William H. Magill on Sun, 7 Sep 2003 16:37:04 -0400

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Re: [PLUG] Microsoft Run High School?

On Saturday, September 6, 2003, at 11:16 AM, Jeffrey J. Nonken wrote:
OTOH, Apple hasn't been entirely nice to schools either, so I gather. For a while they were pushing substandard junk on them. I'm not sure of those details either, but I give you the example of the Power MacIntosh 5260, now considered a road apple. Springfield Township school district (that's Springfield Township, Montgomery County, not to be confused with Springfield, Chester County) recently upgraded to a bunch of W$-laden Dell computers (oh frabjous joy) and are giving away the old Power MacIntoshes to the students' families. I am now the proud owner of my first MacIntosh, which is actually a 5400, not a 5260. But that's at least in part because I knew they were giving away both and asked for a 5400. In any case, the 5260 is a lousy design, but it's what Apple was pushing on the schools in those days.

I''ve whipped together a quick web page with some of the information I've found. Here it is in case you're interested: http://www.nonken.net/mac/

One thing I did stumble over was the fact that there is actually a project to get Linux running on the 5260. I'm glad to see that. They're not very good machines, but I always hate to see working equipment thrown away. Of course, I'm the guy with two VESA Local Bus 486 motherboards (and video cards to go with 'em). Let's not talk about the IMSAI 8080 or the handful of STD bus cards.

I haven't figured yet what I'm going to do with my 5400. For one thing, the ethernet card appears not to be working, but I'm having a deuce of a time finding any web sites with diagnostic information. Most of them seem to assume you have a working card that's just not configured right. I may just leave it running OS 8 and set it up in place of the kids' games computer. I would have to re-burn several of their CDs which it seems unhappy about reading, but all but about 2 will actually run either W$ or OS n. Then I can give my older daughter the Intel -- well, AMD -- machine (running whatever I feel like palming off on her :) for doing real work, such as playing solitaire. But the fact is that I don't have to have the Mac on the network for playing games.

If I remember correctly, both MKlinux and YellowDog Linux ran on the PPC 603. (Where "run" is a relative term... they ARE slow machines.)

(http://www.yellowdoglinux.com/) Today, YellowDog has been purchased and I don't believe that they support anything below the G3.

MKLinux was Apple's original Linux project before Rhapsody.

However, other than as an "academic exercise," it's not much different than running Linux on a 286 box. It can be done, but it's not really worth the effort. And it is so far removed from "contemporary computing capabilities" that you get a very jaundiced view of what is happening in the world, and get very frustrated by what you can and cannot do.

T.T.F.N. William H. Magill # Beige G3 - Rev A motherboard - 768 Meg # Flat-panel iMac (2.1) 800MHz - Super Drive - 768 Meg # PWS433a [Alpha 21164 Rev 7.2 (EV56)- 64 Meg]- Tru64 5.1a magill@mcgillsociety.org magill@acm.org magill@mac.com

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