About me: My name is Solène Rapenne, pronouns she/her. I like learning and sharing knowledge. Hobbies: '(BSD OpenBSD Qubes OS Lisp cmdline gaming security QubesOS internet-stuff). I love percent and lambda characters. OpenBSD developer solene@. No AI is involved in this blog.

Contact me: solene at dataswamp dot org or @solene@bsd.network (mastodon).

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The Old Computer Challenge

Written by Solène, on 07 July 2021.
Tags: #linux #oldcomputerchallenge

Comments on Fediverse/Mastodon

1. Introduction §

For some time I wanted to start a personal challenge, after some thoughts I want to share it with you and offer you to join me in this journey.

The point of the challenge is to replace your daily computer by a very old computer and share your feelings for the week.

2. The challenge §

Here are the *rules* of the challenge, there are no prize to win but I'm convinced we will have feelings to share along the week and that it will change the way we interact with computers.

  • 1 CPU maximum, whatever the model. This mean only 1 CPU|Core|Thread. Some bios allow to disable multi core.
  • 512 MB of memory (if you have more it's not a big deal, if you want to reduce your ram create a tmpfs and put a big file in it)
  • using USB dongles is allowed (storage, wifi, Bluetooth whatever)
  • only for your personal computer, during work time use your usual stuff
  • relying on services hosted remotely is allowed (VNC, file sharing, whatever help you)
  • using a smartphone to replace your computer may work, please share if you move habits to your smartphone during the challenge
  • if you absolutely need your regular computer for something really important please use it. The goal is to have fun but not make your week a nightmare.

If you don't have an old computer, don't worry! You can still use your regularly computer and create a virtual machine with low specs, you would still be more comfortable with a good screen, disk access and a not too old CPU but you can participate.

3. Date §

The challenge will take place from 10Th July morning until 17Th July morning.

4. Social medias §

Because I want this event to be a nice moment to share with others, you can contact me so I can add your blog (including gopher/gemini space) to the future list below.

You can also join #oldcomputerchallenge on libera.chat IRC server.

prahou's blog, running a T42 with OpenBSD 6.9 i386 with hostname brouk

Joe's blog about the challenge and why they need it

Solene (this blog) running an iBook G4 with OpenBSD -current macppc with hostname jeefour

(gopher link) matto's report using FreeBSD 13 on an Acer aspire one

cel's blog using Void Linux PPC on an Apple Powerbook G4

Keith Burnett's blog using a T42 with an emphasis on using GUI software to see how it goes

Kuchikuu's blog using a T60 running Debian (but specs out of the challenge)

Ohio Quilbio Olarte's blog using an MSI Wind netbook with OpenBSD

carcosa's blog using an ASUS eeePC netbook with Fedora i386 downgraded with kernel command line

Tekk's website, using a Dell Latitude D400 (2003) running Slackware 14.2

5. My setup §

I use an old iBook G4 laptop (the one I already use "offline"), it has a single PowerPC G4 1.3 GHz CPU and 512 MB of ram and a slow 40GB HDD. The wifi is broken so I have to use a Wifi dongle but I will certainly rely on ethernet. The screen has a 1024x768 resolution but the colors are pretty bad.

In regards to software it runs OpenBSD 6.9 with /home/ encrypted which makes performance worse. I use ratpoison as the window manager because it saves screen space and requires little memory and CPU to run and is entirely keyboard driven, that laptop has only a left click touchpad button :).

I love that laptop and initially I wanted to see how far I could use for my daily driver!

Picture of the laptop
Picture of the laptop
Screenshot of the laptop
Screenshot of the laptop