An apology, and an update

I have to apologize up front for the silence that occurred over the last few days; I have some real-life issues that needed attention between Thursday and today, and unfortunately they ate up most of my free time.

And I hate to say it, but it’s likely to happen again, off and on, until July or so. It’s nothing bad, it’s just another facet of life that needs a little more focus as summer begins. The visible effect will be a wider gap between updates. I’ll do what I can to ameliorate that, but I have my doubts.

In the meantime, I have one sort of “confession” that needs aired. I have been using my 100MHz machine again, as the primary machine in the house, for almost as long as it has been since I realized I was living without X. Once the awful truth was out, that I had abandoned the relative jumble that was the standard graphical desktop for Linux, I reconsidered the fact that really, I was just using a 550MHz machine to do the same things I did back in February, for a week or so.

And with the exception of some sort of framebuffer image display, which this machine can’t do because it lacks the “contemporary” VESA 2.0 extensions (I believe that’s the proper terminology for it), the software is the same, the distro is the same, the end result is the same — just at 1/5th of the speed of my next fastest computer.

Of course there are the hardware quirks. And the occasionally irritating lag while one thing or another does what it’s supposed to do. And the miraculous ability to run alpine, centerim, mc, htop, calcurse, elinks, myman, screen, hnb, vim and a even a few more applications, all at the same time and all on less than 7MB of memory. How it all fits in there, I don’t know.

But I don’t do it to impress anyone; I do it because it makes sense and because it’s the obvious machine for the job. The simplest solution is usually the best solution, and for the tasks of blogging, keeping a calendar, keeping a desktop wiki, holding a to-do list, chatting, e-mailing, playing Pac-Man, playing FreeCell and so on, any more power spent is really just … wasted.

So as it stands now, my “main” reliable machine is the 100MHz laptop. Sound and video are the domain of the 550MHz Thinkpad, which has a beautiful display anyway and can play movies against the framebuffer without any sweat at all. Both are running Crux. And the 1GHz machine is the guinea pig, bouncing between distros sometimes at a rate of two or three a day.

When there’s time for that, of course. 😉


One thought on “An apology, and an update

  1. Pingback: More observations on the effects of environment on antique hardware « Motho ke motho ka botho

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