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About FireFish

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  1. Fully configured tinycore with persistence ;

    A blog never changes... or does it ?
    Tinycore, it is a free linux kernel based operating system meant to be loaded into a ramdisk. It loads what it needs into
    ram and contineus from there on. It uses its own patched kernel to make that happen. Any program you download and load for usage
    will never be saved to anywhere unless you provide a usb based storage device, hard disk, or rebuild the image of the os which it boots
    from to automaticaly include what you need.

    Unless you pay atention and read the instructions which at least the tinycore-plus iso-image provides while using tinycore itself you might
    spend half a day figuringing out the obvious ; if the installer says chose your options by typing them in a text box like --home=hda# then you
    read up and chose what you need. I did not, and skimmed trough ending up having to redownload a gigabyte on extra software after a reboot...

    In the end i ended up installing it to an SD card as a usb-hdd install. So i used sda# te refer to its mount point at boot. ofcourse # has to be
    a number equaling a partition. Eventually i had it installing correctly and could start with adding some extra software again, which could be made
    permanent now.

    The custom desktop which comes with tinycore-plus is a charm for running on norhing more then a 24bit vesa 1280x### vga resolution, even on a old
    testing ground-netbook it runs smooth enough to think its normal, but i have not yet tried to install or activate another GFX driver. As seen on the
    screenshot this system has a functioning and easy to use software manager. It downloads tinycore .tcz program containers according to a drop
    down list option ; download only, download and load, load on boot. If you do not load it instantly, and if you have a persistent instalation you can
    also use the exact same software manager to activate and load already downloaded software which you did not add to the automatic 'to-memory' loading.

    The left upper dropdown list (badly scaled here) allows you to chose what to do. On the screenshot you can see i installed and loaded conky, activated it,
    and the tinycore desktop (openbox + what core uses) is capable of simulating transparency and sustaining a zooming moving dock, which also runs as
    a taskbar here. (the conkyrc config comes from the official website).

    I ended up installing anything i needed to make it usable on a netbook for whatever i wanted to do, so i needed things like Firefox, a file manager like
    Fluff or RoX, FeH as a simple small (not all encompasing) image viewer, and a whole bunch of software i needed to experiment with this system.
    However i did not install VLC or any video player, on most 'non prehistoric' chips the vesa driver should be able to handle videos up to dvd quality. But
    do not take my word for it, if you need decent heavy computing graphical support from your hardware then solve it yourself... I was more then pleased with
    the vesa on this poulsbo driven netbook. But compared to the 86d framebuffer driver on my previous ubuntu install for the netbook it is nothing... nada.
    (For those who do not know ; the poulsbo codenamed video hardware has no specialized or decent drivers on any linux distro...)

    After adding all i wanted to use i ended up with a consistent system somewhat bypassing the actual use of tinycore, namely having an operating system which
    runs like a firmware rom of sorts which loses all data after shutdown to then boot again into a prestine clean state.

    The uses i see in using this system as pure as possible ;
    -> privacy oriented core IMAGES loading into ram for on the road situations with a realy small storage device.
    -> Sparing SD cards and flash drives a few read and write cycles (making them live longer) on limited systems without a classical HDD.
    -> Using its as ROM styled operating system by packing a core.gz with everything you need and nothing more or less. (kiosks, demo stands, etc...)
    -> Sandbox computing on high-rate internet connections ; install something and use it. reboot and leave no damaging traces on your bootable system.
    -> Learning about building up you personalized linux distro from a minimum system, as not easy to find anywhere else in such miniscule forms.

    The uses i see in experimenting with a backup and save persistent tinycore ;
    -> Reliving the fun of using old netbooks.
    -> having a perfect testing ground for all sorts of 'privacy based' connection systems.. i do not need them but they where there and i experimented.
    -> giving yourself the feeling you packed together a system completely acording to your needs.
    -> Saving memory as stuff does not need to be loaded directly at boot into the core ramdisk.
    -> Making it run a Dos Emulator directly after booting, and script-mounting the needed parititions... :)

    Advice when experimenting with this ;
    -> install Fluff.tcz ; the lightest simplest file manager possible from the manager / downloader.
    -> make sure you have enough megabytes left on your download limit if you think you are going to mess up.
    -> Install IPTABLES and run the basic-firewall script that comes with it... for the obvious reasons.

    Reminds me off ;
    Android ; because of the fact that altering ROOT files needs re-packagaing of the image that gets booted, unless you install it frugal or usb-HDD.

    Do not use if ;
    You are afraid you are going to lose 400 gigabyte on important files not knowing what you are doing and still learning.
    This system requires a bit of thought and care to get it somewhere other then booting it as if its a cell-phone rom.

    For hobbyists ; The official website of Tnycore.

    For desktop image lovers ; Where you can get that damaged paint blue plank thing...

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. AndrewB


      I guess this stuff can be useful in embedded systems and such. Interactive teddy bears and transit card readers probably use stuff like this.

    3. FireFish


      the text only mode kernel and modules (tinycore) would be perfect for realy small low power servers, and if you are willing to mess around and program i could see embeded computers like car systems and even home controllers use stuff like this...

      But i suspect the main usage at the moment would be paranoia based people using it as a sandbox to go online. If you want to know what people do
      with computer chips running systems like this but usualy without a desktop i could sugest googling a raspbery pi computer.


      People use such mini computers to build bird filming bird houses to toilets with a computer in them... or arcade machines running dos games like doom but
      also emulators for true arcade systems trough the mame emulator. I am currently using an old netbook as an internet connection experiment for two or
      tree days to then probably never look back on it, and forget it...

    4. FireFish


      Well that went sour realy fast...
      It took me a full day to learn about this system so i could set it up
      for hobby experimenting and learning about all sorts of internet connections...
      to then lose 2 days of information gathering and documenting for my Binavoid blog.

      Somehow something reset the entire OS ramdisk while it was running an unsaved connection
      setting and four pages of study material about anonymizing surfing and my findings about
      all sorts of set-ups and experiments...

      Hobby computing can be a bitch when stuff like this happens.
      My plan to release a giant text on information about the networking i did for
      anybody interessted has now been lost before i permanently saved it.