Old Computer Challenge - Day 3

Jul 13, 2023

OldComputerChallenge SmolNet

Reading time: 3 minutes

On this day I was sick, so not a lot has happened, but I would like to still briefly share a few thoughts.

I’m spending far less time aimlessly surfing the web or watching youtube-videos for hours on end, simply because it’s not very much fun. Surfing works, but most sites are not very pleasant to look at or don’t work at all in a minimalist browser (think lynx, links2, luakit) or they slow the computer down to a crawl when using vivaldi (which is already slow thanks to its significant memory footprint). Important lesson: don’t have more than one or two tabs open at once. Just don’t.

And watching youtube is pretty much impossible. Even just loading the start page takes forever, and trying to load a video… just no. I had downloaded yt-dlp beforehand to be able to download yt-videos at a lower resolution, but I would still have to get the url from somewhere and honestly, I don’t even miss it. I’m sure I’ll eventually catch up on a few interesting videos that I missed during the week, but right now I’m completely fine without spending the evening on my couch aimlessly browsing youtube.

A win in my opinion!

For fun I fired up a VM (one core slowed down, 512mb RAM of course) with Windows XP and browsed some old sites via the old net using Retrozilla, and that turned out to be a surprising amount of fun! Retrozilla is also able to access gopher sites, and since most of the OCC-participants who run blogs keep them very minimal, starting at occ.deadnet.se and looking through the blog entries listed there was no problem at all. And way faster than doing the same thing on a modern linux, despite a minimalist window manager and a lightweight browser (Midori). I even managed to install an old version of mIRC and join #oldcomputerchallenge on libera.chat, which was very surprising but pretty awesome and gave me a huge nostalgia hit :)

Putty still works on XP as well, so I can ssh into my “server” (a raspberry pi really) and do linux-y stuff on there. All in all a surprisingly nice and nostalgic experience!

Oh, I also switched my window manager from i3 to herbstluftwm. Why? First, I had already used herbstluftwm before and am familiar with how it works, and second, I like the name :) (for the non-German speaking world, “Herbstluft” means “autumn air”, which I think is just beautiful. Once I figure out how to post audio on here, I’ll put a file online with the correct pronounciation ;) )