Ever wonder how many computer systems could be saved and still be used effectively, if the world was not addicted to the gui (graphicl user interface) wysiwyg (what you see is what you get) world. An old old pentium one computer with a cga monitor and or a tv could work just fine with Debian gnu/linux or Bsd.. in fact you could probably even hook it up to your tv and work just fine. If have seen articles where even the old Apple ][ and Comodore 64 are used for internet usage. Talk about repurposing. No matter what computer you use, you will have to use the keyboard. Why not the keyboard exclusively?
Using the keyboard exclusively or what is know as the the cls (command line environment). There are many advantages such as learning to communicate more effectively, lower band width usage, lower computer systems requirements. and etc. Except for the fancy videos, there is no real need for the the gui. Actually you can still do graphics but not as visually.
We decided to set up a low end system that was cli only and here are some of the software programs we came up with that could be used. Remember that with linux you can have several cli sessions going at the same time, so you can do a multple amount of programs at once. This list is just a sampling.
Links2 – internet
Bashpodder – audio podcast collector
Alpine – email client
Irssi – inter relay chat
Centerim – instant messaging client
Oleo or Sc – spreadsheet
Vim, emacs, or a dozen other programs – word processing
Antiword – deals with office based documents
Putty – secure accessing too
Screen -multiple session tool
Ledger – accounting (seems to be based on gnucash)
gpm, mc, synaptic, sed, awk, sort, ncurses, bash ,ssh, wget, curl, or other command line tools.
Sqllite, mysql, psql, plus man other – databases
Hnb – outliner to organize ideas
freebasic, gcc, python, pgp, php, php-cli, perl and many others – computer programming language tools.
Too many to list here – games.
Moc, aplay, mplayer, cmis and may others – music players
Espeak or Festival – voice synthesizer.
Nget and may others – news readers.
Cdrecord – cd buring program.
wyrd – nice calendar tool.
We will let you know how things go.