This is the laptop I upgraded from to my current PC. It's got an Intel i7-9750H, 16GB of RAM (upgraded from 8GB stock), 256GB of SSD space, and a GTX 1660Ti Max-Q GPU. It's currently running Ubuntu server. Right now I'm using it to run a Minecraft server for some friends (in theory).
I'd host more on the laptop if I wasn't so worried about uptime and latency and I could be bothered to move it all now. This thing is running this website, an Akkoma instance, an RSS bridge, a SearXNG instance, WireGuard to get the laptop past the NAT in my house, a Forgejo instance, a Nextcloud instance, a Matrix server, and probably some other stuff I forgot about.
I said I was going to wait until my old LG K61 became unusable before replacing it. I thought I'd failed to do that right up until its replacement, a used flagship from the same time period, arrived and blew it out of the water in almost every way. I never noticed up until now just how painfully unresponsive my old phone was. Mobile websites are, like, usable now!
Performance was never a consideration in buying the phone, though. I'm not a huge fan of the idea of using a Google device, but the Pixel line are the only devices supported by Graphene OS. But why the 4a in particular? There are more recent, largely better models within my price range. Mainly, I chose to get the specific model I did because it was the last Pixel device to be released with two important attributes: the presence of a headphone jack, and the lack of 5G support. The headphone jack, I think, is self-explanatory. I never intend to purchase a phone without one if I can avoid it. As for the 5G, I don't trust it. Basically, much of the performance improvement 5G offers comes from a new transmission technique called beam forming, where instead of blasting every signal equally in all directions like a radio tower it specifically calibrates the signal for a given device such that it's effectively focused in a narrow cone directed at that device, and for this to work properly the tower needs to know where the phone is at a level of precision that is within inches. I feel like I shouldn't need to explain why that's scary.
The main factor that drove me to choose Beyerdynamic for my headphones was build quality. Durability was already important to me, but after my previous headphones from Audio-Technica snapped after only a year I was determined not to let that happen again. Supposedly this company's headphones are built really well. Beyond that, these are studio headphones, and I wanted something that was good for musician-ing, on the rare occasion I actually do that. From what I've been able to discern so far, they certainly live up to the "studio" moniker. The audio quality is very nice. The one issue I have with these headphones is that they don't have a removable cable, which is why I had mine modded. They've got a mini-XLR port now!
As for the earbuds, you should buy them. They are quite literally the best earbuds I've ever used. They're cheap, the sound quality is good, and the build quality is absolutely stellar. I've spent three times as much on headphones that are worse in every way.
I went with a Prusa because they had a reputation for quality, and this thing did not disappoint. The assembly instructions were good and the user experience is very smooth. It does a lot of things for you that I suspect would have been pain points for me had I bought a cheaper printer. I'm a huge fan of the ability to send it gcode files remotely using the built-in webserver. Also, PrusaSlicer is quite good.
Seriously, fuck Windows and fuck Microsoft. I've watched them spend the past several years strong-arming hardware manufacturers into making it harder and harder to install anything but their terrible product on hardware YOU own in the name of "security". I first noticed it with secure boot, and they've continued this trend recently with Pluton, a anti-competition "security" chip built directly into the CPU. As far as I can tell, both of these things can be disabled in the BIOS (for now), but how long until they can't? Honestly, at this point, I'm running Linux partially out of sheer spite, as a middle finger to every corporation that thinks they have the right to control what I do with my hardware.
Apple's even worse, mind you. Say what you will about performance and power efficiency, but I'm convinced the main reason Apple has started making their own CPU architectures is as the nuclear option to finally kill the Hackintosh. For as long as I've been alive Apple has spearheaded every anti-consumer movement in every industry they're in. I swear, every time someone responds to a complaint about Windows or Android by recommending an Apple product I get a little bit closer to snapping and beating Tim Cook to death with a broken iMac. This isn't 1983, motherfucker. Buy something you can fix.
I have a long history with Linux. The first computer I ever owned was a Chromebook, and I wanted to play Minecraft on it, which Chromebooks famously can't do, so naturally the logical solution was to install Linux on the thing with Crouton in order to run it. It was incredibly sketchy, janky, and not exactly performant, but I got my Minecraft and that was what mattered. I killed it 9 months in by overworking its poor little passively cooled Celeron CPU, and after that I mostly stuck with Windows on the two HP laptops I had over the next six years for software compatibility reasons, but I tried to switch back to Linux occasionaly.
I finally pulled it off last year, when I used a combination of upsetting news about Windows 11 and a storage upgrade to my laptop as my excuse to switch. Software compatibility on Linux still isn't quite there yet, but I didn't use a lot of Windows-only programs outside of Paint.NET and games anyway, and game compatibility has improved leaps and bounds with Valve's Proton/Steam Play. Shame I can't play any of the games I got for free on the Epic launcher, though.
So why EndeavourOS in particular? Mainly, it ships with my desktop environment of choice and it's based on Arch so I get the AUR and to tell people I run Arch, btw. I used to use Manjaro for the same reasons but I got sick of the long wait times for new package updates and generally just wanted a fresh start after I installed Plymouth and then it broke, leaving my computer still bootable but breaking all my custom systemd services for some reason. Before that I used System76's Pop!_OS on my laptop because it shipped with Nvidia drivers preinstalled.
My phone runs Graphene OS. It's a hardened fork of the Android Open Source Project with all of Google's proprietary spyware stripped out. It's the only reason I bought a Pixel and it's very nice. I'd go into more detail, but the devs do a great job of that on their website.
I really like Firefox. It's customizable as hell, the dev tools are better, and it's designed to keep your data private from the likes of Google and Facebook. No, I won't call them fucking meta.
On top of that, Firefox is genuinely incredibly important. It's the only modern browser left outside of Safari that isn't built on top of Google's Chromium, and for that reason it's critical that it stays significant because the alternative is Google (and MAYBE Apple) having the complete final say over every web standard, and I shouldn't have to explain why that would be really, really bad.
Seriously, please switch to Firefox. It can import your data from other browsers like Chrome, so the transition should be pretty well seamless. Although, if you're willing to get into the weeds a bit, I'd recommend using this profile generator to fortify your browsing experience even further.
As of writing (2022-07-18), I haven't released any music made in REAPER yet, but I already like it a hell of a lot more than LMMS, which is what I've used to make most of my music up until this point. LMMS is a free DAW with some great built-in synth plugins and the ability to run Windows VST instruments on Linux natively, and basically nothing else going for it. It's missing a lot of basic functionality that every other DAW I've seen has and what is there is laid out in a really idiosyncratic way. That said, it's capable of making some pretty good stuff.
As for why REAPER in particular, it's the cheapest one there is by a good long way, especially for a version without artificial limitations (cough cough FL STUDIO), and it's available for Linux. It does have some problems remembering my settings for the one non-native plugin I currently use, but that seems to be a problem with the LV2 plugin standard, so I can't really hold that against it.