Nice browser, but that name …

In case you were wondering, I am still poking around with the homeless but familiar K6-2 that I took home last week. I don’t have much to report in that arena, save a few small discoveries that are worth sharing.

To date, Debian and ConnochaetOS (the i586 rehash of Arch Linux) have been the most promising contenders. That laptop is a true 586, which narrows the field slightly in terms of distros that will work with it.

And of course, running at 450Mhz means the field narrows even further, since the median-ground applications suddenly become sluggish and lethargic.

This is the machine that played back Flash videos from YouTube through Firefox in Crux 2.5 though, so it’s not impossible. Just tricky. 😈

But there is more than one way to skin a cat, or surf the web at 450Mhz. ConnochaetOS comes with a couple of unusual alternatives, including a very simple and straightforward graphical browser with a … terrible name.

That’s xxxterm, and before you go all wide-eyed and start thinking this application is intended to appeal to your biological urges, I can assure you it’s very legit. (Unless you tell it to do otherwise.)

It’s exceedingly simple, with only fundamental controls, tabbed browsing and a trusty right-click menu as an option. It has Java support, a download manager, a browsing history, and for all the vi freak-a-deaks out there, vim-like controls.

(I have to be honest here: I use vim on a daily basis, and short of the oddball-but-necessary colon-prefixed commands, I stick with the arrow keys. I know, I’m a heretic.)

Speedwise, xxxterm (which really should think about a contest to find a new name) opens infinitely faster than Firefox on the same machine, renders … at an acceptable pace, and doesn’t take up too much space.

It’s not going to thrill you with extensions and multimedia sockets and triple-buffered AJAX doodads in support of the latest thingamajig on Friendspace or Twitterbook or iTuneface or whatever. It’s just a step above that Python browser script.

But it does a good job of getting around the Web without dragging its feet. And if you’re surfing at 450Mhz, you’re probably content with that. πŸ˜‰

Edit: Oops, the picture didn’t quite work right. Reuploaded. πŸ˜‰

12 thoughts on “Nice browser, but that name …

  1. imgx64

    “It has Java support”

    I think you mean JavaScript, which also has an unfortunate name. Many people confuse it with Java even though there is nothing in common between them (unless you count syntax, but then they’re both C-like). When JavaScript was “standardized”, its official name was changed to ECMAScript, but no one ever uses it outside of technical documentation (and even there, it’s not that common). Heck, Chrome’s spell-check just highlighted “ECMAScript”, and the second suggestion it gave was “JavaScript”. πŸ™„

    Wikipedia has more information:

  2. Bobby Hunter

    I used a K6-III @ 400MHz with 768 MB of sd100 until just a couple of years ago. I used Beatrix Linux until the developer got sick and pulled the plug and then ran BLAG until they went to a 686 kernel. After that I ran ZenWalk until I finally bought a new computer (a system76). Linux ran OK @ 400MHz but Firefox was a dead slow PIG!

    I think we actually have better options today. Right now I am running SalineOS with Midori 0.3.0. Saline is based on Debian Squeeze XFCE. It might be worth trying on your old clunker.

  3. DudeInTheAtlantic

    The creator of xxxterm is also the creator of scrotwm, which also is a terrible name.

  4. Gemon

    any chance I could find a distro/browser combo to allow a flash video to play smoothly on a Pentium II 350MHz with 256MB RAM and a Matrox G200?



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