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Someone gave me this old iBook, and it currently has OS 9.0.4 on it. It has 128 mb of RAM and only about 6gb of hard drive space. It also ...
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  1. #1
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    iBook G3 300 Mhz


    Someone gave me this old iBook, and it currently has OS 9.0.4 on it. It has 128 mb of RAM and only about 6gb of hard drive space. It also has an ATI rage mobility graphics card.

    I've been thinking of installing either debian or Free-BSD on it, but, of course, I'm trying to find a pretty light-weight distro. I don't plan on using KDE or gnome, and I think I'll opt for a more light-weight GUI. I mostly want to use it for word processing (but again, because of requirements, I'll probably avoid OpenOffice).

    Anyway, I just wanted to ask if anyone has any recommendations for this type of mac with a PowerPC processor.

  2. #2
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Well, you can pretty much customize either Debian or FreeBSD to have whatever you want on it, so if you want a lightweight GUI, install one. Debian is text-mode-only by default unless you specifically choose to install one, so I'd just download the PowerPC (PPC) version of the latest Debian release (3.1) and go from there. Some lightweight GUIs I've used and liked in the past were Fluxbox, IceWM, and Xfce.
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    thanks for the response. I ended up installing debian and it was quick and painless. Since then I've installed blackbox, but that first debian disc didn't come with much and I don't have a wireless router. I may try connecting it to my cable modem here to see if I can get it to install stuff from the network. I really only want to do word processing and internet, so I will need some office software and browser, but I'm trying to think of any other packages I've forgotten that might be useful.

    Also, does anyone have a recommendation of a lightweight office suite with spreadsheet and word-processing capabilities? I think OpenOffice is probably too big.

  4. #4
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eraker
    Also, does anyone have a recommendation of a lightweight office suite with spreadsheet and word-processing capabilities? I think OpenOffice is probably too big.
    You're probably right; I don't know how well OpenOffice would run on that system. You might give it a go anyway, just for kicks. I can't help you with spreadsheets, but I've used and liked a few lighter-weight word processors out there, such as AbiWord.
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    I just wanted to say thanks for the AbiWord suggestion. It works really well and it's pretty light. For spreadsheet stuff, I found Gnumeric, which works really well also.

  6. #6
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    well .. just for the record ..
    I have an IbookG3 .. 400Mhz with 256k cache .. 384Mb of ram ..
    i have gentoo installed .. compiled all from scratch .. (including oofice) .. and it god damn fast .. ..
    oofice2 is flying .. i had to compile it almost 4 days .. but it was worth of it .. ..

    so ... i would recommend gentoo .. tried deb based distros .. and .. naahhh .. source rulz .. .. there`s a little pain while all stuff compiles .. but after that .. everything is just flying ..
    haven`t updated those big packages lately .. but .. there`s no need for it ..
    have ion3 compiled .. (even though kde is running fine) .. and all kind of console apps ..
    even wireless and modem are working without any problems ..

    Cheers

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    I got into really customizing this ibook and I ended up pretty much reinstalling debian with only the core packages I wanted, and I also ended up customizing the kernel so now it boots quicker. I might be getting another old laptop soon and I was thinking of trying a gentoo install on that thing so that I can learn how it's done. Since I installed debian on this thing, however, it's become my favorite distro. It employs (to me) a straightforward and obvious organization, it's exceedingly easy to configure, and I love it.

    Also, I can't believe it was only two months ago that I first started using debian.

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