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.

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The Old Computer Challenge V2: day 1

Written by Solène, on 10 July 2022.
Tags: #life #offline #oldcomputerchallenge #nocloud

Comments on Fediverse/Mastodon

1. Introduction §

Today is the beginning of the 2022 Old Computer Challenge, for a week I am now restricted to one hour of Internet access per day.

Old Computer Challenge V2 announcement

2. How do I account time? §

For now, I turned off my smartphone Wi-Fi because it would be hard to account its time.

My main laptop is using the very nice script from our community member prahou.

The script design is smart, it's accounting time and displaying time consumed, it can be described as a machine state like this:

   +------------+                    +----------------------------+
   | wait for   |                    | Accounting time for today  |
   | input      |  Type Enter        | Internet is enabled        |
   |            |------------------->|                            |
   | Internet   |                    | display time used          |
   | offline    |                    | today                      |
   +------------+                    +----------------------------+
          ^                                         v
          |                       press ctrl+C      |
          |       (which is trapped to run a func)  |

As the way to disable / enable internet is specific to every one, the script has two empty fuctions: NETON and NETOFF, they enable or disable Internet access. On my Linux computer I found an easy way to achieve this by adding a bogus default route with a metric 1, bypassing my default route. Because the default route doesn't work my system can't reach the Internet, but it let my LAN in a working state.

My own version of prahou's script (I made some little changes)

3. How's life? §

So far, it's easy to remember I don't have Internet all the time, but with my Internet usage it works fine. I use the script to "start" Internet, check my emails, read IRC channels and reply, and then I disconnect. By using small amount of time, I can achieve most of my needs in less than a minute. However, that wouldn't be practical if I had to download anything big, and people with a fast Internet access (= not me) would have an advantage.

My guess about this first day being easy is that as I don't use any streaming service, I don't need to be connected all the time. All my data are saved locally, and most of my communication needs can be done asynchronously. Even publishing this blog post shouldn't consume more than 20 seconds.

4. Let's go for a week §

I suppose it will be easy to forget about limited Internet time, so it will be best for me to run the accounting script in a terminal (disabling Internet until I manually accept to enable it), and think a bit ahead if I will need more time later so I can be more conservative about time usage.

So far, it's a great experience I enjoy a lot. I hope other participant will enjoy it as much as I do. We will start gathering and aggregating reports soon, so you could enjoy all the reports from our community.

5. It's not late to join §

Despite the challenge officially started today (10th July), it's not late to start it yourself. The important is to have fun, if you want to try, you could just use a chronometer and see if you could hold with only 60 minutes a day.