Windows 11 RTM interface, canto 34: vexilla, regis prodeunt inferni ►

◄ I'm going to go out on a limb and call Logitech ecological terrorists

2021-11-28 📌 Quick state of the tech address

Tags All Tech Personal

As I was upgrading a 2012 laptop to Mint Xfce 20.2 for someone it occurred it's been a while (seven years) since I took stock of my own picks for things.

Desktop – (2013 era) ThinkCentre M92p running Kubuntu with what neofetch reminds me is an Intel i5-3470T (4) @ 3.600GHz processor, 16GB RAM, 2TB drive. So still respectable and the biggest bottleneck with this is that I'm using NTFS data partitions, but Kubuntu 22.04 should bring the Paragon NTFS kernel driver and a performance boost. It ran Windows 7, would have run the spyware-infested 10, and it's obscene that when tech waste is such a high-profile environmental problem that 11 has been nobbled so hardware of this age won't run in a supported way. You can only hope that when the latest Windows refresh really hits in 2024-25 that hundreds of millions of PCs get set up as capable web-browsing and light productivity machines, with Linux distros used to upgrade them, instead of ending up as landfill. All of that silicon etc spent millions of years in rocks, and it doesn't and shouldn't wear out to suit shareholder refresh cycles. That's a common theme for most of what's on this list. It's less about thrift and more a case of this stuff works well.

Tablet – (2019 era) Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 with 256GB card. I'm using this more heavily than expected, and the market for higher end tablets in this size class must be shrinking when the entry level (well, the entry level above the cheapest subsidised Fire tablets) has become this capable. It doesn't like 4K content but the screen size means that's pointless anyway, so what's the use case for incremental gains? Recently discovered Android now does split screen apps for eg browsing/watching and taking notes.

Laptop – (2015 era) Lenovo YOGA 300-11IBY running Mint Xfce. 2GB soldered RAM and a cheap SSD replacing the terrible eMMC storage it came with. Hardly used. Good hinges, touchscreen and HDMI output for use with a TV.

Camera – (2017 era) LG G6 retail demo unit. Better than any other point and click camera I've owned, particularly in low light.

Phone – (2014 era) Nokia 220 which I don't think has even had a battery replaced and is still holding charge decently. Basic camera and torch. Do people actually make phone calls any more?

MP3 Player – Sansa Clip+ (2009 era) with Rockbox that hasn't seen much use since work isn't easily walkable now. I've got a Samsung A5 retail demo unit (2015 era) for bedtime listening, a Samsung A3 retail demo unit (2015 era) with 256GB storage to hook up to speakers, and a (2017 era) Fire tablet should either of those need switching out, the one virtue of which is battery life.

E-Reader – the Kindle 4 (2011 era) was just to register to be able to get downloadable versions of Amazon books to put onto other devices, although it's a perfectly good disposable piece of kit to carry. I've also got a Kobo Touch (2011 era) that doesn't get used, plus a Kindle 3 Keyboard (2010) for the free general purpose 3G internet, whilst 3G still exists, which is good enough to read email. In the absence of cheap paperback sized e-ink screens (although a few more 8" models are around now so refurb is an option if you want something this size that it doesn't matter too much when broken) tablets currently hold this market. Interestingly, these are still about as good as e-readers got because they don't have back lights, which interfere with the crispness of text. Newer devices might achieve less distracting refresh cycles, but the actual tech and pricing of the things has hardly moved forward at all. All to do with licensing costs asked by e-ink patent holders unfortunately, it seems.