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Author Topic: what KEEP your interest with tinycore?  (Read 186 times)

Offline nick65go

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what KEEP your interest with tinycore?
« on: June 30, 2020, 01:50:44 PM »
It is easy to fall in love, but must be something that keep the flame alive.
Someone likes to be the coke in the kitchen. To prepare the food, to make new recipes. Others like to be the steward. To do maintenance, to arrange the table, to bring the wine. Or maybe do you want just to be the guest/client who enjoy to eat as much as you can for free?

Curiously people likes to learn how to build a house/furniture from pieces. Or how to assemble a car. I did them, it were rewarding lessons for my ego. But I will not doing again soon, if ever. Now I enjoy rather living in a house, using the furniture, driving the car.

Same is with an OS/linux. Initial attraction is about how all are linked and work together. Tinycore is open source. There are no secrets, patterns, copyrights. In the past these were novelty ideas. Today in year 2020 not so much: Compile a kernel? Run from RAM? Use busybox? Mounting squash-fs file systems?

Initially you want to understand the process, from firmware-booting BIOS/UEFI/coreboot, then a boot-loader syslinux/grub, to play with kernel or initram parameters, etc. Then probably you use these know-how to customize/optimize you old/actual computer. Maybe in few years you buy a new computer so you can quickly apply what you already know.

Is you pleasure to tune-up computers (because you have many of them, lucky you rich guy!) or just use them as a tool, like you use your phone, or you car? Are you the mechanic with dirty hands (and skills) who repair the car for money? Or the driver with the gloves driving the car for pleasure?

Tinycore is growing bigger and bigger, because the new kernels are bigger (add new drivers) and new applications are bigger, full of color/graphic/fonts/templates etc.

Summary: I understand the initial attraction. But no new ideas in the last few years, the size is bigger. It is mostly upgrade of kernel and applications. [It is not criticism, this happens with all the distro; it becomes maintenance; we can not invent things every day]. But if / after you have the know-how and skills, what KEEP you with Tinycore? The laziness, the lack of time, or the lack of powerful devices to compile?

Are you the coke / builder, the steward / mechanic or the guest / driver?
PS: My Respects for Tinycore developers. These questions are not for them.

Offline PDP-8

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Re: what KEEP your interest with tinycore?
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2020, 03:45:55 PM »
I think for me, it's precisely because it is more of a toolkit, rather than a distro per-se although it acts like one.  So it means something different to everyone depending on how much you want to "wrench" on it. :)

Want to just make it look like some other distro and race to the browser / multimedia apps?  You can.

Maintain older computers for kicks?  Or like me, fascinated with the whole history of computing, can get a feel for what it was like when things were simpler (actually harder in many cases!) and valuable skillsets maintained other than filling in forms and checkboxes became the norm.

Here, we can see Ken and Dennis at ATT changing their TinyCore "cde" directory to "tce" :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ken_Thompson_(sitting)_and_Dennis_Ritchie_at_PDP-11_(2876612463).jpg

Heh, seriously, for me TC (and relatives) give me that same kind of feeling although the hardware has changed.  I feel the spirit of a small band of hackers stuck up in the attic just doing it for each other.

When I fixed my screen resolution in grub.cfg, the feeling of the photo comes to mind.

Thing is - I'm not limiting myself to JUST Tinycore.  There are MANY other distros to my taste along the same lines.  AntiX, Porteus, the list goes on.  No matter the distro or toolkit, I think underneath we all get the same kick that Ken and Dennis and the merry band of others to come over the years did and still do.  In the end, its about the people and the spirit.

Maybe, instead of searching for a reason on why you are using TinyCore, let IT tell you why.  :)
That's a UNIX book! - cool  -- Garth

Offline Sashank999

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Re: what KEEP your interest with tinycore?
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2020, 06:43:21 PM »
Hi !

I am a miser in case of internet data usage  :P . The whole Kali Image is 4 GB and also, it lags my system. It may have tools, but it is a big usage of internet data (also HDD Space). Hence I removed it from my list.

Similarly, in my search for the smallest distro, I got TCL. But I have only one problem, I would have to start everything from scratch. Then, I got in. Rather than downloading all tools in Kali (out of which majorly I don't use at all), I would start form scratch and get only the required tools. This made me love TCL  :D .

Everything is in our control in TCL. We could develop anything we want. And that's what I want  8) .

Offline aus9

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Re: what KEEP your interest with tinycore?
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2020, 09:40:44 PM »
I came back to TC because of self isolation under corona virus. In WA Australia, we did not have true lock down = confined to house, unless travel from overseas or interstate within  14 days. That may change.

One of the attractions (for me) for TC is its not dependent on an init system called systemd

Offline Rubén

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Re: what KEEP your interest with tinycore?
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2020, 03:58:11 AM »
For the record, I work at a clinic and we have a bunch of very old computers. We are testing Tiny Core Linux to power those computers up since we only need basic tools on them (Email, calendar, webdav or equivalent, medical imaging). We have Slackware running on most, and while it works well, it has some tendency to lag when firing many programs at once.

They have told me they used one of the Tiny Core Linux computers to print the medical history of a COVID-19 victim and upload some of reports relevant to her case, so now we can say Tiny Core Linux is helping fight the pandemic. Isn't it cool?

Offline PDP-8

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Re: what KEEP your interest with tinycore?
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2020, 01:49:55 PM »
The beauty of the entire *core family is that you can't put a box around it.  What you do with it is up to you.  Leave it as is, or go hog wild.

Run it on old machines?  Sure.  Run it on modern uefi-only machines?  Sure, although if you have one made yesterday where there are no fancy graphics drivers yet for full support, you can still rely on the basics in the meantime.

I think that's a common misunderstanding that TC is for old machines, and is reflected in reviews by those that don't understand the whole concept.  How many tinycore video reviews have you seen that have never installed a full Xorg with modern desktop, but merely boot up to the default xvesa / fltk setup thinking that's all there is? :)

dCore is often overlooked.  Having a slightly different goal, many miss the more automated approach to it, and application repositories.  If you dig TC but find it just a *tad* too raw, then dCore is a great alternative.

systemd - this could easily go off the rails so I'll keep it short.  If dCore's use of systemd actually matters to you as a developer, then the simplicity of dCore could easily be respun / forked - using Devuan as a starting point perhaps.  Jason's pretty busy, so maybe someone who would want to do this could pitch in? :)

And of course piCore!  Gotta' thank Bmarkus and crew for supporting that.  Plenty of other distros that run from disk, but not many that stick to the whole point of *core by emphasizing running in ram for max speed and flexibility.

The main point is that the *core family shouldn't really be thought of as a "distro" with major predefined marketing goals.  What you do with it is up to you, and as your needs or interests change, as a tool - *core's can grow with you as your skills, hardware, and needs change.  Awesome.

That's a UNIX book! - cool  -- Garth