My Next Desktop

While I own multiple laptops, I am still totally addicted to using desktop computers, and monitors, and wired keyboards and touchpads. Wireless keyboards/mice are mostly just annoying. The privacy minded will clearly understand the desire to keep every keystroke or mouse movement off of the radio waves.

It’s interesting, though, that I get by every night at work using my work laptop. I hate using it as a standalone laptop, the keyboard sucks and the touchpad is too huge. 99% of the time, I used it at work, plugged into a Thunderbolt 3 docking station, multiple external monitors, and my wired keyboard and mouse. I almost never use any other configuration. I even have a favorite desk. The only real downside to moving desks is the possibility of a flakey Thunderbolt 3 cable or docking station.

At home, I’m currently using an late 2012 iMac 27, with 3.4 GHz, 4 core, 8 thread, 3rd generation Intel Core i7, 32 GB RAM, and 768 GB SSD. I also have a thunderbolt-HDMI dongle attached to a Samsung 40″ HDTV as a second monitor.

Right now, I’m thinking my next PC would likely be one of the Intel NUC performance models, although I’m not happy the current maximum RAM limits have not improved in the past 7 years. The current NUC8i7HVK also supports up to 32 GB RAM and 2 TB M.2 nVME SSD, but also newer displayPort and HDMI versions, meaning 4K UHD.

With Intel’s recent announcements of the gen9 Core chips, I’m hoping the NUC9 line will be available soon. Benefiting from the new Intel 10nm chip fabs will help with the recent competition from AMD and their 7nm fabs.

I am still searching for a mini-ITX configuration that will run a 2nd or 3rd generation AMD Ryzen chip, at least 8 core. I really want to see a max of more than 32 GB, split across more than just two memory channels. I want multiple thunderbolt 3 ports, multiple displayPort ports, for dual monitors, and dual GbE ports.

I really have enjoyed the last 15 years in the Apple Mac ecosystem, but they really haven’t paid much attention to the Mac hardware line ever since the iPhone craze took over. Apple totally forgot where their influencers came from, yet again.

Back in the 1970s, the Apple line created some of the most interesting and productive user communities. There were an endless number of local user groups for people to get involved with.

The current “app economy” has ruined the formerly popular open-source development environment. People used to produce open source software because the open source community tends to work at producing quality software. These days, everyone seems to be exclusively motivated by the desire to get paid. Many of the most popular open-source projects are actually bank-rolled by one or more major corporations.

My point? The “Apple Community” has mostly dispersed into the winds of yesteryear.

I have come to realize my core applications are: Mozilla Firefox, any reasonable Email app, VirtualBox. I really don’t need much more than a Chromebook, except that using a Chromebook means you agree to give away all your personal information to them.

There are always ways to monitor us, we can’t completely avoid it.