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I've always wanted a little "hacker" machine that has a simple interface and that you'll have to make heavy use of terminal commands to control. Recently I've taken another stab at it.

I was looking at my pile of old hardware and thought of what I could do for the weekend, and then I remembered that one project involving Arch Linux 32 that ended up as a hard drive on my table that I never use and I felt bad.

I wanted to give this corner of my mind some closure so I decided to try installing it onto something else again.

I wasn't sure what I want to install it onto though, but my T30 (the Thinkpad, not the tank) came to mind. It had a great keyboard and a cute little shell, somewhat reminiscent of a briefcase. Perfect.

Unfortunately, I couldn't get Arch running on it because pacman just refused to download some necessary packages, and I didn't feel like reconfiguring my network again, so I had to look into my alternatives. DOS didn't make much sense, since I already have a nice DOS machine (more on that maybe in another post) and I only had 2 days of free time so figuring out Gentoo seemed unreasonable.

And then I recalled hearing somewhere that you can install minimal versons of some Linux distros. Minimal version of a distro is essentially the very base of the OS, no desktop environment, no fluff or unnecessary stuff. Plus apparently I have already looked up Ubuntu minimal before, but I couldn't recall when.

Fortunately, Ubuntu, unlike Arch, did not put up any fight and installed quickly. From there on I had complete freedom. So I decided to try out a tiling window manager. After failing at installing regolith and finding out that the default awesome is pretty ugly I stuck with i3. Additionally, i3 let me set up my Super key as ALT (T30s do not have a Windows key, go figure).

Now, what modern system is complete without a browser? Any of the popular options are kinda sluggish, and feel unfitting in my i3 environment, so after some brief lurking I found and installed qutebrowser. Only it didn't work.

Turns out, my last-century Mobility Radeon 7500 graphics adapter has no modern drivers that support OpenGL. That means no YouTube, no cool-retro-term and no Minecraft.

Aside from that the system is completely usable. Well, on what little screen real estate you have. Maybe sometime later I'll look more into the OpenGL issue, but after messing around with it for 3 days, I feel pretty satisfied. I installed Vim though I don't know how to use it, git and all the other dev goodies. I defintely also want to try to update my Neocities website from the terminal sometime.

This article probably wasn't very useful, since its more of an info-dump and an explanation of where I have been for the last 3 or so days. But if you found it interesting I'll be satisfied. Thanks for reading.