on consumption

bill gates in a candy store

technology is like quieting a kid with candy

candy always makes children quiet. they could be missing a leg and they would still shut up. i know that this is true because i was that child, so easily pacified, but this method of parenting has a problem: it's not at all sustainable.

- electric taps vs push taps
- you can't fix problems with technology

we've got to a point that most of the progress we make is no longer pure progress, something is lost somewhere. maybe it's always been like that. but whereas before, the net impact of the progress was a positive, now it's more and more flat, and even in some cases a negative.

stop buying new stuff

get shit second hand

ode to my kindle

of course i don't really like kindles because i don't really like big companies, and amazon is particularly bad, but the kindle is still a great product.

i sat on my kindle and broke it. i replaced it with a kobo. somehow i managed to break that too. now i just use books.

anyway, the kindle, and ereaders in general, are still one of my favourite uses of technology. they do one thing, and most of them do it pretty well.

but it didn't make things better because i kept sitting on the fucker

subjective appeals to classic and modern

pong is not a good video game

it is a classic, but classic ≠ good. more generally, a product or idea that starts something is almost never the best example of that something. also, something's "goodness" is never tied to the period it's from: words like "vintage", "traditional", and "modern" mean nothing.

old technology

first of all, i think it's really time we stopped using "technology" to refer to computerised stuff and nothing else

second of all, i think it's quite important that we stop using age as a measure of how good technology is.

fountain pens have legitimate advantages and disadvantages, but none of those are that they are traditional. see PongIsNotAGoodVideoGame.

people appeal to retro and vintage etc for the good old days

on computers

- computers are a creative medium
- computers are tools
- less computers

repairable computers are nice but currently either a bit buggy (pinebook pro) or very hefty (thinkpad x2*0)

i love laptops. best form factor.

my experiences with the pinebook pro

as i'm sure most of the people who are likely to read this are aware by now, the pinebook pro is a laptop manufactured by pine64. it costs two hundred dollars and has an arm processor.

the history

for a long time i have been using a laptop as if it's an 80's microcomputer, as various parts of it fell apart, or a took it apart. it hasn't been wholly convenient, so i decided that when a decent opportunity arose, i would buy a new laptop.

in october of 2019, i ordered a libreboot x200 from minifree. a week later, the site went down, and then issue after issue came up. eventually i reached out to leah, who was very helpful and lovely, but having some troubles fulfilling orders and maintaining motivation. that resulted in me getting a refund, which i almost immediately spent on the pinebook pro.

as far as i can remember, i received no confirmation email after paying, nor any status updates until dhl got in touch to ask me for fifty pounds in vat and shipping fees. beyond that, everything was pretty smooth. i requested that dhl leave the package in the porch, which they did on the day that i expected.

the first impressions

like everybody else i have heard talking about the unboxing experience, i found the number of layers of boxes amusing. inside, the computer looked quite stylish, although in the three seconds or so that it took to take it out and put it on the table, it managed to collect quite a few smudges.

the setup was smooth.
for the most part, the computer was silent, but occasionally it made (and still does make) a faint high-pitched wining sound. i'm not sure why, and some people might find it frustrating, but it's infrequent enough for me that i'm not too bothered.

i don't know what it is, but something about the keyboard initially felt a bit odd. it might just be the increased travel compared to what i was used to; whatever the case, my typing was slightly less accurate than usual at first.

the first day

the computer comes with plasma. i've never really used plasma, but i thought i'd stay with a batteries-included environment for the moment, so i installed gnome, which was pretty fast going. after disabling animations with gnome tweaks, the experience was very acceptable.

at some point i restarted the computer. my default state is for networking to be off, but it took me a while to realise that the time was wrong this time around. as far as i know the motherboard doesn't have any kind of battery, so the time picks up straight where it left off — in my case an hour earlier.
there is probably a way of doing something about this, but i just connected to the internet at some point and it rectified itself; i don't use the computer's clock that much anyway. some people may find this much more irritating.

there seems to be very little difference between the battery life when the computer is running and when it's suspended. apparently this is a known issue and is being worked on, and i haven't done any tests, my evidence is all anecdotal. when i leave the computer in the evening at eighty percent battery, it tends to be at about thirty percent the following morning. i'm assuming this is a software issue and will see how it improves.

i ended the first day by watching normal people in bed, which is something i haven't been able to do for a long time (not normal people specifically, just any show on a laptop). all my media is downloaded, so i can't speak fairly for watching videos in a browser (although in my brief experience with youtube i think it's fair to say it's not great), but watching videos with mpv is fine. the gnome video program won't run any formats that are non-free; it requests that i download the right packages, but cannot find the packages in the software centre. once again, this isn't a problem for me as i just use mpv - your mileage may vary.

- broke suspend
- usb-c very slow

pixelbook

i bought a google pixelbook go the other week, which is on the surfaceprobably the least bang-for-buck thing i've ever owned. it's also quite an out-of-character purchase, especially considering i didn't even have a google account before i picked it up.

i don't love smartphones