Monday, 14 April 2014

Another Update

I received another cash donation ($25 from Chris in the US), and a hardware donation (from Mark who runs Rated Win) that is en route as I type this.  It's a Mac Mini G4 1.25GHz and an iBook G3 600MHz.  A big thanks to both of these guys.

While this now totals 5 donations, that is literally a fraction of the daily regular traffic here.  Based on how long I have been open for donations, this project can never really grow bigger than the package idea similar to MintPPC.  Because of this, I am going to remove the donation option specific to this project, and turn to a general donation option to support the blog.  The reasoning for this is that any more donations specific to the project will be more than is needed now, as it's more a spare time type of thing now rather than lack of money or hardware.  I never want to take a donation and not put it to the intended use.  So barring some massive offer to help, the full OS idea is dead.  As are donations specific to the project.  If you still want to support this blog in a general sense, then that is still welcome and very appreciated.

I will use the $125 donated so far, along with the two donated systems to do the most I can with it, and anything I do now will have a broader range of hardware to be tested on.  I think that $125 would be best put toward a quality PowerBook G4.  They are the most common type of PowerBook used today by far.  Possibly an eMac instead or also.

Other (realistic) ideas are welcome also.  I am not married to the package idea at all.  I want to use these resources in the best way possible.  The donors will obviously have the final say, but all ideas are welcome at this point.

As long as this helps PowerPC Debian users in the end.  Regardless of how.

I also just started a decently sized software project for a client, so we have lots of time to figure out the best way to use these resources.  Again, donors have the final say.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

OS Update

I have been extremely busy the last while, so in turn I have neglected updating readers on the proposed OS project.  Here goes...

So far I have only received 3 donations, and all have been money, not hardware.  The donations total $100, and I truly appreciate those three who have contributed.  With this lack of interest so far it could be very challenging to code an entire OS, as I wouldn't have the hardware or monetary resources to do it. 

Here are the donations so far, in the order I received them:

Tom from iFix Old Macs - $50
Alberto in Spain - $25
Graeme in the UK - $25

A big thanks to these guys, you have all at least given the project a glimmer of hope.  The thing is though...  I don't want to write an OS that 3-5 people will use.

I will give things a while longer to develop in terms of donations, but a plan B is to create a single package with everything a new user needs on Debian.  Much like what MintPPC has done, but seems to have stopped other than support.  ie. install Debian netinstall first, then this package, rather than develop a whole distro from Debian source code as originally planned.  The original plan is about 30x the work, which is why I need enough support and hardware to achieve that.

A few people have offered hardware, but none of those offers have gotten to the point of getting the hardware in my hands.  Like me though, many of these people have busy lives.  I'll give those offers more time to work themselves out.

I have gotten the sense that most users on PowerPC hardware have either resigned themselves to outdated Mac OS forever, or are content with Debian, or any other Linux, as is.  I'm not giving up yet though, but if I do, I will dedicate myself to the package idea, or some other way of making Debian easier for new users.

More as this project develops.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Freescale and the missing plane from Malaysia

Freescale has confirmed what I heard on local news a couple days ago.  They announced in this release that 20 of their employees were on that flight.

For those that don't know, Freescale is the creation of its parent company, Motorola.  I have been a massive supporter of theirs for decades, and long before Freescale existed, and were just called the Motorola CPU division.

This is a very sad day for me, but I cannot even imagine what the people and families of Freescale must be going through.

My heart goes out to everyone involved.

I don't really know what else to say about it.  It's too stunning to really put into words properly.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Lubuntu Purge

As a BSD user since the 80's, Lubuntu was my first real venture into the Linux realm.  Prior to that I had only toyed with Linux a few times for brief periods.  This was pretty much at the same time I started this blog in 2012.

Lubuntu was the first distro I had ever given a true test drive to, and during my 'I know BSD, but I need to adapt that knowledge to a Linux state.'  I had always known of Debian through reputation, but somehow chose Lubuntu first.

In the end, Debian is a far better choice, and it will be the only Linux covered here moving forward.  All of the Lubuntu content here will be removed soon, so if you want to archive some of it, do it now.  I am no longer going to promote, in any manner, an OS I wouldn't use myself any longer.

By next weekend, all the Lubuntu content here will be gone.  As it should be.

This is not meant as an insult to Canonical, but I no longer want anything to do with what they call an OS.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

What PowerPC needs, and what I'm willing to do to make it happen

What our architecture truly needs is a universal and up to date OS, which any user of any level can find a comfortable and fully capable environment for their computing to live within.  We need this not only for old PowerPC systems, but also for the Power architecture moving forward.

As a professional freelance computer tech and software developer, I always have certain periods throughout the year where I have a lot of extra time to work on code.  A freelance profession does that.  So I want to truly put these leaner times into production mode.

We need an OS that will suit someone with very limited computing ability, and also very advanced users, which automatically includes everyone in between also.  I want to start with a Debian or OpenBSD base, and work from there.  To create specific packages for different hardware, so that people without Linux/Unix skills can start off in that world without any preexisting rooted ability.  Essentially have a GUI and text version pre-packaged for every (or at least most) systems in the architecture.  It's simply a matter of time and money to get it started.

What I need to get started is a much broader selection of hardware, as alI I own are G4 towers.  With the main needs being a Power Mac G5, a G4 PowerBook, and an iBook G3/G4.  I also want a proper server to host the code on, and a G4 Xserve is what would be ideal.  One of my clients has a lab with a T3 connection, and they have invited me to host any code/hardware I like on their connection.

I am willing to pay half the hardware costs myself, and then ask for donations to cover the rest.  I of course will also happily take hardware donations.  Everyone who donates will receive the right to have a say on how the OS evolves, and literally help shape what it will become.  This can go as far as we need it to, and will only be limited by a lack on interest, which I hope wouldn't happen.

With all the time I spend helping Linux novices, it would actually be more productive to create a new breed of Linux or BSD which is heavily geared toward users moving from Mac OS, and not just power users.

What I need to get started:
  • Xserve G4 (server to host code)
  • Power Mac G5 (for G5 development/testing)
  • G4 portable (for G4 portable development/testing)
  • G3 portable (for G3 portable development/testing)
  • Power Mac G3 (for PMG3 development/testing)
  • iMac G3
  • eMac (I can support the iMac G4 with these also)
  • Power Mac 8600/9600 (to support text only on 604 chips)
  • Various GPU (for tower testing/development)
  • Any and all Power hardware I can get my hands on

Again, I am willing to cover half the cost of all this, and donations will essentially put you on the board of directors with a democratic vote for how the OS evolves.  The eligibility to have a vote will be any donation of $20 or higher, as I don't want to see a bunch of people donating $1 to have a vote.  Donations of $100 or more will earn you, and your company if you have one, an honorable mention in the release notes as a major contributor.  Hardware donations will also get honorable mention.  Every donor, no matter the amount, will also be able to vote on what it will be named.

The end goal will be to have one version that works on all hardware without configuration, if that is the type of install chosen, for more limited users.  It's typically the manual configuration needed in many Open OS that keeps newer adopters away.  Everything will be open from top to bottom, or I wouldn't even do it in the first place.  There will of course be dual text and GUI installs also.  I first need to get a few donations and gauge the interest of those people as to whether they prefer a Debian Linux or OpenBSD base.  Debian seems to be the more wise path to have the furthest reach in ability, but I want to hear that from the donors also.  This can't start without interest from people, because people need to want to use it to make it worth creating.

 ***Donations specific to this project have now been disabled. I still accept general donations, but this project has reached the point where it can never become a full OS. There is simply not enough interest to achieve the original vision. People on PowerPC chips have either resigned to old Mac OS forever, or are happy with Debian as is, like me. This was mostly geared at people lacking Linux ability.***