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Hi gang; I haven't been around in awhile (neither these forums nor real-life Linux usage).
I used to have RedHat 9 on my Tecra 8000 and it seemed to be working fine but I was too noo to Linux and I had to install Windows 2000 SOMEWHERE and yadda yadda.
Now I'm able to partition my Tecra; and am also taking posession of a ThinkPad R50. I plan on setting up a Linux partition in each machine and the first thing I want to do is file transfers via the infrared ports.
Since I also have some Mac PowerBooks with PowerPC processors, which I'm told can run Ubuntu or YellowDog Linux, I have decided to become an Ubuntu user (looks like YellowDog doesn't support PowerPC anymore?) and am right now (yes! at this MOMENT!) downloading an Ubuntu 8.04 image.
Assuming the partitioning and Ubuntu installations go as planned, what am I, a relative Linux newbie, going to have to do to make infrared file transfers between the two laptops a reality?
I don't know anything about IR transfers (honestly, I wasn't aware anybody still used the technology), but I wonder if perhaps you got your distributions confused here?
Ubuntu is the one that has dropped official PowerPC support, while YellowDog is the only major distribution (at least that I am aware of) that is still dedicated to PowerPC. Although even then you need to be careful, as I don't believe YellowDog officially supports the G3 processor anymore.
Although really, in this net-enabled world, is there a need for official support, at least among us casual home users? I got a q, I post it here, and voilą, before the day's done; I got an answer.
So did I waste my time downloading Ubuntu for my Toshiba? Or, can I still find a PPC Ubuntu image somewhere and get it to work on my PowerBook G3 with the help of all you ingenious hackers?
Or, should I ditch Ubuntu, download an x86 Yellow Dog image for the Toshiba and a PPC Yellow Dog image for the G3, and have "official" support available (which ya still have to pay for, I presume, and I don't plan to).
Or can I run this Ubuntu image on my Toshiba, get Yellow Dog for the G3 and not have much to worry about the distros' differences?
By "support", I mean "continued development". The Ubuntu maintainers no longer work on the PowerPC version of Ubuntu, no new features will be added and any bugs or glitches will have to be fixed by community members rather than the actual development team. The best way to think of it would be to compare it to Windows 98 or 2000. It is still a functional operating system, but there is no guarantee that future software is going to run on it properly and hardware support is going to become an issue.
The Ubuntu image you have now will work on the Toshiba machine, but won't work for the PowerBook. As for Yellow Dog, there is no x86 version at all; they are completely dedicated to PowerPC.
You can use Ubuntu on the Toshiba and YDL on the PowerBook (although as I said in the previous post, YDL is no longer guaranteed to work on G3 processors), but they are vastly different distributions, they have almost nothing in common. That doesn't mean you can't get them to work together, but the learning curve is going to be tough.
If you want the same distribution on both machines, you could use either straight Debian (rather than a spin-off like Ubuntu) or Gentoo. The learning curve on both of those will be a little higher than Ubuntu or Yellow Dog (perhaps considerably higher in the case of Gentoo), but not terrible.
I don't know anything about IR transfers (honestly, I wasn't aware anybody still used the technology)
IR's very limitations -- short range, line of sight, etc. -- are actually strengths when it comes to simplicity of use. Mainly "pairing" is automatic through proximity, no BT (Blue Tooth) shared secret hassles.
My old Nokia 7160 cell phone had IR in an era when only PDA's had it; but it was very convenient for trading bus. card info. w/ friends & other contacts. BT is great for hands-free operations & adding a keyboard or mouse, but it is a hassle for swapping bus. cards -- I wish all cell phones which have address books had IR also. </rant>
I can see the same convenience applying to occasional hook ups between laptops. I suspect that for serious transfers a crossover ethernet cable would be faster.
Thanks to MS3FGX for explaining about all the different distro's and their learning curves;
Thanks to michaelk for those links (I've only glanced at them but it looks like they are where my answer lies!);
And thanks to archtoad6 for giving mad props to IR. MS3's comment that "I wasn't aware anybody still used the technology" is actually WHY I want to make use of it!! I'm the guy who wants to make a server out of his TI 99/4A; and who balances his checkbook using Lotus 1-2-3 on a DEC Rainbow 100.
Also I'm a networking nut; so I vehemently object to having a port on a computer that doesn't connect to anything!!
2 PCMCIA slots (one for Madge token-ring; one for TrendNet Ethernet), a USB port (WiFi adapter), DB9 port (for console access to my Cisco router), and a parallel file cable out the DB25 port to my Tecra 550CDT.
Once I get IR working, only the built-in V.90 modem will be unused. I need something worthwhile to dial up to...