I'm switching back to Linux

Tom Golden
Tom Golden

This is my comparison of my options in table form.

After trying a few different distros to see what's changed in the scene, I ended up going with Manjaro Linux (derived from Arch Linux) using the Gnome 3 desktop environment.

I really like it. Gnome's default layout is a bad UX, but Gnome Layout Manager allows you to change it to match whatever UI best suits you, which is fantastic!

It includes a MacOS-esque one, complete with dock; a Windows-esque one, complete with start menu; an Ubuntu Unity-esque one, complete with vertical nav; and the one I'll be using is Tiling: i.e. "Material Shell". After using Material UI on some projects in my web development, my response is to scream upon seeing Material-anything, but my issue is generally with Material Design's implementation, not its concept.

Indeed, this layout actually follows Material principles rather than the design; with an intuitive way of structure and manipulating space. Congratulations to the developers; they did a fantastic job with it.

In switching to Linux, it also made sense to switch to a non-Apple PC, and after a month of soul searching and spec hunting, I found what must be the best value laptop I've ever seen: the HP Envy x360 13-ay line; mine is with the Ryzen 7 4800U APU and 16GB of RAM.

It's more powerful than my old $3k MacBook Pro 16" at $999. While the touchpad is not as good as the MacBook, with tap to click it is passable; the keyboard is also a bit better, and it comes with a touchscreen and supports pen input. The main compromise is the screen; which had a 400nit option that was sold out by the time I ended up buying it. Lastly, the battery life seems to be nearly double the MacBook at half the weight.

Windows laptops can be a mixed bag, but this one's a beaut.

I'm also going to building a Workstation PC to do my serious work; as I'm looking to try some neural network training and improving my machine learning skills.


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