Text mode Linux

Most of the common tasks can still be done with text-based console applications. I myself read my email using pine (some of my friends still use elm) and follow Internet's news groups with strn. In addition, I use only console applications for playing music on the background, and I edit text files mostly with Emacs on a virtual terminal.

In fact, I am more productive on a computer without all the "must have" things of a modern desktop. I do not spend time on playing online games, and I spend a lot less time surfing on the net. All kinds of applets, clocks and widgets don't disturb me and interrupt my thinking and writing. Unfortunately, IRC is just as addictive in console as when I'm using a graphical desktop environment.

One more reason for using the console applications is of course the "geek factor". Console applications wont probably make you especially popular among the members of the opposite sex, but using text mode IRC-client Irssi earns you certainly more geek credibility than using some GNOME or KDE applications for chatting on the Freenode.

I would not install a text mode Linux for the average user, but the geeks among us should certainly think at least twice before discarding the idea of using command line only with an old computer. Living a month in text mode forces you to learn more about UNIX and Linux than you would learn in twelve months of latest KDE. In 30 days, you would be a real power user!


zmjjmz said...

This has become quite the trend.

Mikko said...

It does not surprise me at all: most of us have some old computer in the garage or basement. It is only natural, that people who mainly use computers for email or writing start to think about returning to the basics.

Anonymous said...

I noticed that there is a text-mode window manager for Linux called twin. I looked at the screenshots and it reminded me of using DESQview over DOS on a 386SX laptop back in the mists of time. Even with the occasional lockups, I loved that setup. Going back to straight DOS was like going brain-dead.

Mikko said...

A couple of years ago I tried to use twin. IIRC, I had some difficulties in compiling it on the system I was using at that time. But it sure was very 80esque :)