In October of 2015, I transitioned to using Linux as my primary OS at work. At the time I was using Ubuntu 14.04, as it was the suggested distribution for compiling and testing one of the main software products my employer creates, and it was (for the most part) compatible with all of the other various toolchains that I needed to use as an Embedded Software Engineer. I got along with it for the most part, and continued to use Mac OS X and Windows 8 in my personal life.
Fast forward to this past April, and I decided to purchase a used computer similar to the desktop I have at work for my own personal use. When it arrived, I opted to install Arch Linux (a distro I had tinkered with a few years ago), and began using it a few times a week to determine whether switching to Arch as my main distro at work was a viable option. I decided it was, and so in mid-May I began running Arch professionally as well.
This brings us to last Saturday, November 19, 2016. I had been considering moving from using a 3-year-old MacBook Pro as my daily driver to using Linux full time. And so, to that end, I purchased an Asus ZenBook UX330, with the intention of installing Arch on it. The ZenBook arrived on Monday afternoon, and my experiment began. Could I use a light-weight laptop running Arch as my go-to computer for everything except gaming (which I use a dedicated Windows rig for)? I spent 3-4 hours on Monday setting up the OS, and then had to stop for the night so I could be prepared to leave for my parents’ house at 6a on Tuesday.
I spent all of Tuesday morning traveling, and after meeting with a friend for lunch, and spending time with family in the early afternoon, I met my first challenge in my new Arch-filled life: how to sign on to my parents’ WiFi network with my chosen network setup: systemd-networkd. Thankfully, I had already connected to one WiFi network with my ZenBook (my own home network), and so between what I remembered and the Arch wiki, I was soon up and running.
The rest of the day was uneventful, until I got to the hotel I was staying at in the evening. I had not connected to a WiFi network yet that used no password, but linked your device via a room/name-based sign-on. Thankfully, every room as an ethernet port, and so I opted to avoid WiFi for the time being and simply use my trusty Anker USB3/Ethernet adapter to set up a wired connection. I was quickly on the hotel’s network, and the day went back to being uneventful.
And that brings me to today! Nothing eventful has happened today, other than I ran across a fun tool that I will probably do a brief blog post on at a later date. I am still using a wired connection for internet access, mostly because until this evening I have not had enough down time that I have wanted to experiment with things.
I intend to make this a multi-part blog post, detailing steps that I have to take as I move from using my MacBook Pro as my daily driver to replacing it with Linux and opensource tools. I know that I will be looking for a mail client to replace Airmail, and also potentially a note-taking tool to replace Evernote. Alternately, I may need to look for a way to use Evernote efficiently under Linux. I currently scan a large number of physical documents into Evernote for easy access when I am traveling, and for an easy digital filing system, and I suspect that my current workflow will not translate well to Linux
But, that’s an adventure for another day. And so, here’s wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving!