Spoiler – it's trickier than installing it! Back at the start of lockdown, I distracted myself by installing Kubuntu as dual boot alongside Windows 10 on my wife's Dell XPS 9360. Then I went and bought my own little Linux laptop instead. Fast forward half a year and my wife was running out of space on her hard drive and was getting fed up of having to restart the machine when she forgot to select Windows from the Grub start menu. So, the mission a few weeks ago was to upgrade the SSD and get rid of Linux from the machine. Right then!
Last weekend I posted about realising how much time I've been spending on my smartphone, calling it a “parasitic distraction”. I tried reducing the number of apps on my home screen but the couple of extra swipes needed to get round that rapidly became automatic and annoying! Time for a more drastic solution!
You know the scenario. You're sitting (on the couch, in bed, on a train, wherever!) and find yourself between tasks. Next thing you know, some indeterminate period of time has passed as you use your smartphone to check social media / surf the web / play a game. No big deal really but stop for a minute – cumulatively, how much of our lives do we now spend mindlessly doing this instead of, well, pretty much anything else that could enrich us?!
Finally got around to digging a little deeper into Latte Dock customisation and now have two different layouts that I'm happy with. The first one features a panel at the top with a global menu and a dock at the bottom, in the vein of Mac OS. In contrast, the second has more of a Windows 10 style panel at the bottom. There are times when I find myself wanting one or the other as a workflow so it's nice to have the option to switch between them. I guess I could have them set up on different KDE Activities but I've never found a compelling enough reason in how I work for multiple screens, whether physical or virtual. Anyway, more details and photos below!
Back in “My Linux journey” blogpost, I mentioned I'd bought a dedicated Linux machine to have fun on – the Star Labs Star Lite Mk II “labtop” is a bit of a curiosity but for a £350 deal seemed like a no-brainer. 11.6” screen but with a glass, premium feel. Small, sleek form factor but solid and heavier than expected! Low powered CPU to fit but 8GB RAM. These sort of modern netbooks usually pack a small amount of flash memory but this has a comparatively huge 240GB SSD, speedy enough but not as quick as top-end devices.
I've not been sleeping well recently. Some combination of lockdown cabin fever, racing thoughts about the excitement and challenges of impending fatherhood, random middle-aged worries and musings (not a crisis yet!), and the inevitable mental and physical clutter that always seems to come with the process of de-cluttering.
Reading other people's blogs on “Read Write.as” and “100 Days to Offload” feels like a mix of voyeurism, a search for inspiration, and through time, an emergent sense of being part of a virtual community. Right now I'm particularly enjoying seeing linkages pop up between blogs. Here are a few examples:
Towards the end of last year I started thinking about getting a new smartphone. My Samsung A3 (2016) was nearly 3 years old, the battery was struggling to get through a day, and apps were becoming too slow. However, I felt an innate rejection of many principles the smartphone industry held dear. Its business model clashed with my desire for sustainability and privacy.
I may add a search bar at some point but for now, you can also navigate posts according to hashtags, grouped below in a way that makes sense to me and evolving as I post more. Expect a mixed bag. Some of the posts will feature the tagged topic as the central focus of the post, others will merely touch on it. If you'd prefer to scroll through a timeline of posts, head to my Archive.
I guess it started at some point in the late '80s (or maybe early '90s) with painstakingly typing in lines of BASIC on a ZX Spectrum +3, for the dubious reward of a simple Pong style game. I was a curious child, always wanting to know things. Typing all that code didn't lead me to a lifetime at the command line or a shadowy teenage life as a hacker but it was my first experience of looking beyond the standard Graphic User Interface (GUI) kindly presented to the world by mainstream computing.