Filling Bordom With Text

For work there is a big ass conference of some sort, being held in Whistler. The last few weeks The Conference (always spoken in capital letters) has been the topic, with everyone “getting ready for The Conference”, though I’m not sure exactly what that’s involved. Mostly I’ve been oblivious, coding away in my own little developer world, unaware and mostly uncaring about the rest of the things that are going on around me. Tomorrow is the start of The Conference though, so I’ve finally had to face up to seeing what the heck is going on.

Luckily, from the sounds of it, assuming everything goes well (yea right) we (the computer guys) are going to be mostly sitting around doing nothing. We need to make sure that the computers are hooked up properly (all done by IS) and can access the server, and be around for a few sessions while $newboss is doing his thing in case something goes wrong, but it sounds like there’ll be lots of time sitting with laptops and pretending to be busy.

Therein lies the problem. The Mac laptop that was promised doesn’t exist yet (they are waiting until the new powerbooks are unveiled…. sometime real soon now), but I still have my laptop. A Fugitsu Lifebook P133 with 48mb ram, dual scan LCD and a 2G hard drive. Nothing but the best that 1998 had to offer a poor college student.

I don’t have much installed on there right now. I threw Windows 2000 on a while back for something to do, but it’s really not usable. I’m downloading some Debian ISOs now, so I can have something hopefully installed by tonight, have Windowmaker or some similar very lightweight window manager on there (if I even use a GUI), and have a usable system. Well, usable in that it’s a very old, very slow laptop. Oh, did I mention that the PCMCIA network card I have sucks, and needs to be pressed at just the right angle to get a connection, but only if you sacrafice a live chicken at just the right time. So I’m not anticipating a network connection, much less an internet connection.

So my question is what should I fill up the hard drive with that I can use to read or look at or amuse myself somehow in the time that I’m required to be somewhere but not actually do anything. Maybe hit the Project Gutenberg website and download some novels, bring headphones and listen to mp3s (though that wouldn’t let you pretend you’re working to the salespeople at The Conferene), or download some online comics archives off the net and go through those. Darren, any suggestions on good stuff to get off of project guttenberg?

I want to work on a new implementation of peer2peer but not having net means I can’t be asured I’ll have access to manuals, the perl modules that I might need, or even a machine that can handle running apache and mysql or postgres.

Anyone got any bright ideas on how to amuse myself on a low end machine with no internet? Other than ascii porn of course.

7 Comments on “Filling Bordom With Text”

  1. You could close the laptop and place it on the floor, on a bed of rice paper, and use it as a step to exercise with. You can pretend you are Kwai Chang Caine and you must step on the laptop without breaking the rice paper beneath it. Of course breaking the laptop would also mean failure grasshopper.

  2. Dunno what your net connection would be like there, but you could get in with PG’s Distributed Proofers… it’s fun, and you will look sooooo busy. You’ll be reading and typing!

  3. If I remember correctly, that laptop will play Quake (at least it did at Slaughter by the Sea). Not well, mind you, but it’s something. 🙂

  4. What about working it into your pilates routine?
    If you could find another of the same aproximate weight, you could use them for all sorts of exercises.
    Not that I would know much about that subject…   ;p~