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Re: [K12OSN] PowerMac G3 All in Ones

I've used Power Mac 5260's before during K12LTSP demos using Skip Gaede's Mach kernel.  They not only are 10Mbps, but also 640x480x256!  Surprisingly, they were actually usable as K12LTSP thin clients.  But iMac G3's are way better, and that's because of A.) the higher video resolution available, and B.) the 100Mbps video cards.

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Shane Sammons wrote:
Thanks Jim, I found good instruction from NetBSD on those AIO G3's. It talks about how the firmware needs to be upgraded and a file placed in it or instructions given to it...haven't processed it all yet. I am going to give that a try on Monday. I think some of the ones we have MAY have come with 100MB, I will have to check into that. If they are 10Mb yeah that just might make it a bit too slow as i used a 10T hub to test thing to start and it was pretty slow.

If anyone is interested http://www.netbsd.org/docs/network/netboot/intro.macppc.html was the link for diskless NetBSD booting I was referring too. The kind folks in #ltsp on irc.freenode.net gave me that link.

On 7/13/07, Jim Kronebusch <jim winonacotter org > wrote:
On Tue, 10 Jul 2007 23:18:22 -0400, Shane Sammons wrote
> Has anyone used the older PowerMac G3's that are encased in an all in one
> unit as Thin Clients? I searched the Wiki to no avail. I believe it can
> network boot. However, I had no luck in doing so. I have only been able to
> get GX1's booting from my test server.
> Any help would be greatly appreciated. I am trying to push this project
> forward to make a Library free of OS X systems we could use elsewhere to
> make an entire second lab.
> Thanks for any help
> --Shane

I was able to boot some 5500's via instructions I received from Chuck Liebow a few years
back.  I wasn't happy enough with the performance from them.  I think the same stuff
could be used with G3 all-in-one's but if I remember right there was trouble getting a
NIC that would work.  The built in NIC is 10MB which isn't really sufficient, and there
was only one or two add in NIC's that would work.  Here is a website that describes
configuring the nubus macs to work (ie 5500's)
I really don't remember the particulars but I think the problem was definitely the NIC.

What may be an easier solution is to find an old version of Yellow Dog Linux that would
load on these machines with a minimal install and configure to do an X -query or something on startup.  This might be the easiest way to get all of the
hardware recognized (along with a 100MB add-in nic which would be crucial for good
performance) yet still be able to connect to the ltsp server.  With a 100MB nic those
machines should be great clients as they are the same specs as a Bondi iMac.

If you can't get this to work, if you have any Bondi Blue iMacs (they actually look like
a crappy green) laying around these would be your best option as they have a new enough
firmware to support network booting and you can hardcode the firmware to boot right to
ltsp without any user interaction or local software.

Good luck.

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