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old imac: low memory software, framebuffer configuration

A friend just gave me her old iMac.  It's a 233mhz G3 with 32mb of RAM.
MacOS9 was terribly slow on it, so I installed Debian. The network install worked perfectly, and I was especially impressed by the Japanese on the language selection screen. Nice work, developers. :)

Two major questions:
- I'd like to use the web on this thing. What are my options? Running Mozilla is a joke-- just after startup top reports Mozilla alone using 70% of my RAM. I looked at Skipstone, but is there anything else you can recommend? (Opera? Though it is non-free...) Even X itself is pretty resource-intensive. I can use ion as a window manager and xvt for terminals, but I'm still using a ton of memory for functionality not much better than the console.

- Because X consumes a bunch of memory, I looked into using the framebuffer instead. (I've read about a project called "Zen", and I read GTK2 was ported to the framebuffer, so...) I played with the directfb project and fbset to try setting some different video modes on my console, but I couldn't figure out where anyone would actually find the mode settings (refresh rates, dot clock... all of the settings that would go in /etc/fb.modes) for the screen on these machines. (I used fbset -x after booting to get the initial settings I used in /etc/X11/XF86Config-4.)

Finally, I noticed after the sun went down that the screen is rather bright-- there's a distinct edge where the pinkish gray that's in the background of my console meets actual black surrounding the screen. Is there a way to adjust the brightness on these beasts?

I'll be getting some more memory for the computer soon, but until then it's fun to try to squeeze some performance out of it. I'm most concerned about the brightness issue; I fear I may have damaged the monitor while experimenting with fbset. (Is this possible?)

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