Remember 3ddesktop? Before Compiz was adopted as the messiah of the Linux desktop experience, 3ddesktop was the way cool kids spun their work environments and dazzled their Windows-using friends.
And it was pretty cool — it never was nearly the catalog of intricate bells and whistles that Compiz is, but it did a decent job in the eye candy department.
Of course, it did require a little video muscle to use. But considering its last update was in 2005, you could — and still can — get away with running it on a single-core machine with a ground-level video card that has a little acceleration to it. Even something as underpowered as this should do it.
I do not, however, recommend it on a 14-year-old computer.
Don’t ask me why I tried, because I don’t know why I tried. Except that it was vaguely amusing to try it … and in actuality, it did work. My Openbox windows zoomed away, the numbered labels faded in and out, the workspaces spun in the direction I asked … over the course of about 15 minutes, that is.
I can’t prove it because I don’t have a screenshot. I don’t have a screenshot because it slowed the system down so much that I had to pull the power to get it to stop. You’ll have to take my word for it: It worked.
Completely unusable, terrifically impractical, but functional … in the very strictest sense of the word.
What other particularly lamebrained tricks have I tried lately on a Pentium laptop? Well, seeing 3ddesktop in action (I laugh as I type that) suggested maybe xcompmgr would work.
That was an exceptionally dumb idea, although it is possible that I misconfigured it, and inadvertently caused its demise.
While 3ddesktop could conceivably be used to switch between workspaces (if I was willing to wait about half an hour to do it), xcompmgr caused a two-second hiccup, followed by a cataclysmic X crash to the terminal prompt.
No, I didn’t look at the logs — I rarely look at the logs and particularly not this time. I already know what the logs said; they said, “Hey, don’t run a composite manager on a 150Mhz computer.”
Oh well. One can dream. There are things that you can do, but just shouldn’t. But there’s no harm in trying.