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

   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

   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.

   Tilde Town