Hacker News Re-Imagined

Life at 800 MHz

  • 260 points
  • 8 days ago

  • @blackhole
  • Created a post

Life at 800 MHz


@analyte123 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

A cozy laptop sounds nice. I bet IRC is more than fast enough, surprised it didn't get a mention. Also, if you just want to read some text on the web as fast as possible, w3m might be worth a shot. I use it in TTY2 all the time to look stuff up. Browser CDN caches like Decentraleyes or LocalCDN might also be worth trying especially with the mnestic set up: you would only have to load certain JS bundles once per session.

>a dishonorable mention to twitter for being slower than Discord, we wish we were making that up

If you're just browsing Twitter, then the Nitter frontend (https://github.com/xnaas/nitter-instances) is way, way faster. Does not have algo-recs either, which could be positive. If you need to post, I assume you've tried spoofing user agent to mobile? This might help with bloated sites in general.

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@missed-pos 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

The device referred to in the article gave me the idea to buy/make such a lightweight device with which you can surf the Internet, chat via XMPP, use e-mail, but at the same time receive calls and SMS. Also the device needs to run for a long time (ARM?) Sounds like something that can be done on a Raspberry Pi, but I'm not sure. It would be a good replacement for the phone, to be honest. It would be possible, of course, to take a simple phone for calls and SMS, but I recently read an article about the fact that such phones can have backdoors. In general, it would be cool to refuse calls completely, but unfortunately there are people who do not have other options. Besides, I go to places where the Internet does not work. In general, are there such devices in the real world that meet the above requirements?

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@agumonkey 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

Oh I've been looking for a similar Sony VAIO but that was packing a Core 2 Duo .. there's just so many Sony laptops I could never find which model it was (college prof used that on trips).

Anyway nice to see "old" machines getting by.

-- sent next to my thinkpad x61

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@tryauuum 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

Ah, to use an ancient device, be genuinely happy you won't waste time with video games only to eventually install some games that do run smoothly on this ancient CPU. I too have this experience

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@marttt 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

The 1000x480 resolution seems interesting. Maybe this machine would make a good single-purpose device for writing.

Also, somewhat related: Former Debian maintainer Joey Hess famously used a Dell Mini 9 for all his coding [1, 2]. I wonder if the Sony has a better, less cramped keyboard compared to the Mini 9.

Another interesting guy doing valuable work on low-end, underclocked hardware is Nils M. Holm [3].

Myself, I can get most of my stuff done on a Thinkpad T42 (underclocked to 600 Mhz to reincarnate its dying GPU). With the ram-booted Tiny Core Linux, this thing still flies. I'm having a hard time ditching it because of the 4:3 IPS screen and excellent keyboard. I've even used it to produce lengthy radio programs for my country's public broadcasting.

Aside web browsing, there seems to be more than enough software solutions, hacks, workarounds and programming languages for doing valuable work on rather old hardware these days. Really interesting times we're living in.

Then again, might be true that with yesterday's hardware, you're limited to solving yesterday's problems. I guess I'm fine with yesterday's problems in many aspects of life.

1: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4721645

2: https://joeyh.name/blog/entry/xmonad_layouts_for_netbooks/

3: https://usesthis.com/interviews/nils.m.holm/

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@aidenn0 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

I notice IceWM gets mentioned here; I'm always looking for a good environment to run for my VNC sessions. Right now I'm using FVWM, can anyone comment on pros/cons of switching to Ice?

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@numlock86 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

I have once clocked my CPU down to 400 MHz for a week or so (i7-7700K I think it was) when the pump of my cooling loop died to keep it below 100°C, although it would have throttled down on its own once at thermal limits. Other than games running terrible (of course, duh) I couldn't really tell much of a difference. Some things were slower like compiling code or things like 7z but it didn't feel like a throwback to the late 90s because what made computers slow those days were HDDs. Oh, and there is GPU acceleration for so many things these days ... like watching 4K videos was no problem at all.

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@mwcampbell 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

Is it truly necessary to use such an archaic laptop to get the two essential features described at the beginning of the article: ultra-light weight and a trackpoint? I know the Surface Go 3 is light enough, but IIRC the type cover has a touchpad, not a trackpoint. In theory, with the ongoing miniaturization of electronics, there should be a modern option that meets these criteria. But of course, the mass-market nature of hardware means that there won't always be a current-generation device that is optimal for a disabled user like the author of this article.

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@sokoloff 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

I bought a Chromebook 4 on Black Friday (Celeron N4000, 1.1 GHz, $90 then, $120 now) and similar to the author, I find it pretty useful but sometimes requiring patience.

Best part is it doesn’t have any work stuff on it, so I can do my own light tasks on it without any temptation (due to inability) to have work leak into that time. That’s worth a multiple of the purchase price by itself.

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@grimgrin 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

> Discord on the other hand has a big problem: using a third party client is bannable

Hm, that is probably true. Didn't consider. So be it, wish the Ripcord author some luck!

https://cancel.fm/ripcord/

> Ripcord is a desktop chat client for group-centric services like Slack and Discord. It provides a traditional compact desktop interface designed for power users. It's not built on top of web browser technology: it has a small resource footprint, responds quickly to input, and gets out of your way. Shareware is coming back, baby.

Some years of using this and I'm quite a fan. Voice works, but not streaming video, last I checked

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@jcun4128 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

This computer reminds me of my fondness for the Compaq Presario 615dx a little higher spec, but it was that kind of computer the inch-thick ones. That laptop had a really nice keyboard imo.

Was using Linux Mint and Bluefish/Kate text editor.

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@birdman3131 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

"So this thing’s main job is to help us stay off our phone, since touch screens are the hardest on the health of our hands."

I have never heard this before. On the other hand I have heard about keyboards being an issue many times. Anybody else know anything about touchscreens being harder on hands than keyboards?

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@DwnVoteHoneyPot 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

What is the allure and purpose of going back to 800 Mhz? I mean I did it myself this week, but was frustrated enough to think it's a really dumb idea, waste of time. I can't even articulate why I did it in the first place.

I used a Raspberry Pi 4 (1500 Mhz) as a daily driver for 4 days. Struggled with hidpi scaling, no Signal Messenger, overheating CPU, Youtube at 360p, HTML Gmail.

I went so far to upgrade Pi to SSD, plus heat sink. Considering adding active cooling... but the said nope, back to Macbook Pro. Why do we even try?

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@swiftcoder 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

I do wish that more laptop vendors would consider the really-thin-and-light market. There used to be all sorts of weird pocket/palm PCs available in the sub-2lb range, but I guess that phones and tablets have pretty much canibalised the market.

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@Scroph 2 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

Loved this, I found myself nodding along as I was reading the article. I had a similar setup a few years ago when I was still studying and this brought back a lot of memories. In my case it was a Compaq Mini with a 32 bit Slitaz install running on a similarly specced Atom CPU and 1 gig of RAM. Firefox was usable when combined with the noscript extension, but like you I limited myself to lightweight websites and to the mobile alternatives of the heavy ones. I even had the Audacious* Winamp skin that you mentioned in the blog post.

One other thing I remember being especially problematic was those websites that had large footers and navbars. Medium was one of the main culprits. The navbar and footer covered a large portion of the small screen, leaving me unable to read more than a few lines at a time. Back then I had "fixed" it by making an extension that removed them from the DOM, but now I realize that uBlock origin supports a similar feature. I'm pleasantly surprised to see that there are others out there with a similar setup!

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@eternityforest 6 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

That's some real dedication. I would have just gotten a tablet and a keyboard case.

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@akoster 8 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

Nice post - Reminds me of my experiences using an IBM Thinkpad T42 (2GB RAM, 1.6 GHz single core CPU) and Raspberry Pi Model B (512MB RAM, 700MHz single core CPU), quite a bit of compilation required these days due to a lack of binaries but still a fun exercise on a weekend

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@ThinkBeat 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

A girlfriend of mine had surgery on both wrists.

She got the Dragon Speech software, and I was surprised at how good it was.

You can of course dictate all your notes, documents emails. It also provides means to navigate your OS, start programs, close them, and a lot more.

It is expensive but she could do most of her work with two hands that didnt work.

A while back I saw a video about a guy who wrote code using such software (not sure what he used in particular). This can be tedious "Open bracket", "new line" etc.

He had spent a long time tuning it so it was fast and efficient. He used a set of custom grunts and noises as "macros" for all the bracket brace, and other symbols that are in heavy use in programming languages.

If you were just listening to him and didn't know what he was doing it sounded a bit distressing.

https://www.nuance.com/dragon/businesbs-solutions/dragon-pro...

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@marban 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

I've owned almost all generations of these little machines (in addition to a Psion Netbook) and to this date they're among the design & form concepts that I miss the most. With the docking station and optional extended battery, PCMCIA, etc, they would adapt to any work environment, but even in bare-bones mode, you could get some actual work done — Which isn't always the case with an iPad unless you add bulky extras. I wish Apple had the balls that Sony had back then.

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@userbinator 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

A 733MHz Pentium III with 512MB of RAM (upgraded a few times; originally 128MB) was my daily driver for a long time, and if I stayed away from the web-based stuff, would probably be quite usable for a lot of day-to-day things today as well, including native software development.

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@tandav 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

If you live in terminal you can ssh into server from smartphone, I do this often

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@Twirrim 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

Via TLP on Linux, I've been capping my laptop's CPU (i7-8665U) to 800Mhz whenever I'm on battery. 800Mhz on a relatively modern CPU is quite remarkably fast and sufficient for most things.

Out of curiosity I've got CPU Frequency being polled periodically and updated in my taskbar, and the CPU spends a remarkable amount of time bouncing between ~600Mhz and ~800Mhz, because even when actively working, it's quite quiescent. Obviously compiling, running test suite, browsing etc. etc. will cause it to jump up to full speed (4.1Ghz with turbo, or there abouts).

One of the things I've found myself doing is paying a bit more attention to _what_ is consuming CPU resources when that frequency goes up. For example, I noticed that Zoom will randomly consume a couple of % of a CPU for about 20-30 seconds periodically. I know it also maintains some kind of notification hook to Zoom infrastructure. I don't need that persistent feature, so now I have a lightweight bash script that looks to see if I'm in a Webinar or Meeting, and if not, nukes zoom. The advantages are probably minimal, at best, but it took my fancy for whatever reason :)

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@emptyparadise 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

I love this laptop's form factor.

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@kraquepype 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

Wow seeing XMMS brings back some memories. Before Pandora and streaming players, I had a machine under the bed that only ran XMMS to play music in the room. It allowed controls via game pad port, so there was a game pad in the room to play/pause/switch songs.

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@hnthrowaway0315 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

I have a PowerBook G4 with upgraded memory. The only caveat is the power cell that gets hot quickly so I have to wire power in everytime.

I installed a few applications including a web browser but then got bored. There is nothing a modern computer cannot do what it does, and miles better. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it TBH. I made the purchase based on an impulse and now I'm paying for it. Fortunately it didn't cost too much.

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@_benj 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

This is more along the lines of my “vintage”.

Thanks kind of feel left out when folk here start remembering their c64 and Ataris and whatnot!

My first computer was a celeron 500MHz with windows 98 (maybe there was a 300MHz with win 3.1 but I never got it working)

So, this blog is nostalgia! Winamp and the Linux clone!? DDR2!? Back in my day we had some other thing that I don’t remember the name (sdram?), we ruled the city because with winrar we could use the T1 of the university to download stuff, then split it in 4 3.5” 1.44Mb floppy disks to install on our computers!

Oh, and CD-R changed the game forever! And usb… it took a while and a few dongles (parallel to usd, serial to usb, ps2 to usb) and hunting down the proper .inf file, but it was glorious!

That’s my kind of nostalgia :)

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@hit8run 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

I like the new 16inch MacBook Pro but for sure prefer my iMac Pro and am looking forward to replace it with something new presented this year. Life is too short for crappy hardware.

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@foobarbecue 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

Sorry, I have to ask about the pronouns. Does the use of "we" imply that this laptop is shared by multiple people?

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@jmrm 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

Some people doesn't know that, aside of media creation and consumption, we don't need so much power to do other things.

Most of my university assignments were done on a Acer Aspire One netbook (1.3/1.6 GHz Dual Core Atom, 2 GB DDR2 RAM) and I had no problem. To program in C, C++, and Python in Debian is simple great, and to simulate circuits with SPICE related software on Windows 7 is also good.

I started using it because it was more light and more comfortable than the newer laptop I had (15" 4th gen Intel i5 laptop), and as a small device for reading PDF is great, so i ended up using it more and more, and for more tasks, leaving it for exclusive academic usage and letting the other for games and media.

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@forgotmypw17 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

I used a similar computer as my daily driver for half a year.

I lost touch with all the groups I who use Slack for organizing.

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@zwayhowder 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

I recently spent a fortnight using a 2009ish Asus EeePC with a whopping 2Gb of RAM. It wasn't terrible running Manjaro Linux i3. For all the browsing social media it was basically the same experience as the author. But for a handy note taking and anki machine by my bed it was perfect. I could type out notes on its almost full sized keyboard without distraction. I could review audio and picture cards just as fast as on my phone, but no danger of a notification or "accidently" opening facebook.

On a small screen a tiling window manager is a must IMHO. No space wasted by bars or widgets, and any app can be full screen at the touch of a button.

The only reason I stopped was it developed a whine in the CPU fan that was particularly annoying.

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@hprotagonist 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

This is now the second or third author i’ve found this year who uses the royal we.

Am i missing something? Are we in Cryptonomicon-style Relatively Independent Sub-Totality mode non-ironically now?

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@dijit 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

> Technically Gentoo is also in the running, but can you imagine trying to compile all your packages from scratch on a system that benchmarks worse than a raspberry pi 3?

Uh, I actually did this, it wasn't so bad honestly it just took about a day to rebuild everything.

Honestly the Sony VAIO that I had was _awesome_ in some regards, the hi resolution display was extremely crisp! It fit comfortably in my inside jacket pocket, the battery didn't suck.

The only issue I had honestly was the proprietary connector to get ethernet (though this was more annoying in 2012 when I was doing this, these days laptops don't seem to have ethernet); the only other issue was that the GPU was extremely slow with Linux.

it was probably extremely slow in Windows too, but vista (which was installed on the thing) was far-far too heavy to understand why it was slow at all.

The nearest best laptop I've found that is in all areas superior than the Sony VAIO P-Series (aside from being a bit taller) is the GPD P2 Max which is basically perfect.... if only it had a passively cooled ARM CPU.

https://gpd.hk/gpdp2max2022

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@lproven 6 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

I have one of these laptops.

The form-factor is great; Sony's implementation isn't. The keyboard is poor, the trackpoint not very responsive or accurate. (And I like Trackpoints!)

Mine is maxed out with 2GB of RAM and a dual-core Atom, and Intel Poulsbo GPU (GMA500). The author of this piece is running the screen at way below its true res of 1600x768. Not a typo: it's a high-DPI letterbox ultra-widescreen.

It came with Win10. It was unusable; 10-15min to boot and log in.

I tried Xubuntu $CURRENT then – maybe 18.04. Very poor; ~8min to boot and login.

It just about manages to run Windows 7 ThinPC, the "thin client" version of Win7. It works but it's not responsive. I am considering downgrading to TinyXP.

I have tried multiple Linuxes:

• Xubuntu (too heavy: used lots of RAM at idle, very slow)

• Devuan + Xfce (usable, took 250-300MB RAM, a bit sluggish)

• Crunchbang++ (worked, responsive, but surprising memory footprint of over 200MB)

• MX Linux (worked fairly well, looked weird, felt clunky; adjusted screen DPI & it broke the desktop cosmetically: text didn't fit inside buttons, etc.)

Currently it runs Raspberry Pi Desktop, x86 edition. This is surprisingly good. It idles at a bit under 200MB of RAM, LXDE (now PIXEL) works well and supports a vertical taskbar that works well. Screen DPI can be scaled. Quite snappy.

I tried installing Xfce and it substantially increased RAM usage, to circa 350MB — nearly double. This was an unpleasant surprise: the RasPi folks have cut Debian down hard and I am impressed.

I am playing with antiX in VBox as I type this (no, not on the Vaio P) and it's weird but it does work well, and it's idling, after a full update, at an amazing 106MB of RAM. I may try this on the Vaio.

I wish I could get the Vaio's GPU working but no modern Linux can run the ancient Pouslbo drivers.

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@dt3ft 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

Who are they and why are they using this old laptop? I wasn’t able to find anything in the article that mentions this.

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@aasasd 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

Regarding games: PS1 games may run with PCSX-Reloaded aka PCSXR (the most-current-before-Retroarch fork of PCSX)—if the machine has any 3D acceleration. However, Retroarch's version is probably out, their requirements are higher.

N64 emulation may also be possible, however afaik it's a gamble whether accuracy is ok and games don't glitch all over.

Of course, mashing the gamepad—or the keyboard—is not good for hands. OpenTTD is indeed much more relaxing on the fingers.

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@southerntofu 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

Glad you enjoy your life at 800 MHz! I appreciated your article although the plural form to address a single person (not the editorial "we") makes me uneasy for political considerations.

So many more things could be easily enjoyable on such hardware if the software ecosystem allowed it. I'm also curious what hardware modularity like Framework is doing could have achieved two decades ago: if you could easily plug in a chip to decode/encode video quickly, this computer could probably play any kind of video.

> We have no idea what crates.io thinks it makes sense to require javascript to look up packages but here we are.

I've had a similar experience with crates.io:

    curl https://crates.io/
    {"errors":[{"detail":"Not Found"}]}
Apparently, without a specific Accept header, crates.io thinks i want a JSON response for a crate lookup, not the homepage. Now i don't even remember why i was requesting this URL to start with (not in a script) but i don't understand the logic of that and the maintainers in the chatrooms seemed to consider it's not a bug.

I'm also very curious about antiX "proudly anti-fascist" distro but that they're two debian releases late (still on stretch) does not exactly attract me.

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@bluedino 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

Wow. Atoms were slow when they were new. 2-4 times slower than a E5300 Core 2 Duo or whatever was common in 2009.

That said, with maxed out RAM and a cheap SSD they were 'enough' and they came in some neat formfactors. I had the Lenovo S10 netbook, but the 1024x600 was very hard to live with. They didn't offer anything special in the way of power savings or battery life, either.

For the price, a 2-3 year old Dell or HP laptop was a better choice, and then the iPad came out...

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@Starlevel001 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

> (Shoutout to lib.rs btw for offering a rust crate database that actually works without javascript. We have no idea what crates.io thinks it makes sense to require javascript to look up packages but here we are.)

Well, Rust is a language primarily targeted at web developers after all.

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@smm11 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

I've got an XPS that I never turn on, an S21 phone that I use sparingly, and a USB-C to HDMI adapter at home that lets me turn my phone into my desktop computer (Dex).

This is me typing on a work computer, but I don't count that. My computer is a phone.

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@seqizz 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

> Technically Gentoo is also in the running, but can you imagine trying to compile all your packages from scratch on a system that benchmarks worse than a raspberry pi 3?

Hmm I knew at least one person who did it.. Yes, it's exactly how you'd imagine.

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@danans 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

I used the Vaio PCG-505 for a few years after college. I mostly worked as a freelancer, and it was surprisingly good as a work laptop.

I recall running Eclipse and recompiling the Linux kernel on that device.

The magnesium body had no match at the time. I didn't even mind the purple color.

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@yeetaccount4 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

I really wish someone like System76 would take this concept farther, like a HappyHacking style keyboard layout, no fan, no trackpad (clit mouse OK), and a focus on durability and repairability. IP67/68 would be cool. Sell the low specs as a feature for the ADHD-type to not do too many flashy light things, and for hobbyists to see what they can squeeze out of it.

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@simonblack 8 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

Life at 800mHz

800 MILLI Hertz (0.8 Hz)! Now that is slow. <grin>

Actually 800 MHz is slow by today's standards, but it's a lot faster than the 4 MHz Z80 that my first computer used.

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@ale42 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

Too bad, reading the title I was hoping for some UHF mystery signals ;-)

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@api 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

When these discussions come up I routinely post this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GEOS_(8-bit_operating_system)

Yes it was pretty limited and not quite useful yet for real work, but it shows what could be achieved on an 8-bit 2mhz CPU with less than 64K of useful memory.

Modern software is VERY bloated.

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@morganvachon 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

Out of curiosity I checked eBay to see the going rate for this particular portable; of the two listed, one has a starting price of $350 and I watched the other go from a $99 bid to $150+ in an hour. Apart from the quirkiness or the need to replace one's recently dead machine, I can't wrap my head around such a high price for such low performance. For a little more than the higher priced unit, one can get a Gemini PDA or similar device with a more modern and faster processor, and come out even more portable and with excellent battery life (though I did note the author's need for a non-touchscreen device due to a handicap, the touchscreen on a modern portable doesn't have to be used if there's another pointing device).

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@BTCOG 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

I ran these specs or a very close approximation as a daily driver for many years on a couple Gateway Atom netbooks. I consistently ran Debian unstable (Sid) with minimal window managers and desktop environments from 2011-2015 or so with mostly i686-PAE kernels.

I was confused by the constant use of "we" in the writing here and at first assumed this person was sharing the netbook with multiple other people. By the end I came to realize it was something more like a split personality usage? I found it odd.

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@anthk 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

On Emulation, Mednafen should run fast if you set the right core for SNES, avoid any opengl and shader output, and compile it yourself with "-march=native -O3" and the rest of CFLAGS and CXXFLAGS.

It should emulate any 8 and 16 bit systems wells, even the GBA (which is 32 bit).

Also, on low end systems, solene@ from openbsd wrote a challenge on her personal site (gopher and gemini too) on keeping yourself on a single core device (grub/lilo option available just in case) and 512 mb of RAM at most.

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@awiesenhofer 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

Oh wow, great to see someone else still enjoying and even using a Vaio P!

After lots of lusting over them back when they where new (1) I managed to find a used gen 2 one a while back and just adore it. To me the gen 2 series devices are still one of the most beautiful gadgets ever designed, but I am a huge Sony fanboy so ymmv.

I rock a neon green version with a blazingly fast 1.6ghz Atom and crisp 1600x768 screen - its still quite usable like OP describes, runs fine with Lubuntu, though nowadays I only use it to play some DOSbox games once in a while.

An old review with specs details and pictures of gen 2: https://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/laptops/sony-vaio-p-gen-2

(1) I forgot the name/url, but there was this kinda famous website of some shop in Hongkong that would import all these great - mostly Japan-only - laptops to the us/eu, even in often very rare configurations (umts etc). Maybe someone else on here remembers!?

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@settrans 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

Despite being (ostensibly) state-of-the-art technology, I feel similarly about my 2021-vintage MediaTek MT8183-powered Chromebook.

Despite costing sub-$300, its CPU is comparably powerful (according to Passmark) to the Vaio VGN-P588E's contemporary desktop CPU, the Intel Q6600. Of course few PCs in 2009 had 4GB of RAM at the time (to say nothing about the GPUs of the time).

The MT8183-based machine offers a surprisingly capable computing experience, allowing for simultaneous Meet presentation + JavaScript-heavy web application usage, all at that retro computing price point.

Where it ceases to feel like my X61, however, is in battery life. Where the X61 only lasts a few hours of heavy usage with a fresh battery, the MT8183 chugs along for 12+ hours.

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@allenbina 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

Near the beginning of the pandemic I got frustrated with the trackpad and battery life of my lenovo yoga, so I bought a ~$250 asus l204m.

Aside from my 2011 15 inch MacBook Pro which also had its issues, this has become my favorite laptop. I don't mind the small keyboard surprisingly, and I find myself getting light work and practice problems done while my wife and I watch TV.

The cons: video playback, the screen resolution, something about how the screen refreshes is also odd. 4gb max memory. I carry a dongle to use a generic usb-c charger.

The pros: Actual 10 hour battery life (mint xfce), and I can get 12 if I drop the screen brightness. Full size HDMI port. Great linux compatibility (from what I can tell). MicroSD expansion sits flush. Light and small, and I actually prefer 11-12 inch laptops now. Only costs $250 so I throw it in a bag if I'm going somewhere.

I get the fun around these devices and cyberdecks, and I have a couple raspberry pi projects, but at $250 for x64 processor and 4gb memory with a keyboard, screen and battery, it's not even a close call for me.

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@traverseda 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

I don't understand what makes the "antiX" linux distro they're using "proudly antifascist".

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@hartator 7 days

Replying to @blackhole 🎙

I love small form laptops!

I wish Apple restarts soon their slim line like the original MacBook Air (the envelope one!) and 12” Macbook.

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