After three long years with the Acer Aspire V5-431 it was time to get a new laptop for me. The Acer was a wonderful companion and it has travelled everywhere with me and survived everything from 50 degrees Celsius to -23 degree Celsius, plenty of dust, moisture and whatnot.
It was also starting to show its age and with a processor that was really under-powered, it was starting to get in the way of work. Additionally, it had a severe limitation of being only a 32-bit laptop, even though the CPU was 64-bit. Acer, in all their wisdom, decided this was a perfectly brilliant thing to do and made life miserable for people like me.
The age of 32-bit computers are rapidly coming to an end. Google has pulled support for Chrome on 32-bit for Linux a while ago. With the state of security online these days, running an unmaintained browser is begging for trouble.
Additionally, there is a host of software these days (Docker is a prime example), that don’t have officially supported 32-bit versions. It is far easier to move to a proper 64-bit computing environment than lose your hair trying to get oddball 32-bit ports of these things working.
The replacement laptop is an Acer again, this time the Aspire V13 (V3-372T-5051). It is a nice lightweight laptop with a great display, good battery life, 256 GB SSD drive and has the ability to take a maximum of 16 GB of RAM. That last detail is very important for couple of reasons as we’ll get to see soon.
Back To Windows
The laptop came pre-installed with Windows 10. For the past three years, I have been using the really nice ElementaryOS and had been quite happy with it. My usage of a computer in the past 3-years has also changed considerably to far lesser development work and more of text and various other kinds of documents. This meant that Linux was not really required for me as must-have to do development work and the little that I had seen of Windows 10, I quite liked it. It has the right amount of bling without going overboard with it as OS X has done in recent years.
While the idea was to always dual boot and use Linux as my primary device, having used only Windows in the past couple of days, I have come around to the idea of using only Windows. For most of my development needs, there is Vagrant and Docker (which is where the 16 GB RAM will come in quite handy) and other things that I am tinkering with on tech (Rust and Go) have officially-supported Windows builds.