What your contributions buy: a writing axe I can love

This weekend I am working on the book about Facebook’s Libra — a really big dumb and bad idea in cryptocurrency. Resisting the urge to compile LibreOffice from git master yet again, one of my favourite displacement activities.

Might stop down the local CEX and see about an 11” laptop — it’s time to get back to a netbook. A writing device that’s mine. And cheap enough that if it breaks, I can just get another one.

I had a Dell Mini 9 ten years ago, and I loved it so much. The loved one and oldest daughter got a Dell Mini 1012 each too, and the youngest used 1018’s at school. If these took more than 2GB RAM, they’d be candidates.

I have a very powerful Lenovo X390 for the day job — 4-core/8-thread i7, 32GB RAM, compiles LibreOffice from source in 90 minutes! … and a fragile screen. I’m hell on laptops anyway, but I already broke the screen on this one previously, and I now regard this £1,300 corporate beast machine as a fragile toy I don’t want to risk touching too hard.

I went to Curry’s on Monday and tapped away on some tiny laptops. 11″ laptops seem to have close to full-sized keyboards these days! I’d love the new 12″ HP Chromebook x360 if it was cheaper…

Likely going for one of the underpowered Windows 10 Chromebook competitors with 4GB RAM — I traveled to Vancouver last month with the loved one’s Chromebook, a grey 14″ HP thing, and even posted to the blog from it.

I wholeheartedly recommend a Chromebook as a travel laptop — precisely because it’s cheap, cheerful, and not a disaster if it’s lost, stolen or broken — but it turns out I really like having PgUp/PgDown keys.

Though I’d accept a sufficiently ’l33t, or cheap, Chromebook. And then put GalliumOS on it, the Ubuntu variant for Chromebooks.

I thought I wanted a Microsoft Surface Go — I am deeply impressed by a 10” tablet that is genuinely a proper PC, and apparently they Linux surprisingly well — but the form factor isn’t quite right for what I want, which is sitting on the couch and typing a lot. I need a laptop, not a tablet that sort of does being a laptop. (The loved one would really like a Surface Go as an artist’s tablet, though.)

And if I want literally today’s build of LibreOffice, I can build it on the work laptop and copy over the installation directory. You can do that with LibreOffice.

Update: patron David S. H. Rosenthal on his tiny travel laptop experiences.

Update 2: netbook managed! I got a Hypa Flux from Argos. Here’s my review.

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