For quite a few years my only computer has been a 12″ Macbook. Apple, for reasons unknown, discontinued that model which had the perfect form factor in terms of weight to size tradeoff. While my machine still works (with different keys getting stuck on occasion), I had been on the hunt for a non-Apple replacement for some time. Apple’s hypocritical stance on why they need to completely control their phones has long annoyed me and I would rather not buy their products.
I am writing this post on what will hopefully be my new machine for a few years, a DELL XPS 13 laptop running Ubuntu (I wasn’t going to leave Apple for Microsoft, even though they are at present the most benign of the big tech companies)
Here are my first impressions of the setup. On the plus side, the hardware is excellent with a super crisp screen (that looks good in several different resolutions), an amazing keyboard (I forgot how much I actually missed that on the Macbook) and a fingerprint reader in the power button. Also all the software that I really need is “readily” available: a web browser (the machine shipped with both Chrome and Firefox pre-installed), plus Zoom and 1Password. I put “readily” in quotation marks because both Zoom and 1Password required installation.
For both Zoom and 1Password that meant downloading a .deb file and finding the right command line incantation (”sudo dpkg -i package_file.deb”). Of course in both cases there were some missing dependencies (Zoom needed (Read more...)