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

Excited to play Portal 2

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Wow! I got my Portal 2 the next day of ordering it from an Indian online games store (nextworld.in). That was impressive!

Immediately after finishing Portal (the prequel), I wanted to play the sequel (ah yes, I knew at the time that a sequel was in the pipeline). Portal was damn good: a fun way of solving puzzles the FPS way. Now to get my hands on the live gameplay when I get the time to install it. 🙂

Headed for an entertaining weekend

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Dhobi Ghat
Dhobi Ghat

Aah… another weekend, another two blissful days of playing PC games, peacefully. An added bonus this weekend has to offer are the two movies I’ll be going out for. First one, which is going to be today (company-sponsored), is the critically acclaimed, short-&-sweet flick Dhobi Ghat. It is one of the serious-type drama films one watches mostly for the story, direction and acting. Next will be Yamla Pagla Deewana, tomorrow, sponsored by a dear friend Gagan Walia as his b’day treat. It’s been a week since YPD was released, and from what I’ve heard till now, it is going to be one light-hearted, mindless comedy meant to be enjoyed with gangs. 🙂

UPDATE 1: Dhobi Ghat was quite a different experience, but a nice film, though most people around me didn’t like it at all, perhaps for it’s abrupt ending.

UPDATE 2: My dear friend Gagan Walia didn’t hold to his promise of Yamla Pagla Deewana, and I didn’t get to see it. 🙁

What am I thinking?

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Generally, I am regarded as a first-hand troubleshooter. People consult me when I am nearby and their PC is giving some problem. And it hurts me so much when I am not able to solve that problem, like it happened in the morning today.

Narain Karthikeyan is back in Formula 1. That’s a good news. I think he deserves being a regular at F1. Anyway, this time he’s with the HRT (Hispania Racing Team), rather than Jordan for whom he raced previously (2005).

Planning to visit Landmark bookstore today, in Gurgaon, after a long time, as suggested by Aman Mehra.

I recently read a nice speech by P.R. Sarkar where he presents his views on the reasons behind the formation of nations. I could not help myself agreeing to the view that the demarcation of nations does not happen so much because of culture, religion, people, and race, as it does because of the “sentiment” governing one or more of these factors.

Have not done much [PC] gaming of late. I have yet to take out some time for an ‘extended’ gaming session. I have a lots of them waiting to be finished.

Unity logo
Unity logo

Upgraded my Fedora to v14 (Laughlin) a couple of days back. I am happy to see the wonderful changes since v11 (Leonidas). Will be installing Unity‘s latest (v2010.2) tonight.