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1998, macintosh powerbook g3
the powerbook g3 followed the 190 almost as soon as it was made available in stores. i need a more powerful machine before i went to bosnia and i could, at last, get a machine with a damned color screen! i had to wait up to 1998 to get color (:
that machine was a revision of the second powerbook g3 and this one is named "wallstreet II". the bus went to 66 mhz and the screen was a wonderfull 14 inches color one at 1024x768. i bought a zip drive and inserted it on the machine so i would be able to exchange content with the pc around me. it had a powerpc g3 750 cpu at 233 mhz, with a 4 mb rom and 32 mb of memory.
i tried macos x on that box but it was so crippled it was no use. my battery for the internal cmos was gone and macos x updated the firmware, but as soon i would shutdown the laptop, the cmos would lose its patch and macos x could no longer be loaded except by booting the macos x cd, then rebooting the machine after it applied again the patch. so this machine quickly went under openbsd as netbsd could not be installed at all. it had both yellow dog linux and openbsd but it worked far better under linux where i had sound and all buttons worked properly. i do not keep a fantastic memory of that box. it was crippled with problems and its power unit was pretty defective. when i came back from bosnia i gave the machine to an apple store so it would get some warrenty covered parts changed but when it came back it was strange: it did not look like my machine even if the serial was the same. looking under the serial number i found they had given me another machine and just moved my previous serial number sticker on another machine, which already had another serial number! it took monthes to get my machine back, i had to get a lawyer and they did not want to get the machine back because it had two serial number stickers. apple denied all wrong-doing and the store itself had lost any reference to my machine that i had bought from them! apple started to suck deeply from that date and they also started to introduce a new warranty scheme that pissed people not only because it was complex and biased against customers but because everyone was seeing that apple quality was going down.
i gave that machine to the openbsd project, and marc espie took over it. i learned later that the power unit (which had been changed and was a few monthes old) failed again since apple was just exchanging crap old units for new crap units and it was not used as far i know now. fed by apple quality going down and backing their dishonest stores, i went back to intel hardware.
2000, pentium iii 667eb
i bought this machine when i left the army. i wanted to have a nice machine at home so i found this one, that caught my attention because it was sold with the debian 2.1 (if i remember correctly) pre-installed (:
the motherboard was a p3c2000, a i810 intel based board with a chip so it would use standard sdram instead of rambus. i filled the 4 sdram slots with 128 mb cards so it had 512 mbyte of memory, and installed a pentium 3 cpu at 667 mhz using the eb version (with a coppermine core, at full speed). it had agp x4, no-jumper config, and 133 mhz fsb. the board was interesting because to use a i810 you needed to use rambus but that board allowed standard sdram to be used (though with a little price penalty).
the board was huge so it required a big server-size box. it came with a big 17 inches sony screen. two 40 gb hard disks, each on its ventilated removable rack, with scsi card (not used). the linux worked fine but a bit painful to configure properly and the scsi card didn't work very well: if nothing was plugged to the card it locked the machine on boot. so i started looking around for a newer kernel or debian version but no help. so i tried various linux i could find and red hat 5.1 seemed a good choice since the machine did not lockup with it. but that version had other problems. at that time i was learning to become a network and sysadmin but most of the time we used windows nt so it was a bit depressing. coming home allowed me to spent time on linux. programming under linux was quite painful, with files everywhere and mixes of various c code notations all around :/
slowly i came to a functional and relatively stable system. and when i found that the red hat 6.2 was out i tried it on my machine: it was perfect. everything worked fine, and it was clean and without any trouble or strange bug. today, this release is for me the best red hat release ever. when the apple expo came, i went there and moving around i found the openbsd booth. wim wandeputte was there, we talked and he convinced me to try the 2.8 release, the one with that cute yellow fish (:
installing the 2.8 was fast, very easy and it was much more nice to install and use openbsd on x86 than when using the powerbook g3. the system was very small, ordered nicely and far more close to what i believe unix should be. this machine followed each release that came. when i bought a new machine (a shuttle ss51g) in 2002 i proposed that machine to the openbsd project. theo de raadt was interested and asked me to give it to miod, but miod doesn't like x86 a lot and he said that theo could shove it up his [er..] but theo convinced him, miod needed a faster box to build stuff than his respectable load of old non-x86 machines (o:
so i brought this machine to miod and i believe it's still running at his home. i loaded it with a dds-9 tape reader and i drove for 4 hours to bring the machine to miod at the other side of france. i spent a few days and i was able to check his range of machines which is kind of great and incredible. he gave me my first sparc: the venerable sparcstation2 that i brought home and still runs openbsd (version 3.0).
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last update: Mon Apr 5 21:11:18 UTC 2004