I was planning to hack up a cheesy console font version of SDL_ttf this week so I could build some bloat free versions of dgClock, the jlime fileselector, and possibly gmenu2x suitable for squeezing onto the stock zipit jffs. And then I was gonna attempt to build a skinny version of the retro the maemo flipclock. But that woulda involved lots of planning and testing, and whatnot. Instead I got distracted by some shiny new things.
I don't remember how, but I was reading something that led me to the dtach utility which led me to the dvtm virtual terminal manager. Or maybe it was the other way around. Perhaps I was reading about twin and that led me there. I don't know. Anyhow, if you can't give up the jffs space to run gnu screen, then maybe these two lighter utilites are a better fit.
To get a better idea of what dvtm was capable of I added the line characters to a few fonts that are smaller than the one true 6x10 font I've been using. Here's a shot of dvtm running with a 5x8 font from the ben nanonote mailing list archive. I also patched the lines into the atari4x8 font so at least I did something related to fonts...
Meanwhile, due to all the chatter on the zipit IRC channel about openwrt and it's mini versions of everything, I got motivated to try and build a WPA-only version of wpa_supplicant for the jffs. I didn't quite get there because that's rumored to come out around 50K, and I only got mine down to just over 100K. It prints a few ioctl warning messages but seems to work so far with the WPA settings on my cheepo home wifi router. I also got onto an open access point without a hitch, but that's probably cheating.
If you're daring and need the room on the jffs you can realize quite a savings over the 640k stock wpa_supplicant. I also built a smaller version of wpa_passphrase but I still don't know exactly what that does, so mine might just do nothing. In a pinch you can always boot off the SD card and use the full wpa_* utilities from EZ2S to connect to one of those "enterprise" wifi routers that you might see at work.