More stuff you can, but shouldn’t, do

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. 😈


6 thoughts on “More stuff you can, but shouldn’t, do

  1. Aberinkulas

    I try to avoid acronyms such as “lol” but in this case this blog post actually did make me chuckle to myself. Quite amusing.

  2. justsomeguy

    Reminds me of the time I once ran Quake I on a 486 just because a friend said it wouldn’t run at all. It didn’t run playable but it did run. LOL

  3. twitter

    You might be able to run E16, which does composite, on your 150 MHz pentium but you would be better off with Window Maker or Next Step. Window Maker or E16 with composite turned off are good, low resource Window Managers these days and both are practical.

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      I’ve looked at E16, but it doesn’t appeal to me for some reason. I like that it can do some serious eye candy on low-level hardware, but it’s almost too much for me. Not unlikable, just not quite what I was after.

  4. Pingback: One pleasant surprise, for 2010 « Motho ke motho ka botho

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