corenominal

Full stack web developer, interested in all the things, but especially the web, code, design, Linux, OS X, PHP, WordPress, JavaScript & robots.

Tagged: x220

New MacBook

Yesterday, after many months of umming and ahhing, I finally purchased a replacement for my ageing ThinkPad X220. I opted for a MacBook, the 1.2 GHz dual-core Intel Core m5 model.

First impressions, I love it. It’s silent and super-lightweight, the display is amazing and the keyboard is surprisingly nice to type on.

My only concern, before I made the purchase, was that it might be somewhat underpowered, but I needn’t have worried; so far, it has handled everything I’ve thrown at it, including a couple of Linux virtual machines, which it runs just fine.

It’s still early days, but I’m thinking my new MacBook will definitely become my new go-to machine, replacing my beloved X220.

A couple of notes on Windows 10

First note: In December 2014, I purchased a copy of Windows 8 and installed it on an old desktop machine that I was using for testing. About a year later, when I purchased and built my hackintosh, I moved the Windows 8 license to it, dual-booting with OS X, and decommissioned the old desktop. Moving the license to my new machine involved a telephone call to Microsoft, but I explained the situation and the process was quite painless.

A few months later, I removed Windows 8 from that system, and ran OS X exclusively. Then, when Windows 10 was released last year, I reinstalled Windows 8 on a dual-boot partition and upgraded it to Windows 10, before removing it, again.

Yesterday, I needed to test something with Edge, so I installed Windows 10 as a virtual machine on my hackintosh. The install was super-easy and I had Windows 10 running in no time, but it was not activated. Not wanting to purchase another copy of Windows, just for testing purposes, I figured I’d attempt to activate it using my original Windows 8 license key. To my total surprise, it worked! WTF?

Second note: Becky has been running Windows 10 on her Lenovo X220 since it was released. For the most part, it worked okay, but every now-and-again the laptop would just turn itself off. When this happened, I would look at the event logs, but they wouldn’t shed any light on the matter, which was somewhat frustrating, more for Becky than me.

Anyhow, on Friday, the laptop turned itself off a few times in quick succession and I feared Becky was about to hulk-out and smash it to smithereens. So, to pacify the angry one, I offered her my old white MacBook as replacement machine, which she gratefully accepted.

This morning, I was feeling a little curious about Becky’s X220 and I found myself questioning what could be wrong with it. I figured it was possibly a hardware issue, but I should probably attempt to eliminate the possibility of it being caused by software. So, I wiped Windows 10 and installed the latest release of Ubuntu Desktop on it. It’s early days, but the laptop has been running continuously and so far there have been no problems. I’ll continue to use the machine over the next couple of days, but at the moment, it looks like the issues could have been Windows 10 related.

GNOME 3.18.2 on Debian Sid, initial impressions

It’s been a few days since I reinstalled Debian on my old ThinkPad x220, so I thought I’d briefly write down some of my initial impressions.

  1. GNOME is looking very good. I guess it’s difficult to judge GNOME’s progression when you’re using it continuously or repeatedly over a long period of time, the incremental improvements are too easy to overlook, but after taking a break from it for a number of months, it’s obvious to see how much it’s improved. It hasn’t quite reached the same levels of polish as OS X, but it’s looking a lot more uniformed and definitely heading in the right direction.
  2. Finder is okay, but Nautilus (aka Files) is better. I’ve really missed being able to mount remote drives over SSH, without having to use an external application. In comparison to Nautilus, Finder just feels a bit fiddly.
  3. GNOME Shell is very snappy and makes a nice change from the UI of OS X. I actually really like how OS X works, but GNOME Shell feels more modern and the Super key overview trigger is simple, fast and effective.
  4. Now, this one is all in my head, but using Debian makes me feel like a proper geek :)

Hello, Debian Sid, again

Last night, at Lincoln LUG, it occurred to me that I was kind of missing my old desktop Linux (I’ve not used desktop Linux for about 6 months or so, using OS X instead.) I felt really quite envious when I was looking at my friend’s systems. So, tonight, I installed Debian Sid on my old Lenovo X220. Now, I’m not sure how often I’m going to use it, but it’s nice to know that it’s installed and available if I need it. If nothing else, I’ll at least have a system that I can take to LUG meetings and not feel awkward about — whilst turning up with a MacBook is not frowned upon, we’re a relaxed and friendly group, it does make me feel like a bit of a pretender, even though I spend all day in a terminal attached to numerous Ubuntu servers.

P.S. I typed this up on my X220, I’d forgotten how nice the keyboard is on this thing.