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Re: [tlug] Linux-compatible Mac laptop?

On 4/12/2007, "Scott Robbins" <> wrote:

>One downside of Macs, that everyone forgets till it bites them, is their
>proprietary hardware problem.  For instance, my wife's airport card
>seems to not be working.  
>If it were a PC, I could easily boot a Linux CD and see, swap cards,

The fact that it's a Mac doesn't mean you can't boot a Linux CD on it
:) There are several PPC distros out there to choose from :) When it
gets to old to run the latest/greatest OS X you can even just convert to
a capable Linux machine. If you boot a Linux CD and the wireless still
doesn't work, that's not a confirmed diagnosis, but it's an indicator.

Is this a desktop or a notebook? IIRC Mac desktops use PCI slots, so you
may not be in quite the hardware bind you think you are, at least if the
Mac firmware will talk to non-Apple wireless cards. If it's a notebook,
you might still have options. Maybe :)

WRT the hardware (I've never taken apart a Mac, or tried, so bear with
me if this sounds stupid), what kind of slot does that card plug into?
Is it truly a proprietary slot, or is it possibly a mini-PCI? If it's
mini-PCI, that gives you some options. My wife's Thinkpad came with an
802.11B card, but I upgraded it to G with a mini-PCI card I picked up on
eBay. As with the above PCI example, this is subject to the firmware
wanting to talk to non-Apple cards.

A USB wireless adapter might also be an option.

So maybe it's not quite as bleak as it looks, although if you don't
have some of that stuff just sitting around, getting it might be as much
trouble and expense as having someone diagnose it.

Final thought: if it's a notebook, then it's probably not much worse
off from a proprietary hardware perspective than your typical PC
notebook. Those tend to be filled with lots of proprietary hardware,
too. The only difference I see between this MacBook Pro and a PC
notebook in terms of hardware is that this one has no PCMCIA slots. Of
course, I haven't looked at any recent PC notebooks to see if they
still all come with those or not, either :)


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