The women in my life gifted me with a sweet HP Envy 15-as133cl 15t laptop. I guess they saw the keys pop off of my old HP laptop a few too many times.
The new laptop has an HD screen (1920 x 1080), a lot of memory (16GB), an Intel i7 CPU (not sure of the exact model) and a 1 TB hard drive.
Right now I’m running the Windows 10 that came with it. I “auditioned” Fedora 25 with GNOME and Xubuntu 17.04, and while either one may indeed work with this hardware (the biggest problem being the HD screen and the Linux desktop environments’ inability to handle them without a lot of little tweaks), for now I’m sticking with Windows.
The main reason that I can stick with the stock OS is the Windows Subsystem for Linux (aka the WSL), which gives me a full Ubuntu-powered Bash shell that runs pretty much every Linux console program available. I’m using it to run/update my Ode blog (I still can’t get Unison in Windows to work across networks because I can’t get SSH working and am a little wary of Windows software that seems frozen in time).
As I allude to in the sentence above, adding software in Windows has it’s good and bad points. Good: You can easily run things like MS Office and the Adobe suite, though I don’t use those at all (instead opting for LibreOffice and Google Docs, and GIMP/IrfanView/Inkscape). Bad: Some things are old and unmaintained, like the ClipX clipboard manager that I rely on heavily. Plus after years of drawing on huge Linux software repositories offered by projects like Debian, Ubuntu and Fedora, having to go all over the Internet to find applications is not something I’m excited about.
I don’t have Ruby in the WSL or Windows since I haven’t used it in awhile, but I will probably do that in the WSL.
If/when I start dabbling in Java again, I can do that on both sides (WSL and Windows), too.
I am also experimenting with Visual Studio Code, Microsoft’s “not-quite Visual Studio” editor. The “not-quite” part is OK by me, because most IDEs I’ve tried are so massive and cryptic that I’m happy to have something that’s I can understand more easily.
In the WSL, I’m relying on Vim as my text editor, and I’m using the limitations of the WSL (most of which can be summed up as “no GUI,” though you can definitely hack one in) as an excuse to sharpen my Vim skills. I also have Vim and gVim on the Windows side. (Vim is everywhere.)
You might notice that a lot of the programs I’m using are things you’d find in Linux. I’m surprised that so many traditional Linux/Unix applications are available in Windows. Some of them are even regularly maintained.
I’ll detail all the software I’m using in Windows 10 at some future point, probably on another site, but quickly:
- Audacity (audio editor)
- Dropbox (file sync)
- FileZilla (FTP)
- GIMP (image editor)
- Inkscape (vector graphics editor)
- IrfanView (image editor)
- LibreOffice (office suite)
- Notepad++ (text editor)
- OpenShot (video editor)
- PuTTY (terminal for SSH connections to servers)
- qBittorrent (torrent client)
- QuiteRSS (RSS reader)
- Vim and gVim (text editor)
- Visual Studio Code (text editor, mini IDE)
- VLC (video editor)
- Windows Subsystem for Linux (aka WSL aka Ubuntu for Windows aka Bash on Windows … do you think they have a branding issue?)
Things I’m relying on in the WSL:
- Bash (which is obvious, but I use all the common Unix tools and rely on a number of scripts to automate various tasks)
- SSH (for encrypted connections)
- Unison (file sychronization)
Things I haven’t yet installed:
- Geany (GTK text editor that looks a little rough in Windows 10 on this laptop)
- Hugo (static site/blog engine)
- JVM (the Java Virtual Machine)
- Netbeans (IDE written in Java)
- Ruby (programming language)