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The Answer Guy

By James T. Dennis, tag@lists.linuxgazette.net
Starshine Technical Services, http://www.starshine.org/

(?)Linux PPC on the Umax C500 SuperMac: Not A Good Idea

From Fahimy on 28 May 1998

Hello, I'm a french girl beginning some computer studies. I like Macintosh so I'm looking after a second hand macintosh or clone in order to work and learn C, Java and Linux on it. I'm perhaps about to buy an Umax C500, but I'm wondering whether it would be able to run linux. From a request to altavista, I found you were in a similar situation some month ago. Quoting a message you sent to the linux-pmac mailing list :

(!) Someone did send me a kernel that should be able to boot that system. However I have had other things to keep me busy.

More importantly I can't recommend the Umax Mac clones at this point. They have announced that they are discontinuing their whole line of MacOS clones. So you'd be buying an orphan.

I'd suggest an Apple G3 based system --- though I'm still disappointed about the lack of Mac clone manufacturers. I don't believe Apple will survive if it is the only supplier of its platform. On the other hand the G3 is the fastest processor out there in a commodity microcomputer. In addition I've heard that IBM has demonstrated a 1.1Ghz (1100Mhz!) version of the G3 architecture in their labs --- so there is plenty of foreseeable future for this platform.

As usual we'll see. One nice thing about Linux (and Unix in general) is that it doesn't constrain us much in our choice of hardware. We can migrate to a new hardware platform with little or no effect on the majority of our utilities and applications --- and a correspondingly modest learning curve.

Copyright © 1998, James T. Dennis
Published in Linux Gazette Issue 30 July 1998

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