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Finally, change

Some big life changes

The last time I posted anything here was August 2020. Wow. That’s a pretty substantial break, but it does also coincide with the last time I had any time off work. So in a way it makes sense.

A lot has happened since then, but the biggest thing for me personally is that I have taken a job opportunity out in Germany. I’ve been trying to get out of the UK for a while now, so to have finally managed to secure an opportunity is pretty huge for me. I’m switching careers from programming to technical writing. It strikes me I’ve always had more of an interest in explaining how things are achieved than actually achieving them myself, so it’s a pretty good fit.

Obviously, the world is in the middle of a plague right now so my physical move isn’t going to happen for a little while, but I have officially left my old position and been set up with IT accounts etc. at my new one, so it’s all a go from here. I’ll be starting my new job remotely on Monday, so I’m pretty excited to get stuck in.

After a week off, of course.

I’m incredibly excited about starting a new life in Berlin. The last year has been a particularly tough one for me personally after my relationship broke down and I am feeling the need for change very keenly. I’ve also been making efforts to reconnect with old friends with whom I had stopped talking to try and keep myself in the loop. “Don’t be the asshole” is my new mantra.

Some smaller life changes

Of course, with a new life comes new hardware. Since I am switching my focus back to writing I decided it was high time I invest in a normal laptop. You know, one that’s actually portable and can sit on your lap. For several years I’ve been using a 17” gaming laptop which is neither really a gaming machine nor a laptop as it has the portability and power of a poor desktop. I’ve now handed this device to my dad so he has a bigger screen to watch his Chinese dramas on.

For my sins, I opted for an ultrabook after much debate. I’ve learned my lesson about investing in cheap hardware and decided to go for a top-of-the-line Dell XPS 13. This is a lovely little device and, despite needing a lot of fiddling to get it set up the way I like, I’m enjoying it as a portable workstation (however, who the hell decided two USB-C ports was all a laptop needed?).

Having fun with Windows

In preparation to hand my old machine to my dad, I installed Windows 10 on the device again and have been having a shufti at how the old system is going. From the looks of things, a huge amount has improved. The Windows Store continues to be a colossal waste of my time, but the new package manager has made a huge difference (and did back Keivan Beigi originally made it). I’ve even been contributing packages for it on Github just for gits and shiggles. It’s great being able to install apps on the command line just like in a proper OS.

Other than that, Windows continues to be a fairly stable and reliable experience. The machine runs well with it and the terminal functionality combined with WSL mean that I’m able to do all of my Linux shenanigans in one place with all the comfort of the world’s most widely supported OS.

Git for Windows still sucks, but what can you do?

I may write up a full review of the XPS 13 towards the end of the week once I’ve had some time to get to grips with it.