• Activity
  • Votes
  • Comments
  • New
  • All activity
    1. Framework laptop review

      I've seen a few posts about the Framework Laptop on Tildes and since I received mine, I thought I'd do a write up for it. I've been using the Framework laptop for a few weeks now and it's been...

      I've seen a few posts about the Framework Laptop on Tildes and since I received mine, I thought I'd do a write up for it.

      I've been using the Framework laptop for a few weeks now and it's been great so far. I was originally skeptical but I decided that I would take a shot at it as I've been growing increasingly unhappy with the design decisions that Apple has been making with MacOS.

      I ordered the DIY kit, which was nice since I already had an NVMe SSD I could use with it, so I ended up saving about $150. It only took about 20 minutes to get the RAM, SSD and wifi card installed.

      Specs:

      • Intel i7-1165G7
      • 32 GB of RAM
      • Intel WiFi 6E card

      Total cost: $1,422.03.

      Unfortunately my first laptop arrived with a dead display. The Framework support team was pretty helpful and quickly sent out a new one, which works perfectly.

      After toying around with Linux Mint and a few other distros, I ended up installing the Windows 11 beta. Getting the drivers installed was easy, since Framework offers a single download that runs one script to install all necessary drivers in unattended mode. Just hit one button and restart - all the drivers are installed. I wish all manufacturers offered something similar.

      Overall construction is great. For something as modular as this, it feels extremely solid and well built. While the build quality isn't equal to something like a MacBook, I'd say it's on par with a Dell XPS or similar high end machine.

      The screen is nice and bright, with accurate colors. I've always been a fan of 3:2 screens on laptops and moving from a MacBook Pro with a 16-inch 16:9 display to the 13.5-inch 3:2 display on the Framework doesn't feel like losing too much real estate. Having the taller display is great for sites like Tildes, where it can fit almost the same amount of content as a much larger screen.

      The keyboard and trackpad are both great. The keys remind me of the older pre-2015 style MacBook keyboards before they switched to the butterfly mechanism. They are bouncy and responsive, with a nice feedback that doesn't feel too harsh like the butterfly keyboards do. The trackpad is pretty good and it uses the Windows Precision drivers, so it supports swiping and pinching if you like that. It does sound a bit louder than my MacBook Pro's trackpad.

      The speakers are a bit disappointing. The max loudness is pretty anemic. Even in a normal acoustic environment (A/C running in a house), you have to actively listen to hear. Coming from a MacBook Pro 16-inch, I would say that the speakers are the biggest downgrade.

      The main draw of the Framework is the expandability and upgradability.

      The Framework modules are a fantastic idea and I love them. While they don't save you from having to carry around adapters, it is really nice to have those adapters slot in to your machine and feel more integrated. I purchased 2 USB-C, 2 full-sized USB, a DisplayPort, and an HDMI adapter. Being able to just slot in a USB A port and swap it for a display out one on the rare occasion that I need it has been great. I love being able to adapt the ports on my laptop to a situation without having to have dongles coming out of the side of my laptop.

      The adapters are tiny and easily fit in any backpack or carrying case. I'm really curious to see what new adapters they offer in the future and what crazy niche ones third parties come up with. I'd love to see a cellular modem jammed into one of these things. Or maybe one that can hide a dongle for my wireless keyboard and mouse?

      Battery life is...fine. It's an all day machine, but you'll definitely need to charge it every day if you're using it a good deal. The battery is on the smaller side, but it gets me through a normal work day so that's good enough. But when the battery goes bad (as all Lithium-Ion batteries do), it's an easy fix.

      In terms of upgradability, getting into the laptop is dead simple. There's five screws on the bottom and then entire top deck (keyboard and trackpad) comes off. Everything is easily accessible and sensibly laid out. It's also all labeled with QR codes that take you to specific guides on how to install/upgrade those components. I think the educational component is great. It really shows people who would have never thought to upgrade their RAM or storage how easy it can be.

      That's the big selling point for me. If I decide in a year or two that I need more than 1TB of storage, I can just buy a larger drive and stick it in there. Or if my display dies, I can get a one for a lot less than the cost of replacing the laptop. Or if the keyboard or trackpad dies, then I can easily replace just that component. On my MacBook Pro, replacing the keyboard is an $800+ repair, since it involves replacing the entire top case, which includes the motherboard and other expensive components.

      For years we've been hearing from manufacturers that they can't make a laptop thin, light and upgradable. This laptop proves them wrong.

      My biggest concern is the long term viability of the company. It's nice that they made an upgradable laptop, but if they aren't around in a year or two to keep selling replacement parts, then it doesn't matter much.

      Overall, I'm pretty impressed with the Framework and I plan on keeping it and making it my daily driver.

      EDIT: I forgot to mention my absolute favorite feature, one that I've missed ever since Apple went all USB-C on their laptops: It has a light on the side to tell you if it is currently charging or fully charged!

      40 votes
    2. (Crypto rant) McDonald's serves 62 million customers every day

      That is 718 sales every second. The Bitcoin network can process less than 5 transactions per second, while consuming almost as much energy as the entire nation of Argentina. It would take miners...

      That is 718 sales every second.

      The Bitcoin network can process less than 5 transactions per second, while consuming almost as much energy as the entire nation of Argentina. It would take miners on the blockchain 144 days to process just 24 hours worth of sales from McDonald's.

      The math only gets marginally better for Ethereum.

      I feel very uncertain about how people can think that this is a viable replacement for conventional currencies and digital payment systems.

      41 votes
    3. Apple / iOS rant

      Having been on Android since day 1, I've had to pick up an iphone for work purposes recently. It's a great, high end one. The hardware is clearly fantastic. But the software. How do people put up...

      Having been on Android since day 1, I've had to pick up an iphone for work purposes recently. It's a great, high end one. The hardware is clearly fantastic.

      But the software. How do people put up with this? I've been trying to get accustomed to it, but it's so clearly lackluster.

      Aside from a plethora of minor issues I've been encountering, what's most unbelievable to me is how clear the lock-in is all over the place.

      Things like the story about all browsers having to use the Safari view really seep out, for example I can't change the launcher/home screen to something that doesn't suck (lets me position things around and doesn't have the display density of a toddler's typewriter).

      And then it was a chore to even figure out how to disable iMessage (unpopular in Europe) so I'm only sending sms via the .. sms app.

      Incompatibilities all over the place. Hotspot sharing doesn't work across my 6T and iPhone, it looks like iOS hotspots are again some kind of proprietary crap. Pictures and videos being in not quite standard formats. AirPods sound quality only being decent in the Apple ecosystem as well; couldn't release an Android app to support whatever Bluetooth enhancements they're doing?

      And of course, the Lightning connectors which only exist in the apple ecosystem. I agree they feel better than usb-c even, but, more of those same incompatibilities.

      It almost feels like a parallel universe where everything works slightly differently, and doesn't quite have as many freedoms.

      I can't deny there's some nice things in there. I actually like Safari's hold-preview for example. I also appreciate the very fine grained permission system and warnings such as "such and such app has been accessing location in the background a lot". And FaceID is really well built. But, whew, i do not know how so many people swear by it.

      Some things are just different and that's okay, but some things are shockingly inferior and incompatible Just Because, and that feels super insulting 🙃

      Thanks for hearing my rant.

      21 votes
    4. Open source alternatives to Slack, Google Drive and Google Docs

      So I recently started working at a company that uses Slack (free tier), Google Drive and Google Docs. Being a privacy conscious person I decided to do some research to see if we could transition...

      So I recently started working at a company that uses Slack (free tier), Google Drive and Google Docs. Being a privacy conscious person I decided to do some research to see if we could transition out of at least 1 of these tools.

      For Slack I thought about Element. However I have a question: is it possible to create a closed channel (meaning no unauthorized person has access to or can discover the company chat) on Element with only the free tier (it's easier to convince my boss to transition if it doesn't add to the cost structure)?

      For Google Drive I don't think there are other free options that offer the 15GB of storage we have. 10GB would probably be enough. But I am also open to paid solutions.
      I found out about CryptPad. They offer cloud storage but one has to pay to be at the same level of Google (which is totally understandable). They also have productivity tools integrated with the storage solution which is great.
      Maybe there is some cloud storage solution that doesn't have integrated productivity tools and offers more storage. I would like to know.

      I'm open to suggestions and thoughts. My functions at the company have little to do with all this, I am just interested in open source and privacy. EDIT: I am not interested in self-hosting.

      26 votes
    5. The Reddit COVID blackout has begun

      Since I have a handful of small subreddits, I decided to be inspired by the story of David & Goliath. However, there is a small chance that these communities will be taken over and/or deleted by...

      Since I have a handful of small subreddits, I decided to be inspired by the story of David & Goliath. However, there is a small chance that these communities will be taken over and/or deleted by Reddit. It would be heartbreaking to me if that happened.

      Conversely, I am more heartbroken that mis/disinformation is being promulgated on Reddit which leads to more precious human lives ending.

      I've been talking with the other mods, on a Discord server, and none of them put me up to this. One of the organizers tried to dissuade me.

      It looks like the rolling Reddit blackouts may happen through the coming week. Although, it will be up to the individual mods in every case.

      EDIT: This is the list of subs that are, currently, private. It will be updated when the rest of the subs join in on Thursday.

      EDIT2: It was just announced that all of the other subs will not be waiting until Thursday. They will all be going private over the next several hours.

      45 votes
    6. How to scrub your online footprint?

      I don't necessarily want to delete everything there is about me, but I want to significantly clean it. I've been deleting old accounts lately, I've seen some screenshots of my tweets on Reddit and...

      I don't necessarily want to delete everything there is about me, but I want to significantly clean it. I've been deleting old accounts lately, I've seen some screenshots of my tweets on Reddit and I've asked the authors to delete them. They've been kind enough to do it.

      But I feel like there's more that I need to do. I just realized that there are probably a lot of screenshots of YouTube comments and Tweets that I've put out there in the world with my name and face. It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't drastically increase my footprint last year during my time on Twitter.

      I'm not a techy person, I was thinking about asking or hiring some type of hacker or expert to help me. Because they could probably find more information about me than me.

      Can anyone help?

      17 votes