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 v4 (Olympics edition)

Written by Solène, on 24 June 2024.
Tags: #oldcomputerchallenge #nocloud #life

Comments on Fediverse/Mastodon

1. Introduction §

This is the time of the year where I announce the Old Computer Challenge (OCC) date.

I recommend visiting the community website about the OCC if you want to connect with the community.

Old Computer Challenge community

The Old Computer Challenge history

The Old Computer Challenge v4 poster, by @prahou@merveilles.town on Mastodon
The Old Computer Challenge v4 poster, by @prahou@merveilles.town on Mastodon

2. When? §

The Old Computer Challenge 4th edition will begin 13th July to 20th July 2024. It will be the prequel to Olympics, I was not able to get the challenge accepted there so we will do it our way.

3. How to participate? §

While the three previous editions had different rules, I came to agree with the community for this year. Choose your rules!

When I did the challenge for the first time, I did not expect it to become a yearly event nor that it would gather aficionados during the trip. The original point of the challenge was just to see if I could use my oldest laptop as my main computer for a week, there were no incentive, it was not a contest and I did not have any written rules.

Previous editions rules were about using an old laptop, use a computer with limited hardware (and tips to slow down a modern machine) or limit Internet access to a single hour per day. I always insist on the fact it should not hinder your job, so people participating do not have to "play" during work. Smartphones became complicated to handle, especially with the limited Internet access, all I can recommend to people is to define some rules you want to stick to, and apply to it the best you can. If you realllyyyy need once to use a device that would break the rules, so be it if it is really important, nobody will yell at you.

People doing the OCC enjoy it for multiple reasons, find yours! Some find the opportunity to disconnect a bit, change their habit, do some technoarcheology to run rare hardware, play with low-tech, demonstrate obsolescence is not a fatality etc...

Some ideas if you do not know what to do for the challenge:

  • use your oldest device
  • do not use graphical interface
  • do not use your smartphone (and pick a slow computer :P)
  • limit your Internet access time
  • slow down your Internet access
  • forbid big software (I indented to do this for 4th OCC but it was hard to prepare, the idea was to setup an OpenBSD mirror where software with more than some arbitrary line of codes in their sources would be banned, resulting in a very small set of packages due to missing transitive dependencies)

4. What to do during the challenge? §

You can join the community and share your experience.

There are many ways! It's the opportunity to learn how to use Gopher or Gemini to publish content, or to join the mailing list and participate with the other or simply come to the IRC channel to chat a bit.

5. I can't join during 13th to 20th July! §

Well, as nobody enforces you to do the OCC, you can just do it when you want, even in December if it suits your calendar better than mid July, nobody will complain at you.

6. Conclusion §

There is a single rule, do it for fun! Do not impede yourself for weird reasons, it is here for fun, and doing the whole week is as good as failing and writing about the why you failed. It is not a contest, just try and see how it goes, and tell us your story :)