So yesterday Maciej Cegłowski (@Pinboard) was mocking what we eventually started calling scrollerskate websites, and I replied with a Lynx screenshot to one of them and the comment "Looks fine to me."

Screenshot of in Lynx

It's gotten more favorites and retweets than probably any other tweet I've made, even others that Maciej has retweeted. I'm not sure how I feel about that.

I used Lynx way, way past the time when I had a functioning graphical browser. In part because I'm stubborn and slightly hipsterish, but in large part because it's really fast. No hassling with waiting for overdone graphics to load - overdone graphics have always, always been a thing, even when they were tiny little animated gifs - or for Javascripts to break, or for an ivory-tower web designer's layout to fail because your font wraps where theirs didn't.

I got away from using it, I guess, when everything and its brother was in a frame, which meant searching through (generally unlabeled) links in an Easter-egg hunt for the content. I've been firing it up more and more often lately, because the problems that kept me on it for so long haven't really gotten any better. There's probably a nice aphorism to be made about how "content" (except not the meat, but the decoration) expands to fill or exceed available bandwidth.

Lynx is pretty self-explanatory. You type "lynx" and then the web address you want to go to. If you're like me, you hit the [O]ptions and turn on link numbering (it's under Keypad Mode, which sort of makes sense but isn't intuitive). Then you can just type link numbers to jump to them. It clutters up the screen a little, but it saves a whole bunch of arrowing around. You can, if I remember right, set Lynx up to accept mouse clicks, but as with nano I always found that to be a weird cognitive mismatch.

On mice

Speaking of clinging to the old ways, I do the same thing with mice. Mice are wonderful, wonderful things, except that I only have one right hand and it's busy on the keyboard. So I've always been funny about using keyboard shortcuts instead of the mouse.

Funny story: I once had to ship a computer to Guam. Shipping was crazy expensive (even though we were a cargo airline who shipped stuff to/from Guam... just none of it came from/to Wichita) so I wanted to be really sure I shipped everything the first time.

The computer came from our supplier, and I happened to be moving to a new office at the time. So I took the boxes straight to the still-empty room, unpacked them all there, set the computer out on the floor and installed Windows 3.1 (95 would have been out, but we were on 3.1 for compatibility). When I had the OS and whatnot set up, I packed up everything in the room and shipped it out. And then I got a phone call from Guam. Um, where was the mouse? Yep, I had installed everything with keyboard shortcuts, and never even noticed its absence. I taught a pilot how to use keyboard shortcuts, and I like to think I created an acolyte, but in practice I think he went out and paid the extortionate island price for a mouse as soon as possible.

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