Modern Computing

Posted on Nov 24, 2022


These are the computers I use both to get my job done and also to screw around. The T451 is the oldest, and should probably be replaced with something newer, but….meh, Windows. The macs are both running Ventura. The Beelink is running Pop!_OS. The HP Elitedesk is running Ubuntu linux and lives in the laundry room as my primary server, which is currently serving, among other things, this page.

Apple Mac Mini M2 Pro (2022)

This 2022 M2 Pro Apple Mac Mini replaced a M1 Mini that was the first computer I’d bought in years that actually felt like a real upgrade over the computer I was using before. Apple people always talk about one generation over another in terms of how ‘snappy’ they are. That computer actually feels pretty ‘snappy’…whatever that is. I replaced it with this M2 Pro only because the M2 Pro supports two Thunderbolt displays, where the M1 only supported 1 Thunderbolt display and 1 HDMI display.

Apple Macbook Pro 16" (2019)

This is my primary mobile machine. It usually sits around unused until I have to go out and about. I go out-and-about pretty regularly, though, so it gets a fair amont of use. If and when Apple released a M2 version of the bigger Macbook Pro, this’ll probably probably be retired.

IBM Thinkpad T450 (Windows 10)

_I think this has a 3rd generation i5 in it. This was an eBay special from a few years ago. The original mechanical disk was replaced with an SSD, the batteries were replaced, the memory maxed out, and the screen was upgraded to a 1080p panel. I was running Windows 10 on this system, but moved it to Pop!OS and put Windows on the Beelink.

This was a recent pickup because I wanted something to stick next to the Mac Mini that I could run a desktop version of Linux on and not take up a lot of space. It’s an 8th generation i5 with 16 GB of memory and a 500 GB SSD. Originally I was going to run Linux on a Raspberry Pi 400, but it was just too slow to use as a desktop computer. I was running Linux on this, but moved it over to Windows 11 and stuck Linux on the T451.

HP Elitedesk ??? (Ubuntu Server)

This is a machine I picked up from the local university’s surplus store. It’s running headless with the ‘server’ version of Ubuntu install on it. It’s the main ‘basement’ server in the house, and has to put up with a lot of ridiculous demands from me with regards to the software I’m asking it to run.


I keeps the Macs up to date, so they’re both running Ventura. The little Beelink is currently running Pop!_OS linux, which I find to be a reasonbly decent distro in terms of both stability and footprint. The Thinkpad is currently running Windows 10, mainly just as a ‘compatibility checker,’ because I’m not much of a Windows fan.

I spend a lot of time in the CLI. iTerm is my default terminal app on the Macs. Terminator is my default terminal on the linux desktop. I run zshell and oh-my-zsh on all of the mac and linux systems, with the same configuration so I need as little context-switching as possible. On emacs versus vi, I come down on the side of vim, but honestly most of the time I’ll just use nano. I use weechat for IRC. The ubuntu server is set up with mosh and tmux, so I basically have one instance of IRC going that is always connected that I can get into from any machine.

I use Sublime on all three platforms as my main code editor, though I’ve been messing around a little bit with Visual Studio Code. I use Safari on the Macs and Firefox on the linux box. I have Chrome installed on all of them, but my preference is to not use it unless I need to. Acorn is my graphics editor of choice, because it’s inexpensive and fairly full-featured for the sorts of editing I do.


Remember that one time, when I said I wasn’t much of a Windows fan? That’s because I got really tired of wrangling with drivers back in the early 2000s and jumped over to consoles. The Playstation is my console of choice, but there’s also a Switch around for Nintendo first-party games.

Playstation 5

This is the ‘main’ console I use, mostly because I’ve been using the Dualshock family of controllers for so long that they just feel natural to me. Obviously all Playstation exclusives end up on here, but with few exceptions, all multi-platform games end up on it, too.

Nintendo Switch

I picked this up mostly so my daughter could play Animal Crossing, but like many of her generation, she’s really mostly interested in playing games on her iOS devices. It still gets used for a number of first party Nintendo games, though.