Why use old computers and operating systems?

This page summarizes the projects mentioned and recommended in the original post on news.ycombinator.com

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  • 86Box

    Emulator of x86-based machines based on PCem.

    For others who love old software and hardware I'll share two of my favorite sites, an excellent retro PC emulator, 86Box [0] and a clean and well-maintained software archive, WinWorld [1].

    These two sites together have provided me hours of exploration into old hardware, BIOS screens I'd never otherwise see, and plenty of interesting software scenarios.

    [0] https://github.com/86Box/86Box

    [1] https://winworldpc.com

  • darkreader

    Dark Reader Chrome and Firefox extension

    >He wrote ”I think the only solution is to stop expecting every computer to be general-purpose”

    Which is a bit ironic, as his website doesn't load on my Firefox (disabled HTTP-only connections), and after I added exception, it still looks like crap with DarkReader [1] because the website forces white background, and now I have grey font, with my sight problems, it's just too bright to read. Maybe it's time to stop expecting every website to be even displayed on every browser?


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  • elks

    Embeddable Linux Kernel Subset

    Years ago I successfully run Debian + LXDE desktop on one of those toy Win-CE Chinese laptops with just 128MB RAM. CPU was a WM8505 clocked at a whopping 300MHz. And then there's ELKS Linux which would work on 8086 CPUs too which I successfully run on a industrial PC many moons ago. https://github.com/jbruchon/elks

    Extremely small systems aside, it can run fine on decently equipped laptops or netbooks. Surfing the web with a full featured browser such as Firefox or using heavy apps such as LibreOffice without having the system swap too much would likely require no less than 2 Gigs or more, but if you do network maintenance using command line tools, even the smallest netbook with half a Gig RAM becomes an useful tool to keep in the bag along with bigger laptops.

  • rpi-clone

    A shell script to clone a booted disk.

    Great suggestion.

    Actually I think rpi clone can clone down to a smaller sd card


    You could clone down to like a 4 gig SD card, and then back up that SD card.

  • wrp

    Web Rendering Proxy: Use vintage, historical, legacy browsers on modern web

    In addition to Browservice, WRP is also pretty good for very old browser that can't do anything but to load images. As long as you can load a webpage with image map support, you can browse any modern websites on it (I think Browservice requires some js support on the client browser).


NOTE: The number of mentions on this list indicates mentions on common posts plus user suggested alternatives. Hence, a higher number means a more popular project.

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