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Reading and thinking

Looking for a laptop

Posted on July 29, 2016

Every now and then when you see your colleague coming back to the office, sit down showing off his/her latest acquisition: a shiny new expensive laptop packed with the latest technology the industry has to offer.

That’s the call to action, quickly you Google for the latest model on your 4-year old buddy which served you well so far. Whoa they run 3GHz quad-core on a 2.5-pound laptop for 9 hours? And the price is…well, let’s stop thinking about it and get back to work.

Really there’s nothing wrong with the 4-year old laptop. It might be bulky, dirty, slow and laggy in today’s standard, yet who’d sacrifice the setup one’s been fine-tuning for years? Who knows what’d happen to the new machines after loading the Dotfiles one’s been putting together all these years.

Maybe the latest hardware is too new for that distro/kernel, or video driver is not keeping up, or things failed to work because of unmaintained and unmet dependencies. Really there’s lots of risk going into buying a new laptop.

Still, the next day after lunch you’d sit down and explore alternative to the one slightly over your budget. Hell you’ve already got a budget inside you, even before you have figured out whether you need one or not.

Review videos and articles were consumed again and again, there’s always enough screen space to put that little browser tab as you work. So tempting for several time it was to click that ‘Buy Now’ or the ‘Customize’ button, only to find the price too unrealistic.

The idea of getting a new machine lingers, even though you’ve decided it’s both too expensive and not much of a need for that. A laptop with running on 2.5GHz quad-core CPU with 4GB RAM is just fine, especially all the work are done on an Azure instance with 4 cores, 8GB RAM, SSD even. It might run slow from time to time when Google Chrome eats too much RAM and that’s about it.

Before long you’d go through the same struggle when the 4-year old laptop becomes 5-year old, and the latest offerings become thinner, lighter and more powerful.

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