K Mandla is the man who can be credited with  starting a low-tech and retro-cool Console Craze in his hunt for great console applications which could replace the GUI on a low-end hardware.
Here are the criteria:

  1. Do one thing, and only one thing. Everybody likes a flexible program. But I don’t like software that tries to do too much at once. For example, I resent music management software suites or photo management applications. I manage the photos. I manage the music. The application shows it, or plays it. Period. If you try to be all things at once to me, you will only disappoint.
  2. Do that one thing well. A program needs focus — that goes without saying. If it achieves that goal and doesn’t muddle the final product, it is a winner. In other words, if you can’t do it right, don’t bother trying at all.
  3. Don’t drag my system down. If you burden my installation with pointless libraries and dependencies that don’t add anything to your software, you fail. Some of the greatest software ever written has about two dependencies. Some of the worst drags in all of Gnome just to put an icon on the screen. That is inexcusable.
  4. Finally, points are awarded for style. I can forgive and even adopt an ugly or cumbersome program if it achieves in the first three categories. But if you manage to capture all three and have a clever interface or a smooth look, then I embrace thee through the power of the Internets.                             

Some Web-based Consoles

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