12 Comments

  1. dexteraparicio

    I like this. Computers nowadays have been abused and the general populace have been misdirected. Mislead by touch screens, and other hypes that does nothing except promotes laziness and stupidity. Removing the keyboard from a gadget is never a good thing, because ultimate power resides in our fingertips. But look at those morons holding proudly at their ipads. The world is in a state of decline. The redeeming power of the algorithm has been lost.

    Let the algorithm come back! Let the computation come back. Let people think again. Computers are logical extensions of the mind. Just like bicycles are to the body. It is supposed to be used so that we can think clearly, discuss clearly, and get closer to the truth of matters. Instead, it adds confusion, fuzziness, obfuscation.

    Not conforming to this world..my browser is text-based elinks. My email app is mutt. My RSS reader is newsbeuter. My chat app is irssi.

  2. @dexteraparicio:
    Wow! That’s one great comment you got there dexter. You have a point there. Needs to spread that to the world. Thanks for that. Hope the whole world can read your comments.

  3. djohnston

    Saw your comment on Locutus’s blog. Your computer is not that far from one of mine. It’s a 1999 Dell PentiumIII @800mHz. I’ve filled the motherboard with as much RAM as it will hold, which is 512MB. And I’m using a very old 40GB hard drive. I don’t dual-boot. I just use Linux.

    I’m curious. What distro are you using?

  4. Nice – btw, the default installation even on distros like Debian that don’t make dumbing the system down for sake of Joe Sixpack is still even today actually easier than Windows XP install (and faster even though a bunch of software to satisfy most common needs is installed along with the OS. Sure if you go with Debian minimal installation instead you will need to install and configure software by hand from console – a whole bunch of it – but today the default installation with no advanced options also provides GUI tools that are often easier and none harder (for average user) than equivalents of Windows and yet they still provide more options than you have in Windows.

    Advanced/power users certainly may want to go deeper and on old low-end machines you may need a lot of old-style manual configuration, even installing programs by compilation from source etc. and in such case you will have to go the way you briefly explain.
    Luckily the evolution of configuration within GUI never prevents people like me who desire to do things other way and getting your hands dirty by handwriting X Window server config files, etc. 😉

    My newer computer is quite good, more than I would need to be happy (but I got it really cheap) but I have my dads old P75 with 16MB RAM and 750M harddisk waiting for formatting and installing Damn Small Linux on it – and many friends of mine don’t understand why I don’t throw that obsolete crap of hardware (their words, not mine) away but then again I have needs they don’t and knowledge on what is actually required to do them – such as using P75 to run terminal and GUI applications remotely from my newer system (compare to highly advanced X Terminal or thin clients that cost a lot but are way beyond of what is needed to achieve what they are used for).
    It also provides 2nd system for playing retro multiplayer games on LAN, ie. good duel of DooM deathmatch (Quake 1 runst too choppy on it but I never liked it as much as DooM).

  5. Nice – btw, the default installation even on distros like Debian that don’t make dumbing the system down for sake of Joe Sixpack is still even today actually easier than Windows XP install (and faster even though a bunch of software to satisfy most common needs is installed along with the OS. Sure if you go with Debian minimal installation instead you will need to install and configure software by hand from console – a whole bunch of it – but today the default installation with no advanced options also provides GUI tools that are often easier and none harder (for average user) than equivalents of Windows and yet they still provide more options than you have in Windows.

    Advanced/power users certainly may want to go deeper and on old low-end machines you may need a lot of old-style manual configuration, even installing programs by compilation from source etc. and in such case you will have to go the way you briefly explain.
    Luckily the evolution of configuration within GUI never prevents people like me who desire to do things other way and getting your hands dirty by handwriting X Window server config files, etc. 😉

    My newer computer is quite good, more than I would need to be happy (but I got it really cheap) but I have my dads old P75 with 16MB RAM and 750M harddisk waiting for formatting and installing Damn Small Linux on it – and many friends of mine don’t understand why I don’t throw that obsolete crap of hardware (their words, not mine) away but then again I have needs they don’t and knowledge on what is actually required to do them – such as using P75 to run terminal and GUI applications remotely from my newer system (compare to highly advanced X Terminal or thin clients that cost a lot but are way beyond of what is needed to achieve what they are used for).
    It also provides 2nd system for playing retro multiplayer games on LAN, ie. good duel of DooM deathmatch (Quake 1 runst too choppy on it but I never liked it as much as DooM).

    P.S. came here from blog of Locutus. Good article 🙂

    • Wow! thanks for the comment robsku.
      Damn Small Linux will do pretty good on small systems indeed, yet those folks are not so technical that they can’t appreciate the beauty of it.
      Thanks for the comments. 🙂

      • Hi again, and BTW, sorry about the double post! I now have also acquired two old laptops, but not as old as my P75.

        The other one had working Win2k but it told me there were updates to it (I know they don’t make new updates for 2k anymore but a friend told me it had not been updated even once). Can you believe my luck, I had BSOD crash in middle of update installs and apparently at such point that it did not start anymore. Well, it was running pretty smoothly with w2k so I’ll put Debian on it, remove the desktop environment (Gnome) and replace it with Ion3 Window Manager – which is keyboard optimized tiling&tabbing WM and extremely powerful. Perfect, especially as I hate those mouse pads on laptops and even on my desktop I have optimized everything I can to work with keyboard, for example with Firefox and Thunderbird using KeySnail plugin (available for both) I get emacs-style bindings for almost everything – and the bindings can also have self-written JavaScript code as action, the presets like “move page down” (C-V, page up is M-V, C being Ctrl and M is Meta, usually Alt is used as Meta on PC’s). Anyway, the laptops will both get similar fully KB optimized system.
        The second one seems more powerful, I got it with OS broken but it has license stickers for both W2k and XP (which I hear it had last and W2k originally). Anyway these seem like powerhouses compared to that P75 😉

        I have play plans for the P75 too. I want to try several OS’s using multiboot.
        I want DOS, that is DR-DOS, which actually was 32-bit and could use multitasking giving all DOS programs their own “virtual DOS” like system – I believe that’s how it did it anyway. Otherwise all programs would have had to reside on same 640Kb RAM area and play really nice because there was no memory protection for real mode 16-bit programs (even 286’s had protected mode too though but rarely used, an old version of OS/2 was famous for it).

        I also want to try that OS/2, don’t remember which version but the last that ran on 286’s – although my P75 is not limited to that I want to see the OS which used 16-bit protected mode and to avoid implementing everything BIOS normally did that it needed it used to switch between real and protected mode although it was very expensive to processor on 16-bit protected mode.

        Then I’d love to try Newdeal Office – it’s based on GEOS which was originally a shell for C-64 but has evolved a long way even from PC GEOS.
        Before I lost my 286 I tried to install a 16-bit version of it on the 286 but it crashed on start – later I learned that if I had installed OpenDOS instead of FreeDOS it would have worked. But the 286 was mainly for using Irssi and eLinks from bed anyway (it was connected to my Linux system via null-modem cable).

        And last two I have in mind that need to be installed: Minix – well, Linus started his PC use with it – and Xenix, I just *have* to see a Unix that was made by Micro$oft 😀

        I also want to try 1-disk Linux distro with minimal X server and remote desktop clients for both RDP (used by windows) and VNC – and of course with SSH client using X forwarding I can just run remote programs on the desktop. I will just test it, but it will be nice in case I ever have something like 386 with like 20Mb HD, etc., that can still make it usable as thin client / X terminal. Sure, it must have only VESA and plain VGA drivers for graphics but such system would not have too speedy video card anyway 😉
        And surely no sound, think about it, with one disk including 2.4 series Linux kernel, some extremely small X Window server, a tiny window manager and then those remote clients, that’s not much but it’s a huge load to fit on 1.44Mb floppy!

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