Case in point: Charm at 100Mhz 16Mb

Edit: This post was polished a little bit and the image was added, after I posted it. But the raw content was written and uploaded from 100Mhz. 😉

Occasionally I feel the need to prove that these things can actually be done with old computers, instead of just babbling on about them without any real proof. That’s bad business, and hypocritical in a way. It wouldn’t do to simply point out options withou at least showing that they work.

Charm, which I mentioned a week ago, is one of those things that I should
actually use at 100Mhz before lumping it into the “of course you can”
category. It’s one thing to condone the use of an outdated machine for
something like low-impact blogging clients, and another one to use it

So here’s the proof. This one was written up the old fashioned way, with
nano as the editor and Charm as the intermediary.

I decided to forgo WordGrinder this time, mostly because I intended for this
to be a short post and not require the time it would take to build
WordGrinder and its dependencies on a surrogate system, implant them
onto the piggybacked drive. …

Anyway, nano is perfectly capable of handling the actual chore of writing,
and this time I did myself a few favors, and added a few flags to the editor
command in my .charmrc file, to give it more of the feel of a word
processor. My editor variable is now nano -ADSWcim -r -4, but
you could adjust that to whatever you like.

There are still a few bugs that need worked out. For one thing, the
translation between nano and its word wrapping and and its
word mangling is going to require either (a) a little patience and
experimentation, or (b) a secondary machine to touch things up after they’re
posted. I can afford either, if I decide to continue using this machine this

Which I might, actually. With the addition of a new wireless card to the
household, this machine can now live further away from the router. And the
old WPC11 wireless B adapter is plenty fast, with little more than text
files to transfer between this machine and the outer world.

And a console-only environment is fine for this. This machine will work
graphically, but there’s a considerable difference in performance, when you
consider the swapping that occurs at 16Mb RAM with X running.

A couple of other things would be nice though, and I might add them. gpm,
for one, so I can get some basic mouse controls. And elinks would be nice,
since as it is, I rely on another machine for skimming the net. I have mc
installed, and NFS support will allow me to move files around. After that,
there’s little more that this needs.

The best part of this though, is that the keyboard on this machine has a
good feel to it. It’s hard to describe, but it’s probably something you can
empathize with. It’s a little noisy, but the keys have a nice touch, and a
strong springback. It’s pleasant to type on.

Which gives me enough reason to keep it, at least for the immediate future. If I can get my hands on a little more memory and a hard drive of practical size, I see no reason to consign it to the technological afterworld.

P.S.: I should probably note that I had to edit version 1.9.1 of Charm to reacocard’s suggestions before I could upload with it. But simply moving those lines up before the try condition worked … like a charm. 🙄


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