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I can't decide if I should install Linux on my iBook G4, currently running OS X.
I just want my computer to do some basic functions like rip and play my CDs, charge my iPod, write papers for school, display pictures, play DVDs, get online via ethernet of AirPort, and maybe play some low-end games. There is so much stuff on OS X that is cool, but I just don't need, and I would rather spend my time elsewhere and not be addicted to X (pun intended).
I tried Slack, and that was nice, but it wouldn't detect my iPod or CDs (actually, Xine played my CDs). Although those problems could have been due to my incapacity to fix them. I couldn't fix them largely because my ethernet wouldn't work, so I didn't have access to many things that could have helped me.
SO I GUESS I HAVE 2 QUESTIONS:
1) ASSUMING I CAN'T GET INTERNET WITH SLACK 11 OR OPENBSD/MACPPC(WHICH I'M CONSIDERING), IS IT REASONABLE TO HAVE A LINUX BOX WITHOUT INTERNET ACCESS?
2) DO YOU KNOW OF A DISTRO THAT SUPPORTS THE BCM43XX WIRELESS CARD WITHOUT REQUIRING ME TO GO ONLINE TO GET IT TO WORK (BECAUSE MY ETHERNET DIDN'T WORK IN SLACK)?
You can use a Linux distro without a net connection but package management can be a pain. If you do not have a net connection, I suggest you get something like Mandriva, openSUSE or Debian which ship a lot of packages on their installation media. As for your wireless drivers, why not download them from a working connection and store them on a usb stick or cdrom.
As pixellany said, we're all whistling in the dark - the OP is never going to see these answers ...
Knoppix generally finds everything; including the BCM stuff. I've used it for just this situation to pull the source down for a Dell laptop.
Your wireless would have worked in Slackware. You just need to download and install a firmware file for bcmXY IIRC. The distros you have to pay for will probably include that as it's a common device and ubuntu probably does so as well.
Generally there is no problem about having an offline linux box. It's just like it'd be with windows - can't install any software unless you have it physically available on cds or whatever. (Even though a computer without internet seems kinda crippled to me, and from what the others posters said I think they feel similarly.)
And for that ipod thing, I'm currently trying out Dropline Gnome (which is gnome for Slackware, at least sort of) and each time I start the music player it tells me that I don't have an ipod (I found no way to turn that message off, it checks for an ipod each startup and it's true, I don't have one )
Generally there is no problem about having an offline linux box. It's just like it'd be with windows - can't install any software unless you have it physically available on cds or whatever.
+1 on that.
I don't use Macs, so I might be wrong here, but I've never seen a modern laptop that has wireless but doesn't have wired ethernet. For updating and transfer purposes you can just periodically connect wired.