Ok, so I was in Phoenix all week last week for a Redhat Linux class and it got me all stoked up to try Linux on one of my several old PC’s laying around the apt.  Since I was learning Redhat, the instructor there recommended getting CentOS, since it’s built off of the Redhat source code (and you can get it for free). Next I had to locate a machine to install it on. The most accessible machine I had that wasn’t already in use was an old G4 PowerMac.

Hmmm – problem #1, finding an up-to-date linux distro for a PPC Mac. CentOS had a very old (2005) “beta” distro, and that was it.  Googling only provided a lot of empty promises for a version 5, 5.1, or 5.2 “coming soon,” but those responses are almost a year old (Jan. 2008).  So I went looking for other packages and UBUNTU got the next most favorable nods, so I went looking there.  After a bit of searching (quite a lot actually), I finally found a couple of 8.x PPC UBUNTU distributions.  One was even the latest 8.10, so I downloaded that iso, burned the CD and started up the PPC.  Got through the initial screen and – WHAMMO! can’t find the CD drive… oh joy… 

Ok, so I did a bit more research and it sounded like the 8.04.1 UBUNTU for PPC was quite a bit more stable and predictable in it’s install.  So again I DL’d yet another iso distro, burned the CD and started up the PPC.  Installation found the CD drive this time and it actually did install, for the most part… 

Time to let the tubes warm up, fiddle with a dial here, a knob there, and hold your hands just right so you can pick up that signal…  Grrrr – this is why I gave up on Linux over 10-years ago when Redhat first went commercial.  I tried installing it back then and had to jump through a bunch of hoops just to get a working terminal.  At least now I actually got an almost working GNOME desktop (800×600 and no way to change it ‘cuz it couldn’t or wouldn’t recognize my ATI card…)  Anyways I didn’t have time to go fishing for who knows how many modules and tweaks I’d have to wade through to get a working graphics driver – that’ll have to wait until I get some free time, maybe next weekend…

Anyways, Linux still seems to be a “hobbiest” kind of OS, maybe someday it will actually become a “plug-n-play” OS for the masses, but I’m not gonna hold my breath.

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