QZ qz thoughts
a blog from Eli the Bearded

Hardware Preference


My employer has provided me with a laptop (running Linux even!), and while I can't say it's my favorite, I'm liking it a lot.

My favorite, was the tiny Asus EEE PC. 10" (25cm) diagonal screen and a similarly compact keyboard. It was narrow, sturdy, light, cheap. I wouldn't like the lack of RAM or slow processor any more, but it was great for the time, and if there were newer computers like that I'd be buying them.

Tablets seem to have killed the netbook form-factor however. You can still find some very tiny screens, 5" to 7" screens, or you get 12" or 13" screens, but that middle size just is gone.

And yet. I have a 14" Lenovo X1 Carbon ("7th gen") from work and it's nice. I find the keyboard and trackpad acceptable, but still prefer a mouse to the trackpad. The screen is crisp and works as a touch-screen, even in Linux. It has a hardware switch / lens cover for the camera. Sound is fine, but the microphone doesn't work in Linux. (I found an external one, since I need to video call for work.) It's got USB-3 and USB-C ports. USB-C is great for charging and the others ones are good legacy devices.

(Apple's keyboards and trackpads are not to my taste. The trackpads in particular just feel wrong.)

If only Lenovo made this in a 10" model.

Reality Factory

When my twelve year old came to me looking for ways to make computer games, I applied my Google-fu and found this free (open source, open license) game development tool, based on the free (some sort of attribution license) Genesis3D modeling components. It runs on Windows XP, doesn't require C or C++ programming, and produces "Quake 2 dungeon crawl clone" games. A far cry from my 8-bit (and lower) youth, but initial impressions are good.

dead link: http://www.realityfactory.ca/