Okay, I am going to be very traditional man in this post and waffle on about my latest electrical gadget. Please forgive me and be assured that I am still as modern a man as before, I still do the cooking in our house for a start. I never fail to make the Yorkshire Puddings rise when I cook the roast, and my Sunday joint comes out of the oven juicy and tender…anyway, back to this post.
The new laptop arrived on Friday and I am already enjoying playing with it. I would drive up to the Entroware office to thank all their staff personally but I hope that my payment to them tells them everything that I want to say.
For the first time in my life, my choice of new laptop has not been almost entirely dictated by price tag with whatever scant specification I can be lucky enough to get. I enjoyed this position as I had been saving specifically for the event of having to replace my laptop especially as it was clearly reaching the end of its useful life.
Ubuntu-Mate lets you choose from several different desktop layouts – I opted for Netbook with a dock (plank) as an extra option
I was running a Linux OS (Operating System) on my old laptop and was finding that I had time between pressing the on switch and subsequently seeing the logon prompt to switch on a kettle and throw a teabag in a mug. Oh, and start the washing machine! Man, it was like I had been running Windows XP rather than Ubuntu.
A little research showed that I would be not be charged a premium for getting a laptop with Linux pre-installed, and so I decided early on that I would take this course. I weighed up a few different providers and narrowed my search after eliminating Elementary OS as my choice of Linux OS. It seems a very solid OS but I find Elementary OS a bit boring, to be honest, but don’t let that scare you off if you like the look and feel of Elementary OS. The reason for so many Linux distros is that a multitude of wants and needs are being provided for.
I settled on Entroware as they had two things that I particularly covet. They seemed to offer quite a lot of specification in return for each pound spent as well as also enjoying favourable reviews online for after sales care.
I had to choose between Ubuntu and Ubuntu-Mate to be pre-installed and opted for the latter OS. I prefer the Ubuntu-Mate desktop to Ubuntu and was finally persuaded on choosing Ubuntu-Mate on noting that Entroware is named on the Ubuntu-Mate website (ubuntu-mate.org) as one of the four main sponsors of the development of the OS. Hmm, I thought, there’s a good chance that Entroware may have provided some machines for testing during development, so Ubuntu-Mate is likely to fit Entroware laptops like a glove (to use a cliché).
I decided on the Aether model and opted for the default size SSD (solid state drive) on which the Ubuntu-Mate OS is installed. SSDs are lightning fast in comparison to HDDs (Hard Disc Drives) and opening LibreOffice has never been so quick for me.
As an upgrade on the default specification, I both upped the processor as well as opting for a second disc drive on which I am storing my files. The second drive is a 1TB (terabyte) HDD and appears to be the only moving part that makes a noise in my new machine. I realise that a SSD should last almost as long as a HDD under normal use and so this was not the reason I opted for an additional HDD rather than choose a larger SSD. The reason that I opted for a HDD for my file storage is that I could get more space for my money. HDDs are cheaper than SSDs and storing my files on a slower HDD will have a negligible effect on the laptop’s overall speed.
Everything is dramatically faster on the new laptop than my old machine and not just in the start up times. Uploading files to my SpiderOak account is so much faster, for example. I can upload in excess of 1GB (gigabyte) of data in the same time that my old laptop would take to upload five or six LibreOffice documents. This is entirely down to the laptop’s performance as my internet connection is no different now than it was a month ago.
So, that’s the end of me reverting to type as a man and banging on about my new gadget.
I should now be able to get a lot more done in the same time which is the important thing. I’m not a gamer but do most other things online, such as bill paying. And yes, in case you are wondering, my VPN was one of the first things that I configured in Network Manager.