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Resurrection of a G4 and other observations

My G4 mac has been sitting idle for some time now complaining of no working hard drive. I of course knew this to be a lie as the disk I put in the system was a good one and I thoroughly scanned and tested it before putting it in my beloved G4. After a fair bit of swearing I booted it holding the Option key down. I probably should note that despite my fairly extensive experience with windows and linux I have preciously little with OSX and with Apples in general. I'm amazed for example how good the BIOS seems to be. I can just plug any old USB DVD into this machine and wee! It detects it and off we go. Very cool. On a similar age PC you'd be lucky to have that kind of functionality available.

So at any rate I'm currently typing this on my G4 - it's quite responsive, now it has 868MB of RAM (I know - its a weird number). The reason I'm using this machine and not my equally beloved L400 is just for variety sakes. I have a number of machines available at home. They include a GX270 (currently at my dear girl's home), two GX260 slimline Dell PCs (one is my gateway, the other my linux box at work), a Dell PowerEdge 1400SC Server that houses all my... uh.. content and runs SuSE 10.2 (hopefully upgrading to 10.3 in a matter of hours), my L400 notebook running an amazingly quick Windows XP install, two generic PCs, one with an AMD processor, the other (my games machine) running a dual core Intel setup and finally my two Apples - my G4 and my G3 iMac, both running OSX. My generic PCs run Vista and XP respectively, although I hope to do a dual boot of Vista and SuSE 10.3 set up tonight (and then blog about it later).

The PowerEdge is a noisy machine and sometimes I wonder the amount of power it's pulling. I have no doubt it's a fair bit so I tend not to run it all that often . It was incredibly noisy with the two 9GB SCSI disks that came with it. Needless to say I replaced them with IDE Disks and an IDE RAID controller fairly quickly. I should probably get some bigger disks into it, but really it holds a back up of various documents and the like so nothing too big. SuSE 10.2 was a breeze to install on the machine as well. It correctly identified the IDE RAID card, found my pre-created RAID arrays (unlike Ubuntu) and then proceeded to install in quite an impressive fashion. I love Yast2. What can I say? It's a highly polished interface into much of the system and I think it's excellent. I found it very easy to change the system to boot into multi-user without X and set up firewalling and various other bits and pieces. Quite handy really.


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