Andddd… I am back to Linux!
I could last in the Windows realm for exactly a week. In my previous post I mentioned why I kind of parted ways with Arch+XMonad. I feel that I owe a better explanation. I will try to explain that later in this post as I am back to Linux but this time around giving Popos and Gnome a try.
Well thanks to Windows, I realized I am just a sucker for Linux/Unix-y Operating Systems. Despite WSL being more than usable, I somehow just didn’t like Windows. Within a week, Windows started annoying me with a lot of hang ups and slowness. Not to mention its hibernation is bad. I noticed that every time I started my laptop up from a hibernate/sleep it hanged often, was more unresponsive and it took quite a bit of time to get to a point where it was usable again.
Something I took for granted when using Archlinux was how fast everything was. My laptop felt nimble using it, something that I can’t say about in the one week that I used Windows exclusively.
I moved back to Windows because I was under the wrong impression that the battery life on my Arch was not as good as on Windows( while it still isn’t), it wasn’t that far off from what I got on Windows. And it is certainly something that I can live with.
I kind of have a love/hate relation with XMonad. I like how incredibly customizable it is but at the same time hate that I every time I come across a new scenario it is a distracting act. I go into modify my xmonad.hs to accomodate the new workflow. This distracts me away from my task and gets a bit annoying.
In my previous post I said I am a stacker, which is true but only because I realized that I never really got around to orienting myself with the paradigm of TWM. And also because my xmonad.hs is always in experimentaion mode. Having a Mac at work doesn’t help this cause either.
In the ~10 years, XMonad has been rock solid. Not once have I had any issue with using my config file. I have used and installed it multiple times on various laptops with multiple different versions of XMonad and everything just worked.
But even then, I think I find TWM and XMonad(compounded by my lack to Haskell proficiency1 distracting.
Understanding your workflow
So the thing with TWMs is that they work great once you have a proper workflow worked out. Which I believe is something that I never really got to with my XMonad config. Right now I am trying to pay more attention to interactions and see how to create my workflow.
I think once I have my workflows laid out and accounted for in my config, my XMonad experience might be more enjoyable.
PopOS in the only OS that gives a good out of the box experience. Especially since the Thinkpad sports a nvidia 1050ti graphics card. External monitor on Ubuntu didn’t work, Archlinux probably would have worked but it required some extra work from my end that I am currently not super interested in investing my time on.
The reasons it has won me over are:
- External monitor just works without having to write any xrandr scripts. External monitor setup on Laptops with Nvidia cards has its weirdities. It never worked for me on any of the Linux distributions I used with any of the DE. But on PopOS it worked as there was a separate ISO which included nvidia drivers. Huge kudos to PopOS team for this.
- Trackpad gestures work really well. If you are familiar with trackpad gestures on MacOS then there are similar gestures to navigate workspaces and show windows on PopOS. I never had any luck with gestures on Archlinux because of the previous point. Mouse gestures worked on Wayland but external monitor didn’t work. It is either or choice that I had to make.
- Four finger swipe up/down is to move between workspaces.
- Four finger swipe left show the windows in the current workspace.
- Four finger swipe right opens the app launcher.
- A sane application launcher. I could live with Gnome’s application launcher but after seeing popos’ launcher I just like this so much better.
- Color scheme, this is more cherry on the top. And I think Ubuntu also has a good theme. But I like the Grey+teal color scheme a little more. Looks nice on the eye.
- Even though I have accepted that I stack windows 80% of the time, 20% I still like to have Tiling windows and PopOS has a really nice tiling option. This is completely won me over.
Apple Macbook Pro
I think PopOS comes close to giving a MacOS like experience for those who are used to it. I would still like to go back to MacOS mainly because I use iPad and am planning on transitioning to iPhone2. Having a Mac and being in the Apple eco-system would make syncing things between the devices painless3. The default apps on MacOS are also great. Mail app is something that I have come to like a lot recently. I usually don’t use mail clients but since the time I have started using Mail(on iPad and on Mac at work) I have grown to really like mail clients. I have tried quite a few clients on Linux and none of them come close to the experience that Mail provides. Preview is also a really nice application, that makes signing, editing, annotating, merging/splitting pdfs quite smooth. And continuity is something I really like, which gives you the ability to copy on text/links pretty much anything and without having to do anything paste it on Mac. My attempts to find something similar for linux has been futile.
My current X1E has 32G Ram and if I want to replace it with Macbook pro then I want that to be my baseline. But I am eye-ing for the 64G model and it doesn’t come cheap so for now I am putting that plan on pause. My X1E has been serving me well and I don’t intend to replace it unless it starts to fail on me. Also the one thing I absolutely love about Thinkpad is how I can make the display be completely vertical (180°), it is very useful when I am working on couch(yes I use the laptop in weird ways, but it is comfortable to me).
If Apple brings that into Apple laptops I think it would be an undisputed laptop for me. 4
Something constantly interupts me when I start to learn Haskell.↩︎
I will do a post on this once I purchase and make the switch.↩︎
I wouldn’t have to depend on too many services for syncing notes, reminders, todos, etc.↩︎
Don’t think Apple would ever bring this design to Macbooks.↩︎