Journal from Kotnik


I have always been an exceptionally geeky person and somewhat of a hardware hoarder. This post is documenting all the laptop computers I am currently using.

Lenovo Thinkpad X13. This is my current primary laptop. It runs on #Archlinux and I use it as my main driver. Everything is supported and just works. The computer itself is joy to use: the build feels great and I really like this keyboard as well.

Lenovo Thinkpad T430s. My fallback laptop. It's rather old and all scratched out but I really like it. It runs on #FreeBSD and all hardware is supported. Actually, I am right now using it to write this post. I use it for my #retro-computing programming as well (I am back coding on 6510 CPU).

Lenovo Thinkpad T480s. My work laptop running #Fedora. And the one that gave me the most headaches. When I purchased it I had to return it back two times since the keyboard was so awful it would make the computer unusable. Literally, using the keys around red nub (the TrackPoint) would stuck it somehow and the cursor would just run that way rendering mouse unusable. Eventually, support fixed the issue but the keyboard is awful and I dread having to use this computer. Luckily, it's only when I am traveling, otherwise I just keep it clean and up to date.

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon (3rd generation). My old primary laptop currently used for experimenting. I don't like it since the screen is glossy, so whenever I work on it during the day it is as if I am sitting in front of the mirror.

PineBook Pro. Like some people, I also believe that the future of computing is in RISC, and currently ARM architecture represents it the best. So I purchased PineBook Pro. It runs #Armbian. I don't do anything heavily on this computer, but I use it to play with ARM architecture, recompile stuff I worked on somewhere else, and generally as a playground.

MSI GL75. This is my gaming laptop. It runs Windows 10 and is used only for playing games. Actually, mostly by my kids, but since I have fallen with Counter Strike CS:GO, deleted forced Counter Strike 2, and decided to give up on that game, I have discovered that Enemy Territory community still thrives and came back to it.

And that is it.

While replacing living room computer for streaming I ended up with a box with pre-installed #Windows 11. It was my first time with this operating system and I was curious so I decided to see how would it work for this role: stream a few services to connected TV and access Samba shares from local NAS.

After spending almost 4 hours on this tasks I ended up disgusted and horrified, eventually installing #Fedora. What follows is what I found out in this short time.

First of all, default install is utterly bloated with crap you will never need, and some of it you can't even uninstall, like Microsoft Edge browser, Xbox integration, Microsoft's storage solution that loves to send notifications, etc. I know there are hacks for Edge, but system update always brings it back.

And don't even get me started on ads! For example, the first thing I saw when I started the computer was ugly face of the politician I really don't like staring me from news widget. I don't want to get slapped by news when I don't ask for it. Why, oh why, is this a default in any operating system? Mind you, some other photos from news feed are equally bad, and this is unacceptable for living room computer in a family with little kids. Luckily, one can easily disable that awful widget thing.

Windows 11 user settings screen

Finally, and this is the straw that broke the back, you really can't change Windows system language after the install. This was official and activated Windows 11 Pro installation, not a single language Home version, but yet all attempts to change the system language would fail. We are a family that uses four languages at home, and this operating system can simply not support us.

The photo above is result of trying to switch to English language using only available settings, not poking the registry or other hidden buttons. Good work on UI.

Things like this, from annoying ones to the utter stupidity, are the real reason people switch back to Windows 10. Maybe I would do that too in this case, but OEM licenses for it can not be purchased anymore, and I don't want to be stuck in this dead-end environment anymore.

Final goodbye to the Windows, this home is now (almost) Microsoft free.

Update: I had to revert back to Windows 10, since Ryzen 5 integrated graphics is relatively unsupported in Linux and requires frequent reboots in order for it to recognize it is attached to video output.