The reason was fairly simple: At 100Mhz and with a clunker of a hard drive, trying new settings and getting used to the way Awesome works was a bit tedious. I don’t require a speedy computer to use it (thus far, everything with Awesome is speedy), but the time it takes to edit a configuration file or change a program setting and test and retry are compounded by the hardware delays on a classic Pentium.
So I started up my K6-2 and put Awesome and a few console programs on there, with the explicit intention of playtesting them for future use on the Pentium.
So far, so good. I ditched Raggle in favor of Snownews, which isn’t as visually intuitive as Raggle, but seems to be running with a lot less pain. I also liked that the configuration files for Snownews were all in one place, and required minimal effort to integrate with, for example, elinks. Edit the browser file for the command you use, and move on with life.
I mentioned a desire to ditch rxvt-unicode in favor of xterm, but that idea was abandoned when xterm refused to display the Terminus font for me. Ordinarily that shouldn’t be a dealbreaker, but for whatever reason I found it annoying that something as simple as a font would require an extraordinary amount of effort to use.
I suppose I could just use Fixed, but all the cool people use Terminus, and I want to be cool too. It must be possible; I’ve seen screenshots with both in action together, but it wouldn’t happen for me. Perhaps, like so many times before, I made a mistake.
One of the nice things about using this laptop over the older one (aside from the fact that it’s four times faster) is that the sound system is a little less perplexing. So I have cplay on hand to offer some (terrible quality) music through the console. Not exactly lovely, but working too. I may have to knuckle under and figure out how to configure the ISA sound card in the older machine, but that’s going to be very time-consuming and very taxing.
I should also note that I threw feh into the mix as a matter of habit, but this time I decided to also forgo the background wallpaper. Not because feh is too slow (which was the case at 100Mhz), but because the terminals cover the wallpaper anyway, and transparency wasn’t really what I wanted. It’s also the reason I didn’t include a screenshot this time, because, well, it looks like the last one.
But I’m impressed with the speed, which I guess I should be, and it’s convenient to be able to test some of these things without the delays I suffer with that awful hard drive. Tinkering with .awesomerc and the companion files is much easier now. And I can learn the ins and outs of Awesome much more quickly.
In fact, I’d use this machine on a regular basis were it not for the fact that the keyboard is absolutely hideous. The “feel” is crappy, and that’s on top of the fact that the g, k and right arrow keys usually don’t work. Really the only reason to keep it around is because it’s a true i586, and a comparatively fast one at that.
No, this is all experimentation, with an eye toward bringing the older machine into a more regular role. This is strictly a guinea pig, and it always has been.