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Before starting off on this journey, I really had no idea what I was getting into. I had installed Ubuntu on my (crappy and old) desktop myself with no problems, so I didn’t see why installing it on a laptop would be any different. It wasn’t until I announced my intention that Paul wondered where I had found a PowerPC version of Ubuntu.

Power what now? I should have realized: it’s a Mac. I was planning on installing off of one of the many Live CDs we have hanging around and upgrading to Hardy Heron.

The Apple Users forum on the Ubuntu forum was invaluable during this whole experiment.I was able to go through the FAQ thread and find where to download edu- k/x/ubuntu for PowerPCs.

The problem, as a novice user, is that it doesn’t work without some major issues. Now savvy to the “hold down ‘c’ to boot from the CDROM” – which is an Apple-ism, not a Linux-ism – I was able to get to the installer. And then nothing.

Reboot – nothing

Reboot – wait 5 minutes – nothing

Reboot – wait 10 minutes – nothing

Off to the forums….oh, there’s a magical key in sequence needed.

l [ENTER]

…next screen…

Linux video=ofonly

Okay. Fine. Installation process was now on track. Until it came time to recognize the CDROM. Which it didn’t. How it could not recognize there is a CDROM when the disc is in the CDROM is a bit beyond me…but the forums again to discover that you have to manually detect the CDROM from a terminal.

Once it was installed, things ran fairly well. Booting up took a long time, as did launching Firefox, but once both of those tasks were completed it wasn’t too slow.

The problem was that my desktop kept crashing. It made my computer rather unusable. It was disheatening to learn that there were no plans to fix the error in Hardy Heron, as it didn’t exist (or was already fixed) in Jaunty Jackalope. I’m not brave enough to install a beta version of Linux, especially when it’s a non-supported (PPC) flavour.

I really like Ubuntu, and I’m kind of sad it didn’t work out for me (on this machine). Yellow Dog Linux has been great, though, other than a few (minor-ish) problems.

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