So as most of you know, I tend to take the last few weeks of every year off. Primarily I use this time to celebrate the year and reflect on its events. I also use this time to tie up any tech loose ends that I have... and boy did I have a few this year.
My biggest piece of in-home tech debt was definitely my camera system. For years I have run a hodge podge front door camera which basically amounted to an indoor web cam mounted in my front window which was pointed at the foot door area of the porch. The web cam was hooked up a to Raspberry Pi 4 running an RPI distribution called MotionEyeOS. Sadly this software hasn't been updated since mid 2020 as the maintainer had stepped away and nobody has stepped up to maintain it since.
Today's post is about a subject near and dear to my heart: Laptops with Linux preinstalled. Sadly this is not a happy post, but rather one in which I share my recent angst about the state of Linux Laptop hardware and how I have maneuvered myself into a very neglected corner.
So as regular readers know, I have largely only purchased laptops with Linux preinstalled for quite a few years. This is because as a person living within a capitalistic society, I am ethically compelled to vote with my dollar as it is the only vote I have which actually seems to matter. To make a long story short: I do not wish to reward Microsoft for their ongoing objectionable behaviors relating to Windows and I really don't much care for MacOS so Linux is my de-facto operating system of choice.
I've been a Linux fan for almost 30 years, yet in all of that time, I never actually attended a Linux event (ignoring a handful of local Linux User Group (LUG) events here and there). That is, until this past weekend when I attended SouthEast LinuxFest (SELF) 2023 in Charlotte, NC. So what took so long? Well frankly, traditionally I have avoided socializing with others. COVID and age have both helped to shift my position on this a bit.
So let's get this out of the way up front: I loved it and I will absolutely be attending SELF each year, barring scheduling problems and life in general, going forward. I absolutely regret that it took COVID to inspire me to go to one of these. It was such a refreshing experience to meet and talk with so many other people who were enthusiastic about Linux. Even in situations where there were hints dropped that we disagreed on a wide variety of other topics, the core of shared enthusiasm for Linux won out every time. We all had something in common that brought us together and it was awesome to experience that. The reality is that in my relatively small social circle, I'm basically the only Penguin (my chosen term for referring to myself as a Linux enthusiast). This means that my non-Penguin friends and co-workers have to suffer through bouts of hearing me gush about Linux.