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Raspberry Pi 4 as yardstick for frugality (if only)

This capsule is my first venture into Geminispace. I am launching it on this day in February 2022.

I've been interested in frugal computing for quite some time now (which also brought me to Gemini), but I lacked an idea of how to go about it myself -- until I read an interview of 100 rabbits with Drew DeVault.

In this interview, Rekka of 100 rabbits said "It’s difficult without actual constraints", and this stuck with me. A few days or weeks went by, and then it clicked:

I realized I needed a constrained computing environment so as to have a yardstick for frugality.

So I recently bought a Raspberry Pi 4, and I used this opportunity to finally give Alpine Linux a try. (I'd been looking forward to this for a while after reading Drew DeVault's appraisal. Unfortunately, the installation was already an adventure in itself.)

Initially, my lofty goal was to use this setup as my "daily driver" (as tech YouTubers like to put it), and only revert to my ThinkPad T480s for `frivolous' tasks such as watching streaming video or attending video calls.

And why not? After all, the vendor positions the Raspberry Pi as a desktop-grade machine with two capable HDMI outputs and what not.

So I installed Sway (the window manager, or rather, Wayland compositor) and foot (the terminal emulator) and everything. For a bit it seemed like my plan would work. But alas, I had to realize that the advertisements regarding desktop capabilities were exaggerated.

At this point I should tell you that I use `wlsunset', a program that adjusts white balance to the time of day. (Similar to night mode or redshift or f.lux.) I can no longer work without it (sorry for being spoiled).

To make a long story short: I could not get wlsunset to work. It seems impossible to set the gamma on the video. Raspberry Pi (the company) know this, and they're working on it, but apparently desktop features are not a priority.

So I decided to back off from my original plan. For the time being, I will do what most people do with their Raspberry Pi machines and use it headless via ssh. The Pi can still act as a yardstick, but only on demand, so it won't impact my daily life the way I had hoped.

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