On one hand, this is something I should have done a long time ago. But on the other hand, it’s a bit of a step down to me, mentally.
I should have done it quite a while ago because it makes a lot more sense to seed it as a torrent, from here in my house, than to rely on an external site to host the ISO. So why didn’t I do it before now?
Just lazy, I guess. That and I anticipated updating it, maybe starting from scratch from 8.04.2, and correcting the niggling little inconsistencies that I knew weren’t showstoppers, but weren’t quite perfect.
But the software itself needs no updates, and the core system — which is to say, Ubuntu itself — needs very little maintenance aside from a system update, if you have it installed. And since Hardy will be around into the next decade, I was never really “motivated” to rebuild the entire system and recreate an ISO.
It’s true, there are a lot of housekeeping points that could be corrected, but I only use it to troubleshoot old hardware, and the little things I can correct manually. As can any other intermediate-level Linux user who thinks it worthy of installing.
But to be honest (perhaps a little too honest), I’m not thrilled with it any longer. I had two epiphanies in the time between October and this morning, and those ephiphanies made the entire experiment less attractive than ever.
The first was that a graphical environment may not be what’s best for an old, old system. GTK2 on a 450Mhz machine is great. At 100Mhz, it’s abominable. GTK1.2 is wicked fast at 450Mhz. At 100Mhz its slow as molasses, as my American friends say.
But convert that entire graphical system into something terminalish but still X-based, and now the entire machine is screaming along at the speed of light (or at least as close as it will ever get).
Awesome and terminal applications at 100Mhz are a giant step forward over GTK1.2 applications performancewise — and featurewise. Nothing GTK1.2 is likely to see software improvements, but those terminal programs are just as popular now as ever. And if Awesome-plus-X is good, dvtm and the framebuffer can promote a machine from garbage-can dweller to a ship of the line.
The second epiphany was that, realistically speaking, my bizarre hybridization of DSL and Ubuntu wasn’t really that great. Hold it up next to something like Puppy Linux or SliTaz, and that 187.4Mb ISO is rather … weak.
Other people are doing a much better job tackling the low end of the technological spectrum than I am, and I see no need to duplicate efforts. Sure, my own “rendition” of Ubuntu is unique in its own way, but it’s not particularly persuasive.
And to be honest, if I need to work in a live environment, I’m more inclined to grab the Puppy Linux disc or my SliTaz mini-ISO, than I am to burn my personal Ubuntu remix and boot that. I do use it, occasionally, but its usefulness to me has paled in comparison to other people’s products.
Anyway, for those reasons I finally made up a torrent for the ISO, mostly so I can seed it myself and stop babysitting the hosted file. I don’t plan on updating it or rebuilding it at all in the future, and I’ll probably shift or move that page down rather than keep it in the site navigation.
Whatever happens, please feel free to experiment with it or upon it; if you pull down the torrent now you’ll probably be downloading directly from my 100Mhz Pentium running rtorrent on Crux, although I see that it has been reseeded elsewhere, so it has already propagated. Whether that’s good or bad, remains to be seen. …