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Emacs in odd locations | Eigenbahn weblog

Emacs in odd locations | Eigenbahn weblog

2023-04-04 03:17:17

Unfamiliar conditions

I discover it amusing recognizing acquainted software program in equally unfamiliar conditions.

A kind of conditions is when it makes a cameo in fiction, with examples akin to nmap and the inclusion of Emacs & eshell in Tron Legacy.

One other unfamiliar state of affairs is when the software program runs on an sudden {hardware} or OS.

Can it run Doom?

Doom is the king of this class.

It’s frequent sense that nearly each machine with a naked minimal of computing energy can run Doom.

Emacs on odd {hardware} & software program

Emacs has in essence much less potential than Doom attributable to its comparatively hefty necessities (particularly its fashionable variations).

However that simply forces us to take different approaches:

  • Use an early Emacs model suitable with the machine
  • Use a fork/clone with low system necessities: uEmacs or JOVE
  • Use our odd {hardware} as a dumb terminal connecting to a distant fashionable model of Emacs

The primary method is mainly referred to as retrocomputing and could be painfully cumbersome. It’s solely reserved to probably the most cussed web archive dvelvers.

The third method works surprisingly effectively as Emacs saved good help for terminal rendering.

Really this goes additional because the GUI rendering is built on top of the TUI codebase.

Whoever made Emacs right into a native X11 program […] pretended the GUI was a textual content terminal.

– Daniel Colascione

Emacs on the Go

One other enchantment of exploring different {hardware} is the angle of getting an Emacs occasion on the go.

These days the perfect method is to have an Android machine with Emacs put in by Termux and a bluetooth keyboard.

Most individuals use a smartphone. If the display screen feels too small, one can use a pill.

So far as Org-mode is worried, we these days have first rate purposes akin to Orgzly (Android), beorg (iOS), organice and org-web (net, mobile-friendly).

Again in 2007, smartphones (as we all know them) the place of their infancy and I used to be in dire want for an answer.

On the time, the one risk was to seek out an UMPC. With out a lot cash within the financial institution, I settled for an previous (even for the time) HP Jornada 680, purchased secondhand for not a lot.

It ran a customized model of Home windows CE (in German) however a distribution of Linux (Jlime) could possibly be run on it.

Emacs wasn’t accessible in its repositories however I used to be capable of compile it after fetching all of its dependencies.

And right here I used to be, with my little data island in my backpack.


My config from these old days was fairly barebone as in comparison with the current incarnation.

Emacs on a precise dumb terminal

Even the newest variations of Emacs nonetheless have stellar support for hardware terminals.

I don’t know who (other than a couple of fans like me) nonetheless entry Emacs by these units.

There are some configuration specificities (addressed in a later put up) however issues largely simply work.


Different examples noticed within the wild

Odd purposes

Emacs as part of Germany air traffic control system.

Esotheric OS

Emacs below Haiku (screenshot).

{Hardware} (dumb) terminals

Emacs by a Minitel 1B.

Area of interest Linux-based smartphones

Emacs on the Purism Librem 5.

Emacs on the PinePhone

Emacs below Jolla SailfishOS.

See Also

Emacs (GUI model) below Ubuntu Touch.

Older telephones

Emacs 23 working natively on the Nokia N900 (screenshot).

Emacs accessed from SSH on an old Nokia phone.

PDAs and UMPCs

Emacs on the GeminiPDA (Android-based).

Emacs on the Psion 5mx.

Emacs 21 working natively on the Sharp Zaurus SL-C1000.

uEmacs fork Ng on the SoftBank X01HT.

Emacs accessed from SSH below Palm OS 5.

eBook reader

Emacs on the Onyx Boox Max 3, by Termux.

Single board computer systems

Emacs on the Pocket C.H.I.P..

Emacs on the Noodle Pi.

Emacs on the Paper Pi.

Musical devices

Emacs on the monome norns.


Emacs on a Pebble watch (this one is definitely only a “face”, not the true deal).


Hacker Information

I used to be fairly stunned to see that this put up bought submitted to Hacker Information and won the front page lottery.


Tagged #emacs, #retrocomputing, #vt320.

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