Exploring linux with PopOS

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Wow, it's almost a year I have not blogged. That's a shame, but it is what it is. I felt I want to save some notes around my attempt to get more serious with Linux, something like notes on things I try every night, so that I have a reference and that I don't forget, because sometimes I just fall asleep and I reset the next day.

In the past few years something changed in my relationship with macOS and Apple hardware. Despite the fact that I continue to use Macs as my primary machine, I feel that slowly I am losing the enthusiasm I once had. I started using Macs ~ 2006, and I even remember that a couple of years earlier (while I was still saving money) I was so frustrated with my MS Windows experience and my machines at that point. There was some kind of theme engine available, and you could make your Windows look like MacOs, I had that as well!!!

I was so happy when I finally got my first iMac (Intel) must have been one of the happiest days of my life (as a geek).

Time flies and I bought several other Macs, laptops and newer iMacs and I transitioned to the iPhone. I also became hardcore on using Macs at work. I wrote many blogposts trying to convince people to move over, I think I influenced some. I spent the first 14 years of my career working in Greece, and they bring your own device mentality was not even there for the majority of companies. Especially when you were saying, I want to use my Mac. Thinking of that, I must have sounded really weird to all these hiring managers when at the end of the negation I was like, 'Oh one last thing, you can keep your mediocre Laptop PC or proper desktop, I am going to be working using my Mac'. Being a Java developer that was kind of doable, and I was lucky that sometimes I was given the green light to do so. I have not touched Windows ever since (professionally) and there were occasions while negotiating a new job I completely backed out, when I heard 'Oh yes unfortunately we use Windows'. Yeah ok, bye!

When I moved to the UK, I did not have to ask all these weird questions, I was lucky enough to work on a market that it was kind of the norm to get a new MacBookPro at your job. I was happy very happy.

In the past few years though, the evolution of macOS and most probably its transition to an all-in-one OS (merging with its mobile sibling) and the fact that Apple is not considering software developers as a no1 priority anymore, either on their OS or on their device lineup, something started changing inside me. I still like Apple hardware (except these idiotic MacBookPros and their taskbar, or their horrible keyboard). Maybe these MBPs pissed me of now that I am thinking about it.

Anyway anyhow, maybe I'm getting old and for some reason I find my self getting interested again on the fundamentals (either this is around software development, or operating systems or networking) or weird things. I don't know if this is some software developer midlife crisis, but I found my self spending nights (right after my 2 kids and wife are in bed) trying to learn properly 'vim' or watching videos about OS design and networking. Maybe this is a midlife crisis ...

Trying to re-instate my relationship with Linux, felt like 15 years ago when I was eager to switch from Windows to macOS. As a software developer I was familiar with many aspects of the OS since its powering the internet, most of the code I have written in my career runs on top of Linux OS and kernels. But is a totally different story when you have to use the thing day to day. The fact that my favourite laptop of all times a late 2015 MacBookPro which I am using right now got obsolete by Apple in terms of updates it was the final blow. My machine was already getting slower and slower with the latest MacOSX updates but at the same time I did not want to abandon it. I was using it every night to check things, or personal projects, or watch weird YouTube videos about vim or maybe answer some on-call at work and patch some code. It was the perfect opportunity for me to get serious with Linux. I had tried the whole Lets use Linux thing several times in the past and I failed miserably. Most because I was a fanatic of MacOSx and there was nothing that could make me look around. But now things changed and I was ready to do the jump, an iterative approach of course.

I still use a MacBookPro M1 at work, but I wanted to switch to a Linux machine late night. Try to code, try to use the same apps I use on my app. I spent a couple of months trialing Manjaro but I quickly bailed out, I was not ready. Then I found PopOS and after a few days I was like Yes this looks familiar and causy and does not overwhelm me with 10000 options. A couple of weeks ago, I loaded the PopOS bootable iso on a UBS and I completely nuked my laptop. PopOs was installed and the only thing that does not work is the camera and I will need sometime to find the correct drivers.

I started this post with the goal to actually keep some notes on things I have installed and configured these pas weeks on my PopOS based MacBookPro, but my eyes are shutting down.

So more on this on the next post.