[conspire] iBook and Ubuntu/Kubuntu

Daniel Gimpelevich daniel at gimpelevich.san-francisco.ca.us
Tue Oct 4 21:22:46 PDT 2005

On Sun, 02 Oct 2005 08:47:37 -0700, Ross Bernheim wrote:

> My experiences with putting Kubuntu 5.10 preview on a 12' 500 Mhz G3  
> firewire iBook
> have been mixed. Install went easily if a bit slowly.
> Kubuntu looks nice and works well except for a few things.
> First, usb thumb drive would not work.

I haven't tried that, but I'm sure there's a very simple fix.

> Second, closing the cover puts the iBook to sleep, but it stops partway
> when trying to wake when the cover is opened.

Ditto on my iBook. I found a fix that used to work, but with recent kernel
updates in Breezy, it now only sometimes works. I'll be glad to copy over
the necessary files to your iBook when I come to the 10/22 meeting (I
won't be there this Saturday).

> Third, no sound output.

My iBook suffers the same problem if the install is left in a stock state.
I originally messed around with boot scripts to fix it, but recently, I
discovered that there is a really simple fix. Edit the file /etc/modules
with root privileges. Find the line that says "snd-powermac" in the file
and insert two lines immediately before it like so:

-r dmasound-pmac

> Fourth, usb wifi dongle does not work. The dongle is good and works with
> Calvin's iBook and Debian install.

Again, I'm sure the fix is very simple.

> Problem one was solved by doing a dist-upgrade. Went from 2.6.12-8 to
> 2.6.12-9. That was enough to get the usb drive to be recognized when
> plugged in.

Oh, goody. I'm not sure where you got a 2.6.12-8, since Breezy has already
gone through 20 updates of 2.6.12-9 kernels. Are you sure you're running
the latest 2.6.12-9? Until Breezy is officially released later this month,
you should dist-upgrade at least once a day. There is now a new front end
to apt called "Adept" that I haven't got the hang of yet. If you decide to
run the GNOME desktop, it will periodically do "apt-get update" for you in
the background, and let you know if anything is new.

> So far no joy on the other issues. Tried all the different settings  
> for the sound
> but no change. Sleeping still does not work. The wifi issue seems to  
> be no
> modules for wireless. Not sure how to solve that one.

Do you know what chipset is being used? And which module Calvin was using
for it? If I knew that, I could give you a step-by-step.

> I do find the iBook an interesting beast. A bit slow, what do you  
> expect from
> a 500 MHz processor and KDE. I am not overly enthused with the keyboard
> and not a fan of the trackpad. On the other side, it is a nice  
> package, great
> screen which is very readable. The two usb ports and firewire port  
> are very
> handy and I carry a Logitech Trackman Wheel to use with the iBook.

I haven't checked recently, but have they fixed the problem in KDE of kded
repeatedly segfaulting whenever you insert a CD or DVD? It was really
making KDE hard to use. Ubuntu has accomplished the hitherto unimaginable:
making GNOME more usable than KDE. That is, THEIR packaging of both. The
CPU is used very efficiently, so it never seems really slow to me. One
thing that will improve apparent speed is switching X.org to 16 bits
instead of 24, because it will give direct rendering a chance to work.
There isn't enough VRAM in the machine to use direct rendering in 24 bits
at 1024x768. Type "sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg" and accept default
answers to each question except the one about bit depth.

> I am sure that answers will be found for the remaining problems over  
> the next
> few weeks with help from diverse sources. I have an external firewire  
> hard disk
> and DVD drive that I plan to get working with the iBook as well.

Under the GNOME desktop, simply plugging in a FireWire hard disk will
mount all partitions on it (including HFS+ ones, and in read-write mode!).
Haven't tried it under KDE, but I would expect problems related to kded.

> I was not a great fan of laptops, but the used iBook was affordable  
> so I got it.
> It is slowly converting me to the usability of a laptop, though I  
> still prefer my
> desktop with dual 17 inch monitors.

The iBook can drive an external monitor, but AFAIK it can't do dual-head.

> Thanks to Calvin, Daniel, Rick and the rest of Cabalistas who helped  
> getting me
> so far along with the iBook.
> Ross

I can also be of assistance in getting Java to work on it, as well as the
PowerPC equivalent of the w32codecs package. I've had no luck getting
RealPlayer to work, though.

> When I'm on a golf course and it starts to rain and lightning, I hold up
> my
> one iron, 'cause I know even God can't hit a one iron. (Lee Trevino)

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