't understand why
by Yakir on Tue 20th May 2003 14:39 UTC

he had such a problem with OS X performance on a 500 MHz iBook. While performance isn't scorching on my 266 MHz Rev. C iMac (288 MB), it's very usable. I run OpenOffice in Apple's X11, and it works fine. I would love a 900 MHz iBook, or even better, a 17" Powerbook. But I can't afford either right now.

I don't want to have to know 'apt-get update && apt-get upgrade" to update my software, I prefer to use Software Update. I do some things in Terminal and X, but because I want to, not for basic functionality.

I don't dislike Linux, but I much prefer OS X. Unix is there when I want it, and disappears if I don't. MP3 is present in OS X, I don't have to wait until YDL includes it, or look for a work-around.

OS X just _works_ for me. I feel like _I_ have to work for Linux.

Heh.
by Mikey-San on Tue 20th May 2003 14:57 UTC

Lemme start by saying that I've never used an OS as nice as Mac OS X. I get my Mac fix and my Unix fix in one shop. Awesome stuff.

Don't flame me. ;-)

Good article, I think. I think the zealous Mac users have mistaken this as an OS bash, but it isn't; rather, it's a Linux distro review with a preface of /why/ YDL was being used in the first place.

Okay, NOW you can flame me.

18 months ago Dell had 1GHz laptops available. A search for Dell laptop 2001 on google brings up an article from LinuxJournal reviewing Debian Linux on this configuration in December 2001:
PIII 1.0GHz Processor
256MB RAM
IBM 32.0GB 5400RPM UDMA66 HD (IBM DJSA-232)
ATI Rage Mobility M4 Video w/ 32MB RAM
Built-in mini-PCI 3Com 56k modem + 10/100 combo
15" UXGA Active Matrix (TFT) display (1600x1200)
Built-in ESS Maestro 3i sound card
LG 8X DVD-ROM Drive
BIOS Revision A09

Granted, it's a high-end laptop from Dell at the time, but December 2001 was almost 18 months ago. Still, it was during a specific lag-time in x86 laptops, where the laptop processors were significantly behind the desktop processors (before the P4 was available on laptops), as they were offering 2GHz P4s on the desktop at the same time, with WindowsXP installed.

RE: Nathan O. and 10 sec terminal window
by alan6101 on Tue 20th May 2003 15:17 UTC

I've had this exact problem, it was due to having a hostname set that didn't have an entry in the /etc/hosts file (or, of course, not having an entry in the dns server for the hostname, but I don't run my own dns server at home). If you use a static ip, just add an entry in hosts
192.168.1.1 workstation workstation.domain.com

or if you use dhcp, you can add an entry for 127.0.0.1. I've seen some people say this has caused problems with some apps, but I've never had a problem with it. After making this change, my apps, including terminal went from opening in 10 seconds to less than 1 second.

Gnome will warn you when you log in if it can't resolve your hostname, but KDE doesn't, but it will still suffer from the problem.

I agree in some cases
by Someone on Tue 20th May 2003 15:18 UTC

I've only read the first part of this article, mainly because I am interested in OSX performance on non-G4 Macs.

Apple does indeed seem to have concentrated on "glitter" rather than performance. You should be able to turn off window shadows and other unnecessary graphical features in order to get the best possible performance. Instead, G3 owners are left feeling like they need to buy new hardware which is unfortunate. I laugh when I think about my obsolete 1998 Wallstreet G3 at 233 MHz, and then realize that 5 YEARS LATER the same processor is still being used in iBooks with only marginal speed increases! I sincerely hope that Apple junks Motorola and finds a chip vendor (maybe IBM) that is willing to update their chips to compete with Intel.

That said, my Sawtooth G4 runs OSX marginally - an increase in RAM was a big help - and things really run well now with a new 1.2GHz upgrade. I just hope Apple gets their act together and gets some new chips in place (PPC970).

Scrolling speed & screen resolution?
by DK on Tue 20th May 2003 15:22 UTC

That's what made you "switch"?

I look forward to your treatment of the more serious issues mentioned in the 2003-05-20 01:48:05 post re: linux desktop stability.

OS X beats linux any day -- and I use both EVERY day.

RE: Anytime an author writes 'this is not a troll'...
by Jay on Tue 20th May 2003 15:34 UTC

>Anytime an author writes 'this is not a troll', it is a troll.

>I'm not even a mac owner, and I know that attempting to run OS X
>on a 600mhz ibook with 256mb of ram is going to be tedious.

>Geez, gimme a break!

>Here is my article proving that Windows XP sucks..

>"I just tried running Windows XP on my P200 with 128mb of ram. It
> is so slow. Windows XP sucks. Then, I installed BeOS and it was really
> fast. BeOS is the best thing since sliced bread. The end."



There is one problem with your argument. A P200 would be very very old (1997?) while a 600 MHz iBook is reasonably recent (2002?).

I doubt XP would be slow on even the wimpiest Wintel machine bought in 2002.

That said, I'd still pick OS X over XP any day. But that doesn't mean I'm not looking forward to performance improvements in Panther.


-Jay

Re: Mike Hearn
by Bascule on Tue 20th May 2003 15:37 UTC

You appear to be misinformed. The flash plugin on Linux is most often the same as the one on Windows - Macromedia have made a (proprietary) Flash plugin for a long time now. I don't know why you think otherwise.

Well, it appears you've figured out at this point that there is no release of Macromedia's flash player for Linux/PPC.

Oops, of course I misinterpreted that comment. Yes, it's a pity the free flash player is not more advanced (rather that than a PPC version of the closed player, but hey).

It just needs somebody sufficiently motivated to sit down and hack on it for a while. Shows up the problems of proprietary software though.


Watching anything in the open source player is a painful prospect. Not only is the rendering performance terrible, but it's clear a fraction of the functionality has been implemented.

This is just one of the many disadvantages of Linux/PPC. It's a platform with almost no commercial support.

Right Hardware = Expected Performance
by Linux/Win/OSX User on Tue 20th May 2003 15:43 UTC

OSX is a demanding Operating System. I would not want to test it on a 2 year old mediocre laptop computer. Just as when Windows 98 came out - trying to run it on 2 year old hardware that was marginally capable of running 95 ( and when 95 came out trying the same trick on a machine running 3.1) lead to disastrous performance.

While my 386 handled Win 3.1 well, it wasn't up to Win 95 or even to dare think of Win 98. My 486 machines are fine on Win 95 but I wouldn't put XP on them. As a matter of fact they'll run Linux but not a full Distro. (small hard disk).

I'm running OSX 10.2.6 on a 1 Gig G4 with 512 Meg of RAM. That is what it is really designed for. While the 486 is good for DOS and Win 95 - it ain't ready to run Windows 2003 server. Likewise the IBook 2 is fine for a simpler OS like Linux, but not for OSX. And now that I have BSD Unix running great - why would I want to put Linux on this one. But it sounds like Linux is great for the slower Macs.

for those who lose sleep over shifted screen
by me on Tue 20th May 2003 15:49 UTC

See those little buttons on the front of your monitor.... TRY THEM!!!! they fix your screen when it shifts!!!!

Or you could sit there and cry all day, its up to you.

Come on now
by jack on Tue 20th May 2003 16:00 UTC

All these wannabe computer reviewers. Let's see, I installed Windows on an old 8086 and it really sucked, so I swithed to MS-DOS. Jokers.

I'm running OS X on a G4 500 AGP with ATI and it performs incredibly well. No Quartz Extreme here, but 384MB of RAM. It is snappy and efficient. I run everything on it and always have from 4 to 8 Apps running simultaneously. Others I know are running OS X on slower G3's than you and no complaints.

Oh yeah, what version of OS X are you running? You failed to give us the salient details. In Jaguar, especially from 2.3 forward the ATI drivers and OpenGL was significantly improved. I guess we don't have enough information about your second had iBook from your second hand review.

What a dumb ###
by Sabon on Tue 20th May 2003 16:16 UTC

I'm sure this has already been said above. But what a dumb ### this Jon guy is.

Let's do a comparison. Duh, I just bought a used Penium computer with 64mb of RAM and found that Windows XP really sucks. I also bought a used Yugo. I don't think I'll get my money's worth out of this even though it only cost me $50. Does anyone know how to get gum out hair?

All the above are reasonable comparisons to what this guy said. Don't buy old used equipment and wonder why an OS sucks. Dumb ###.

Unfortunate and short-sighted
by bousozoku on Tue 20th May 2003 16:40 UTC

An iBook (or any other Mac) with 512MB or more will run Mac OS X 10.2.x respectably. It's unfortunate that Apple sells the machines with low RAM but there are plenty of comments on this, waiting to be read.

I'm glad that the author has found some satisfaction with the computer; however, the article is a bit like my search to change the display resolution in Linux from 640x480 to 1024x768. I can't find the place to change it and I haven't searched too hard, so Linux is garbage. It's an illogical leap. Linux is fine, the integration is rubbish.

It looks as though I'll be trying Mandrake for my PPC604e machine soon and, from the comments here, I'll be better off choosing it than the competition.

I contemplated dropping OS X for Linux...
by Dominik on Tue 20th May 2003 16:45 UTC

I almost did the same on my iBook when I received it. Its a 600mhz 12.1" and had only 128mb ram. OS X ran so slow it was almost painful. I then maxed out the ram and to my surprise it became very fast. Camino (don't run IE anymore) launches in 2 bounces on the dock rather than 8 or 9 with 128mb.

Although this almost did it for me to keep OS X I had this burning feeling that I'm missing many functional applications such as a good newsreader. I'm used to using Forte Inc's Agent on XP, and Pan in Linux, but I couldn't find anything that was close to their power for OS X. I stumbled upon XDarwin and, more importantly, fink. In minutes (minus the download times ;) ), I had X running rootless with openbox-rootless seemlessly attaching to my desktop. Pan ran *beautifully*. This did it for me. I'm all set. Now not only can I run *nix X applications, but the addition of Adobe's set of applications (Photoshop!), and Microsoft's Word just tops off the cake for me.

ok
by spaceboy29 on Tue 20th May 2003 16:58 UTC

i just have a few precations about running linux, 1) is that gimp is not as good as Adobe Photoshop, I will probably run gimp soon on my G4 anyways, but Gimp doesn't handle layers as good as Photoshop. 2) is that I run Final Cut, imovie, and Premiere, Film Gimp won't do it for me. Linux has a long way to go before it can beat OS X or Windows, until it does I will stick with Apple and MS, and use the terminal in OS X for unix apps.

Firstly, CRT iMacs' do not have those buttons. Any manipulation to the monitor has to be done by software. If they did, I would have just quickly changed the settings and not even bothered to post.

Be sure to watch for my article entitled...
by Hatchet Jack on Tue 20th May 2003 17:08 UTC

"Why I couldn't give a high-flyin' f__k why you ditched Mac OS X for Linux." Coming to an internet near you.

I'll be honest... I'd love to have a PPC machine to play with as a 2nd desktop. But the only way that'll happen is if Hyperion or Amiga V4 drop their prices considerably (Don't give me the usual story about limited supply and 1st run's being expensive. If they really want to get customers, they'll have to drop their prices. It's that simple).

If you want to run Linux, it seems that x86 is the best way to go!

As an example, I just purchased a new machine (and am dying for it to arrive). For just over the amount it would cost me to get a 1 CPU, 1Ghz mac, I've purchased a 3Ghz P4 machine w/an 800Mhz FSB, 1 gig of 400mhz ram, 2 80Gb serial ATA drives (in a raid 0 config), and a ATI 9600 vid. card.

This thing will run circles around any mac currently available, and again, I did this for less than $200.00 over the price of that 1Ghz, 1 CPU mac!

Mac diehards may love their machines (and I'll admit to being a closet mac fan), but there's just no way that you can justify this kind of pricing difference. I'm not trying to brag my machine up (There's more to it then the above for that matter), but rather to illustrate that day by day Macs are falling farther and farther behind. Real power users want a machine that can keep up with them, and while a PPC does do more with each cycle than its x86 counterpart, there's no denying that Macs are getting chewed up more and more by the power of todays PCs.

One of my primary purposes for this new machine is to do video editing and content creation (in addition to the drool/cool factor). Until recently, video editing was Macintosh, but now look at the marketplace. You can do just as much on a PC for a whole lot less money these days, and usually you can do it a whole lot faster with an x86 machine.

Why someone would buy Mac hardware just to run Linux on is beyond me. x86 is where it's at.

Now if someone gave me one to play with... 8)=

RE: for those who lose sleep over shifted screen
by spiff on Tue 20th May 2003 17:29 UTC

See those little buttons on the front of your monitor.... TRY THEM!!!! they fix your screen when it shifts!!!!

i do think that the problems mentioned with a shifted image on the display concerned laptop screens, which have no such buttons since they are addressed directly. if they are addressed incorrectly the only way to fix it is with a corrected driver.

re: Best of both worlds
by gfx on Tue 20th May 2003 17:30 UTC

Oh, and one more thing. XP isn't fast, or responsive. Or even that stable. I've got it running on a lightly overclocked Celeron 500MHz (@562MHz) system with a heap of RAM and a 32Mb video card. Screen redraws are slow, glitchy, mouse responsiveness varies and apps crash all the time. Not only does Luna take a fair bit of tweaking to calm down, but all the folder actions and stupid wizards and stuff slow down your progress far more than they aid.


Yes Luna is slow, you can use the classic interface, that's more responsive. WinXP is stable, just don't overclock.
Run a virus checker and get rid of all the spyware (spybot search and destroy), turn of indexing and get rid of Norton 2003 it's utter crap.

Windows 2000 stability
by Daan on Tue 20th May 2003 18:14 UTC

My only experience with Os X was that I launched a terminal on an eMac in the computer shop - it was there that the OS lost all it's magic for me. Somehow, when I used it then, for the first time, it was like I woke up from a dream... strange... but it definitely looks great.
However, both our computers at home have Windows 2000, and the first one sometimes reboots spontaneously, the other one often freezes when round-corner or alpha-transparant windows are on the screen.
Now I am typing this on SuSE 8.2, on a P350, and I can only say it works really great, or well, other than that my digital camera is not supported as far as I know. So there, you might need to use Os X.

configuration
by linuxlewis on Tue 20th May 2003 18:28 UTC

From the review I wish we got a better idea how much memory and what version of MacOSX he was using. MacOSX 10.0.5, 10.1.5 and 10.2.6 are all different. 10.1.5 makes MacOSX useable and the current version of Jag is great.

I have a coworker that uses MacOSX Jag on a PowerBook G3 with 384MB of RAM. Its slow but he is pleased with how fast it runs in addition to the top heavy GUI.

fast OS vs fast apps
by arielb on Tue 20th May 2003 19:17 UTC

it's funny how certain people will choose an OS that "squeezes every cycle from the computer" and end up using text editors and irc. When asked "what about apps that really put those cpu cycles to good use such as Photoshop, Office or video apps?" the response is "well I can always use an emulator" Of course the app always runs better natively but I guess some people would rather have the fastest irc clients than high performance apps and games.

ridiculous
by HAL on Tue 20th May 2003 19:18 UTC

Don't like the bouncing icons? System Preferences > Dock > Uncheck "Animate opening applications"

Now, was that so hard? The bouncing icon will now be replaced by a pulsating arrow to indicate the application is loading.


Am I the onlyone to laugh at the irony of this?

not ridiculous
by Ash on Tue 20th May 2003 19:43 UTC

yes you are the only one laughing at the irony of this.

Its actually very intuitive.

i agree OS X is slow for older (esp. consumer)machines, i use it on an imac and it is slightly painful. My 17" PBook is another story. This thing is fast. It is sexy. Its only for people that have money trees though.

i also believe the performance issue will absolutely disappear in a few months.

I will look into mandrake or YDL for my imac, but the problem is that i will lose that awesome mac network integration. Built in rendevous and web sharing make my house go round. We will see.

People that compare XP to OS X need to be reminded that XP is really just Windows 2000.1, which is really NT 5.1, and NT came out a looooong time ago. XP is just a cartoon GUI, direct x improvements for gamers, and some other inconsequential features that no one even remembers. My roommate runs 2000 and i run XP- other than my wannabe GUI, i cant tell the difference.

Trying to be fair:
by rueyeet on Tue 20th May 2003 19:58 UTC

I've just installed YDL 3.0 on an old clamshell "toilet-seat" indigo iBook. I'm a complete and utter Linux newbie, not having paid attention to my one class in Unix back when I got my CompSci degree (the prof spent most of the class on the new and exotic thing called the World Wide Web anyway). Mostly I'm trying out Linux to see if it's usable enough for someone without a degree, your average Joe Sixpack as they say.

The installer was pretty painless, other than a small hiccup on accepting the automatic partitioning option. But already I can see that Linux isn't ready for the general user, not while there's anything that absolutely must be done through the command line. So far it looks like I'll have to enable battery management and trackpad tapping via the terminal. I've worked a help desk, and this is just not something most people are prepared to handle.

For the non-average, fairly savvy user, performance and OS choice are going to be largely subjective...what works for you, works. More power to you. But for me, Yakir sums up my first impressions of Linux nicely, somewhere around post # 87: "OS X just _works_ for me. I feel like _I_ have to work for Linux."

Bleh
by Me on Tue 20th May 2003 20:12 UTC

What an ignorant review. Nuy an old machine, with not enough memory and expect it to run like the latest and greatest. What a shock that it didn't. I wouldn't dream of using a Mac or XP wihtout 512MB of memory. Actually my Mac has 2 gig (jsut because) and my PC had 1 gig. But 512 is really the minimum these days for optimal use.

Hey Greg and Eugenia
by Me on Tue 20th May 2003 20:15 UTC

Read the article again. He spends at least half of it bashing OS X running on substandard hardware. I don't where you get the idea that he is not trashing OS X.

iBook 500
by foo on Tue 20th May 2003 20:18 UTC

I had an iBook 500 once. They are really slow for some reason. The iBook 600 and up are fine machines, but the system bus on the 500 model really keeps it down. It's kind of a running joke at our MUG how slow the iBook 500 is.

So yeah, I can totally understand running YDL rather than OSX. YDL is actually really cool, it's a heck of a lot of fun to play with.

I'm running OSX on a tiBook 667, and the speed is great. You really do need newer hardware to enjoy OSX.

RE: Linux on x86
by NeoWolf on Tue 20th May 2003 20:54 UTC

Ok, one thing this author definitely got right is that you couldn't have a better brand of laptop for Linux or any alternate OS really. There's a lot of chipset guesswork and what-not when you're trying to get Linux or any non standard OS on a laptop. With Apple's laptops a lot of the guesswork is tossed out the window. You know what the hardware's gonna be and there's typically gonna be a driver for it. The only exceptions tend to be with what just came out and that's easily solved within the next release.

RE: for those who lose sleep over shifted screen
by Jack Perry on Tue 20th May 2003 20:54 UTC

See those little buttons on the front of your monitor.... TRY THEM!!!! they fix your screen when it shifts!!!!

Did you read the article? It's an iBook the guy was reviewing. There are no such buttons on an iBook.

If there are, someone tell me where to find them so I'll know, just in case.

Or you could sit there and cry all day, its up to you.

Your mature, thoughtful response impresses me.

Point of the review
by Jay on Tue 20th May 2003 21:38 UTC

I've never seen such nonsense. The whole point of the review is that the reviewer was surprised at how well YDL runs on that iBook. What is it that is preventing you people from seeing and understanding this simple fact???

Re: Opinion 1:
by Drew on Tue 20th May 2003 22:07 UTC

"Opinion 1: OS X 10.2.6 is a beast of an OS and will bring any current G3 to it's knees. "

I have a 600MHz (768MB) G3 iMac running 10.2.6. It's not "snappy" and I have to wait almost a full second to get a folder in the dock open. But it is entirely usable. In fact, I use it all day every-day. I don't use classic and I haven't booted into 9 for months. Jaguar is the OS I have been pining for since 1989 when Pink was announced. I love it, even on my old G3 iMac.

I had a iMac DV+ 450MHz with 512MB of ram and OS X was COMPLETELY unusable to me until I actually READ the OS X install instructions and FOLLOWED THEM. I checked and saw that my machines Firmware was not the version needed for OS X to be installed. To make a long story short after installing the firmware and reformatting the drive. I performed a clean install and application launches increased so drastically it seemed like a new computer.

Example:
Before firmware update IE took almost a minute to launch...perhaps more. I'd sit and watch the icon bounce repeatedly until the window graced me with it's presence.

After the update it launced in 2-3 seconds....on old hardware. The difference is that large. I spent months blaming the hardware and the OS for something I failed to do. People who are saying OS X is unusable on such 400-500MHZ G3's must be having the same problem....do yourself a favor and RTFM. You'll be surprised what you learn.

YDL 3.0 install
by bmhome1 on Wed 21st May 2003 00:38 UTC

Just installed tri-boot (YDL3.0, OSX10.2.6 and OS9.1) setup on my Powerbook 400mz G3 laptop. OSX runs very well on my system because I maxed out the RAM to 1GB, all the difference in the world. RAM for OSX is the key, not mhz, G3 or G4 or QuartzExtreme. I can boot into any of the three within 3 minutes. I never even seen Linux running before my YDL install, yet was up and running in under an hour (2.5GB install), not a single issue (except learning Linux). Video config, sound card recognize, brightness/volume control, ethernet/DSL setup,sleep mode and battery monitor, net clock sync, latest MOL, apt-get, all automatically setup first try. Runs faster than OSX, but still love OSX. Best of all possible worlds.

p.s. booting from firewire not supported.

RE: YDL 3.0 install
by Eugenia on Wed 21st May 2003 00:46 UTC

Let me know if you have problems with Linux or a Linux question. We might be able to help. ;)

At least he didn't say "Beleagured Apple Computer"
by Mike Scafide on Wed 21st May 2003 01:27 UTC

Ok, so this basicly was one big bash OS X fest. Point taken. But A:

Run X11 instead of OSX's finder. I find Jaguar to be the best OS running on my --333--Mhz iMac with its ANCIENT 6MB Rage Card.

Also, yes, Mac OSX is rather slow on older hardware, but what did you expect?? I don't run Windows XP on my 2 year Old celeron box, so why would you expect stellar performance from a consumer laptop introduced 1.5 years ago? Especially considering OS X has been a public OS for like what, 3 years? I think the leaps made forward by OSX in 3 YEARS to be stellar!! I can't play UT2003 in YDL, but I can in X!

You can also just boot right into the terminal. But any "power user" should know that, eh?

Mac OS X and/or YDL 3 are a dream to use on a dual-processor mac especially. My Dual 867 G4 has no lag time in jaguar. If you have supported hardware, OSX is a dream for those who don't want to support Microsoft, yet still want an abundance of commercial software.

I don't get it
by Anonymous on Wed 21st May 2003 01:43 UTC

User gets underpowered computer. User notices latest OS runs the computer slower than it should. User ditches OS for the one he's already familiar with, which runs a bit faster.

But mostly, he likes it because he's familiar with his old OS since the first problem could be rectified with current hardware.

Can't comment too much on the hype, since all software has hype. But it's difficult for me to see what expectations someone would have to be disappointed at OS X's hype. What's the point of reference, Linux' KDE-wants-to-be-Windows GUI or another GUI that's non-standard?

Hi.

I read your comment about YDL3, although you did not mention MDK 9.1 PPC.

I wonder if u can help me. No distro I installed on my iBook G3 500 made my modem up to work. Now, There is MDK 9.1 (my best pet for i386) and YDL (I did hate the former version, but I'll give a try for this new version). I mean, I'll keep them both on my iBook G3.

Did u have any troubles with modem ? Is there any special change I need to perform ? Why it was not automatically installed by my former tries ? It worked fine with OS X (I really hated it, as it was as slow as I was not expecting it to be), but did not worked with any Linux.

I hope u can help me, for I really love my iBook, but I am waiting for a functional Linux on it. I am not thinking on OS X. When anyone have any guide line, email me at g.martins@pobox.com.

Tks.

8)

OS X or hardware problem?
by Neo~Mac on Wed 21st May 2003 05:38 UTC

After reading the article. I feel the conclusion is pretty bias on his own machine. As the Quartz Extreme technology is for 2D rendering, as like in Quartz technology in 10.1 or earlier. Quartz technology is something Apple partner with Adobe which they call it the Acrobat PDF on the fly technology - Quartz for short.
Open GL is the actual 3D rendering engine, so make that miss leading statement. Plus Apple already announce that the Quartz Extreme will only enable on 16MB above machine. Below that, you can only enjoy Quartz. Operating System to cope with advance technology is a must. Like some old Wintel machine that hardly can run XP, would they run XP? no they will run Windows 98 for the most.
The Dock refreshment is come to the same challange that he mention above. It's just because the iBook grahics memory is not enough to render real-time effects. Nothing to do with your system RAM. Even my Prismo PowerBook with 512MB still have that problem, because the ATI is running on a 8MB chip only.
1024 x 768 resolution? That's strange question to ask, it does depends on your grahics card to produce enough pixels details! DUH@!!! Better card better resolution.
You can tweek the OS so it doesn't bounce during launch if you're good enough! Not much to complain, decor sick! I just love it don't you all agree when it bounce!~ Everyone is so ENvy with the look of it. Maybe it's just not yoru cup of TEA buddy. : )
I work on SunParc before, my god launching Netscape take ages! plus it doesn't show any thing progression while the apps is launching, I click a few times, and end up allot of Netscape launches! To quote "to save all those animated cycle for faster processing" I think a little more progressive animation will tell what's going on better.
If computer industry was to concern about people that can't afford new computers. The industry will die, no hardware advancement will created. You can do word processing even with a iMac 233MHz, why G4? Because there are others who want faster machine than others.

RE: OS X or hardware problem?
by Eugenia on Wed 21st May 2003 05:41 UTC

> 1024 x 768 resolution? That's strange question to ask, it does depends on your grahics card to produce enough pixels details! DUH@!!! Better card better resolution.

WHAT are you talking about? The iBook doesn't support more than 1024x768, it is an LCD capable of this resolution only and not above it.

Except the original pre-2001 ibook, all the rest of the ibooks use softmodem and Linux doesn't support it, AFAIK.

Power "Loser"
by Bizzildy Bop on Wed 21st May 2003 06:33 UTC

You sound like an elitist nerd mr. "New school - I'm not one of those graphic guys... I do everything by hand..." Give me a break.

So do you like, hand code byte information to generate your own bitmaps?

Keep your pants on, OS X will get better....

Here it is:
http://www.geocrawler.com/archives/3/2/2002/4/0/8448049/
All iBooks that are late 2001 and later, that come with 15 GB of hdd and above, don't have support under Linux for their modem, because they use softmodem. The previous iBook models work.

slack baby!
by foo on Wed 21st May 2003 08:12 UTC

im eally glad to see people venturing out from the mac os on apple hardwae. i run a triple boot on my 600mhz ibook. darwin 6.0.2, os x 10.2.6, and slackintosh 8.1. slackintosh is a unofficial port of slackware to mac hardware. (http://slackintosh.exploits.org) im a slack zealot because i 1) hate rpm and 2) dont like the overhead of readhat/suse/etc. i like custom linux installs, which slack is great for. i also happen to be a long term mac user, so i keep os x around as my primary os. but for all my cs homework, a quick reboot and im in linux with all the functionaliy too boot. cd burner, wireless, sound, power management... plus, as his review states, x windows looks great on an apple lcd. the only thing i have to say to his imression of os x is GET MORE RAM! i bought my book with 384 megs, and upgraded to 640, what a difference it makes in os x. ya can get a 512 sick shipped to your door for less than $100 nowadays, so why not.

defending Apple is futile
by HAL on Wed 21st May 2003 11:59 UTC

What most here don't seem to realise: the laptop was released after the introduction of OSX. Thus a user can demand for the OS to run fast and without problems. It does not. Thus it is a fuckup by apple. It's not even like the average x86 hardware where OS and hardware vendors are entirely different, no this is a company which released a computer with a dedicated OS. That running like crap is not acceptable.

Speed is relative
by Yakir on Wed 21st May 2003 12:39 UTC

If people (myself included) are writing that their Macs with half the author's MHz runs OS X respectably, maybe it's a problem with the person's expectations.

Yes, an iBook 500 can run OS X, but it's gonna be slower than a newer iBook or a Powerbook. For awhile the CompUSA where I live kept an iBook 800 and a 12" Powerbook 867 next to each other. I sometimes tested them against each other, by opening a window in each, then dragging an open folder, then launching a few programs.

Of course, the 867 G4 was noticably faster. It would launch Terminal in half the bounces of the iBook. But that should be expected, partly because of the processor and partly because of the included RAM (256 on the 12" PB, 128 on the iBook). I was disappointed in the stock performance of the iBook, but I knew 512 MB would make a big difference if I bought it.

That Apple sells G3s that don't run OS X as well as G4s doesn't make Apple garbage, it makes them a computer company trying to market more inexpensive/less able versions of their hardware for consumers, and more expensive, better pro systems. If you can afford a Dual 1.42 Power Mac, or a 17" Powerbook, all the better. But if you still want a Mac and can only afford an iBook, iMac or eMac, load up on RAM and you'll have a good machine that will satisfy you more than a 3 GHz P4 running Windows XP.

Re: Point of the review
by jack perry on Wed 21st May 2003 14:17 UTC

The whole point of the review is that the reviewer was surprised at how well YDL runs on that iBook. What is it that is preventing you people from seeing and understanding this simple fact???

(a) the first part of the (2-part) headline
(b) the first page of the (3-page) review

A significant part of the article is, in fact, criticism of OS X. Quite a few people consider much of it unfounded criticism (myself included). They have every right to take the author to task for it.

I am not a true Mac-person, but I have operated several, and still own a vintage LCIII -my kids like it.
Converted to Linux approx 3 years ago, currently own no system running M$.
However with the amount of dorémi he plunked down for the hdw - I would've gone with something intel/amd-based and popped a RH9 or whatever does it for you. since I have successfully installed various distros : storm, corel, xandros, suse, ...etc. on PCs ranging from P75-P1.x Ghz, {CPQ,IBM, Dell) with minimal tweaking and solid performance and reliability... why bother with the Mac Hdw (coming from his point of view).
Performance would've been better, he would get his full Linux-Experience, and $ in his pockets.
- Also I doubt that anything runs "much" faster on a Mac than it's own native OS - the nature of closed source OS/Hdw.
OS_X may be a little heavy - but it's there for more industrial use, you want faster - downgrade to MAC_OS ...
I liked reading about YDL - it's a curiosity for me - but for the reasons the author quotes ... I have reservations on that.

Ciao,

LB.

Domink-newsreaders for OS X
by Me on Wed 21st May 2003 16:10 UTC

Newswatcher -MT (free)
Thoth
Hogwasher
There are others, these are the best. I like all of them better than Forte on Windows.

bah
by Mike on Wed 21st May 2003 21:03 UTC

I was hoping for a useful article but after reading the specs of the machine you put it on I knew the article was meaningless to me and perhaps all except those want to put a modern hardware hungry os on a machine incapable of being configured with enough resources for it.

OS X likes huge amounts of RAM. I have 2 G3 machines one with 320MB the other with 640MB and the 640MB machine is amazingly faster than the 320MB one even though they are the same model machine (B&W G3) with only minor other differences.

To me you might as well have said OS X is bad because it won't run on my timex sinclair.

Sure OS X is on the piggish side but that doesn't mean it is without merit on an appropriate piece of hardware. Of course I'm of the stripe that believes it's worth it to pay a premium for stuff that works great and is a joy to use if there is nothing else that fits the bill. If YDL fits your bill then great but you don't need a Mac for linux -- I can come out faster a cheaper on other hardware.

I'm a windows network admin and we pay a premium for it and for quality hardware and I much more enjoy OS X for personal use. I'm not bashing windows here. There are things I like about it and things I hate about it. NTFS has great features and Group Policies are very nice for instance. I'm also an OpenVMS administrator and I happen to love it too.

OS X is a joy to use and to administer in many respects but not on a piece of hardware like what you put it on. OS X has a lot of growing up to do and is missing some things I'd like to see but that doesn't mean it's bad. I think your review was slanted by your hardware choice.

re: Jose, NeoWolf, :-):
by SpookStyler on Thu 22nd May 2003 05:27 UTC

This is essentially a review of Yellow Dog Linux. I don't think the author uses his computer to prove to himself that OS X is powerful and that enough tweaking will make it run fast.
I agree very much greg...just like the man said, you shouldn't have to tweak a system out of the box, you should yuse what works best for you regardless of adjustment. I've seen alot of people on threads talking about which distro a newbie (like myself) should get...and the best replies Ive seen are just the same...whichever one works best to begin with. How else are you supposed to learn what you're doing?

re:bascule
by SpookStyler on Thu 22nd May 2003 05:35 UTC

I remember him writing why he bought the mac: He says its good hardware, and it lasts years...

Eyeball To eyeball with Linux and Mac...
by enloop@yahoo.com on Fri 23rd May 2003 17:40 UTC

A 500 mHz machine and that ATI card are below par for OS X. Such is life.

I've got a 15-inch flat panel OS X iMac (800 mHz) sitting on my desk next to a 1200 MHz P4 running Gentoo Linux with a 19-inch Viewsonic monitor. I don't care enough to actually run real speed tests to compare the two machines, but -- subjectively -- one's as responsive as the other. Visually, the iMac wins hands down. The Linux box has KDE 3.1.2, which has made real strides, but it can't touch the quality and legibility of the iMac.

I don't own an Ibook, but I have played with a couple of display models. I would agree, they are not the fastest machines around running OSX. If you are a power user, then perhaps you should have explored something besides the lowest end model available. These machines are aimed mainly at non power users who want to do basic functions, email, web surfing, etc. on a budget. Also, 256MB of ram is probably borderline for running OSX, especially on a moderately powered machine, and a laptop at that. I would imagine a machine of this type would perform much better running Linux, or even OS9.

As to another post here stating that 10.2.6 is a beast of an OS that will bring any G3 to it's knees, I beg to differ. I am running it quite nicely on a 400Mhz Imac DV at my home, and on a 10 year old PowerComputing PowerCenter with a G3/400 upgrade card in it at work. It is not blazingly fast, but is certainly stable and very adequate for normal usage on either machine. Neither one is "on it's knees".

I do have plenty of memory in both machines. With prices at their current levels, there isn't any reason not to have at least 512 MB of ram.

Have you ever thought that a "power user" might not be rich?

It's good to have alternatives
by slow poke on Sun 25th May 2003 02:33 UTC

I am pretty happy to hear about Yellow Dog as I also hate the slowness of OS 10 on my iBook. This type of performance should not be deemed acceptable. It is also a relief to know I won’t have to pay for upgrades that just make my computer run slower. It's good to have alternatives as being stuck with microsoft is not much different than being stuck with Apple.

The only drawback to Yellow Dog seems to be the lack of MP3 functionality, I will miss that a lot but I need to get some work done and cant stand OS 10.2 anymore.

Lastly, all those people who defend Apple when they truly suck can kiss my ass ! Apple deliberately crippled the iBook and sold it cash starved loyal customers down the drain.

poweruser
by poweruser on Sun 25th May 2003 23:48 UTC

if you would be a power user you would not use an ibook. if you would be a power user, you would not use a two year old computer with not enough ram to run os x on.

bite the big one
by Sick & Tired on Mon 26th May 2003 03:45 UTC


Apple did bite the big one on this. A two year old computer should be able to run OS 10.2.6 without any problems. They could have upgraded the iBooks bus sooner and saved themselves a lot of negative press. Even die hard Mac fans should not defend this type of crap, Don't advertise computers that can run OS 10 that really can’t (especially in key markets like education). Lastly, increase the amount of minimum ram already.- 128 is just embarrassing .

Head to head competion with linux & Yellow dog is a good thing as it will force Apple to stop releasing products that are half baked and then charging a ton of money for it.

Benchmarks,PCs,and OS9
by Mike on Mon 26th May 2003 23:15 UTC

I'm one of those "poor idiots" running old Mac hardware. PPC 6500/250. I just bought a Beige G3 MT. I bought the Beige G3, not by accident, but for very good reasons. 1)Cheap! 2) Old ports, ADB SCSI Serial....3) I'll be able to upgrade the "Beige-y" to a G4, for around $75 (used G4 Ziff). I don't get why there is no mention of OS 9. I've looked @ the benchmarks, and OS X (even 10.2.3) is a real "dog" compared to Macs running OS 9. My current 6500/250 is about as fast in OS 9 as a G3 400 is in 10. That's sad. PCs are still running a crappy OS. XP is crap, just as every Microsoft OS has always been.However, Apple is getting spanked (as far as raw speed, and cheap apps IE: GAMES!) by cheap PCs 3ghz for under a grand! Get on the ball, Apple!

OS X loves RAM... give it more
by Rick Anderson on Tue 27th May 2003 09:20 UTC

I'm surprised I've seen nobody yet point out that OS X runs optimally with at least 512MB of RAM. This attempt to enter the "world of Apple" was done on half that. What do you expect if you hobble the OS's requirements? I know that this unofficial requirement makes OS X a veritable RAM hog and I won't make any defenses of that, but RAM is cheap so it's easy and inexpensive to address this issue. If you need OS X to run on an older machine, you need more RAM. At work, I run OS X on an early model G4 at 450Mhz and a boatload of RAM. It runs beautifully.

On complaining about slow hardware...
by yerma on Tue 27th May 2003 19:32 UTC

I can understand that you shuoldnt expect a 300mhz g3 to run OSX well, but we are talking about a machine here that was only one revision old (iirc) when OS X was released.

Not to mention that Jaguar was a huge speed up from 10.0.

So you are saying 1 revision old hardware shouldnt be able to run the latest OS from apple? Bullshit.

Apple is simply irresponsible for releasing ibooks with 128 ram. (which I own, by the way ;) )