||     Phlog 25 -Adventures in Afterstep    ||
||                                          ||
||     Work - Desk (Hiding in my office)    ||
||                   ThinkPad               ||

It's a  wonderful wharf!

NeXT always seemed like mythical, unattainable hardware back in its heyday. A much younger me would pour over the grainy screenshots in industry (print!) magazines and speculate as to what application each of those cool tiles held.  Various interviews with John Romero and John Carmack where they raved about it as a dev environment made it seem very interesting as well.  I never got to work on a Next workstation, just its spiritual successor OS X in college.

I adopted a little ThinkPad for some Linux tinkering and the prospect of putting AfterStep on it to experiment with not-quite-Nextstep was pretty exciting.  There are parts of it that are similar to fvwm on my beloved OpenBSD install and there are some aspects where one can see where Apple barrowed judiciously from the Nextstep environment.  I've honestly enjoyed tinking and customizing the wharf and dock and pager area.  There are some absolute masterpieces of Afterstep goodness out there; stuff I'd never think of configuring.  There's even an option to run it under Cygwin, per the Afterstep docs - not sure if I'm brave enough to try that or if it's something so insanely weird that I should do it immediately.

This is absolutely a window manager I could see being a daily driver.  It's nice to be able to hide the dock(s) and give the app you want to focus on the entire screen.  The dock(s) also give a really nice way to start up frequently accesed applications and locations.  Will I ever have the cool, developer workstation with a home-grown tool chain like the id Software guys did back in the Doom days?  No, not even a little bit, but it's still pretty cool to have this fun, customizable, extensible desktop to play around on.

Links for those curious:
https://www.zdnet.com/article/how-to-install-and-configure-afterstep-window-manager-on-ubuntu/ (Yes, it's for Ubuntu but it can be a nice guide for other OS's)
https://ftp.openbsd.dk/ldp/FAQ/AfterStep-FAQ.html (A *very* old, but very in-depth FAQ for OpenBSD - I used this to figure out how to roll my own icons)