Desk Rig While Migrating To Linux

desk setup Feb 2020.jpeg

In worst-writer’s quest to eventually (when exactly?) dump MacOS, I’ve been dabbling in Linux for quite some time. The problem, of course, is that I’m a very slow learner. Add to that the relative slowness of previous RPi’s, I’ve not yet felt comfortable with Rasbian or any other Linux distro on the RPI3, with the exception of Dietpi, but that’s not really a desktop option. Besides, as we all know, eh dear worst-reader, there’s no place in this worst-world for slow learners or pure CLI. Hence I am worst-writer and I’m destined to live as such–slow CPU here or there albeit with a desktop environment. And so. Since Windows is out of the question, the alternative OS for worst-moi can only be Linux with a fancy desktop distro. My only regret with facing such a reality is that I have to wait till my current MacBook is ready for the dung-heap before making the change. The laptops from System76 are looking pretty right now. Reason for the wait, though, is simple: that fcuking pink MacBook was fcuking expensive and to make matters worst it fcuking works great as a worst-writer daily driver, USB-C dongle or not. I’m mean, it is one of Apple’s smallest and weakest computers. Yet I love the thing, krappy keyboard n’all. And for fourteen hundred painful Euros… I can’t believe I paid that much for such an underpowered device. What’s wrong with me? Goo-goo, ga-ga. Bling, bling. Anywho.

The reason I’m eventually (when exactly?) changing to Linux is the open question of the day, of course. What’s clear is that I’m really NOT interested in paying the über high price for Macs anymore. Considering how the company is going full iOS, plus the Apple tax, i.e. the made-up cost (arbitrary) of Apple + intel that is bordering on STUPID, when considering the power and usability of something as cheap as an RPi (ARM processors), it all only reminds me that the whole industry is, not unlike #Trump and the LAND OF FREE TO BE STUPID, waaaaaaaaaay out of whack. And as we all know, I’ll tolerate an iPad as a hand-me-down from my wife for viewing media and reading digital books but boy oh boy do I hate touch screen computing–and I’ll never (in this case never say never may or may not apply) buy another iPad for as long as worst-live. But let’s not get tied up on the tablet thing and me making promises worst-writer might not be able to keep, eh.

As you can see in the pic above, I’m currently running my Mac world on the right side of my desk and on the left my new RPi4 world. Since I’m also not ready to splurge on a new monitor, I’m using an old TV that has two HDMI ports as my RPi monitor. And although a TV is not a computer monitor, this one works pretty good on account it’s desktop small. At the least, it’s good enough for fiddling around with Raspbian-Linux (a Debian distro). To my surprise, even after only using it for a few weeks, the whole desk setup, including those new infancy monitor arms, works pretty good. Considering I didn’t have to buy a new keyboard for the RPi4, which I thought I’d have to do to use two computers systems on one desk, the setup is looking even cooler. My old Apple keyboard and mouse work just fine on the RPi4. As you’ll note in the pic above, there is also a second RPi, an RPi3b+, that I’m currently using as a retro game tester, which is plugged into the TV’s second HDMI port. I did splurge on a cheap knock-off PS3 controller for that one, though. I may or may not post something regarding RPi retro gaming but that’ll have to wait since I’m still trying to figure out how it works.

As far as desktop setup and duel monitor arms, I splurged on a you-know-who Basics offering. Although there is no vertical movement of the monitor arms, you can easily adjust height via the centre poll. It’s all not as uppity and fancy as those more expensive arms that seem to float in the air but I suppose that’s the reason this one only cost 35,-€. And since I can rotate my Dell monitor 90° when needed, as I sometimes use it in portrait mode when working on longer draft worst-writing, this is all über-good, baby.

Yes. All in all this is a cool desktop solution for lots of worst-writing, including lots of continued worst-writing procrastination. Combined with my Ikea height adjustable desk, I should be good till the next urge to consume-to-survive hits and I have to buy something else that I don’t really need but is, well, cool. Speaiing of consuming things needed (or not), I’m really digging the idear of getting back into motorcycling. Maybe this year I’ll be able to worst-post something about getting back on two (powered) wheels again. Or maybe not.

Rant on.


Worst-Road Travelled: The NON NAS NAS

Well, there you have it, dear worst-reader. As I’ve indicated in many a-worst-post here and there, I hate the NAS industry. In fact, even though I kinda grew up with it, worked in it, played with it, I sort-a hate the tech industry. But that’s neither here or elsewhere. And so. Of all the tech krapp out there since consume-to-survive with interwebnets is the new & improved way of worst-life, the tech that’s pissed me off the most–other than gaming PCs, don’t you know–is the rip-off that is NAS boxes. And so, in my quest to avoid such devices–even as the world progresses ever-more towards co-called cloud computing–which is nothing more than an industry controlling (your; all) content–I’ve spent the last few years (since 2015???) trying to figure out how to maintain a quarter century of personal data so that my data1 is mine and mine only. And keep in mind, dear worst-reader, when I say my data I really do mean the stuff that belongs to me–copyright here or there, political or generational ideology here or there, greed-mongers included. For as far as I’m concerned, most of the media industry (audio, video, tv, radio, podcast, etc.) has been ripping people off since Welles’ 1938 broadcast of Wells. But let’s adhere to the current issue of copyright nonsense and/or avoiding the costs of corporate obsoletism galore. I mean, if it weren’t for the ability of worst-moi to get copies of albums from friends and foes on cassette–back in the day–I wouldn’t have purchased half of the music that I currently own. Hence, with the likes of iTunes and streaming services, I can’t remember the last time I actually consumed music. Which brings me to this tangent: Not only does most of the music produced in the last thirty years suck but the way one is forced to get it sucks too. Wait. That’s not quite right. At the least, I don’t consume music like I once did. You know, buy a CD and then rip it and then listen to it either via cassette, ripped/copied CD or iPod. Indeed. But I do remember buying Greta Van Fleet last year as shitty mp3 download or some Brian Jonestown Massacre and, yes, a Japanese only version of Sinatra At the Sands–at least I think it was Sinatra but it could have been his daughter and, don’t you know, those boots walking all over me in dream. But. Once again. I’m off subject. Nomatter.

So I’m not really into consuming much media anymore. Although I suppose I shouldn’t count ebooks in the mix. I have actually bought more of those than music or videos. Still. Even though I don’t buy much digital content, what’s the point of maintaining an ageing library of content that is, for the most part, poorly ripped? Well, I guess, because I can. And. More import. Because. It’s mine. Or. To be more fair to my worst-self, I maintain such a digital library because, well, I get a kick out of it and, so far, it’s proven to be a slap in the face of an industry hellbent on continuing the grand rip off. And so. Indeed. Enter the world of SBCs as a means to circumvent the grand rip-off.

The discovery of SBCs for worst-moi (2015) has been a godsend, dear worst-reader. Not only has the world of SBC opened up my digital horizons, I think it too might be saving me time, effort and, of course, money. Not to mention that these little computer boards are as fun as tits waving in spring time as though man-scarcity were the norm and the Weinstein tragedy were long behind us. Add to that the fact that I’m slowly becoming comfortable–at a very superficial level, of course–with Linux, as that’s the system that runs on SBCs–and I feel that the/my future of tech is bright, shiny and cheap–where it once was dim, dark and dank thanks to the greed of Apple & Co. Or am I the only one that thinks the time has come to put the rip-off tech industry in its humble place? Oh wait. There’s still a deal here or there on a Synology or a Drobo, eh? Oh fcuk me. Nomatter.

And so. Worst-writer, with this worst-post, wishes to coin a phrase. Ready? Here we go:


I get a nickel for every time it’s used, don’t you know.

That’s right. As of early 2020, after five or so years of fiddling here and there, having bought, discarded or returned several NAS boxes (Western Digital, Synology, Drobo), I’m finally feeling comfy with having found a replacement for at least one part of the rip-off tech industry. That replacement? Single board computers, baby. The PC is dead. Long live SBCs. You know, Raspberry Pi, Pine64, etc. I especially love the RPi4 with its GB ethernet and USB3. Not only is it a fully functioning computer but it’s also finally a viable alternative to the rip-off intel-based PC industry. The RPi4 that I’ve been fiddling with as a desktop device works like a charm even though, in my cheapness, I have to hook it up to a ten year old 20″ TV, which is the only HDMI ported monitor I have right now. Put another worst-way, I cannot hook my RPi4 up to my 5 year old Dell 22″ monitor because, well, it doesn’t have HDMI. That is, mini-HDMI to DVI doesn’t seem to work, adapter here or there. Nomatter. VNC over my network works fine. For you see, dear worst-reader, I’d gladly spend more dough on replacing a monitor or buying new cables than having to spend thousands to replace the Mac I’m worst-typing this on right now. Which brings me to the godsend part of this worst-post. As I’ve suspected while fiddling with SBCs, this also might be the last Mac I ever buy. For don’t you know, dear worst-reader, a linux laptop has to be in the worst-writer mix soon enough.

Hail the NON-NAS-NAS! Hail SBC!

Rant on.


  1. The whole use of the word my and/or I is part of a generation, don’t you know. Which? #OKBoomer, of course. Or is there another generation that has been so greedy, so selfish, so narcissistic, so that the likes of #Trump can find its way to the surface? Or maybe not. ↩︎