Powerbook G3 problems

I recently revived an old Powerbook G3 Pismo (the one with the firewire ports) and decided to install ubuntu on it to play around and check it out. After installation Ubuntu would not properly start - I got a series of messages about GNOME not being able to start, Nautilus aborting and a third which I forget. It turns out that Ubuntu won't start up if there is no date in the computer. My PRAM battery had died and I had found a new one - but the date still hadn't been set. The problem was solved by logging into a terminal session and setting the date - bingo, everything works fine. Just thought this might be helpful to somebody - it stopped me in my tracks for a while.

Hardware Clock

A month later, I'm back. Upon restart the Pismo mentioned above was losing its date and time. I reset the PRAM, reset the computer (little button at the back) and still had no luck. I thought the PRAM battery was dud, re-installed 2 or 3 times and finally sent it back to OWC who very kindly replaced it. The problem continued. Finally, searching through the internet, I discovered how to check the hardware clock. Login in to failsafe terminal and type: sudo hwclock --debug and see what is says. It might say, as it did in my case, that there is no hardware clock found - it just doesn't seem to have one. So then, apparently, you tell it where to look. Or how to make one. Here's what I found on the mknod command:MAKEDEV is the preferred way of creating device files which are not present. However sometimes the MAKEDEV script will not know about the device file you wish to create. This is where the mknod command comes in. In order to use mknod you need to know the major and minor node numbers for the device you wish to create. The devices.txt file in the kernel source documentation is the canonical source of this information.Anyway, you give the terminal "sudo mknod /dev/rtc c 10 135". That will give you access to the hardware clock again. Hallelujah. Then you need to set the clock:sudo hwclock --set mm/dd/yy   (I think)then set the system clock the same as the hardware clock:sudo hwclock --hctosysFinally, you should have a laptop with a working clock, which will therefore start up in Ubuntu happily!

Pismo G3 Powerbook and Ubuntu 8.04 Problems

    I was interested in your comments about the clock. I know virtually nothing about the Powerbook - It was given to me several years ago with no hard disk.I installed various Linux distros on it, Yellow Dog and Debian stick in my memory, before plumping for Ubuntu 6.06 LTS which did everything I wanted. Over time I upgraded to each successive release by upgrading over the net. This always worked perfectly, however I often wondered how much "baggage" was being left behind by each successive upgrade. With 8.04 I made the fatefully bad decision to wipe the disk and do a clean install.....Before getting back to my install woes, about a year ago the Powerbook started playing up and I noticed that the time was always wrong on boot. A bit of research later I bought both a new main battery and a PRAM battery. Interestingly this did not immediately fix my problems, but at some point it did start retaining the time correctly - I've forgotten exactly what I did. The clock was detected by 8.04 and the time displayed was correct - at least this was not one of my problems.Anyway, the point of this is that I've tried to load 8.04 and whilst the O/S loads correctly I get a very odd display - the display appears to be the correct resolution, but only takes up 75% of the available screen realestate.I erased the hard disk again and reinstalled from fresh and had the same problem. In fact I had exactly the same screen problem with the version 7 Ubuntu installs too (I downloaded the older installation ISO files). I had to go right back to my old 6.06 LTS install disk before I had a correct screen display. 200meg of updates later I have a perfect 6.06 system and would still like to upgrade to 8.04.However, the auto upgrade function via gskm update manager fails with a message that "one or more software channels are not available".My question is in two parts - is there an easy way to fix the screen resolution problem with 8.04? If so I'll happily do another clean install.The second question is whether or not the online upgrade from 6.06 to 8.04 is actually supposed to work, and if so where should I be lookign for the missing "software channels"?