Terminal-Only Week Day #02 and #03 – Boredom, Tmux and Lynx

Yesterday I was literally too busy and productive to write another article (additionaly to the one about markdown) about my terminal-only week, which in itself is a rather good thing. Among going to work I was able to practice the guitar for over an hour, went to bed at an appropriate time and felt something that I completely forgot about: boredom.

My inspiration for this experiment was mainly Bryan Lunduke, a tech journalist that recently started a one month challenge focusing on computing like it was 1989. He would only use computers on fixed stations in his house and outside computing would only be done on off-line devices. When he started talking about how great boredom is, I was very skeptical. Why would boredom be fun? After just one day I experienced it myself to some extent.

There was no way for me to just lay down somewhere and watch some YouTube videos or scroll through endless posts on Reddit or Twitter. If I wanted to do stuff like this I would either have to sit down in front of the TV or launch up a computer to do that stuff within the terminal. And let me tell you: Twitter and Reddit are way less fun if you don’t see any pictures. It is reduced to its core: Content. And a lot of posts nowadays are not necessarily about content but focus on a more visual aspect. This is not a bad thing in itself but it makes you realize how much these services focus on visual pleasure and how less they are focused on actual content. Boredom also forced me to come up with activities like practicing the guitar. I can highly recommend you some boredom to let creativity thrive! (Buy now for $0.00!)

In order to experience this yourself, you can use a text only browser called lynx. Lynx is super lightweight, ridiculously fast and offers a wide variety of shortcuts to navigate even faster through the world wide web. It also offers the same experience like terminal only Twitter/Reddit clients: Focus on content. If an article is not well written, you will probably not read it from top to bottom. Lynx cuts out the clutter.

Even better for browsing would be multi-tab / -window browsing, right? This is totally doable within a terminal thanks to tmux. Tmux is a Terminal Multiplexer, which means you can start multiple terminal sessions within the same window. This is not only great for multitasking (like writing, listening to music and browsing the web at the same time) but can also make your life easier if you want to SSH into a device like a raspberry pi.



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