Made the switch back from Mac to Linux

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After serving me dutifully for more than 4 years, my MacBook Pro 13″ (early 2015)’s battery died. It was a terrible sight. I was in the mid of a programming spree when that happened. There was a powercut and, whoosh, everything disappeared from the screen. It was puzzling at first. I thought my laptop had shutdown under the strain of my app’s build process. On powering it on again, my Mac appeared to behaved normally. That was until I noticed the battery health icon in system tray. All of a sudden, it was asking me to service the battery and power source was set to power adapter.

CreditMake Tech Easier

I was stunned, to say the least. I immediately googled around and found a few things to try and fix the situation, like tips mentioned in this article (reset SMC and all). Unfortunately, nothing worked for me. I was left with no option but to accept that my MacBook was not going to be the same.

During the next few days, I continued to use my Mac with adapter as power source. With frequent power cuts, it was annoying to see the laptop shutdown suddenly and then waste precious time restore everything. For a while, I considered getting a new battery. What held me back was its prohibitive cost (Rs. 10-12k) and lockdown due to COVID-19. To make matters worse, my MacBook strangely got slow and sluggish. I could feel a noticeable 20-30% reduction in speed and power. Software builds took more time, browsing and scrolling web pages were janky, etc.

For the next couple of weeks, I resorted to using my wife’s old, insanely under-powered laptop. It was hard at first, but when I had set it up with Ubuntu Linux things got a lot better. I could run VS Code, Docker, Firefox, all at once. It took some time and patience to get used to the new speed standards, but at least this thing was presently more reliable than my no battery MacBook.

Days passed by. I continued to do my daily work on the oldie, and found myself not touching my MacBook for days at a stretch. It was a weird feeling – I had never not opened my Mac at least once a day in all of its four years.

In the following days, I started feeling like getting a new laptop. For a professional programmer like me, a laptop was his “tool of the trade”, and it was not wise to keep using an old tool on the cost of productivity. After a couple of days research I settled on Dell Inspiron 7591. It was a far cry from the premium world of Apple laptops, but it was respectably ahead in terms of sheer performance.

I’m typing this post from my new laptop, running Ubuntu side-by-side with Windows. Linux is my primary OS once again, and I’m happy to be back. Although, to be honest, I will certainly miss my Mac’s convenience and premium feel. But the new thing has a lot of good stuff to offset that:

  • way more power*
  • larger screen
  • decently lightweight
  • a nice keyboard
  • I can finally play games again 😎

Intel Core i5-9300H
16 GB DDR4 2666 MHz RAM
512 GB SSD
NVIDIA GeForce 1050 GTX

* My Dell Inspiron 7591’s configuration

Here’s the customary desktop screenshot:

Ubuntu 20.04 running on my new Dell Inspiron 7591

What am I thinking?

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Apple App Store
Apple App Store

Finally the Apple App Store has crossed the outrageous figure of 10 billion app downloads. Well, with the increasing adoption of Apple devices (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad), one would have seen this coming. The 10 billion figure can be a little misleading as it probably includes app update downloads and app re-downloads which contribute to a major part of the aggregate downloads. Whatever it maybe, I was also a significant (lol) contributor with 50 or so apps download on my iPod Touch.

Just thinking about Oracle already infuriates me enough that I sometimes fancy smashing my computer screen when I read about yet another news about Oracle suing somebody. It has become such a suing machine that I doubt it bought Sun primarily for suing others for purported copyright infringements of Sun’s various products. And what’s worse about Orcale is instead of building on (or at least maintaining) Sun’s reputation as an open-source promoter and leader, they are shamelessly destroying it. OpenSolaris and OpenOffice have already got their shares of apathy from Oracle. I wonder what’s next. MySQL? Solaris? Shame on you, Orcale!

The Hobbit
The Hobbit

And finally, I was able to make use of my Landmark discount coupon (I won in a caption contest in office). On Friday, I bought two books – The Hobbit (There And Back Again) and To Cut a Long Story Short. Now, to finish my on-going reads and get to The Hobbit fast before the release of the movie (Peter Jackson‘s) next year. Talking about the movie, I am excited about it. 🙂

Google Chrome – My Views and Review

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Google is everywhere these days. Most of their products, or “innovations” as many people like to call them, usually get very successful. Like GMail, Orkut, Google Docs, and many more. Some time back, they decided that we, the people, need an all new browser that would redefine our browsing experience. So, here we have yet another browser. And the name is Chrome, Google Chrome.

Just a day before the launch of Chrome, a blog entry was made on the Official Google Blog on 1st September notifying the readers about the launch date of a beta of Chrome. That was when I came to know about it. So, I eagerly waited for the next day to arrive. Although I had my exam the day following the lauch date, I still preferred to wake up at night and be one of the first ones to download it.

My first attempt on downloading was when I went to the official Chrome site for it. From there, I got a 470KB executable which would download the actual Chrome browser from the Internet. As my modem has a tendency to disconnect very frequently, I made 3 unsuccessful attempts of downloading Chrome through that 470KB file. On some googling, I got a direct link to the actual Chrome installer which was around  7MB in size.

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