Having a mid-life crisis on top-of-the-range hardware

I’ve recently begun to realise that I’m not going to live forever.
“Surely not”, you’re thinking, “look at that young scamp in the profile picture, he’s not old enough to be having a mid-life crisis”.

Well, five minutes ago, that was a recent picture. Suddenly, it’s more than 10 years old. As Terry Pratchett once observed, “Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened”.

Fortunately, with age comes wisdom…or a sufficiently good credit rating with which to be properly self-indulgent.
Now, from what I’ve observed, men who get to my stage in life seem to seek some rather fast machinery as a cure for the onset of morbid reflections on the nature of their own mortality.
In this case however, it’s not the lure of a fast car that I’ve succumbed to. First and foremost, I am a geek. And right now, I’m a geek with a budget.

Time then to draw up the wish list for my new notebook. It will need to…

  • be bigger than my 10-inch netbook but small enough to still be reasonably portable
  • have a fast, cutting-edge processor
  • have an SSD with sufficient storage for all my needs
  • have large quantities of RAM
  • come with a Linux Operating System pre-installed

For any non-technical readers who’ve wandered down this far, the rough translation is that I want something with more silicon in it than one of those hour-glasses for measuring the time left before Brexit that have been on the telly recently.
It’s going to have to be so fast that it will, at the very least, offer Scotty the prospect of changing the Laws of Physics.
Oh, and I should still be able to use it on the train.

The requirement for a pre-installed Linux OS may be a factor which limits my choices.
Usually, I’m happy enough to purchase a machine with Windows pre-installed and then replace it with a Linux Distro of my choice.
Yes, this may involve some messing about with drivers and – in some cases – a kernel upgrade, but the process is generally fairly painless.
This time though, I’m going to be demanding. However much of a design classic a Mac may be, OSX just isn’t going to cut it. Linux is my OS of choice.
Furthermore, if I’m going to be paying top dollar for top-of-the range then I want everything to work out of the box.
Why? (pause to flick non-existent hair) Because I’m worth it.

Oh, as a beneficial side-effect it does also mean that I’ll save myself a few quid because I won’t have to fork out for a Windows License.

In the end, a combination of my exacting requirements and the advice and guidance of my son, who knows far more about this sort of thing, lead me to my final choice – the Dell XPS13

What follows is in the style of an Apple fanboy/fangirl handling their latest iThing…

Upon delivery, the package was carried to the kitchen table where it lay with all it’s promise of untold joy…

Yea, and there followed careful unwrapping…

It’s a….box

…Russian doll-like…

…before finally…

If Geekgasm isn’t a thing, it jolly well should be.

Now to setup the OS…

…before finally re-starting.

The first re-boot of a machine usually takes a little while as it sorts itself out so I’ll go and make a cof… oh, it’s back.
Yep, Ubuntu plus SSD ( 512GB capacity) plus a quad-core i7-7560 CPU equals “are you sure you actually pressed the button ?”

Ubuntu itself wasn’t necessarily my Linux distro of choice. That doesn’t matter too much however.
First of all, I’m quite happy to get familiar with Unity if it means I can still access all of that Linux loveliness.
Secondly, with the insane amount of system resources available( 16GB RAM to go with that CPU), I can simply spin up virtual environments with different linux distros, all sufficiently fast to act as they would if being run natively.
For example…

Right, now I’ve got that out of my system, I can wipe the drool off the keyboard and start to do something constructive…like search for cat videos.


One thought on “Having a mid-life crisis on top-of-the-range hardware

  1. I like your longer intros mainly because I don’t understand much after. Keep up the good work. Ps your handwriting has improved greatly

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