2022-07-10 A New Laptop
As you can see from the screenshot, it looks good. It runs well too, taking just 12 seconds to boot from cold to login box, and another 3 secs from login to the desktop.
It's all setup with Wireguard so I can VPN into my home (although that's not needed if I use my phone as a hotspot). Being Mint, I can also use bluetooth (to my phone) to VPN, so that's even neater.
The Chromebook Conundrum
I had, by dint of laziness and being too busy, allowed my Chromebook to drain of power. That meant I had to login again, and that meant remembering a password very rarely used. Oops.
I reset the password, then realised it had reset the password to my Google account on my phone, at the same time remembering what my old password was. I kinda liked my chromebook. I enabled Linux on it and had installed some cool programs to keep it synched with my NAS (and therefore with my desktops), and I was very happy.
Resetting the password via the Chromebook trashed everything on the Chromebook and re-installed Chrome OS. WTF? All my carefully herded and installed programs, gone. All my data, gone. I could set it all up again, but honestly I just can't be bothered. My Mint laptop is far more powerful, is easy to backup and has access to a great many more applications. The only downside to laptop is the battery life, but I'm training the battery as we speak and have already squeezed an extra hour out of it.
Looking after your battery is important if you want to get the best out of it and give it the longest lifespan.
A laptop battery rarely arrives in peak condition. It has a charge, but usually only a couple of hours worth. If you fully charge, then drain it to less than 10% (but definitely no less than 7%), fully recharge, then drain back to less than 10% again, and then fully charge once more. This 'conditions' the battery to charge and discharge the maximum amount.
Some manufacturers precondition their batteries. Doing the conditioning above won't hurt preconditioned batteries, it just won't do any good either.
Once conditioned, you should keep the battery between 20% and 80% charge to give them the longest life.
Why did I buy the laptop? I had a working Chromebook (or so I thought). The Chromebook didn't have an IPS screen, and I really hated that. I looked at versions with IPS screens, and realised I could get a more powerful laptop for the same price and have Windows 11 on it, or switch that over to a Linux distro. As you've read above, that's what I did, and of course installing Linux Mint is a breeze. Even more importantly, I was able to install the Fire tools and utilities, which if you didn't know create a sandbox at the kernel level. You can launch any program in its own sandbox, isolating it from the rest of the machine. Very handy if you're going to visit a website you're not sure about.
All in all, I'm very happy with the decision. I might sell my Chromebook, but I'll have to look into how safe that is.