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Feeling retro?

Nostalgia is a wonderful thing. I regularly pine for the good old days of computing from my university days. The days when I'd be sat surrounded by green screen Wyse terminals connected to VAX mini computers. The days when there was no GUI.

Well, believe it or not, those days are still here - at least in certain ways. And I am embracing those retro ways.

  • I made a USENET server

We now have an NNTP USENET server at news.majenko.co.uk for discussions on various topics. It's publicly available, so you're welcome to swing by. If you want to have a new group on there for your own site or project drop a message in sys.requests.

  • The gophers are invading!

Gopher was what we had before the web was invented. It's more like a directory of documents and links between sites, all menu driven with a strict hierarchy. So much easier to navigate than the web. And now all our content is available through Gopher. Including this blog post. Use a gopher client to go to gopher://majenko.co.uk or a gopher proxy, such as https://gopherproxy.meulie.net/majenko.co.uk and see how the "web" used to be.

  • The furture is green

It's the green screen terminals though that really give the feeling of retro computing. I used to have an attic full of Wyse WY-85 terminals. I took them to the tip about 25 years ago as they were just taking up space and no one wanted them. Now they go for hundreds of pounds on eBay...! How gutted am I?

But there's always emulation. On Linux you can install the package cool-retro-term to give you the look and feel of old terminals, even down to the flicker and fuzzy image. Here's how my desktop now looks on a daily basis:

Everything I need is right there. Programming in vi, browsing in gopher, email in alpine, and chatting in ircII. And all on a bank of green screen terminals. Oh, and i3 as my window manager to give nice easy tiling and window management without having to reach for my mouse...

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