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Computer Things That I Like

Thursday April 13, 2023

I am known to have very strong opinions about technology. Nobody wants to hear me complain, so I’m going to talk about the things I use that I actually like and would recommend.

ThinkPad X230T

My baby. My son. An angel of a computer. I’m starting this list off strong because I love this thing. Of all the computers I have ever owned, this is my favorite. And like an autist, I will probably remember it fondly until I die. I got it on eBay for about $200. I use an Ultrabase 3 (a dock) to transform it into a desktop. This thing has a Wacom digitizer and the screen rotates around, turning into the chunkiest tablet you’ve ever seen. I’m not good at drawing, but since getting this laptop I’ve drawn more than ever before. It emulates old Nintendo games with no issues, and even Minecraft runs pretty great. Some disagree.

minecraft neofetch

I have jumped around various Linux distros on this thing and I think I’ll stick with Fedora and KDE for a while. Maybe I’ll switch to Debian or something down the line, but I think I’ll still use KDE.

Update: Fedora can suck my cock. I switched to EndeavourOS and it has been a million times more pleasant to use.

Would I recommend one to normal people?

No. I imagine Windows would run terribly on this thing. I am tied to the wall because the battery is pretty bad. It’s “heavy”. Someone like my sister is going to want a MacBook instead. You already know if you want something like this or not. If you play modern video games, look elsewhere. My friend bought an IdeaPad (barf) but he brings it to my house to play Street Fighter 5 (cool) and for a brief moment it made me wish I could learn to stop worrying and love the Nvidia GPU.

Pixel 5a

☠️
Do not buy a Pixel 5a. They will all inevitably suffer from a motherboard failure. It's a shame because it's an otherwise great phone.
It’s just a perfectly fine phone. No crazy bells and whistles. I would sooner die than use something other than stock Android. “Stock” Android has a different meaning depending on who you ask, but even by the super nerd definition, this is “stock enough.” Just for fun, here is a ranked list of smartphones that I have owned:

  1. Samsung Galaxy S3
  2. Pixel 5a
  3. Moto G5 Plus
  4. Nexus 6
  5. Moto E4

That makes it look like I didn’t like the Moto E4. I liked all those phones a lot and it was actually hard to rank.

A nice cherry on top is that you can install GrapheneOS on it. I’ll get around to it one of these days. Here is my experience.

Would I recommend one to normal people?

Yes. It’s just good. It has a good camera and that’s what 99% of people care about. The ONLY thing I don’t like about it is that it doesn’t have a micro SD card slot, but normal people wouldn’t use that anyway.

Dell Optiplexes

I have a 990 USFF and a 7040 SFF. The 990 is my home server and the 7040 emulates video games with Batocera. I should probably swap them since my home server could use the extra juice, but holy shit I do not feel like getting into that.

Anyway, Optiplexes are great if you get them for cheap. I got both of mine for free. I got my dad a 5050 for $150. I’m pushing mine to their limits so it would be worth it to replace them down the line with hardware specifically picked for the job (Multiple WD Reds for the server, a decent GPU for the emulator machine, etc.) but they have served me well for years. ESPECIALLY the 990. What a little beast. I think I’ve had it since high school. Damn I’m getting nostalgic over a computer that belongs in a cubicle.

Would I recommend one to normal people?

Yes. I got one for my dad and it handles obscure motorcycle forums beautifully. Don’t bother if you want to try to turn one into a gaming PC. Just let it be a simple desktop computer for simple tasks.

CODE Keyboard

I got this because I cannot stand gaming keyboards. I don’t want RGB backlights, terrible software, weird key switches, macro buttons, etc. I wanted a black keyboard with white backlights. The CODE keyboard is a black keyboard with white backlights. My last keyboard had the most hideous color scheme of all time (designed by me) and it used Cherry MX Browns. I hated it. This keyboard has Cherry MX Clears, which I think are fine. It feels like the key switch I’ll actually really like is still out there. The clears are an astronomical step up from the browns, also known as reds with dirt in them.

Would I recommend one to normal people?

Yeah, but it wouldn’t be my first suggestion because the average person could just go to Best Buy and pick up the first Logitech keyboard they see and be happy with it. If someone was like, “No, but I want a NICE keyboard” then yes I would recommend.

Honorable Mention - Sega Versus City

versus city

Look at it. It is so fucking cool. I love fighting games. This thing was built for fighting games and fighting game lovers. It’s been an ongoing process to get mine exactly how I want it. It’s actually a pain in the ass, but I still love it. You can read all about my struggle here.

Would I recommend one to normal people?

lol


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