Playing in Console

I’m pretty happy I can switch back and forth between console and X now that I have my tty issues resolved with Vector. I decided to find tools to take console shots. I settled on fbdump aliased to pipe the dump through pnmtopng and output a time-stamped png.

This is a scaled shot of my gnu screen session with htop in the foreground.

I’ve set up every .screenrc I use with hostname so I know which computer I’m working on. Comes in handy and helps me keep things straight if I have screen sessions running on multiple computers — home server, work computer, work server, etc. — and shelled in on different ttys. Click on the image below for the 640xn full size version of the caption:

Notice how gentle the demands of console apps are in comparison to GTK1 and GTK2 apps in X (click for full scale):

By contrast, I’m running X and Firefox GTK1 now (one tab open to edit this post). I opened one instance of aterm to run htop. It’s showing 71 MB memory in use.

For what it’s worth, the memory use when I open htop after I boot up and wifi starts is 17 MB. I could probably get that down another MB or two by not starting certain modules I don’t need to start.

Here’s the caption line from my .screenrc:

caption always “%?%F%{-b yk}%:%{-b bb}%?%H %{-b rk}%?%C %{-b wk}| %?%F%{-b bk}%? %L=%-Lw%45>%{-b ck}%n%f* %t%{-}%+Lw%-0<“

Since seeing what Vector Light is/isn’t, I’m going to proceed with the lower resource slackbuild I’ve mentioned the last few days. I’ll post some more ideas in the coming days about the levels of build I think are possible (minimal without X, minimal with X and mix of console and GTK1 apps, and low resource GTK2).

Edit: Here’s a shot showing htop at six minutes uptime with only htop running.

Edited again: It’s not like an obsession or anything, but I got it down to 15 MB:

Note that htop doesn’t count cache (so free -mt actually reports that I’m using 80-something MB). It’s also relevant that to do this I blacklisted all the sound modules that normally would load; I don’t do audio on the laptop — my mp3 player battery lasts longer between charges and the player sounds a lot better.

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