Monday Technical.

Not much to note here apart from the spam numbers seem to be increasing. The usual suspects continue to post.

Didact reminded me that yesterday was pi day, but I don’t post that much on the weekend. The poetry for Sunday comes from the 1633 version of “The Temple” by George Herbert, plus any comments I can find. He also reminds us that being an introvert is good for productivity, and zoom is a blessing.

Thanks, Didact.

It is not easy to be an introvert in a world that pushes groupwork – and the resulting groupthink – on all of us, all of the time. Pretty much every business, and business school, puts very heavy emphasis on group activities. This is anywhere from irritating to outright unbearable for most real introverts. We can take it, up to a point. But beyond that point, we simply shut down and want nothing more to do with people.

This can make us seem rather unfriendly and unlikable to most people. To an extroverted world, introverts are fundamentally weird, and all of you know it. You’ve felt it and seen it. We do not apologise for this fact. However, there are significant benefits to introversion – not least of which is the ability to work independently, without human contact.

In this respect, the recent Global Kung Flu Scamdemic has proven to be something of a huge blessing. There is a LOT to be said in favour of putting all meetings on Zoom. If you can simply shut down your camera while in a big meeting and get on with real work, so much the better. You don’t have to contribute or do anything. You can just get on with the business of doing what you want.

Having to attend meetings in real life is awful, because you have to appear to be paying attention… when the pace is much slower than you can work. But much better than Zoom is walking the dog. Or mowing the lawn.

KDE plasma

The version of Artix I run on the laptop uses Plasma. I like it, so moved to doing the same thing in Arch on the desktop. I’ve played with the wayland version, but it is not mature and it does not handle the full capacity of my monitor, so I’ve moved to using plasma as the default OS on both machines.

The x11 version of KDE allows me to access the tools I prefer, half of which do not come from the KDE group: I’m still using Mailspring, Librewolf, and Brave.

Supply chain woes

The home computers are slowly breaking down — the youngest of them would be at school if human and the oldest would be old for a dog. So, between looking with Kea for equipment we need I goofed off and looked at what the modern laptops look like.

Holy batman on a transexual handcart. I thought that Apple had ruined Macs. Clearly the makers of modern windows machines think they did not go far enough. Some peeves.

  1. They are too light. I know that light is not completely equal to strong, but you need a certain amount of structural mass to make things rigid. You want the keyboard to have some travel. Heat sinks require a certain amount of mass. Most of the machines looked cute… but to get them light they had low powered processors, and I’d be worried if the CATS hit them, let alone the dogs or if they were dropped from the desk onto carpet. My mac lives in a case because I don’t think it is strong enough, but you can’t get otterboxes for generic laptops.
  2. The screens are horrible. There are exceptions here: the new Microsoft surface and modern macs. I process photos. and calibrate my monitors, I want close to that on a laptop, not an ultrafast 1080p screen that does not have accurate colour or the ability to make accurate colour
  3. They are hard to put Arch on. The exceptions here are Dell and Lenovo, or the Linux vendors. I don’t do Windows. Ironically, an older model or cheaper laptop does work because the drivers have been written. Do not get me started on EULA, or the other ways Windows and Intel try to keep you in their reservation.

And if it is not on the floor, and you have to order it, you will find that you are waiting for months. Pinebook is more honest: they are not accepting orders right now because they can’t fulfil them. I’m keeping what I have running as long as possible.