Living Retro Every Day

Hey there!
I love retro aesthetic and long to integrate it into my life. However, using an Apple//e for my full time job and a brick phone instead of a smart phone can be…Cumbersome.

Here are some tweaks I’ve made to help me get my retro fix:

Android Smart Phone:

I loved the Windows phone interface. I found it to be very clean and straight forward.
When the Windows phone died, I was beyond thrilled to find Launcher 10.
After installing that, i used the Pip-Boy 3000 Live Wallpaper.
Then i swapped some icons with 1-BIT Icon Theme.

Launcher 10 makes it pretty gloriously straight forward and highly customizable, but feel free to message me directly if you need help customizing.
Launcher 10 allows you to colorize your icons - so dont fret when you see white icons using the 1-BIT Icon Theme. The hex code i used is #00D354

Atom Text Editor:

If you’re not already familiar with Atom, its a free and open-source text and source code editor with support for plug-ins written in Javascript, and embedded Git Control, developed by GitHub. For my neanderthalic purposes, I just wanted a simple, retro notepad with tabs.
To get the look you see here, install This and This.

  • Start Atom.
  • Change your UI theme to “hacking-the-kernel-ui”.
  • Change your Style theme to “hacking-the-kernel-ui”
  • Close Atom.

Then, download the Pixel Emulator font.
After that, I made quite a few tweaks on the fly and cant quite remember what I did. So, just download my .atom folder and replace yours with mine (found in your user profile root)
My .atom Folder

Again, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.

Windows Theme:

This theme is either awesome or very annoying - that’s for you to decide.
Green-Screen Theme

Feel free to share your ideas for further retro adaptation!

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It would be fun to have a Palm Pilot theme for my phone. Maybe a later Palm Pilot. One of the color ones.

I recently came across this nice howto by James Fossey for using a Psion 3 as an ebook reader…

Speaking of Palm Pilots and Psions and e-readers … that’s one of the main things I used my palm pilot for back in the day! In that time frame, Project Gutenberg was one of my only resources, because the source material had to be in plain text (or something like HTML, that I could reasonably render to plain text), and formats like epub didn’t exist yet. I do remember finding a few modern books that I could read (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was one, and Neal Stephenson’s web-published In the Beginning Was the Command Line), but I read a lot of Twain and Chaucer in those days, for that reason. :slight_smile:

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Cool-Retro-Term is always the very first thing I install on a new Linux distro.

A word of caution: If you use this for screencasts like I do, almost no one will be commenting about your content, you’ll be overwhelmed by everyone saying “Wow! How do I get my terminal to look like that?”


But does it do ASCII 67? TTY emulation with BS giving you over strke
characters. 110 BAUD seral for a real TTY for your PDP/8 L.
Emulation of other terminals than a VT-100?. 80x24/25 screen?
Real terminals have a easy to read screen size, the full screen,
compared to virtual ones (at least on windows) that can’t give
a real 80x24 screen.

I think, @oldben, we can choose to be delighted by cool retro term without demanding that it does everything one might have seen back in the day.


The cool retro term does look nice. Scrolling is fast compared to an old terminal, but it looks right and it’s very configurable. It handles utf-8 too (unlike an old terminal…) so it lists my japanese files just fine. It’s very usable for everything. (And Ben - this thing is as capable as e.g. ‘xterm’, and that’s what you can expect of a terminal emulator running on an X11 display).

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But do you want fast scrolling, for a retro terminal all the time?
I am thinking of BBS’s and ASCII art stuff for 1200 or 2400 baud
terminals, or text games like Zork or Adventure or a text vesion
of PACMAN. A virtual baud rate woud be handy for the few times
you need to pace the output.

It would be nice to have a virtual baud rate setting (I could achieve that by writing a program to work together with this terminal emulator, I imagine). And the VT100 smooth scrolling… which was super nice, but, as with the real thing, one would want to turn off after trying it once :slight_smile:

The thing is, @oldben, we’re here to enjoy ourselves: find the things and the stories which we like, and share them. Everyone will, hopefully, enjoy some of the things, and, perhaps, not enjoy some of the others. When you find yourself faced with an offering which isn’t quite everything you want it to be, you must be sure not to spoil anyone else’s enjoyment. Don’t harp on about what’s lacking: either move on, or find something you like better and post about that. Be sharing the joy. Be helping others to enjoy being here.


Regarding virtual baud rates, I’d say, for “retro every day” fast scrolling is probably what you expect. However, for a dedicated retro view, it may be a desirable feature. (Just like web browsers have a virtual throttle in the developer tools.) It really depends on the use case, but an option for this may be great add-on.
For example, I was once working on a (unfinished) VT100-like view for the web, which had exactly that feature, attempting to figure out the character rate based on virtual communication settings, like baud rate, parity, stop bits, etc. It’s just what you’d want for recreating past experiences.


Made a custom widget for my android phone using KWGT .

It can be downloaded HERE.

Made some modifications:


I cant stop!

How About text! Text Call Answer poRn peeK … The last two, use at your own risk.

Welp, thanks to Cool-Retro-Term and Ubuntu, ive got a pretty good retro themed setup going on.

Got a ToDo list and a notebook all synced to the cloud, accessible on all my devices.

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But do you have the RETRO CRT fonts? Hacking with Style: TrueType VT220 Font

132 column mode was always a bit tiring on the VTs. You had 80×24, and liked it.