Home > Linux > Terra Soft Ships G4 ATX Workstation Terra Soft Ships G4 ATX Workstation Thom Holwerda 2005-07-07 Linux 34 Comments Terra Soft Solutions, the leading developer of integrated Power Architecture Linux solutions, today announces a VAR relationship with Genesi for provision of the Open Desktop Workstation with Yellow Dog Linux pre-installed. About The Author Thom Holwerda Follow me on Twitter @thomholwerda 34 Comments 2005-07-07 1:43 pm bsharitt While the price isn’t great yet, considering that a Mac mini is cheaper and faster, maybe they get stuck with slower part because Apple gets first pick, but hopefully they’ll get chips, and eventually G5s once Apple makes their switch. 2005-07-07 1:58 pm saterdaies Has anyone else gotten sticker shock from the price of one of those units? A 1GHz G4 processor with 512Mb RAM, 80GB HD, DVD writer for $800! And it doesn’t have the Apple Tax! I can get a Mac mini for $500. With similar equipment (RAM upgraded to 512, DVD burner, 80GB HD) it comes out to $700, but that includes Mac OS X and it’s still cheaper by $100 and faster by 25%. For another $50 ($750 in total) I get a machine 42% faster for less money. It’s true that this Linux system comes with Gigabit ethernet and a little more expandability, but still. It’s EXPENSIVE. 2005-07-07 2:12 pm Thom Holwerda I don’t find it at all expensive. For normal people, yes, but as an enthusiast for the alt. computing scene, this thing isn’t all that expensive. And soon, Genesi might be the only company selling all-in-one PPC solutions for your desktop… 2005-07-07 2:26 pm Who is That then, would you not have to conclude that there is no apple tax? 2005-07-07 4:55 pm StephenBeDoper then, would you not have to conclude that there is no apple tax? Uh, no – but you could probably conclude that Apple gets much better volume discounts on processors than Genesi does. 2005-07-07 2:25 pm vikramsharma You can get Mac Mini for cheaper and install YDL on top of it for much lesser cost. Besides what does Mac Mini have higher clock speed, way better design and cheaper too and comes with OS X incase you want to have a dual boot machine. 2005-07-07 2:28 pm Who is That what is the deal, how many people here can not afford an 800 dollar computer? 60% or more of today’s computer systems are 1000 dollars or more. 2005-07-07 3:27 pm evangs Just because people can afford $800 for a computer doesn’t mean that they’ll pay $800 for a 1Ghz G4 machine, when they can get cheaper from the PC world, or from else where. Really, this is only targeting the hardcore enthusiast who wants to run PPC, but doesn’t want to buy a Mac. The only thing that is similar to the current Powermac line is the expandability, and the ridiculous price tag. 2005-07-07 2:46 pm Isn’t this the exact same board that the Pegasos is based on? 2005-07-07 2:47 pm Thom Holwerda It *is* a Pagasos. Pegasos II, to be exact. 2005-07-07 2:49 pm A mini doesn’t have line in, 3 PCI slots and an AGP slot. This thing is really closer to a PowerMac G4 than a Mac Mini. It’s really just a PC with a PowerPC processor. (I’m not too sure of the market, I have to say…) If Mac OSX would run on it, which I doubt highly, this would be a pretty cheap, expandable OSX box. I have a few family members that are looking to buy a Mac. The mini is good, but the lack of expansion and the lack on any kind of Line-in make the mini a tough sell. (I know that a cheap USB sound card can be added but a decent FireWire multi-track card is quite expensive, especially if you’ve already bought a good PCI card.) However, as a Linux-only box I can’t imagine this being a big hit for Linux Desktop people. Linux PPC is okay, but the lack of flash, current java and other proprietary, x86-only apps get to be a drag after a while. Luckily, that doesn’t seem to be who they’re targeting. Ben 2005-07-07 4:02 pm > If Mac OSX would run on it, which I doubt highly, this > would be a pretty cheap, expandable OSX box. MacOSX works quite nicely under MacOnLinux. Apple’s EULA would forbid running their OS on “alien” hardware, but it’s not legally enforcable (it’s been happening since the 80ies, when MacOS run on the Amiga using the AMax emulator, and the menaced lawsuit never materialized because Apple knew they would have lost – and this kind of gave a precedent…). The only limitation of MOL is that it doesn’t (at this moment) support OpenGL acceleration, therefore MacOS9 runs at the exact same speed as on a Mac, while MacOSX has a bit slower gfx refresh (but the application speed is, again, exactly the same as on a real Mac). Overall it’s very nice. As for the speed, CPU upgrades for the PegasosII based on higher clocked 7447As have been announced… Kind regards, Andrea 2005-07-08 12:18 pm virutass > Linux PPC is okay, but the lack of [..] current java Java 1.4 is available from IBM: https://www6.software.ibm.com/dl/lxdk/lxdk-p Cheers, C 2005-07-07 3:06 pm dukes What are you going to stick in those PCI slots? Or the AGP slot that you don’t already have in the Mini, or that is compatible with PPC/YDL? 2005-07-07 3:29 pm i’m pretty sure MacOnLinux works on non-Apple hardware (even though the EULA forbids you from installing it). so yeah, if you’re looking for a mini-ish type of PowerPC with a bit more expansion then this might just be a nice fit. 2005-07-07 3:43 pm I hope we see in a future a machine like this with a G5 processor, does anyone know if it is possible? 2005-07-07 3:58 pm l3v1 what is the deal, how many people here can not afford an 800 dollar computer? I, for one, can’t. Still, I almost always got high-end by eventually upgrading parts of my system, but not all by once. Thing is, knowing the prices, I’d rather buy a mac mini instead of this anyday: far far better price/performance/design ratio. Even if I have the money to spend, I’d never buy something which is pricier and inferior to another, cheaper product. 2005-07-07 3:59 pm Smartpatrol Not sure what it would be used for outside of perhaps developement on the PPC platform. This is an idea that is about 5 years too late. With Apple switching to x86 i would imagine that in the future PPC will only exist in IBM servers and workstations. 2005-07-07 4:07 pm you get an Amiga emulator for the same price.. why would anyone rather buy this? A mini is cheaper and faster.. 2005-07-07 4:56 pm Tuishimi I click-searched on their website but did not see an answer to this: Is YDL altivec enhanced? Has TSS rewritten any of the kernel or server[s] code to make use of altivec? Just curious. All I have heard is that it seems to run slowly. I had YDL on an old machine, at least 4 years ago. It was installed on our “original” iMac. It seemed nice to me, but I don’t remember much about it. I probably still have the CD lying around. As far as the product goes… I wish they provided more information about the configuration. For instance, 1 X AGP… what does that mean (I know, 1 AGP port – but is it 4X or 8X)? Anyway, I am glad pegasos (sp?) is selling their boards. It’s a good thing. 2005-07-07 4:56 pm A mini has a slow hard drive. A mini with “superdrive”, 512 MB, 80 GB HD is $700 and it is not expandable. With an ODW you can upgrade the CPU, the GFX card and have 3 PCI slots, the mini can not. Check the Genesi HTPPC configuration here: http://genesi.pegasosppc.com/press.php?date=20050624 Can the mac mini do as well ? The ODW is a development platform for several OS: http://www.pegasosppc.com/software.php Apple never helped much to support alternative OS. The team porting Open Solaris to PPC choosed the ODW: http://www.blastware.org/ The Strategic Lead of Gentoo/PPC is working for Genesi. Most of the linux distributions supporting PPC come with a kernel handling all Pegasos features. This is not the case on the Mac because Apple does not give hardware information. There will be faster ODW available with dual core CPU, the Mac mini won’t get it. And for those that it may interest the Mac mini does not run Amiga applications in native. Don’t get me wrong the Mini is very nice but it is not best suited as a development workstation. The ODW (Open Developer Workstation) is. 2005-07-07 4:58 pm JohnMG Now all we need is for it to have an OGP video card. http://kerneltrap.org/node/5073 I think this is a very cool development, and I’m glad that Terrasoft has the guts to do it. I’d intended my next machine to be a homemade mini-ITX, but may have to have a closer look at this “Open Desktop Workstation”. Hmm… is there only that one pic available at the top right of http://www.terrasoftsolutions.com/products/genesi/ ? What’s the power consumption for this machine? How well is YDL tracking Fedora? 2005-07-07 6:22 pm Hey JohnMG At risk of making our system sound like a great motherboard housed in a cheap case, we actually use this chassis; http://www.in-win.us/in-win/product_info.php?products_id=110 We had our artist stylise it for our product pages. We don’t have any product shots of it in action apart from at the recent Freescale Technology Forum http://www.pegasosppc.com/image.php?id=1575 You can see it in the middle with the little green light. The case next to it (behind Raquel) is a full ATX-capable HTPC system, for size comparison. There is a motherboard gallery at; http://www.pegasosppc.com/gallery.php?id=76 http://www.pegasosppc.com/gallery.php?id=83 And a cool movie of production; http://images.pegasosppc.com/movies/h2btm.mpg Power consumption! That’s an interesting question. What are you going to plug into it? We basically tell people that the G3 version runs at 4-7W and the G4 runs at anywhere around and just above 10W. The motherboard (Northbridge+RAM+Ethernet in use) is about 3W all told. You could build a system with a bunch of disks that expends 250W if you wanted. But the ODW we have measured at around 60-80W depending on what you’re doing. Dual layer DVD burners are hungry little monsters, as are 7200rpm disks. We match the EPIA models for power consumption ratings (if not a little bit better than they are) and of course a PowerPC at 1GHz kicks the pants off a Via Nehemiah at 1GHz by 2x-3x in basic performance. Don’t get me started on what AltiVec brings to the party. Yellow Dog track Fedora up to their last stable release as far as I know, and integrate patches as appropriate. I am not certain you can say “it is Fedora Core 3” with any certainty, Yellow Dog is more than a badged PowerPC Fedora. Does that answer your questions? — Matt Sealey <matt(a)genesi-usa.com> Manager, Genesi, Developer Relations 2005-07-07 7:49 pm JLF65 I keep hearing that the Peg2 is expandable with 3 PCI slots and an AGP slot, while the Mac-Mini isn’t expandable. However, look at that Peg2 case – it’s hardly larger than the DVD writer! You aren’t going to get any extra cards in that machine. As the $800 system ships, it’s not expandable either. Also, as far as price goes, people keep comparing it with Macs and saying it’s not very expensive. Compare that to an AMD Sempron system – you can put together the same system for less than $400. NOW you see the price in going to a PPC system. If they wish to court PC people, they’ll need to do a lot better on the pricing. 2005-07-07 8:16 pm JohnMG > Does that answer your questions? Yes. Thanks for the great reply Matt. But there’s one question I forgot to ask: does its video card come with a DVI connector on it? I hope so. 2005-07-07 9:16 pm Yes, it comes with this video card: http://store.yahoo.com/directron/r92llc3.html Directron puts together the ODW, they have a good description of all the components here: http://store.yahoo.com/directron/odwpowerpc.html However Terrasoft sell it for the same price with YDL. 2005-07-08 3:30 am @JohnMG: 1 DVI, 1 VGA and 1 S-Video. The VGA port is on a ribbon cable and takes up a PCI backplane. If you want the extra expansion and can live without it you can remove it. @Anonymous? The case is pretty large; it at least fits our board in (squeeze and has room for low profile PCI and AGP expansion cards. What are you going to add? SATA? You can get a LP SATA card for $25. TV card? A Hauppauge PVR150MCE-LP is sitting in my ODW Home Theater box on my living room floor and it works great. USB? Firewire? Easy. Extra graphics card? Plenty of low-profile Radeon 9250 PCI’s around. AGP I will warn you, it’s a 3.3V slot only so be careful what you buy. You will never be able to damage your system but you could waste a little money on the wrong keyed card. The only thing I ever had trouble sourcing was a low-profile high-end sound card. Actually I didn’t, you can buy them but they’re really expensive; http://www.audiotrak.net/prodigy7.1LT.htm http://www.alsa-project.org/alsa-doc/index.php?vendor=vendor-AudioT… http://www.newegg.com/product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16829152008 If you hate the case and want a full height solution you can always buy a $25 case from any PC store and transfer it. This is no Apple box with custom screw positions and so on, thank you very much. — Matt Sealey <matt(a)genesi-usa.com> Genesi, Manager, Developer Relations 2005-07-08 7:49 pm JLF65 The case is pretty large; it at least fits our board in (squeeze and has room for low profile PCI and AGP expansion cards. I see – the pictures give you an incorrect perspective of the size of the box and what will fit. Good to hear it DOES have expansion potential as it is, even if it is just low-profile cards. 2005-07-08 2:08 am anand78 If PearPC can emulate to run OSX I guess so can this box. 2005-07-08 7:46 am $95 more and you can get Sun Ultra 20 Workstation 2005-07-08 3:05 pm JohnMG > 1 DVI, 1 VGA and 1 S-Video. Yes! I think you guys have a winner here. That’s almost certainly gonna be my next computer. My 900 MHz Athlon ATX homebrew is too big and too noisy, and uses too much power. I’m also looking for something I can easily make go to sleep so I don’t have to start it up and shut it down a couple times every day. (I realize I can probably get that working on my current system with enough time and effort, but I’ve found in the past that YDL tends to “just work” OOTB for this sort of stuff.) Best of luck with the ODW. These things are gonna sell like mad. I’m looking forward to getting mine as soon as I save up some dough (honey wants a new carpet downstairs before I’m allowed to buy another computer . 2005-07-08 3:09 pm JohnMG > > Linux PPC is okay, but the lack of [..] current java > > Java 1.4 is available from IBM GCC 4 (with GCJ) should build fine on PPC. 2005-07-08 4:18 pm Does anyone know about generic ppc hardware (cpu, motherboard ) you can buy so you can build your own mac ? 2005-07-09 1:55 am If you want to see how much space for expansions is inside the box, you can check out this article: http://www.ppcnux.de/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=4261 It is about the former version of the ODW in a not too different slim-microATX case.