jml's notebook

Most regretted purchase

I just spun up my 2017 13" MacBook Pro for the first time in a few weeks and I have to say it's my most regretted purchase over the last five years.

I bought it in a fit of optimism while I was working at Weaveworks. The idea was I was going to try to develop my own contracting business as a sideline to my main job, and I didn't want to be using my company laptop for that.

Although I did one moderately successful job implementing Magic Wormhole in Haskell, I got promoted to VP Eng at Weaveworks shortly after, which killed any spare energy I might have for personal work.

The MBP has one of those awful butterfly keyboards and is unpleasant to type on. Because I use it so infrequently, every time I boot it up, I spend over an hour on updates and reconfiguring.

It was really expensive.

This morning, all I wanted to do was sketch out some thoughts on a possible novel, but instead spent my precious 45 minutes of free time handling a Big Sur upgrade. Now that window is gone and I'm writing this while stopping a 1 year old from injuring himself and answering "what's that?" questions from the world's most talkative 4 year old.

The lessons here for me is that I'm going to keep my spend on personal equipment really, really low for as long as I can get away with. Possibly zero. In this phase of life, I can get by with using my work equipment or the jankiest of laptops.

A possible lesson for, I don't know, people in charge of making software, is that while automatic updates are essential and lovely and securing and a fountain of featurely delights, they can heavily penalise casual users.