Re: [pc110] misc questions

Vaughan R. Pratt (pratt nospam at
Mon, 23 Jun 1997 18:55:08 -0700

I've got the 260meg drive, and it doesn't spin down at all for me.

Me neither (the 340 drive), but since I'm on cflash these days it
doesn't bother me. (It does shut down when you suspend by closing the
lid, otherwise that would be a disaster.) I'm always near a power
outlet when I need to do something that uses the hard drive.

What pim software do you guys use?

Don't laugh: calendar. It mails me the next two days appts each
morning, and its database is an easily-edited go-anywhere 100% portable
ASCII file that I can even copy to my Pilot as a memo (but it would be
nice if someone had a calendar2pilot translator given that the Pilot
does not make it convenient to move around in humongous memos).

I tried ical 2.1 briefly, but the benefits of its vast sophistication
are totally lost on my low-IQ brain. Somehow I seem to function more
smoothly with old-fashioned calendar. I must have been born too

I learned to hate personaware

Its japanese prompts and help system make its otherwise nice menu
system very hard to use for nonjapanese speakers.

I'm also using ical 2.1, which is ok, but not perfect.

Perfection is wasted on the imperfect and pluperfect.

Has anyone tried making the cflash disk into a compressed
bootdisk which loads a bunch of stuff into a big ram disk?

If I had 40MB on my PC110 I'd do that, but I hate to waste a substantial
chunk of a mere 20MB on ramdisk.

I wish there a Linux equivalent of stacker/DRVwhatever. There are two
approximations both of which I'm currently using, (un)tcx (for
compressed binaries) and zlib ("setenv LD_PRELOAD /lib/uncompress.o").
I found zlib too unpredictable and it didn't work smoothly with tex and
X so I stopped using it. tcx is great for medium size binaries you
don't use frequently; for large ones the expansion can require more
than your free disk (but I bet this would work better if I put /tmp on
ramdisk, anyone have any experience doing exactly that with tcx?). It
would be nice if someone could come up with something decent here, e.g.
some sort of clever add-on to the ext2 fs in the kernel.

I'm thinking of trying this so I can have minicom, pppd, lynx,
etc available along with my pcmcia II cellular modem.

Minicom and ppd are pretty small, compression isn't going to make or
break you here. Lynx is moderately big, half a megabyte uncompressed,
of which compression via tcx can save 300K. I've blown 2.9MB of my
14MB cflash for the sake of having netscape 1.12 (later netscapes are
more like 5MB!). Files of that size are incompressible because there's
no room on the disk to decompress them (so I really should have /tmp on
ramdisk). Is there a smaller gui browser for linux than netscape?
This humongous statically linked program takes up 20% of the flash!

Vaughan Pratt