Ditching a MacBook for OpenBSD on a Thinkpad

As much as I like PuTTY for the ease of getting it onto any Windows server and its basic functionality, there are more fully featured terminal apps out there. Our devs like ZOC, but there are alternatives.

One of its best features, it does almost nothing you don’t want or expect it to.

It’s a little more interesting than being just BSD based, XNU, is Mach + FreeBSD.

How do you mean? Have you tried brew.sh or MacPorts.org? I certainly would pick Linux over macOS on a server, the only thing I miss out on macOS is the only thing Windows is good for, the games that run on it.

You’re watching total noobs.

You can always install NetBSD (motto “Of course it runs NetBSD”) if you like ancient hardware so much.

There are some nice things about systemd, like not having to write your own keep-alive scripts.

I’ve done the same. It’s only different if you don’t care about NVMe speeds, Thunderbolt, built-in display resolution, and multiple external display support.

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I’ve been using Manjaro for a few years on my three machines (desktop, laptop, workplace). It’s more polished than Arch but keeps the AUR so there’s a package for most of the stuff the user may want to install. And I can relate to the author’s feeling on the longevity of his setup. After I got everything the way I want, it feels cozy… as an orderly house.

Interestingly bluetooth is an issue on my T410 laptop. It worked in the past, but months and a few updates later, it’s broken. Since it probably would need a downgrade, I won’t bother trying to fix it.

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Yeah, having Oh My Zsh on a Mac, and giving in to just using Homebrew to mark the machine as mine, any other users are tolerated guests make my life nice.

I have tried other machines. I am just too deep into the Apple mindset, too much muscle memory over the decades to switch. Especially since I know the diacriticals, the arcane characters and other key combos for US and German keyboards by heart now, and could never find them on a Windows keyboard.


Well, you’re hanging out with the wrong people, then. That happens.

I don‘t use my mouse much, except for drawing and such, and I use BTT and Launchbar (and not Spotlight), which gives me a level of keyboard control that makes interacting with my Mac a breeze. II don’t ever drag a Window with the mouse, and I find every file I‘m looking for on a full 500 GB drive effortlessly and in less than 5 seconds,

I thought that was an issue, but found it‘s not. My Macbook is from 2015, it has plenty of ports. But: I move it around the house and the garden, and it soon got old plugging and unplugging power, Screen, USB peripherals, audio and ethernet.

Then I got me a thunderbolt hub, and now I only had to plug and unplug 2 cables.

Then I got an USB-C company laptop. In my office they put up these screens with an USB-C cable I plug into my Mac, it delivers power, and the screen is connected to ethernet. So instead of 3 cables, I have one.

I got myself a tiny $40 USB-C hub, and now I had the same convenience at home, and I took it with me when I needed it.

So it‘s actually more convenient, especially when traveling, because the laptop is significantly less bulky.

IDK, I run a version of MacOS that still gets security updates on a Macbook from 2010. I can always install Windows or Unix on that hardware when that ends.

Edit: fixed quote


please do not, at least not if they’re working on a large project in a language that gets compiled! compilers are very CPU intensive and nothing kills flow and breeds distraction like having to stop and wait several minutes while the whole project compiles. unless you want your developers swordfighting in the halls…


That’s not business advice, that’s simply a really bad idea. If you want code that runs well on slow machines

  • hire developers who are competent enough for doing that (hint: they will probably cost you more money)
  • define exactly how fast it needs to run on what kind of machine
  • have your CI system run tests that make sure these performance targets are met

Here’s my take on the difference between a junior and a senior developer: the senior spends the time they are waiting for a build figuring out how to reduce build time, because they know that’s possible and they want to get their shit done. And they know that a faster machine is rarely the best answer. YMMV.


The Battleship is a Lenovo P72.

Maybe it’s available more broadly now, but one of the things that I’ve always liked about thinkpads is the ability to stop charging the battery before 100%. No need to kill the battery life when I’m at a desk; tell it to fully charge if I’m going to be out and about.

Mint, you say?

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Ha that’s awesome. I’ve been knee deep in the atari 2600, building out this old arcade cabinet that landed in my yard. Deciding which of those old crappy / amazing games to include.


Very nice!

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In mobile scenarios there is, indeed, not much difference(unless you are fine with a computer that isn’t very good, a case where Apple is not overly willing to help); but for desktop work the mythical ‘Xmac’ remains a legitimate, if perhaps somewhat niche, sore spot. The mac mini is way nicer than the various ‘NUC’ options; but not unduly punchy; while the iMacs are either not unduly punchy or get into workstation prices pretty quickly and tie the screen (which, by spec alone, should last several generations) to the computer (not so much).

I realize that Apple has its reasons; but it remains a fact that if you want a prosaic single-socket desktop/low-end workstation with GPU expansion options; Apple doesn’t want you.

I thought not even their high end workstations were upgradable these days?

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