My Current Computing Machines
Feb 9, 2020 - #tech #mac #thinkpad 

If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you’ll notice I’ve been talking a bit more about Macs lately because I’ve added a 2014 Mac Mini to my computing stable, as it were. I wrote about it a bit in my previous post, saying I was going to give it a month and decide if I would be using it for my main machine and having the PC remain as the photo editing and gaming rig. Well, given how awesome Mac OS has been, I’m keeping this device around. All my personal computing (finance, social media, coding) will be done from here, and the PC will remain as a photo editing, gaming and streaming machine.

With that said, I now have all three major operating systems represented, so let me go into a little about what each machine is, and its purpose in life:

Desktop PC

This was my main machine. Now, it will be used for streaming (if I ever get around to that again :) ), photo editing, gaming, and logging into work via a virtual machine. I haven’t tested the Mac with photo editing yet (the software I use does offer a Mac version, so I might see how it goes), and there’s just not enough oomph for me to run a VM for work. I could, in theory, just set the VPN up for work on this machine. More testing needed.

Mac Mini

This is now considered my main computing device when I don’t feel like gaming, or I don’t need to do photo editing (for now). I’m working on setting it up for learning more Go, possibly Rust and continuing to work on my Python 3 skills. Given that Mac OS is based on BSD, I’ve got a familiar terminal at my disposal, and the OS in general is a joy to use. I have this machine routing its DNS to [Pi-Hole][2] running on a Raspberry Pi 4 given that I’m moving personal data over here and it cuts down on ads quite a bit. The biggest thing I like is the integration with my iPhone and Apple Watch. Definitely a big plus. The only issue is that Mac OS font rendering on 1080p is a bit fuzzy. I will most likely swap out one of the 1080p monitors I have (I was dual-screening from the PC, but now the PC has one screen, the Mac has the other) and look for a QHD monitor. I don’t need a 144Hz monitor for that purpose, so hopefully I won’t spend an arm and a leg.

Thinkpad W540

This is my travelling machine. If I’m on call for work, this laptop goes where I go. It’s configured such that I can log into work anywhere I have an internet connection. It also has a Windows VM as sometimes I travel to the local makerspace and need to set something up for the CNC machines or the like and the software is Windows-only. I love this machine a lot, and I actually have a spare one for parts (though it is fully working, I tested it) in case this one dies. The keyboard is great, and while it doesn’t see as much use as the other machines, it’s still a good machine.

Final Thoughts

I don’t see myself running out and blowing a ton of money on new Apple gear. I’m content with the setup I have now, and given the pricing of Macbooks, I’ll stick with my Thinkpad for travel. I may in the future look to upgrade the Mini (read: replace it), but for now it works fine and fits well into my setup.