2023-05-20 from the editor of ~insom ------------------------------------------------------------ There has been yet another reshuffle of technology in our household. I recently realised that when I'm unhappy that finding things to simplify boosts my mood. I will subconsciously feel unhappy when things are complex or suboptimal. The non-profit my wife works at have a bunch of rag-tag desktops; almost exclusively cast-offs from my set up. None of them are really great for the task and having several desktops set up doesn't suit a crafting space -- which is primarily for making and not computing (and if there is computing involved, it's to run things like a vinyl cutter or printer -- so it's handy to have it near those things). She also has a Thinkpad T480 laptop which spends most of its time at home, acting as the admin computer for the non-profit. Quickbooks was supposed to let her easily work on the accounts from several places but for _circumstances_ that hasn't really worked out. Her personal computer is my old work Macbook. I have a Thinkpad T480, too. We both bought them just before the pandemic took hold in Canada -- because it would be useful to have computers we could take places. Then we didn't go places for 2 years. Hah. Mine was never quite fast enough for what I want so I ended up with a Windows desktop (which I am happy with). I also picked up a Chromebook (because I am weak and it was cheap) and the Dell D400 early 2000's computer that I run Haiku on. I have a powerful Linux machine which lives in the basement because I use compiled languages with long build times and I prefer to not make my laptop cook. Yes, this is obviously too many computers. This excludes the pair of machines I run tiny.tilde.website from, too! My gordian-knot-cutting proposal has been to take both of the laptops: wipe them, put Windows 11 on, and give them to the non-profit. They were not _quite_ worth selling previously (vs. the hassle of eBay) but giving them away makes me feel good. I would also take two of the (cast off) desktops from her work, wipe them and get them ready to sell. They are good computers to someone -- just not to Square Lemon (the NP) or to me. Square Lemon could use the cash more than some big/loud workstation class machines. An Intel NUC that used to power tiny.tilde.website becomes her Windows machine at home, primarily for accounts and admin. No waste! Then the machine from basement can come upstairs and become my Linux desktop. The Chromebook becomes my only portable laptop -- mostly used for browsing the web or SSH/VNC so I can hang out on the couch sometimes. I love this because it splits my office computing into three tasks: Paying work on my work laptop, Games and music on my Windows box, and software development on my Linux PC. I am lucky enough to have reasonable space for all three and this suits me, mentally, much better than some kind of all-in-one device. There is one small fly in the ointment: the machine I am typing on now. I used to have a place for the Haiku-running Dell to live. It was hard-wired in (because I don't think I have any wifi-things compatible with Haiku and this laptop predates wifi cards being a standard thing). It also was a single purpose machine: a way of indulging my nostalgia but in a useful way: the place I go to use the small web or IRC. Currently I have that on my lap with an RJ45-to-wifi ... bridge, I guess? ... and a power brick (the battery is long dead) plugged into a battery backup with an inverter. To say that this is not ideal is an understatement, but it definitely does work. There is something about my brain and personality that compels me to acquire stuff, change things, but also resist hoarding. I suppose I am lucky that I don't _also_ hoard things, but it does mean I am almost always left feeling uncomfortable that my set up isn't quite how I want it to be. Now and then I hit an equilibrium, but once a way to improve things or mix them up occurs to me then I have to execute on it to get it out of my brain.