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Re: [tlug] Linux-compatible Mac laptop?

On Fri, Apr 13, 2007 at 02:51:06AM +0900, Jonathan Q wrote:
> 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.

I was just venting rather than asking for help, which is why I gave no
useful information.

AFAICT, there's no way to boot from a CD on these older iBooks.  Gentoo
had a rather complex way of doing it, which didn't seem worth it.
However, I haven't thorooughly researched this--I just scanned for
bootable PPC CDs, and Gentoo had one, but said if it was an iBook of
this model, it wouldn't work .  The good thing is that there is a
company about a 15 minute skate away that can pop in another airport
card and check. I'm also wondering if some of my experiments with my
PC's wireless interfered, since at one point, they seemed to have the
same address, and shortly after that, her Mac went off the air.

This is a notebook, a rather old iBook, bought in 2000, I think.  It
doesn't have a PCMCIA slot.  The airport card goes in a place under the
keyboard--you have to pop out the keyboard to insert it.  
> 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?

See above.  It's not a slot, more's the pity or I would have called
their bluff. 

> A USB wireless adapter might also be an option.
If it turns out to be the aircard, that's the first thing to try, as it
will be far cheaper than an aircard.  

> 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.

That's the nice thing about this Mac place--the diagnosis is free.  Then
if they tell me it's the aircard, I can make a decision. If they say
it's the logic board, then it's probably time to buy a new one.   :)

There is no logical reason for my feeling that all my fooling around
last night with the Linux laptop's wireless had anything to do with
this, but the timing seems suspicious.  (I was playing around with
bridging, trying to get VirtualBox working with wireless and bridge/tap
networking, but that's another saga.)

I'm now wondering if I accidentally gave tap0 the airport's MAC address. 

> 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 :)

Most of them seem to--there are various things that go in them, such as
these new Sprint and Verizon aircards.  You're probably right that it's
just a matter of PCMCIA slots, (though as this machine doesn't have one,
we can't test with various other wireless cards), but that missing slot
is a killer.   :)

The big problem is that the airport express cards, easily available at a
reasonable price (for Apple) aren't compatible with these older iBooks. 



GPG KeyID EB3467D6
( 1B848 077D 66F6 9DB0 FDC2  A409 FA54 D575 EB34 67D6)
gpg --keyserver --recv-keys EB3467D6

Buffy: Look, I know this new guy's a dork,
but... Well, I have nothing to follow that. He's 
pretty much just a dork.

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