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    I’ve been creating a tabletop RPG - we’ve had our first play tests and now I’m fixing some of the issues that turned up in it. Aim is to launch around the end of the year.

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      So I’ve been encouraging people to switch to thinkpads.. but since they’ve gone off trying to replicate the Macbook, what hardware do people recommend?

      The T460 I think is probably going to be my last thinkpad if they stay going this “no FRU” path.

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        People have been recommending Dell XPS to me. I held one for a moment, it felt decent.

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          The issue for me with the XPS is that they don’t offer a non-touchscreen version with 16gb Ram (stuck at 8gb).

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            The XPS 13 is an excellent piece of hardware, better than any available MacBook.

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              Provided you’re comparing to the 13" macbooks.

              The current selection in 10-11" laptops is disgraceful. I can’t find anything that has enough RAM and won’t tip backwards, other than the macbook air and macbook 2015.

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                Does it support 16GB of RAM?

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                  Yup! And there’s a version that comes from the factory running Ubuntu because it’s part of Dell’s Project Sputnik.

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                It’s pretty nice, barring some really annoying design decisions:

                • power button glows really brightly
                • the laptop-connecting end of the power cord has a blinding white LED all around it
                • there’s a huge light on the side of the laptop (facing you) that glows with the light of a thousand suns whenever it’s charging
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                I personally don’t think there has been a great ThinkPad since the T61 (2007). I used mine until late 2013 when I got a MacBook.

                I wish they kept the legacy going, those were some truly beautiful laptops.

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                  I’ve been really happy with my Surface Book. Wonderful screen, touch is one of those little things that you don’t use much but it makes them better when you do (likewise the pen for signing PDF forms), keyboard feels great to me (but I like a light touch and short travel, others may disagree), first-party dock is immensely practical, battery life is plenty, other specs are good enough.

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                    Do you run Linux on the Surface Book? Did you try to run OpenBSD?

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                      No. Was planning to try FreeBSD on it but then I found WSL worked really well for what I needed and I couldn’t be bothered. There’s a community on reddit (SurfaceLinux) and I’ve heard some positive things, but don’t know the details.

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                    HP Spectre 13 came out as my vote of choice recently. Very happy with it. Best keyboard I’ve had in years, and it’s blooming quick too.

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                      I don’t think the problem is the hardware. There is lots of great PC hardware out there. Maybe not comparable on build quality, trackpad, and battery, but hardware that has other things going for it.

                      The problem is that there is no desktop OS that compares to macOS. This is especially true for laptops.

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                        I use mac os for work and windows 10 at home. I really don’t see any real difference beyond user preference.

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                          What about user experience, intuitive interface and general better design?

                          I don’t use windows but I help a fair lot with their windows machines, and nothing feels smooth, intuitive. The only thing I like is the combined menubar+dock. I loathe the macOS dock.

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                            I don’t think anything about windows is unintuitive. Windows acts largely like it has forever (aside from the Windows 8 start menu/metro thing). There’s nothing difficult about it. The macOS dock is bad, and I also think the launchpad is terrible. Finder is slower on my 2015 mbp (512gb/16gb/i7) than Cortana/search is on my Windows 10 desktop (512gb/8gb/i5). Not very much, but it’s noticeable. Both of them are SSDs.

                            General better design is completely subjective. I happen to prefer Windows 10 looks to macos. Different strokes!

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                      Finishing off Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Shadows of the Apt series, as well as N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season and starting the Split Worlds series by Emma Newman.

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                        These sound like SF titles. Are they?

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                          Mix of flintlock fantasy and SF

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                        Running a HP Spectre 13 here, into two external monitors. It’s currently running Github, a VM, several instances of Sublime Text and Chrome, Spotify, Nylas (email) and skype, with no appreciable issues. It’s also got the best laptop keyboard I’ve ever come across. Highly recommended.

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                          Starting on editing book one, thanks to feedback from some very lovely author friends, getting back into D&D, and working on the website for my wedding next year, which in turning into a platform as everything in the online part of the wedding industry sucks.

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                            On the non-technical side, I am re-reading Perdido Street Station by China Mieville. This is an incredible non-traditional fantasy novel that breaks free of the usual Tolkienian cliches that hurt the genre. I highly recommend it. I also very recently started reading The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie, which I’ve heard good things about.

                            As for technical reading, I am slowly making my way through Working Effectively with Legacy Code by Michael Feathers. It is full of great advice on how to gradually transform nasty codebases into unit-tested and well-factored ones. I have a bad habit of trying to completely rewrite rather than gradually refactor legacy code, and this book has been very helpful in that regard.

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                              The Blade Itself is a good read. If you enjoy it, for something very different but equally fantasy trope breaking, have a look at The Vagrant by Peter Newman, and on the sci-fi end, Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky

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                                I will definitely check those out, thanks for the suggestions!

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                                • A small analysis system to look at log files and flag any issues with Google’s crawls.
                                • Chapters 10-13 of my first novel
                                • Sorting the first printing of the board game I’m working on (rules now complete, printing a few first copies to get feedback)
                                • Planning a talk on React.JS
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                                  I’d give a shout outs to:

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                                    Assets for a board game, a novel, a bunch of blog posts for various things, and refactoring some old React code that needs tidying up on a small web app that logs mankind’s more interesting activities from 1750 to today.