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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Puppy Derivatives
will there ever be a mac ibook g4 ppc edition of puppy?
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zippytex

Joined: 06 Feb 2009
Posts: 114

PostPosted: Thu 05 Feb 2015, 12:42    Post subject:  will there ever be a mac ibook g4 ppc edition of puppy?
Subject description: derivative
 

Puppy would be perfect for these old power pc's. I have MATE from Ubuntu on it now., It is a bit slow. I hope there will be. Thanks.
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starhawk

Joined: 22 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Thu 05 Feb 2015, 13:17    Post subject:  

Probably not.

There *was* a Puppian working on developing a PPC port, but he was in college (IIRC) at the time, could only work on it, even sporadically, during summer break, and he hasn't posted in literally years. My suspicion is that he gave up or hit a bogeyman (something in the code that he just couldn't beat). I don't even remember his handle at this point.

Nobody's taken up the cause since, and quite honestly since there's really no significant demand, I'm not really surprised. Including yours, I would say that there's been ten or fewer requests for this particular port since he left -- and I'd be quite surprised if it was somehow more than five.

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zippytex

Joined: 06 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Thu 05 Feb 2015, 14:53    Post subject: Thank you
Subject description: you're right.
 

Being a moderate linux user, I have no idea about code, etc., so I don't really know what I was asking.
The ubuntu MATE for PPC seems to work fine, if slow.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my question, I appreciate it. Mary
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starhawk

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PostPosted: Thu 05 Feb 2015, 15:37    Post subject:  

Well... in case you want to know... (Wall of text warning! This is complicated crap.)

Every computer has, at minimum, mechanisms for executing (running) programs, some means of storing programs and data at least temporarily, and a method of providing output and handling input.

The first bit (executing programs) is the primary job of a chip called the Central Processing Unit, or CPU (the typically large metal-and-plastic box containing the CPU and most of the rest of the everything is properly the system unit, but can also be called the case, tower/desktop (depending on form), or... er... box).

Every CPU speaks its own language. This (in its myriad dialects and forms) is called assembly language or machine code. Machine code takes the form of binary instructions (eg 11101010 -- for the 6502 CPU, this is a NOP instruction -- No OPeration -- it wastes time, which can in fact be useful!). The thing is that these instructions tend to be significantly different from one CPU to the next. The collection of instructions is quite imaginatively called an instruction set, by the way.

Sometimes a CPU is built so that it has an internal machine code instruction set and an external instruction set. That external set is called microcode. We don't really care about microcode here, though.

One other thing... it helps here to think of machine code as language like what you speak, although strictly speaking it's not that descriptive. Every 'word' in an instruction set is effectively the same length. When you hear of a 64-bit processor, that means that all instructions are 64 bits long. Each bit can be a one or a zero, but it has to have exactly sixty-four of them. (There are dirty tricks that can be done to form exceptions here, but that's the basic rule.)

Further down the rabbit hole.

When Intel created a CPU in 1979 or so (it was released July of that year) called the 8088, it did so primarily for IBM, which was planning on releasing what was then called a 'home microcomputer' for personal and small-business use. The 8088 was a 16-bit CPU, one of the first -- and supporting components (RAM, etc) for 16-bit CPUs were very expensive back then, so IBM went to Intel and said, hey, can you make an 8-bit variant of this?

Intel replied with a chip called the 8086, which was an 8088 where the data bus (the wires that transmit and receive information, rather than the address bus, which keys out locations for that information to be stored) was cut in half. It was still an 8088 inside, it just couldn't communicate as well.

When you hear about "x86" computing, that refers to the processor family that started with those two chips. IBM loved the 8086 and used it in their Model 5150 Personal Computer in 1981, the system I was referring to a few paragraphs back. Of note, another term for "processor family" is architecture. Any CPU with the x86 architecture can, at minimum, properly execute instructions that would run on an 8086 CPU. There can be (and usually are) extras, but that's the basic requirement.

PowerPC is a different architecture. In order to port Puppy to that architecture (in other words, to make Puppy run on that kind of CPU), everything within Puppy has to be translated -- all the applications have to be compiled (turned into machine code) for the architecture they are to be run on. You cannot run code compiled for x86 on a PowerPC system, it just won't go. It's a bit like trying to run your lawnmower on kerosene instead of 2-stroke fuel without changing the engine around... it just ain't happening.

It's not even that simple. Below applications are drivers that tell the operating system how to use the hardware that forms the physical side of things. Below that, is the Linux Kernel, which does the most basic things like memory allocation (determining how much RAM a program needs to run, and where that RAM is, and so on). All of these have to be compiled specifically for PowerPC, in the case of your iBook. Some drivers may not exist in Puppy form, and have to be either found or outright developed from scratch, or a determination made that the hardware in question is not worth the trouble of supporting.

One more layer of complexity. After all of that, you still might not have a properly playful Pup -- a tremendous quantity of Puppy's inner workings are based on shell scripts. "Shell" refers to the command line interpreter that forms the basis of most Linux operations. In PuppyLand, that shell is usually the Bourne-Again Shell aka bash. bash scripts are like the old, old DOS Batch Files -- but way more powerful than DOS could ever hope to be. Again, a truly incredible portion of Puppy is made up by these scripts. If those scripts don't run right, neither does Puppy -- so all that mess has to be checked and made to work right when it doesn't.

It really is a dizzying quantity of work to go through, which is one reason why the main Puppy developers haven't taken it on. The other, as mentioned before, is that there's basically no demand for it.

If you want something a little snappier, try Debian rather than Ubuntu, and try something a little lighter on resources than MATE. I'd recommend either LXDE or (if you can stand a comparative near-minimum of decoration) IceWM which is easily and almost infinitely themable (although this winds up looking like Win98 with themes, pretty universally).

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Fossil

Joined: 13 Dec 2005
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Location: Gloucestershire, UK.

PostPosted: Thu 05 Feb 2015, 15:39    Post subject:  

Is this what you were thinking about? PowerPup! A project to port Puppy to PPC macs! http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?search_id=663065531&t=39715
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starhawk

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PostPosted: Thu 05 Feb 2015, 15:49    Post subject:  

Yeah, that's the abandoned project... it's been so long I'd forgotten the name...
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rokytnji


Joined: 20 Jan 2009
Posts: 1652
Location: Pecos/ Texas

PostPosted: Thu 05 Feb 2015, 16:42    Post subject:  

If I ever find a older G4 in the alley or dumpster here.
I'd go0 with

Quote:
32-bit PowerPC**

Ubuntu 14.10 "Utopic Unicorn" Minimal CD 30MB (MD5: 38455862d62c0b421ac2f7611e2b173e, SHA1: 300919fdd04b515ddca2035e910411037a2864eb)


and build from there. But I can understand

Quote:

Being a moderate linux user, I have no idea about code, etc., so I don't really know what I was asking.


So a minimal iso install of Ubuntu may be more of a strain than one could take. Cool

I have already done one (not PPC but 64bit instead) with a Icewm Window manager install and just the basics like rox filer and such. It flies like the wind. Imagine that.

Ubuntu flying. Laughing

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ciento

Joined: 17 Sep 2010
Posts: 189

PostPosted: Mon 09 Feb 2015, 06:53    Post subject: Re: will there ever be a mac ibook g4 ppc edition of puppy?
Subject description: derivative
 

zippytex wrote:
Puppy would be perfect for these old power pc's. I have MATE from Ubuntu on it now., It is a bit slow. I hope there will be. Thanks.

https://morph.zone/modules/news/

You might consider MorphOS, an Amiga OS replacement
that runs on ibooks, Powerbooks, PPC mac mini,G4 and G5desktops,
the faster eMacs. There is enough good old and modern software
to keep ibooks useful, and valuable. Amiga developement has received
a nice boost from a somewhat philanthropic investor, an interesting tale,
if widely off topic.
Cheers
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bark_bark_bark

Joined: 05 Jun 2012
Posts: 1115
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon 09 Feb 2015, 09:33    Post subject:  

starhawk wrote:
The 8088 was a 16-bit CPU, one of the first -- and supporting components (RAM, etc) for 16-bit CPUs were very expensive back then, so IBM went to Intel and said, hey, can you make an 8-bit variant of this?


Actually the Intel 8086 was 16bit and the Intel 8088 was 8bit.

starhawk wrote:
When you hear about "x86" computing, that refers to the processor family that started with those two chips. IBM loved the 8086 and used it in their Model 5150 Personal Computer in 1981


IBM actually used the Intel 8088.

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starhawk

Joined: 22 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Mon 09 Feb 2015, 16:25    Post subject:  

Embarassed Embarassed Embarassed

You're right, bark, I got 'em backwards.

Happens a lot when I have to deal with numbers... Wink

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bark_bark_bark

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PostPosted: Mon 09 Feb 2015, 19:50    Post subject:  

starhawk wrote:
Embarassed Embarassed Embarassed

You're right, bark, I got 'em backwards.

Happens a lot when I have to deal with numbers... Wink


Laughing

I saw the Amiga being mentioned earlier and I thought I would share a video I saw on youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4UyA8qq4E0

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