iBook: Should I go with OSX or Debian?


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I'm getting an old laptop (old as in, three previous 7th-to-8th-grade users) from the MLTI system (The plan in Maine to have every 7th and 8th grader be able to use a laptop in school). It has a 20G hard drive, 128M ram, and a 600MHz processor. And, it has OSX (10.2 IIRC?). I'm going to use it at MSSM.
Here's my question: Obviously Linux has useful, and popular (usually in each distro) programs for doing homework (i.e. OpenOffice.Org) and for browsing the web (i.e. Firefox). However, does Linux have all of the capabilities of OSX wirelessly?
Also, how hard would it be for a Linux n00b like me to get the documentation/CDs and install Debian?

I'm asking this because I really don't like OSX, especially with such a slow processor.

Thank you for your advice.
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Get OS X 10.4 for it. Unlike Microsoft's operating systems, Apple's increase in speed and efficiency as they mature. 10.4 will actually perform better on that system than 10.2. If you want to check out Linux on it, give Ubuntu a try. There's a LiveCD that will work on that system so you can give it a shot without ever touching your hard drive. If you decide you like it, it's easy to dual boot with OS X.

<P ID="signature"><font size="1">I'm like the New Coke. I'll be around forever. Heh heh heh.</font></P>

Seeing as I'm somewhat familiar with (and like) the K Desktop Environment, would Kubuntu sound like a reasonable choice?

P.S. I've decided that, if it DOES sound like a good choice, I'm not even going to bother with OSX.
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Re: Kubuntu?

Well I'm using Kubuntu right now, and it's pretty good. It's been somewhat tricky to get it working though, just how 'familiar' are you with KDE? Have you installed and configured Linux before?

There are some things I'll note right now though.

While Kubuntu comes with OpenOffice.org already installed, it doesn't come with Firefox. It has Konqeror instead, which is actually quite good. If you want Firefox, you'll have to install that yourself. When I tried, I ran into problems with dependencies, which took some time to fix. That's on Breezy though, it may work more smoothly on Dapper.

Since Ubuntu and all officially derivitives (that includes Kubuntu and Xubuntu) are designed to be as Free as possible, they don't get on well with proprietary formats. I had to install MP3 support myself (it's a bit glitchy too), Flash 8 isn't available and the Flash 7 plugin from Macromedia isn't very good, I haven't managed to install Java or AAC support yet, and I haven't even got around to video CODECs yet. If you don't plan to use any of that on this system, this won't be a minus. But be warned anyway.

If the system is a bit slow, you might want to try Xubuntu instead. KDE can be a bit heavy on slower systems, and many people find Xubuntu better in those cases.

As for wireless capabilities, I don't really know. I've found support for a lot of stuff though (there's even pages devoted to trying to get Winmodems working under Linux!) so I wouldn't be surprised if there'sa good solution for that.

Aside from those things though, I've found using Kubuntu to be a joy. It's fast, stable, and completely free! If you have more specific questions about Kubuntu though, I'd point you towards the http://www.ubuntuforums.org/index.phpUbuntu Forums</a>. I don't think I'd have Kubuntu installed now if they weren't there to help me in solving my problems. I consider it to practically be a neccessity to any newbie wanting to install Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Xubuntu.
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!luos ruoy tae lliw stelek ehT</P>
This game's winner is...

The one which is better out of the box for actually playing mp3/movies/other media. Which would be OSX. I will also have a few K/X/Ubuntu LiveCD's on hand, instead of using them to dual-boot.

A question, though. Can one, in Open Firmware, mount a LiveCD iso which is already on the HDD and boot from it there?

Another question. Will the 600MHz procesor be fast enough for Xvid? How about DivX? There is no DVD drive (in fact, not even a CD-R burner
<img src=smilies/cry.gif>) so that's not a worry. There is also only USB1.1... Ah, loads of fun when I transfer my Hoshi no Kaabii eps onto the internal HDD from my external one <img src=smilies/upeyes.gif>).

So yeah, this game's winner is... <strike>Kirby</strike>OSX! (Probably not tiger though, unfortunately. Hopefully 10.3 (Jaguar?))

And thanks in advance, if you would happen to be able to provide me with more of the useful advice.
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Re: This game's winner is...

600 mhz? You can use 10.4. OSX rules.
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too fast</P>
Re: This game's winner is...

One problem. The only install CD I currently(<img src=smilies/upeyes.gif>) have is for 10.3. That, and I'm not even sure if it will even install on my iBook. I would hate to clear the HDD and then only be able to use it on K/X/U CDs.
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If your using a linksys wireless card you may have to buy a proprietary driver for it unless you have the skills to install the regular win driver with the wrappers available, I don't myself and just had to uninstall it because of that. <img src=smilies/cwm11.gif>
<P ID="signature">(Place all intelligent thought here) Wait, gimme a second, I know, ummmm, aww hell fuckit.......</P>
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