Edit: Unfortunately, the images originally included in this post are gone, because of hosting problems in late 2009. My apologies.
I wrangled with a framebuffer system on my fastest machine for a few days, even going so far as to customize a PKGBUILD for mplayer that uses only framebuffer output, and relies on no dependencies aside from expat.
To be honest though, a framebuffer system on a faster machine is only partly interesting to me. I need it for my Thinkpad because the driver isn’t working, and I use it for my other Thinkpad because the screen is damaged and because that driver doesn’t work either.
But the video card in this Inspiron has more than enough muscle to run Compiz (or whatever it’s called these days), so a framebuffer-only system seems like … underkill.
So I reinstalled Openbox on Saturday night. The results are what you might expect.
In an effort to cross all boundaries I installed xcompmgr too, and coupled some of the finest in terminal applications with some fundamental eye candy. That should keep just about anybody happy.
I do see a small niche filled by running an oversized terminal like that with dvtm in it. There are enough high-quality console-based applications available to warrant a “palette” of three or four, running as a desktop window.
Of course, after a bit, the space and arrangement and convenience become a bit … overweening. After all, a tabbed terminal emulator running a tiling window manager which can run inside itself, filled with applications (some of them tabbed too) all on a graphical desktop. … You’d need to have your brain plugged directly into the Internet to need that much “space” at a time.
On the other hand, I’ve known some office techies who might find that useful. One tab per “node” and a clean arrangement of network and process monitors would help to keep an eye on their ducklings. It’s a little too much for me on my lowly home network, but I’m sure others could find it helpful.