Consequences of browsing on old equipment

Forum Forums General Tips and Tricks Consequences of browsing on old equipment

  • This topic has 33 replies, 11 voices, and was last updated Jan 20-11:07 pm by melodie.
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 34 total)
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  • #75360
    Member
    seaken64

      As many of you know already I am always tinkering around with very old equipment. Most of the time I am using an old Pentium-III and SeaMonkey to browse this forum. I’m always tickled that I can still use this old relic on today’s web, at least at some level.

      But I learned something today and I thought it would be good to share here some of the consequences of using this old equipment. First of all, this equipment is only usable if I turn off Javascript. I use NoScript for this purpose in SeaMonkey. But it changes the normal routine for reading and submitting forum messages. The menus are limited and any extra “features” like codes and emoticons are disabled. In order to add my comments to an existing thread I have to remember to “Temporarily Allow this page” so that I can “submit” the message. The editor will take my text entry but I can’t submit it unless JavaScript is on.

      Then, after submitting my post I must “Revoke Temporary Permission” so that the CPU does not get pegged at 100%.

      Another thing is that I usually have to enlarge the screen to read it on this monitor. In SeaMonkey I usually use 133% or 150% magnification to get the text to a comfortable size for my eyes. When the screen is magnified the menus do not display everything on the menu unless I scroll down. And if I go to the main Forum Page I cannot see some of the links unless I scroll down. Usually I am using the search feature and I can see it so I don’t scroll. But I learned today that unless I scroll down I miss the “Private Message” link just below the search field.

      So, while it is possible to use the forum on this old relic I need to remember that some of the features are obscured when I have the settings at a more comfortable level for me to see the web pages. I need to remember to “look around” while setting the screen to 100% or %120 so I know what is there without realizing it.

      As I get older I forget more easily and I have failed to “look around” on this forum with the proper attention to detail. It was good reminder for me to pay more attention to the forum features at the setting intended by the forum software before I modify the screen to suit my own needs.

      Nevertheless, I still get a kick out of using this old P-III to participate in the forums. Thanks to antiX, SeaMonkey and NoScript.

      Seaken64

      #75362
      Moderator
      christophe

        Good tips, as always.
        πŸ˜‰

        confirmed antiX frugaler, since 2019

        #75388
        Member
        blur13
          #75389
          Member
          rayluo

            http://motherfuckingwebsite.com/

            Thanks for sharing. That was an pleasant read. Many readers might not notice that there was even an “Easter egg” inside that website. Browser its HTML source code, you will see this:

            
                <!-- FOR THE CURIOUS: This site was made by @thebarrytone. Don't tell my mom. -->
                
                <title>Motherfucking Website</title>
            

            Considering that website’s title, I think the “don’t tell my mom” part hilarious. πŸ˜€

            #75400
            Moderator
            Brian Masinick

              @Seaken64: I always appreciate your experiments, learning experiences, and interest in getting value out of older equipment, even though you have other equipment. Over the past year (and for the first time since I’ve owned equipment myself), I’m starting to find instances where old equipment works with certain software (like ours) and certain “new” software ONLY seems to work with new hardware.

              What I’ve started doing is that I’m running some software that works well on the newer stuff and different software that works on the older stuff. In the past I have had multi-boot configurations consisting of up to a dozen distributions, occasionally even getting over a dozen. On my newest system now, and also on a six-seven year old system I put in SSD technology, but to conserve on cost I used only hardware with a moderate capacity, so I’m down to 4-5 distributions on those systems. Since I’m retired anyway, this has become nothing more than a hobby, and also because we’ve replaced work activities with interests and family activities, sometimes I actually have LESS time than I did previously for tweaking and testing software, because SOME of that was job related in the past, and the rest was my hobby; now it’s something to do in my “spare time”. Oddly, as a retired person, since I’m able to do different things, I do NOT typically have MORE spare time than I did in the past, I just use my time for DIFFERENT things, such as seeing babies from nieces, nephews, and younger friends, visiting other retired people who I have not seen in a long time, etc. I still like software, it’s just not the only thing in my life; it’s one of the lesser things since PEOPLE mean more to me than software.

              --
              Brian Masinick

              #75401
              Moderator
              Brian Masinick

                Maybe the “delta” (difference) between my oldest and newest hardware is greater than it was in the past. At home I’ve NEVER had the absolute “state of the art” and I still don’t, but I do have one system that’s closer to the current “norm” than most of my previous systems, PLUS I also acquired a few systems of an age near to what some of my previous “old systems” were, EXCEPT that the TWO systems that I got rid of, just prior to retirement and moving to a southern (warmer) state were actually 32-bit systems, which ended up running on only a couple of distributions (antiX, of course, was one of them), so I parted with them. One of the systems that I acquired from someone else is actually of a similar time and place EXCEPT that it’s actually newer 64-bit technology (higher performance and specs than my old stuff). How long I keep these “relics” remains to be seen. I guess that depends on how much I can use them versus the needs of others. I’ve already “tuned up” and given away 1-2 of them; I may do that a for a few more systems over the next year or two! (Hoarding isn’t something I care to associate with my name; I do experiment with the old stuff, tune it up, and if I see someone in need, I share… that’s what I try to do).

                --
                Brian Masinick

                #75432
                Member
                seaken64

                  http://motherfuckingwebsite.com/

                  That gave me a laugh! But it did turn my ears red! I thought I was back on the construction sites I used to work in.

                  My websites are very simple. I use SeaMonkey, on purpose. I tend to avoid the fluff.

                  http://www.crackerb.com/sean/computers/SMK_Old_Computers.html

                  Maybe I should add some swear words for levity! πŸ™‚

                  Seaken64

                  #75434
                  Member
                  seaken64

                    @Brian Masinick

                    PEOPLE mean more to me than software.

                    You can’t be a real hacker then :). Que the guy who sits in his conversion van snooping the wireless transmissions in the neighborhood and hasn’t taken a shower or eaten anything besides chips and meat sticks for days. And he doesn’t even hear other people when they speak.

                    It’s still fun to get a gifted old computer from someone who knows you like computers and they don’t know what else to do with the thing. I really love an old XP era machine, but Windows 7 stuff can be fun too.

                    My most recent stuff is also 64-bit, like you. Our old office workstations that ran 32-bit Windows 10. They have 3GB or 4GB of RAM and Core2Duo 2.4 Ghz CPU and integrated Intel graphics. MX-21 runs great on these machines.

                    Seaken64

                    #75435
                    Member
                    seaken64

                      Oh, and you don’t get to call them “relics” if they are 64-bit. I reserve that word for at least 32-bit machines, and usually 16 and 8 bit machines. (I’m going to have to fire up my 286 running DR-DOS and see what it can do. It’s been a while).

                      Seaken64

                      #75439
                      Moderator
                      Brian Masinick

                        @Seaken64: You are absolutely right! I started my career as a Programmer/Analyst. I did write programs early in my career and I had a few stints writing new programs, and others maintaining existing software. Before leaving that space, one of my final “programming jobs” was as an Internationalization and Localization programmer for the UNIX Common Desktop Environment.

                        I have to be honest: while I can program, I’m really not a GREAT programmer. I’m much better at systems engineering, determining a combination of hardware and software specs, and fitting together components that “fit” and “work” properly. Once I got into that, I encountered some local system administrators who were not very effective, so I wanted to learn that kind of work and determine if it was the “difficulty” of the job, or marginal competency. I did well at system admin work, but it is a very time consuming job, one where many days you end up working much LONGER than planned! The software systems engineering was a better fit, and that’s where I did best.

                        I was able to do some Systems Project Management near the end of my career, particularly in managing the testing of system security efforts. Unfortunately the “budget” there was limited, after two very good years in that area, I went into hands on software testing. I’ve always enjoyed testing, but the pace at which we were testing was not suitable to my best work, which emphasizes attention to requirements and functionality, as opposed to pumping out hundreds of tests per day. The younger people did that far better than me, and I eventually retired three years before the “standard” retirement age. Now that I’m retired, I’m happy; pumping out rapid testing is not who I am nor what I do best.

                        As far as the “relics”, yeah, those 8, 16, and 32 bit systems REALLY qualify as the true relics, but I resemble them. I got to work on some VERY early 8 and 16 bit microprocessors in university BEFORE I got to PROGRAM them; I took a few engineering courses to “get my hands on them”! PDP-8, PDP-11, and some real time systems whose names I can no longer remember (though I remember LATER actually using vxworks on 1-2 projects).

                        --
                        Brian Masinick

                        #75440
                        Moderator
                        christophe

                          @Seaken64
                          Thanks for sharing that link!
                          I love seeing what my friends here have going on in their lives away from the forum… and I love the site & blog!

                          I’ll definitely be reading more there! πŸ˜‰

                          @blur13
                          That guy’s rant sounds like my internal monologue, when one of my old computers chokes on a “modern” website. Priceless!

                          • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by christophe.

                          confirmed antiX frugaler, since 2019

                          #75442
                          Moderator
                          Brian Masinick

                            and no, I have NEVER been a true hacker, though I had SEVERAL friends who definitely WERE just that (with very little “people” personality). One guy I did make friends with had a “slinky” hanging from the rafters above his office. I thought that was cool, so I checked him out; his dress, demeanor, and everything about him WAS the Stallman-type hacker – very smart, pretty introverted, wore shorts and flip flops to work in the summer, etc. Another geek friend of mine, who was much smarter than me, went to the same university as me; I ran into him and two other software people who graduated from the same place. We had a silly winter staff meeting with a “summer beach party” theme – the smart guy and me showed up to the meeting in beach garb – I actually changed into beach shorts, T-shirt, sandals, hat and beach towel; the two of us took away the “prize” that day; nobody else even tried! (It must have been our “Lake Superior” Michigan minds; those New Hampshire guys just couldn’t do it!) πŸ™‚

                            So yes, I’m not a hacker, but I am DEFINITELY a geek; my wife tells me this ALL the time!

                            --
                            Brian Masinick

                            #75443
                            Moderator
                            Brian Masinick

                              http://motherfuckingwebsite.com/

                              That gave me a laugh! But it did turn my ears red! I thought I was back on the construction sites I used to work in.

                              My websites are very simple. I use SeaMonkey, on purpose. I tend to avoid the fluff.

                              http://www.crackerb.com/sean/computers/SMK_Old_Computers.html

                              Maybe I should add some swear words for levity! ????

                              Seaken64

                              Great site! I don’t think any foul talk is needed; you have a wealth of interesting information there without obscuring it with distracting speech. As Christophe said, it’s great! I’ll leave the “monologue” to late great night show hosts like Johnny Carson! (Jimmy Fallon is a good modern day alternative)!

                              --
                              Brian Masinick

                              #75448
                              Member
                              seaken64

                                That other site is more like Richard Prior! Ha ha.

                                @Christophe, I keep thinking I am going to add more to the blog. I just never seem to get to it. My day job keeps me pretty busy. And especially now since Covid-19 I have almost no employees and no technical helpers. I am our sole technician and that keeps me hoppin’.

                                I actually did a lot of that stuff on my site during the lockdown here in NY State. I may have to wait until I retire to finish it!

                                I do keep logs on most of my old computer projects. One day I will get to posting them on the blog. A lot of it I have already shared here in the forum and at MX Forum.

                                Seaken64

                                • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by seaken64.
                                #75450
                                Member
                                seaken64

                                  @Brian Masinick,

                                  I always get jealous when you talk of working with PDP-8 and PDP-11. I always wanted to get my hands on those machines. But I didn’t go to college/university where I might of had a chance to get into the computer labs. I hope to get down to the Vintage Computer Festival in New Jersey one day. So far I’ve only been able to see them in movies and magazines and websites.

                                  Seaken64

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