Playing around with more hardware

I finally got a functional home office cobbled together. I have a decent screen, a decent computer, and a key board and mouse. For the screen I have a 3440×1440 wide screen monitor. I’m generally on the fence about having an ultrawide versus a normal 4k monitor. In terms of width, it’s basically the same number of pixels, the main difference is how tall the monitor is.

My main thinking was that for coding it makes more sense to have a wider monitor, since I don’t need to use the vertical space as much. So I would prefer for the extra space to simply not exist instead of being “too tall”. The counter point to that is that I find myself branching off into more work flows like sketching or editing video where the vertical space actually helps. So I think i might move over to using one or more 4k monitors the next time I upgrade my computer.

In terms of the computer it’s a Thinkcentre Tiny with a Ryzen 2200GE. Since I generally use a terminal and watch youtube, it’s probably more than enough to run what I need it to. The main downside is the single channel memory which mostly has an impact on games. If it can run Resident Evil 0 or Resident Evil 4, i should be pretty happy. I don’t often have time to game, so I’m mostly generally interested in if the game will hypothetically run or not more than actually taking the time to play it. My actually gaming is focused on PSX or PSP games that can literally run on a toaster at this point.

For the keyboard, it never seems like I can find an “ideal” keyboard. I like tenless keyboards, but when I try mechanical keyboards they can be too loud and clacky. I tried the quiet mechanical keyboards and they turned out mushy. I like chiclet style keyboards, so a tenless chiclet style keyboard would be pretty awesome. In general I don’t seem to have any problems with membrane keyboards as long as they have a bit of travel and are quiet. The SK-8827 lenovo keyboard that came with the Thinkcentre I bought is pretty nice. It if didn’t have the number pad, it would actually be pretty damn perfect. But in general it seems hard to find the right keyboard with the right amount of weight, key travel, noise, and key layout. Cheap options are often mushy and poorly made, expensive options are pretty punishing if they don’t pan out.

For mouse, for now at least i have a wireless quiet mouse. Since I don’t use a mouse too often, it’s not that big of a deal. Kind of tempted to ditching a mouse for a wacom tablet that doubles as a trackpad. But I probably don’t draw enough for that to be worth it, so a quiet, cheap, wireless mouse is fine.

Now that I have a working desk set up, I’m thinking of how this affects my other devices. I have two laptops, one with windows, and the other with Linux. For the one with Windows I keep it around to be on the safe side. It mostly sits there collecting dust, so something fanless, and thin and light would make more sense. For Linux I like having a thin-client for coding, so I would prefer to have something thin and light with a long battery life. Really hoping to see more ARM computers in the laptop space, I think that would be really compelling for both a lite windows computer that has office, a web browser, and a few programs. And a lite linux computer with i3wm / sway for writing code.

I think I would be needlessly wasting money for buying anything currently on the market. Really hoping to see some M1 macbook clones trying to copy what Apple has done, so I’ll try to wait and watch things pan out. I would love to have a laptop powered by a Raspberry Pi computer module with different replacable parts. But again, for now I’ll leave my laptops alone as they work well enough for now.

Also a note is that now that I have a linux desktop for my main computer, I can probably take my Raspberry Pi 4 and play around with it. I would like to try installing i3wm / Sway on the Raspberry Pi and being able to play around with a slim desktop environment. Not sure if I want to go the distance and buy a case with a beefy cooling fan, but I have a sata-SSD, so I’ll probably clear that off and make that available to the Raspberry Pi to play around with it.

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