personal desktop

I wrote a series of posts about setting up my new work computer as a way to avoid blathering on and on about how the movers lost the cushions for my couch, and other assorted minutia that seem to dominate my attention. What these posts didn't talk about were what I was doing for "tychoish" and related computing.

About a week and some change, before I moved, I packed up my desktop computer and started using my laptop full time. It's small, portable, and sufficient, if not particularly speedy.

I can do everything with the laptop (a ThinkPad x41t, which is a 2005-vintage 12" tablet) that I can do on any other computer I use, and while I often prefer it because small screen means that it's really easy to focus intently on writing one thing at a time. This, inversely, means that it doesn't work very well for research intensive work, where I need to switch between contexts regularly. It's a fair trade off, and I did OK for weeks.

But then, having been in town for two and a half weeks, I decided it was time to break down and get my personal desktop setup and working. And it's amazing. The thing, works just as well as it always has (which is pretty good,) and it's nice to have a computer at home that I can do serious writing on, and the extra screen space is just perfect. I've been able to be much more productive and comfortable with my own projects since this began.

There are some things that I need to address with this computer, that have been queuing up. In the spirit of posting my todo lists for the world to see...

  • I need to get a new keyboard. My "fancy" "Happy Hacking Lite 2" keyboard is at work, as I'm comfortable with it, I do a lot of writing at work, and I set up that keyboard first (and the current default Mac keyboard sucks.)

    I'm thinking of either, getting another Happy Hacking keyboard, or more likely at this point, getting a das keybaord ultimate because how could I turn down blank keys and variable-pressure mechanical switch keys. And writing is what I do, so totally worth it.

  • I need to install Arch on this computer. I feel like cruft is beginning to accumulate here, I've never quite been happy with the ubutnu experience, and there are some things that I can't get to work right (namely mounting of USB-mass storage devices) My concerns are that getting dual monitors setup on this box was a royal pain. But that might have been ubuntu related. I'm not sure.

  • My current thought is that I'll buy a new (small) hard drive (eg. 80 gigs) to run a clean operating system install on (arch) and then use the current drive as storage for the stuff that's already there (music, video). But I might just get a larger additional drive and do it in reverse. I dunno. The current situation isn't that bad, and I think that I'll archify the laptop first.

Annnyway...

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