re: That Linux Mint 11" MacBook Air project, I couldn’t resist the urge to futz a little so I went ahead and tried the Cinnamon variant on it … just to see how it behaved. Seems fine. I turned off all the window effects because I’m oppositional that way, so I don’t know if it’s really “just fine,” but it’s working for me.

I added a few fonts, tweaked a few settings, and got enough stuff set up that I could clone my Doom Emacs config down to it and write a post using the Ghost Text extension. Emacs was sort of a weird one: It seemed to make the most sense to get Snap installed to get a newer Emacs, but I arrived at that conclusion after only cursory searching.

I’ve also got 1Password, Slack, Chrome, and Zoom on it. I don’t like Chrome that much but I use it for my work browser to keep Firefox clear of work-related stuff.

I don’t know if there’s much useful I could write about how different everything is since I last ran a Linux desktop regularly. It has been a very long time. Some things are faster and easier, some things are still annoying but in slightly different ways. Some things seem largely the same. So much of my digital existence is about getting to web pages, running a few apps, and doing a few things in a shell that a lot of the last day has just been me shrugging and saying, “I guess that’s how the kids are doing it these days.” None of it is an outrage against my sense of autonomy or efficacy, though I am sure there is stuff going on underneath that is very upsetting to someone.

So my friend Chris’s observation that doing this to an 11" MacBook Air is basically just a way to make a serviceable Chromebook experience on niceish hardware seems to hold. I can do most of my stuff on it. I have perhaps a little less anxiety that Google will change something on me and I’ll lose whatever I did to personalize the machine, but it has also been a while since I have done whatever one once did to make a Chromebook more Linux-y, so maybe that’s not even a thing anymore.

The one remaining piece of “real work” I haven’t attempted is raw photo processing. I did sign on to Lightroom’s web app and took that for a spin. It was fine for some touchup work. But I haven’t yet tried any of the photo tools available to me.

This thing also has a Thunderbolt port, so tomorrow when I have a few minutes I am going to dig out an old Thunderbolt cable and adapter and try hooking this thing up to a nicer monitor, just to see what that’s like. I am pretty sure Lightroom is my non-negotiable app, but for as much as I feel a little jaded about screwing around with Linux desktops I’m also sort of curious to see what it’s like in slightly less cramped confines.

You know … fun.