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This page was updated: August 13, 2023

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January 2023

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite



After much humin' and hawin' I've decided on a replacement for Xubuntu. At least I've found a strong contender: Emmabuntus Debian Edition 4. I'm trying to get a test drive setup so I can run it to make sure it works before I remove Xubuntu.

So far I have yet to get things going as far as getting an accessible boot drive going on. I really need a compatible USB stick to make the install on. I have been experimenting with the OS itself as well various USB stick installs, at least the LIVE -- I have yet to get an install to function.

MacBook 2008

The MacBook 2008 is an amazingly fast machine. It boots Kubuntu up super fast. Unfortunately, the initial start is about 30 seconds while boot camp hums and haws about there being no MacOS.

I have doing most of the experimenting on that system. (I'm typing on Lamarr, the Kubuntu based acer Chromebook.) On Lamarr, I've successfully booted from an SD card plugged into the SD slot. (!) But I have yet to get Emmabuntus to boot on the CF-29. :/

From the Emmabuntus website:

The Emmabuntus collective is an informal group of people who formed around a project based on the use of a Linux distribution called Emmabuntus developed to simplify the reconditioning of used computers donated to humanitarian associations, in particular Emmaus communities (hence its name) and promote the discovery of Linux by beginners, but also extend the life of the hardware to limit the waste caused by the over consumption of raw materials.

This project started from the observation that the distributions, even the easiest to use, do not take into account the overall needs of a very large public who do not want to have to configure their machine. The proof is that the Install-Parties are always full despite the ease of use, and the public, after coming for the first time to install the machine, comes back for additional installations.

I have not yet discovered if it'll run on pre-PAE systems. I have DLed some earlier versions from their site. I hope to resolve this soon, but, you know.

There is another possibility. bodhi-5.1.0-legacy says that it's Pre-PAE. So that might be the new one. We shall see.


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February 2023

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


32 to 64. Is the MacBook really a 64 bit processor? Well, I've checked it via a USB 64bit Linux system that said 64 bit, but I'm not quite convinced. Why?

stardaye 2023011- At theyurt nasicallt blind typing. Time to go.

Well, well, well, I sea hydration can be over done. [I e,ptied ,y reserboir om day one and comtinued to drink more. ve never made sp many urgent trips to an out house == did beyetter yesyerfay and made it through the night. thank you ]

i h Friti setup as a light,propped on iy;s sjeld and thw cased iPone. {erhaps I shoud switch.

STARDATE:2023.01.10: At the yurt basically blind typing. Time to go.

Well, well, well, I sea hydration can be over done. (I emptied my reservoir on day one and continued to drink more. I've never made so many urgent trips to an out house.

Did better yesterday and made it through the night. thank you.)

I have Frodo setup as a light, propped on it's side and the cased iPhone. Perhaps I should switch.

I've move to Frodo. Not as loud since the unit is off the table. The buttons make less noise I suppose. The lit kb is a winner. Auto caps, also a winner. The Portfolio needs an outside light source. Palm rules the early a.m.

I'm typing this as a note in the Franklin Covey PDTL as a note. When I sync and plan my day -- even remotely, I can simply cut and paste. To get the Portfolio's text I'll need to fire up Strider and plug the Portfolio in and do a transfer. Then FTP over to where ever I'm working from on AC. Not worth the extra work if I'm stumbling around in the dark to type. :/ Albeit, that work is actually fun stuff, but not good time management for the outcome.

The 40 gig drive I got for the X41 desktop project does not function. So that machine and the project just sit on the shop's workbench. I have been distracted by the impending doom dates of Ubuntu 32bit End of Support and End of Live.

There are only glimmers hear and there of hope. The aforementioned Emmabuntus.

However, even that focus has shifted to crossgrading from Kubuntu 18 32 bit to Kubuntu 22 64 bit on the MacBook. It passes the test as for as running 64 bit environments, including Kubuntu 22. I'm currently moving things to the external USB drive, which takes time, and I've spend none on it other than initializing copying and coming by and seeing a dialogue box that needs answered. I'm hoping to get an open block if only by chance and luck to get the coping done. For after that, I can then commence.

I'm limiting text length on the PDA. I once wrote a Pirate Story (Seagul Rock) and there was too much text to save, so I'm making smaller more numerous files for this onsite writing.

I do miss the original Frodo, everything on it has been registered and only a couple of apps on this Frodo (II) took the registration numbers :/

Back to Kubuntu. Getting VICE running has posed an impossibility on new installs, and has led to nowhere. The repositories now have "Snaps" which fill your hd up -- in your home folder! So if you made partition decisions, like a home, to track only non system things it appears to have rendered that moot perhaps it's just the same stuff apps place in your .local and it's fine but my systems bare bones install is filling up over on the Chromebook

. The yurt is nice and quite and very remote and very peaceful. Any ideas that pop into my head while writing that I feel I need to Google, however have to wait. Perhaps I'll forget.


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March 2023

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


Banner Ridge Yurt. What a haul! Only 2 miles, but very steep. I decided not to bring the portfolio, since I can't see the keys -- so Frodo II it is. The Treo has a nice, light-up keyboard. I'm using DataViz's Word To Go to write this text file.

The Crossgrade is delayed. It's hard to undertake a project that might wipe out a system that is so well configured (Moriarty an Apple MacBook 2008).

Meanwhile, I've found in the 64bit Linux world, a Chrome extension called SpeechText AI. SpeechText AI allows you to record your computer's audio and save it as an MP3 -- I think there other formats, but I use MP3. I have a need to record the audio from a given site and this lets me do just that. It can also do other things, but, I've not delved into those areas as of yet.

It runs rather efficiently as if nothing is there. All accessed from a little button top right of the browser where these things appear.

New Life Changes.

Towards the end of last year's school year, the Little girls and Xavier started public school. This year -- mid school year the oldest Little started full time and I've taken a custodial position at Cathedral Of the Rockies. I drop him off at school, and a zip off to downtown and go to work. Then I zip back to school and pick him up.

The irony of it all, is while work can be plenty busy, I find a peaceful restfulness doing it. I'm not constantly on my guard watching. I get to be off.

The unfortunate part of this new schedule, is I have really no time for much else. I've moved major things that take the time I no longer have off the PDTL (Priority Daily Task List) and put them on the MTL (Master Task List) and printed it out. Planning my day now takes less time. If I hustle and get it done at night I have 10-15 minutes in the am.

I have copied the tightvnc-jviewer.jar folder to the ChromeBook (Lamarr). I cam zoom in on the HUGE screen and it auto scrolls, really nice.

deBerry (an IBM x41 tablet ThinkPad) has a brand new battery and ready for travel, should that happen. The current commodore project is on hold. I'm not sure I'm done with it. It's really about the IR pic. Coming soon. I have not fixed the FUed URL name on and pictures served don't appear here. It's frustrating. 2023.02.18: As we figure out the new juggling act, time may yet be revealed. I think I need three blocks of time:

I. Chores.
II. Projects

Chores are just that. Trash and recycles, gather eggs, etc. Just the day to day things we need to get done.

Projects are those major things in need of attention that take a fair amount of time, like stacking hay, moving fences, etc.

Lastly, NC. Sort through piles in studio, clear out shop, code a new Nexea on the commodore. Whatever needs to be done with the studio and anything grown out from it.

I suppose there need to a a forth one, foremost: Personal Quiet/Alone time. this would be total down time, something we tend to get little of. Although, my work away from high maintenance kids is a bit of reprieve from that stress. Even though I work hard, I feel freed from that burden for a small chunk of the day.

IV. Personal Quiet/Alone Time.

There I added it.

the current project of MP3ing is tricky, as on Moriarty, I've simply saved the files to HD as MP3s straight off the page. I want to be sure to get them all. Now I do have a transcript to follow but I'm really only checking ends and beginnings of recordings.

Meanwhile, I'm reminded of the lack of registrations on Frodo II. everything on Frodo was registered, so this device is a bit limited. :/

On the Photographic Horizon.

I started getting pix onto the Phantom 2000. I'm hoping the palm pix are still on Dampier (IBM A21p ThinkPad that Frodo II syncs with) from Frodo. I also need to move more iPhone stuff over. I have pix on Lamarr that need moved. Not sure digital photography is what it's cracked up to be. :/

Today we leave the yurt and all the wonderful peace that is here. I hope we've internalized a bit of it to take back with us. Having just the younger three is so much more less stressful. It almost feels like what a "normal" family feels like.

UPDATE 2023.02.19: Success! I just transferred the Docs To Go file from Frodo II to Lamarr (Chromebook)!


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April 2023

Archaic Computer: View From the Underground 20230423.


Brian Crosthwaite

(STARDATE:2023.04.23:) I've been working on getting AGC up with a new update-able Linux OS. Emmabuntus is not out of the running, I just have to get a bootable 32 bit install on USB. I easily made a 64 bit install -- purely by accident. I wasn't planning anything, at that point in time.

Meanwhile, I have not gotten a one single attempt working, I have tried. There are instructions for doing it that are rather complex, or at least step intensive. And being the lazy type, I got AntiX running on it. Really cool ICEwm running on it, but dog ass slow. Takes for ever to get a PRG up and running on it.

It has been a blast though, getting it goin' on.

Meanwhile devices.


SENBONO C20S 2022 is a smart watch I ran across to monitor rise and fall of blood pressure. This one provides a great interface with the iPhone. Texts appear and I can read most all the text lengths up to a certain point, O things can pop up as far as apps go. I can make call on it as long as my phone is paired since it really just provides a screen to dial numbers, or contact into to make a call. Voice comes from the left side of the watch and I talk into the right side, and yes, I feel like Dick Tracy.

You can view a list of recent calls,a select few (10 maybe max) contacts. There is a dial pad for touching in numbers to dial. Not sure if you can use it during a call, for say, phone trees -- that'd be cool. There are lots of activities (called sports) that you can select for recording workout info, like heart rate, steps, etc. It tracks sleep, heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen levels, You can play music that's on your phone on the watch speaker -- not bad sound. You can display local weather now(ish) and one week out. AI Voice lets you talk to your phone, like "Text Joe." and your phone's voice will respond in kind on the watches speaker.

Mine doesn't measure steps worth a darn. Nor miles. But all else seems to match my FitBit. The Blood Pressure reads low, and they say that on the site. Not sure if it's just so not to freak people out when their pressure is fine -- they also disclaimer that the device is NOT a medical device. The BP seems fairly consistent. So when it says I have a rise in BP, and I check it with a more traditional BP monitor it reflects such. So, in that, it's a good indication something has changed.

All in all, it's a fun device. But if you're looking for a device for exercise, where steps is important, then perhaps a different model or brand is the way to go.

Senbono has it on sale, or at least they did, on their website for something like $38.99, regularly $79.


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May 2023

Archaic Computer.


Brian Crosthwaite

Idaho City.

Mia and the girls went up Thursday, to a campsite along a road up past Idaho City. Xavier I and caught up Friday, just in time for me to cook hotdogs. (!) Great way to start a camping trip. I brought AGC (I'm in AtniX now) and Lamarr. It was kinda a "what ever I decide later" kinda thing. I opted for the Panasonic. This keyboard makes one appreciate the Timex Sinclair 1000 kb. You get a workout typing on this. I suppose, if I spill my coffee -- God forbid -- this machine is safe. ;)

I'm in Geany at present. I've launched LibreOfficeWriter and am switching over...

...right now. This gives me spell checking. And other stuff -- of course.

In the realm of time and tech, time has won out, you know as there is none. AGC is the current project and it looks like AntiX won. Unfortunately Emmabuntus needs 1GB and this thing don't got it at it's maxed out 512MB, major bummer.

I've preserved the Xubuntu 12 install, by using a different USB plug for AntiX. It's physical size is about the same as the FIT. It’s a generic. Came in a two pack. But the other plug died.

I am now weary of using UBOOTIN on new USB tech. It locks the devices, or makes them otherwise unusable. It may be a coincidence, since the totally unusable ones are the weird generic drives. The FIT that has the AmigaOS on it, has two partitions on it. One has the OS, is writ protected, the other is inaccessible. :/

Well, my espresso is gone and kids are stirring…


Now in trainer at home with AC on. Crazy hot. Prius says it was 91 today. Still in AntiX on AGC. Work has been busy, but today felt slow. Did some get ahead stuff. It's odd not working upstairs. Even odder working or and the other campus.

For the up coming venture to Maui, I get a small cheapy 4K digital, underwater camera. It'll shoot 16 megapixel photos and make VGA - 4k .AVIs. I'm getting stoked for the trip. Hope to do lots of snorkeling and exploring!


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June 2023

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

Rocky Ridge Yurt

STARDATE: 2023-05-26: Kinda cold. Had two rather full days at work. The supplies had arrived at the Amity Campus, so deep cleaning could commence. Waiting for espresso. Wondering if I should find a rugged keyboard to plug into this. Oh, by-the-way, I’m in AntiX typing on the AGC,

I hear it bubbling now….

Blaaaahhhhh. Not sure yet.

Ok, it fine.

That little espresso maker is bigger than it looks. This like 6 shots. It must be a Quadshot maker but in this cup it looks really, well, a lot.

Just visited Midnight Commander. Checked drive contents, looked at thumb nails. Viewer, created more nails as I viewed… …you can guess where that was leading. A physical meta-explosion… I exited.

I do not have VICE installed and as there is no cell, no chance of doing it while on this trip.

Using LibraOfficeWriter is actually reasonable on this system. I opened it the other day, while fire fox and Geany were open and that was slow. This system only has 512Megs of RAM. What a bummer. And it’s not expandable, more bummage.

Navigation is kind of a bear with this little trackpad, it takes gobs of strokes to move even a little across the screen. Thank heaven for the touch screen, even though it seems to not reach the edges well -- the further you are from center, the shorter it falls.

More Gadgets?

I usually have a pocket protector in my right hand large pocket – I wear cargo shorts – yeah, I’m that hot guy who always wears shorts year round, t-shirts. But I found a, hum. Not sure what to call it. It is made of canvas, with lots of slots in it, about the size of a pocket protector.

In it, I have a black pen, a highlighter, a permanent marker, mechanical pencil, flash light, blacklight, and a screwdriver that you can use various heads on that are stored in it’s handle. OK, I’m a geek, but if that ain’t obvious from the last 25 years of postings then, well. There you go.

All the devices are basically pen size and shape. They all get a fair amount of use, so it’s not a thing for show. You can barley tell they are there, until I pull one out of seemingly nowhere. :) My favorites are the flashlights. Having a powerful blacklight is kinda cool. Laser pointer? Nope it’s at home on the armband pen holder Octavia sew together for me. The problem with the really powerful laser, is it’s almost the size of a standard flashlight. Guess I could replace the pen for my standard pointer – since it’s pen sized and is also pen.

It’s nice to have those things handy, especially at work, if I have label something, or write something down, or look into some dark hole – you’d be surprised.

The upcoming purge.

I have a new-to-me car and the annex purge needs to continue. I might grab an Apple IIe+ system, and stow it off for myself. I need to sort my library out – is mixed Atari, commodore and IBM. While I really love the IBM stuff, I have not ever done much more than using it for reference, and even then I did very little. Some I’ll keep, but more all of it will go. I plan to take it to the Reuseum.

I plan to move the shelves into the new annex, and or the barn. I need to make space for storing boxes elsewhere. Lots of shuffling and lots a fair-the-wells.

In the end the car goes in that space and a new garage door opener get installed. That stall was once the home of the Great Crosthwaite Mountain of Computers, so long ago. The car – a 2021, dark gray, Prius – is a high tech wonder in of itself. Not only does it have an onboard computer-- as all vehicles now have it has Radar Cruse Control. The car will slow down for other car when it encounters traffic. It will also slow to a stop and wait at lights. It will proceed as the car in front pulls forward. How cool is that? Maybe I should get out more.


Another mind blowing day in Maui!

At what felt like the last moment, I acquired an ActionCam to do underwater filming of our snorkeling. The weather is really nice, but has been overcast and windy. Now, Maui is known as the Windy Island and it is always windy, but the effects don't usually hit where we are, making snorkeling a thing.

We managed a bit upon our first attempt, but it was a lot of getting shoved back and forth. which wouldn't be so bad if it weren't 20 feet each way and kinda felt random. I filmed with the ActionCam on my wrist and just swam with fins until I had to turn to adjust for where the water wanted me to go.

We dove all the way up the windy switchback road to Haleakala crater, with the Nikon, and I just left it in the car. :/ I did however, take a ton of pics with the iPhone 11.


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July 2023

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


We are at Whoopemup. A campground near one of our most trodded snowshoe trails. Went up the hill yesterday evening -- the main trail we have so oft walked, with 5 feet of snow under foot. It was green and plush, with many, many beautiful flowers. Absolutely gorgeous.

When we left town, yesterday, the car's outdoor thermometer said 100df. By the time we pulled into camp, it read 79df and we had the windows open.

Mean while, back at the ranch.

I went to plug Moriarty (MacBook 2008, sporting 32 and 64 bit Kubuntu 18 and 22, dual boot system) into the Fisher Stereo System and I couldn't figure out where the line in was.


No, really. I look back on it now and I think the input I sought was the mixer to Teac to tape 2 on the amp. I even though that must be it -- but I never tried. I did have a bunch of things that were needed to get done.

So I moved on.

It got me thinking more about the need to rearrange and sort the stuff in the studio, And by sort, I mean to imply, remove and otherwise dispose of.

I find myself still saving packaging for eBaying. I haven't sold anything on eBay for so long. I'm thinking, if there was less crap and more space, I might actually sell somethings again.


I looks like Antix has won it's place on this machine. The trackpad and the touchscreen still behave in the same way as in Xubuntu. There doesn't seem to be anyway to calibrate the screen, so on the outer edges it still falls short of it's target.

It is really nice, however, to simply unplug the computer and put it in the car since it sort of has it's own computer bag built in. :)

I really hope to get a better solution than the current layout. I have some shelves I like to put in, so something has to go. Perhaps I'll start with the floor. Once that's cleared up I might have a better idea what needs moved for better access. It's a start.


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August 2023

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


YAC - Yet Another Campout!

Moquitoville, no ah, Placerville, that's the name. Well, just a few up the road from. Church Campout. Megafun group of people, lots of food, only insects I encountered were the vampire bats -- although, they might have been just really big mosquitoes. Moving on.

The latest to me version of VICE is written in JAVA and contains only the emulation for the C64 family computers, including the C128.

Frodo runs rather well on the Palm Treo 700p. If I recall correctly, the Palm version of Frodo requires OS5 or greater. Here's a short video on of Mark Dickerson's Stereo SID Player V10 playing a tune on Frodo on the Palm Treo:

click it!

This was made several years ago, and Palm met it's demise after, HP killed it. (Was it HP or Compaq?) If you have experienced the Palm, you know what a majorly rock soild OSes is like. Closest stability I've encounter in more modern times would be Linux.

noesis0's Wacko List of OS Stabilities (from stable to shaky to absolute crap):

Not complete by any means.


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