New policy on Mac OS content

As of this post we will no longer be covering Mac OS PowerPC when it comes to any internet related activities.  With it being 4 years since the last meaningful security update, Leopard or older versions of Mac OS simply cannot cut it anymore to keep you and your system/data safe.

When it comes to internet based activity we will only be covering Linux and maybe even a bit of BSD.

My (our) stance is even if you truly do prefer Mac OS on your PowerPC system, you should still use Linux for internet based tasks.  Mac OS is still fine for browsing trusted sites where you know 100% there is nothing to worry about but other than that and email I don't recommend using it any longer.

Just because your hardware is several years old doesn't mean it needs to be stuck in a prison of old non-secure software.  I will keep using OS X PowerPC for offline tasks like content creation and video playback for years or even decades to come.  Having my small army of PowerPC hardware helps.

Use each OS for it's strength.  Linux dominates on security so use it online.  Mac OS X PowerPC dominates with content creation, multimedia playback and gaming.

We will do all we can to help ease the transition for those who are awake to the reality and take the plunge.  If you're in denial, and many are, we can't help you.

Remember, adopting Linux does not equal abandoning Mac OS.

Debian: Unrelenting Quality

I have mentioned before that I chose to cover Lubuntu, because Dan at PPC Luddite did such an amazing job writing about Debian.  I don't like to leave good software unwritten about, but if Lubuntu is good, then Debian is great.  I can no longer contain my unrelenting love for Debian, and its unrelenting quality standards for its software, and anything they package with it.

Debian is the poster child for what software standards should be, which is why so many distros are based on it.  The Ubuntu's, Mint, Crunchbang and Finnix (just to name a few) are all born from Debian code.  Debian have been setting the benchmark for quality, clean, reliable code since the mid 90's, and continue to do so today.  In 20 years there have only been 7 stable releases.  It's because when they release a stable build, they truly stand behind that.  The gap between 6 and 7 was quite short by their standards.  The project actually has about 1000 official developers overall.

This is pretty much how Debian developers operate:

1. Test
2. Test some more
3. Test some more
4. Test some more
5. Test some more
6. Check everything over again and again then test some more
7. Test some more
8. Test one last time just to be really really certain.

While these practices keep the stable build a good mile from the bleeding edge, the end result is stable, secure, never fail you code.  There is a reason Debian is usually a top choice for servers.   If you really desire the bleeding edge kernel and default apps then you can simply install Debian testing.  I honestly have more faith in their testing builds than the finals of pretty much every other distro.

Debian PowerPC is also about the last Linux distro with official support on the architecture still, and there are no signs of it ever stopping. Another thing Debain PowerPC does is allow apt to work perfectly.  In my experiences the Ubuntu's and other distros mess this up at some level.  As someone who prefers some command line on a daily basis this is a big selling point for me and I know it is for Dr.Dave also. 

I have been doing a lot of playing around and testing the newest stable release of Wheezy (7.1 currently) and several different GUI.  The memory usage difference between the various environments is quite significant.

Here are the memory usage totals for each GUI after simply logging in, and with nothing else running:

GNOME 3 - 188 MB

XFCE - 167 MB

Openbox - 101 MB (a bit higher than usual)

Fluxbox - 93 MB

LXDE - 81 MB (I have gotten it down to 69.8 MB now thanks to some trimming)

The system has 1.5 GB (1536 MB) RAM

LXDE is the reining champ, and is so much easier to use for Linux newbs than Openbox or Fluxbox, which use more memory.  I started with the Debian LXDE image and then installed the other enviroments.  LXDE, Fluxbox and Openbox fly while GNOME and XFCE sputter a bit on my G4 1.0GHz Sawtooth testing system.  GNOME and XFCE are still very usable but they simply can't compare performance-wise.  There is also a KDE offering but I have never used it with Deb7.  While KDE is very capable it's one of the most bloated GUI.  It's almost as bad as Unity in terms of system resource consumption.

I will be writing a lot more about Debian 7 soon but I wanted to get out some early observations on Wheezy stable which is only about a month old.  

A couple screens:

They all use the standard Debian installer, which is not a GUI like Lubuntu.  Don't worry though, there are no commands you need to know.  All you ever have to type are usernames and passwords you want.  Tab selects actions, arrows move selections, space makes selections and return/enter executes.  It's actually quite simple to use and should only take a person one use to learn.

It's good.  It's great.  It's all it should be.  It's all any OS should be.  It's free in every sense.

I put Debian on equal ground with BSD.  It's one of only 3 Linux distros I would say that about.  The other two would be Arch and Gentoo, but even they can't touch Debian in my mind.

The twitter situation

Using twitter the last few days has been moderately interesting, but for the most part I have been reminded why I never used my personal account.  I'm pretty much officially over Twitter (again) already.

Another thing of note is that the amount of visitors we get is at least 300-500 unique ip hits per day, yet we only have gotten 21 followers in the first week.  This tells me that the regular readers here are pretty much as crotchety about social networking as I am.  After all, it does take a specific kind of person to appreciate the angle this blog comes from.  People who think like the Dr. and myself have no time for trends of any type.  While Twitter is one of the better parts of the social networking world, it's still part of a culture that I really cannot relate to.

I can't speak for Dr. Dave, but I am over Twitter already.  I may post something now and then or we may just agree to delete the account.

All I really care to spend free tech time on is writing for this blog and using Linux more.  That is what I shall continue doing.

I tried...  140 characters just isn't for me.  Far too limiting and I also tend to hate popular things by default.

This blog will not make any other attempts at social networking.  All that matters is the forward motion of PowerPC and you can get that right here.

Note:  The twitter account has now been deactivated as of June 21.  

Side note

Debian 7 LXDE is amazingly good BTW.  The stable release was introduced in the recent past.  It puts Lubuntu to shame in terms of pure functionality and reliability.  Debian is not as bleeding edge with the kernel and default app versions as Lubuntu is but it's as rock solid as you can get. 

More on that soon.