One week at 100Mhz: I found a desk

Underneath all those computers, there was a desk hiding.

And that’s the way things look now, and how I plan for them to look in the week to come. That’s the bet — one week at 100Mhz, with nothing graphical, nothing post-1996 technologywise (unless you count the wireless card, which is considered primitive by just about everyone but me). Let the games begin.

The Inspiron is in the closet, along with the Thinkpad, the Sotec and even the OLPC. What you see there is what I’ve got. No USB. No SD card access. No CDROM. One hundred megahertz of pure enjoyment, with nothing to interfere with the important things of a desktop experience.

Of course, there are a few stipulations, which I will mention up front so you don’t think I’m cheating if they come into play later.

First, of course, you can’t be sure if I’ve already dragged out the other machines and put them back in a line, like they usually are (the family usually calls this desk “command central”). So you’ll just have to take my word for it.

I mentioned that the Inspiron is in the closet and that’s true, but I’ve been using that since the start as a surrogate whenever software needs to be built for this machine. I’m not so much a fool as to try and build software on a Pentium Classic.

In fact, I am doing almost nothing in the way of system maintenance at this point. I made the mistake of trying to use localedef earlier tonight because I realized I forgot to set my locales when I built this system. But after 10 minutes, I decided I could live without them for a little while longer. 😯

Furthermore, this system still doesn’t have sound, and I don’t think I’ll be adding it any time soon. Sound is another little quirk that takes time to solve, and in the end, I usually have a second machine playing music or movies anyway. So if the Thinkpad comes back out so I can watch one of my DVD rips or play a little ogg goodness, that’s normal. Otherwise, that’s a radio in the background in the picture.

You do remember what a radio is, don’t you? 🙄

The beat-up Thinkpad is still running as an rtorrent/fttps client and ports host for the rest of the house. True, nothing else is running that would need those ports or torrent access, but it’s there because it’s always there.

And the Sotec machine is in the closet, where it will probably be for a few more days until I get around to testing proc’s i586 repository for Arch. I’ve been wanting to do that for weeks now, but I’ve been so overloaded with other stuff that … you know.

Lastly, this machine is networked into the battered Thinkpad as a matter of course. So transferring files or backing up configurations is done by moving them across the wireless and onto the torrent client. From there, they can be transferred wherever. If ever.

Tomorrow I’ll try to give an honest appraisal of how things go with this machine. I imagine before the week is over I’ll have a lot of things that need discussed, both good and bad. …

10 thoughts on “One week at 100Mhz: I found a desk

  1. anjilslaire

    I was just thinking this last week, that using Linux has sharply curtailed my hardware buying habits th last few years. My desktop is certainly not *ancient*, being an OC’ed Athlon XP 2500+ to 3200+, 2gigs of ram and an NVidia 6600GT.
    This system has been running for ~5 years like this.

    But back when I was on Windows, I would have upgraded my desktop long ago, probably to a dual-core 64bit monster something or other. Running Linux though, the system never slows down or degrades in any way performance-wise, so it’ll probably live on like this for few more years yet, unless the motherboard dies.

    That being said, I do have a shiny new Dell Mini 9 for mobile computing running Intrepid i386 with Netbook Remix, but It’s my 1st laptop for myself and I plan on seeing how long it lasts, having cost me only ~$400 USD.

    Good job on keeping these old machines running. Hopefully mine will be useful well far the next decade as well.

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