Using Linux on old hardware

As I’ve switched from my MacBook Air to a used Fujitsu laptop at
1/12th its price, I’ve been trying to squeeze as much performance from
this beast as possible.

The specs:

Fujitsu FMV-B8200
Pentium-M  1.2Ghz
12.1TFT @ 1024×768
1.19 kgs

Installed the only DVD I had distro I had on hand, which was Ubuntu Alternative (desktop edition).

For tweaking performance with minimal effort, the main things I’ve
done so far are switch to the Fluxbox window manager. This DRMATICALLY
improves performance, removing basically any lag I was suffering under
Gnome. I’d used Fluxbox or IceWM or another lightweight window manager
in the past when using Linux as my main work machine, the only thing I
really needed to do was remember a few shortcuts and tweak some key

Set a shortcut key for the menu:

Rather than trying to find an empty space on the desktop to
right-click and bring up the main Fluxbox menu, I set a key binding to
the Winblowz key + F5 to open it no matter what app I happen to be in at
the time, this saved me a LOT of time instantly.

The file for changing key bindings is located at:


Just copy and paste some bits, I used:

# key to bring up menu: Mod4 F5 :RootMenu

The other keyboard shortcut I really needed to know was Alt + F1, which brings up a Terminal window.

Playing music from command line:

Using mplayer from the command line to save resources and wanting a
quick way to play a folder’s worth of songs recursively, I found this
command works like a charm:

mplayer -playlist <(find "$PWD" -type f)

I find that having easy access to music while working makes everything go smoother!

**Just be sure to test your output is going only to your headphones,
not speakers when working out in public, I just took out my headphones
to realize everyone had been listening to my playlist the last 30mins,

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