I'm very happy with my new Surface Book. I never thought I'd like the touchscreen as much as I do. I LOVE being able to go to tablet mode for calls and stuff where I sort of want to just wander around. The pen has completely changed how I do flow-charting and wire-framing.
The new Linux subsystem thing is a god-send. It was completely seamless for me to transition from the Mac to Windows pretty much solely because there wasn't really a transition. All our provisioning and development scripts just worked.
It's been fun to do a bit of gaming on it too :)
The touchpad is really the only thing that I think compares poorly. Apple really nails that whole experience. After a few weeks I'm getting better with it, but it's still painful compared to the precision and certainty I had on my Macbook Pro.
I'm sure I'll be back on a Macbook someday (cause hey, change is fun) but no regrets right now.
So I've been considering Linux as my first option. I fired up a few VMs and dipped my toes in various Linux desktop environments: Elementary, Fedora 25, and Ubuntu (Unity) so far. These are all GNOME 3 variants. And... oh boy. Linux land really needs some kind of unifying revolution to happen, because this is a mess. Things have gotten a little smoother in the decade or so since I was last exploring Linux desktops, but it's like they're still figuring out what it's supposed to even be. GNOME feels like it's stuck between trying to be Windows and OS X, with some super weird details (like the launcher thing) that makes it feel like they had plans to build a touch screen OS for tablets or something. Meanwhile, there's little consistency between apps (and Elementary tries to remove menu bars as a concept, what's up with that?), and everything feels put together randomly by people with widely divergent ideas of what a kind of desktop environment to aspire to. It also struck me how much competition there is -- there are at least three GNOME forks (two of 3.x, one of 2.x), for example -- a situation which seems to exist partly due to infighting.
Maybe with out tweaking and plugins and customization you can beat it into some shape that lets you work efficiently, but the experience put me off, to be honest. I don't like being that negative, but I was a bit shocked about how bad it was. Mint was next on my list, but I'm not sure I will continue since it's another GNOME 3 fork.
At my home, I have a Ubuntu desktop which works perfectly. I use Eclipse, Android Studio and Atom editor. On work, I use MBP and pretty much the same environment.
I know it is not a common opinion but no matter what I do, I still like Ubuntu more than macos. I agree that macos looks more polished, engineered and complete but somehow, I prefer Ubuntu's plastic feeling. It has been 6 months and still my opinions did not change.
There is also the problems of macOS with Eclipse and other GTK applications (Meld) some other stuff about Mac that I couldn't fully adapt yet.
Lastly, FYI, no, I am not hater and I like MBP, especially as a solid metal object.
It's the only thing keeping my mac at this point. Fear of having to debug driver shit when i don't want to deal with any of that.
When it was first released, there were some issues with suspend and the touch screen, but they were all resolved a few months later in a newer kernel release. Fedora 25 ships with that newer kernel by default.
My 2nd Gen Lenovo X2 carbon is high end and runs Ubuntu flawlessly.
I do agree that Linux has very variable performance and experiences across machines. I really do like the laptop though. I'm looking at the Razer Blade Pro (that machine is a beast but looks sexy still) and some Dell Precision laptops for an upgrade (will be passing on the Blade to my brother) but the Pro is extremely costly at the moment.
I don't care much about Apple hardware specifically, but they got my hooked because of the OS.
My linux environment was very minimal though (mostly living in the terminal, used a tiling WM, vim as my editor). In many ways my mac environment isn't that different except without the tiling WM.
That setup worked quite well, although used more resources than if I hadn't used Virtualbox.
I wish there was a modern version that isn't macOS.
On a rant tangental note a slight annoyance I have lately is that all the window managers are getting pushed out / ignored because of Wayland.
With Wayland you basically have to write an entire desktop instead of just a window manager. I used to love that about Linux.. the pick and choose what works best model but now the choices are becoming fewer.
Oh well back to my macbook with zero choice.
I agree that there is a lack of great window managers on OS X. I'd love to be able to run awesomewm.
This enables you to do what you're referring to in MacOS.
If you haven't yet tweaked these "not well-advertised" settings, this may indeed turn out to be a "this changes everything!" moment for you
For OS X at least...
C'mon now, don't be lazy, add that s to the end of http to create a link:
I've used Ubuntu since seven years at work, the mac since 17 years, Windows not anymore since seven years, unless when helping others. I would change to Linux anytime if all would just work, meaning Photoshop and other software that now doesn't work. Plus the mac is still my favorite piece of hardware. When I bought this 2015 Macbook, I've looked for a good Linux laptop, and came out at about the same price. Then the choice was easy.
Most of those desktop screenshots remind me of Winamp skins from back in the day - yes it's a great piece of software and endlessly customisable, but most of those customisations are terrible. Like a 14 year old with a copy of Neuromancer and MS Paint.
I'm constantly trying Linux distros and DEs and the answer when I talk about this is 'Well if you spend time tweaking it...'
NO, that's not the right answer. Endless configuration options means there wasn't the will to make a design decision and stick to it. 'Customisation' can be an excuse for a poor job. That's why Elementary OS is the least horrible desktop, even if it still has issues. Their lack of global menus may be a questionable decision, but at least it's a decision.
Linux gives you the freedom to choose the environment that suits you personally best. Windows doesn't give you ANY choice, and it's still bad! If you like to be told what is good and make no optimizations for your personal workflow, more power to you. But don't go saying that Linux is "not the right answer", that's just silly. Works on my machine :)
What makes it worse is that they change, regroup and rename things each f-ing year. W7 made it hard to select apps (floating groups in taskbar), explorer introduced dumb libraries, control panel is always a mess, as is /Users/Shared (iirc) thing. Now that w10. I try it and understand that I'm unable to do anything again and again.
Biggest questionable change in macos for 6 years was new ui flavor and maximize button became fullscreen. That said, iTunes also experiments too much.
>> So I've been considering Linux as my first option.
Linux re-defines ugly. It works great but it's very kludgy. Like many others I can setup my workflow on any of the three machines and have tried it out on many different machines from Dell to IBM to Apple. Sublime, terminals, Chrome/FireFox, DropBox, it works well enough on anything but I made my current choice on 'niceness', battery life, screen, and form-factor, even if it cost me a couple hundred dollars more. On a machine I use for 3 years it's 30-40 cents a day.
At least that is what it reminded me of.
Battery life is 12-14 hours of real work with the big battery (which costs something like 18$ more than the regular one).
I still use a Macbook Air for iOS development but I now boot the Thinkpad for everything else.
(Oh and if there's an engineer working for Spotify in the crowd, thanks for the Linux app!)
That's what you want.
Just works, anyone can use it, and if you wish, you can right-click on anything and have tenthousand config options to make everything exactly as customized as you want it.
KDE is a bigger and more complex system so it works a bit differently depending on what distribution you use. Some distros like KDE Neon always have the most recent KDE while other like OpenSUSE Leap prefer to use stable versions of the applications.
When it comes to wifi/sound/etc it has to do with whether the driver for that contains binary blobs. Some distros don't ship blobs due to security and/or software freedom concerns while other distros have a more relaxed policy when it comes to proprietary software.
Thinkpads have a reputation for being very easy to run Linux on. You should expect everything to work out of the box. For the Dell computer you might have to install drivers separately but you can't tell for sure without knowing the exact model you have. You could do a test drive with a Live USB to check out. I wouldn't expect things to work out of the box on the macbook though. Apple isn't very Linux friendly and their macbooks have many specialized components that are only found on Apple products so Linux support is not very good. But even then, some dedicated hackers still try to reverse engineer them so you might have better support if you have an older model instead of the latest macbook.
The following table can help a bit with determining if wifi will work on your computer:
Edit: Fedora on workstaton / laptop, CentOS 7 on a dev server where a desktop has utility. Not on production boxes.
Which is why I use it!
If I get myself a workstation again (and there are solid reasons for doing so, like CUDA for DNN development when you're tired of working on servers for local development), I'll definitely give KDE another go.
This is the product of dictatorship style development on one side (Windows, OSX) Vs democracy on the other side (Linux distros).
Democracy implies diversity.
Dictatorship implies uniformity.
Can you have the uniformity you are looking for within a democracy?
(or some would argue that anarchy would be a better metaphor for the Linux scene)
But I don't actually think the horrible state of desktop Linux is down to any of that. Device drivers are Linux's big problem. Desktop environments are a simple matter of getting used to them and learning what to tweak.
I don't assume the state of desktop Linux to be horrible. It's simply more diverse than the state of Windows and OSX.
For many people that is a good thing. There's intrinsic value in variety.
I don't think it's a good idea for Linux advocates to deny or downplay the effect that driver issues have on the overall desktop/laptop Linux experience.
Please elaborate. I mean... Universal copy paste has just been working the last 20 years... Unless I'm missing something basic?
Of course most *nix user use the middle mouse button for copy-paste in the terminal as standard and never really notice this.
I miss the middle-click-paste in macOS. Also the maximise behaviour in macOS is really annoying.
I use hammerspoon to paper over a lot of the annoying parts of macos (after using linux on desktop+laptop for over a decade). Here's a minimal excerpt from my config to get a more-reasonable "maximize" behavior: https://gist.github.com/philsnow/c19506dec17597ab9e4bf02f8d2...
Switch alt for ctrl with the same commands to send to the top quarters of the screen, add a shift to that to send it to the bottom quarters.
I don't move windows with the mouse on OSX/MacOS anymore.
I've standardized on Xubuntu but there are some pretty sweet desktop managers/window managers out there. That being said I feel like I'm fairly close to converting to i3.
My equillibrium point is suckless.org's dwm with all defaults except using Terminus as font and Super(windows) instead of Alt key.
~6 months, no irritation, no configuration change.
Tiling window managers which have extensive configuration options are useful as tinkering material, but not actual working environments. If you want a tiling window manager not for eye appeal and beauty but for simplicity and ease of use, look at r/unixporn/ and use whatever they are not using.
For my particular style, being able to extend the WM (not customise endlessly: actually extend) is pretty awesome, but I understand that not everyone's into that.
After getting everything set up the way I like it, I'll never switch.
"It" can be any distro. GNU/Linux distros aren't a single entity, and they never will settle on a common interface---that's a good thing. Larger distros like Ubuntu will, but if you're going to adopt this perspective, you'll need to start thinking about the individual distributions and companies/communities behind them rather than "the" GNU/Linux desktop.
Not if you're looking for a macOS alternative. I'm fine with the "distros" doing what they want. However, that is not going to lead to a cohesive experience of the kind that macOS is able to provide.
A bigger problem than the desktop environment may be that apps are written to different UI toolkits (these days mostly GTK+ and Qt), and the different environments provide themes to get a unified look. Most apps aren't targeting a particular desktop environment, and so you get this inherent tension, where it's "unopinioned all the way down" and nobody makes a clear decision about a unified look/feel to anything.
I can see why a certain group of hackers like this jangly mess where a lot of time is spent on customizing stuff to work exactly the way they like it, being able to choose a completely different "window manager" and so on. I was like that in my early years, and today I just want things that work. What I want is consistency and stability with a mind behind it. I want it to boot up and render high-quality, subpixel-aliased fonts, and then I'd like to get right to work.
The KDE community seems more closely aligned with this idea, but they still don't control the apps, and unfortunately they still seem to be stuck in the Windows 2000 copy machine mindset.
I can agree with this criticism (granted, I don't use many GUI programs)---not that they're different toolkits, but that they often have drastically different theming and UX. Uniformity through common theming/UX APIs would be beneficial.
Functionally I think there a lot to be said for tiling window managers and I think they look great with Compton plus semi transparent windows, selectively obviously.
Of course it might not be your cup of tea.
Actually it has gotten worse
It's rubbish. And the lack of consistency throughout the OS (icons different everywhere, duplication of settings app despite same underlying COM snap-ins, settings app titlebar isn't really a titlebar, 3 different right-click menus - one for the Start menu, one for Edge, one for everywhere else) it is driving me insane. You have to learn all of these edge cases on how to interact with core OS windows.
That shouldn't be the case!!
Windows 3.11 came with a manual (I have it) that informed you how to interact with the desktop and windows. Just imagine the mess they'd have to write for Windows 10 - "drag the blue bar at the top, unless it is the settings app, where there is no blue bar and you can't tell where the titlebar ends and the toolbar begins"; "single click on buttons, unless you are presented with the 'open with which app?' dialog where you will be able to double-click on the button that has the name of the application you wish to use" etc etc etc
EDIT: And I say all this where I use my PC all day at work as a C++ Windows dev and Windows at home when I need to cross-compile. Don't get me started on the lack of future for the MFC codebase we have at work.
How can I be sure I am running a secure up to date system if the "am I up to date check" essentially lies to me?
Honestly, I haven't had much luck with it as it is still lacking serious features. It has improved in beta versions, but I think it is going to be a while 'till it is stable enough to use instead of a Linux VM, at least on standard builds of Windows 10.
I got a Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition (Kaby Lake) and so far, so good. Am very happy. Like you say, I wish it had the Apple touchpad (but not the new one - that's getting _too_ big).
Everything else is great. The Infinity Edge screen, beautiful keyboard...
HiDPI looks pretty good for the most part.
I largely run with AC power, so really need to test this (I've only had it since Friday).
I think you sum it up well - there are some rough edges in the Windows world, but there also are in the Mac world. I find I hardly use my iPad now.
I use WSL a lot during the day; and the stock terminal is way not good and third party options such as conemu are OK, but still comes with annoying issues. My emacs quality time gets messed up because of some of these issues... there may be no way around some of that and it may simply be the reality of a system that maps certain keys one way and a subsystem that would like them another.
Otherwise, I own a Surface Book for travel and tablet like usage and I use a Lenovo workstation for my day-to-day stuff. All Win 10. Very happy overall.
And agree, at home, Windows 10's unix capabilities are amazing. Apple needs to dedicate some real resources to the Mac line and turn them back from being overpriced toys and back to useful tools.
1. OWC Thunderbolt 3 dock so I can connect my existing monitor and wired network (not yet available): $279.
2. Replacement for my USB-A Superdrive: $39.99
3. Thunderbolt 3 hdmi media kit for presentations: $49
4. USB-C SD card reader: $29
5. USB-C to Lightning cable: $20
6. USB-C to USB-A dongle so I can connect my ANT+ dongle: $9
7. Power supply extension cable (you don't get that included anymore): $19
8. Probably would want a USB-C to microUSB lead too (although I could go through the USB-A adapter with existing cables): $19
That doesn't seem too outlandish a set up for me. I haven't included an extra PSU, VGA or TB3 to TB2 for example.
Now I live in the UK and the exchange rate isn't doing us any favours at the moment so all of the above will be somewhat more expensive too.
It becomes a case of do you disconnect and bring the TB 3 dock with you, buy a second 'traveling' dock or get just what you need for travel and hope for the best.
I also get what Apple is trying to do. My current MBP has the sd-card reader. I use it because I have a d7100, but everyone else I know with a mbp has literally never used that reader. For them it's a complete waste of space/weight. It is easy to get caught up in what we (as in HNers) need, and miss the fact that many people probably never using anything beyond the power port.
It's a similar situation with the removal of the headphone jack. Apple has stats and those show that the majority of people either use the headphones that come with the phone or have bought BT ones. Apple got ripped hard, but the rumors are most of the flagships coming out next year will also not have a headphone jack.
Windows for development isn't nearly as convinent as OSX. Yes there's lots of customization you can do to make it bearable. Powershell isn't as awful as CMD, but projects aren't supporting Powershell as much as bash any time this decade AFAIK.
The Linux subsystem works, but the flow between Windows and Linux is lacking.
I tried Linux. Linux doesn't handle my mix of high DPI and normal DPI monitors (every month I'm told Wayland is going to support it "soon") so I can't use it. I know that sounds silly, but my monitors are a huge part of how I work. Not supporting my workspace is pretty much a non-starter. But to seal the deal it also crashed going to sleep a few times.
So I installed OSX... on my Zenbook. Because somehow OS X managed to handle my hardware better than Ubuntu had (bar the stock wireless card), and it was developer friendly.
I prefer brew to apt-get. Yes, apt-get is vastly more powerful, but I never had brew fail on me because a previous install had messed up.
OS X also has a lot of mindshare. Tooling tends tend to progress from Linux and OS X in ease of use before entering a gulf and reaching Windows eventually.
I got my copy of OSX legitimately, but to me it's telling I essentially had to go to "bootleg OSX" to get my hardware and software experiences in sync. OS X even supports the touchscreen as a mouse, not that I ever used the touchscreen on a laptop that only supports the laptop form factor and no others...
> OS X also has a lot of mindshare.
Sure, but I expect that to go down now. IMNSHO, YMMV.
And I definitely wouldn't recommend buying a laptop just to Hackintosh it, its more of a fun hack than anything with a few specific exceptions where there's strong overlap between an Apple product and an existing PCs hardware (and at that point you might as well just buy the official product if you're only going to Hackintosh it, bar cost)
I'd have just gotten another MBP if I wanted OS X for the start for the reasons you list (and the fact that while in many areas OSX was handling the hardware better, it still didn't support the stock wifi or the Optimus setup).
I think the MBP issues are overblown. The 2015 is still around and still fully capable. I find it strange that people are complaining about the 2016, but then comparing it to laptops that were out for months, and in some cases years, when the 2015 was out, but weren't being chosen over the 2015 by the same users.
There's some backlash because people wanted a MBP refresh and it isn't want they wanted, but I don't see OSX losing that much developer mindshare in the long term. I don't agree with the fear lingering about it being the "end of days" for "Pro MBPs", I think this MBP was an interesting experiment that came at a very poor time (when people were already anxious for a progression of the MBP 2015-2011 in a new form factor, with a bigger battery most likely)
Well given that the 2016 is more expensive, has shorter battery life, and is missing a bunch of ports, one could argue that it's worse (at least for some use cases) than the 2015.
One small advantage the 2016 version seems to have is being able to get power from either side of the laptop while the 2015 has 1x Magsafe (why on earth did they replace that) and 2 USB-C.
This, this, this. I have been trying off and on for a couple years to move from MacOS to Linux and the HiDPI situation is a mess. Apparently it's not much better in Windows, so maybe if someone is coming from Windows they are used to problems. But, coming from MacOS where I have a rMBP and a mix of HiDPI and HD monitors and they all 'just work' I had assumed that was the state of the industry for a long time. Once I started reading up on the issue it became apparent in the HiDPI world it is MacOS >>>>>>> Windows > Linux.
The last time I brought this up on HN, someone responded saying I didn't need HiDPI :/
So on windows I have a real bash shell. I have dpkg. I effectively have Ubuntu. I can provision my machine using the ansible scripts we use to provision our production machines (took only minor updates to make them work).
There are some missing pieces. Docker doesn't work from within the linux subsystem. Upstart doesn't work. There is some weirdness related to how you interact with the windows environment from the linux subsystem. For instance I had to install a hack to allow me to open files in sublime from within the linux subsystem.
It's a mixed bag. You have a real Ubuntu environment with real package management, which is awesome (as opposed to homebrew). Yet some things that work on OS X don't work quite as seamlessly on Windows.
I think for most developers, it's probably going to work pretty damn nicely tho.
Also why can't you use Docker for Windows for your Docker needs?
I spent roughly $300 (reusing my current Apple Cinema LED monitor) to build a desktop replacement for my mac pro. Can't be happier.
Then I spent about $600 on a laptop (Thinkpad T460) to replace my Macbook Pro Retina. Also fantastic.
Everything's been great. The keyboard on the T460 is awesome. The battery life thus far is about 16 hours.
I don't see myself ever going back to macOS again. I'm running Arch, using i3 as a window manager, and feel right at home. Basically this feels like a computer again.
The 2016 MacBook keyboard is just downright horrible. You kinda get used to it but returning to others keeps reminding me that it's just worse in every regard.
The Win 10 Linux subsystem is still a mess, though it is improving in beta versions.
Takes a bit of time to get acquainted, but I really enjoy it.
Product Site: http://www.air.bar/
Video Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR5r1EfvheI
Which is why Surface Pro owners often turn to these:
> I'm sure I'll be back on a Macbook someday (cause hey, change is fun) but no regrets right now.
After a few years with Surface touch and pen, going back to a Mac is like having a limb removed....
But, yes, I transition from a Mac (home) to Windows (work) daily and while I can choose not to, I find that working on different OS and learning its nuances has taught me a lot about how my Python programs execute, for instance.
Does that mean I get a UNIX env/shell on windows?
Dell quality has been very bad though, I'm not amused.
Linux bash on Windows also helped me a lot to transition development work to Windows.
My main complains.
- Cheap plastic that doesn't feel nice to type for long hours
- Oh I miss the mac keyboard layout, the control and alt keys on are hard to adjust on windows and linux especially when copy and paste puts your fingers in awkward positions
- Good, but still a ways to go compared to macs. I am buying a MX Master to compensate for this.
- Over exaggeration of duration in advertisement
Its aesthetically pleasing but the general everyday use just doesn't physically feel great. With a macbook, its very easy to focus cause every command is almost second nature. With the xps, I have look back at the keyboard all the time to see what's going on.
I need a linux machine so I don't have much choice. Or I can pay almost triple the price for a macbook pro for the same specs and even slower vm on top.
> Or I can pay almost triple the price for a macbook pro for the same specs and even slower vm on top.
What's reassuring is that we need a Mac to work/compile iOS apps. Until they port the toolchain to iOS, not taking care of the Mac could be dangerous to their ecosystem.
I use PCs for most of my development work, and Macs when I can (when I'm doing the more ops-like bits of devops, and for personal use). The MacOS environment is really nice, and the Windows tools for writing native code are really good, but the writing is on the wall: Own your computing environment or you will working at someone's sufferance.
I'm not going to go full bull-goose Stallman, but it seems like a worthwhile thing to do.
 It's rocky. Device support is spotty, and user interfaces are often staggeringly bad. Maybe with more people piling on things will get better.
Windows is a no go for me. I want a unix underneath, and Windows has its own share of ugly (though I do keep hearing nice things about Surface). I haven't looked at Linux distros lately, but I'm hoping there's one that's as nice and pretty as OS X in its better days.
They say they do this to train Cortana, but it has the side effect of giving the NSA a front row seat to everything I do.
Also, Android and iOS + most of the popular apps you use, including the desktop ones, use some kind of tracking/telemetry and you don't even have the option to disable.
(Authorized, not much either, it impedes unicorn hunting. Incidentally that's why jwz hates this place - slept under his desk for the delicious unicorn meat, has strong feelings about campers.)
I can do much of this now with a USB3 SSD, but the problem is that there is no way to "sleep" such a configuration. To change locations I need to shut down in one place and reboot in another.
VMs are great, but clientside rending/editing, etc, will probably always be best, where it's only IO for storange/persistence that goes to the cloud.
It sorta worked as a mobile work station but I'm not sure if that's the kind of thing you had in mind. A vnc or gnu screen could help too but neither have 100% perfect usability (especially on slow networks).
There's another project that does the same but using a usb stick isn't a BYO cpu/gpu solution.
But I will probably change back to a "bare metal" setup next year. The performance is just so bad.
You could close a session with a number of apps open, go to some other location, and login with a different Sun Ray located there, and your session just as you left it would be there, no rebooting or loss of state (assuming that the Sun Ray was somehow connected or federated to the same server that had your login details and apps).
I get the feeling we need to look back to things like Newton Soups for the storage and then applying those concepts to the others.
I've tried this exact approach not a week ago. There's an NVMe drive with ~700MBps read speed and a GFX 10xx hooked up to a 4K display. The best I could squeeze from VM was 245 MBps in read and I couldn't get rid of a lag in cursor movement when running Visual Studio full screen. Going up and down one a page was OK, but when you get to the edge, there was a very noticeable hiccup before it started scrolling. CPU and memory throughputs were largely unaffected though. That's using VMware Workstation 12.5 with Win 8.1 as both guest and host.
I ended up with just sticking all data onto an encrypted USB3.1 SSD and setting up the desktop and the laptop identically. Not as elegant as a VM would've been, but works really well so far.
No, using shit virtualization software decimates those. You can pass through both the GPU and the disk directly to the VM.
1. You obviously can't direct map local fixed drives, and direct access to USB drives yields the same 200-300 MBps read performance, which also has a lot of jitter.
2. To pass-through a GPU you need to be running an ESXi with all the consequences. In particular, moving a VM, while doable through export/import, becomes a royal pain in the ass.
PS. And try and express your thoughts in a bit more civil manner next time.
Of course you can, and if you want to access the "host" OS just boot the drive in a VM and hope for the best.
USB will be just as bad as it'd be without VMs.
>2. To pass-through a GPU you need to be running an ESXi with all the consequences. In particular, moving a VM, while doable through export/import, becomes a royal pain in the ass.
I think for this you'd probably just want to use a live distro with KVM rather than messing with ESXi. But yeah, it'll be significantly harder. It's a strange problem so you'll need something more configurable than vmware player.
>PS. And try and express your thoughts in a bit more civil manner next time.
I don't see anything offensive in my comment, unless I'm supposed to be offended by your "pain in the ass" wording.
I've tried having two different computers. Dropbox makes it easier, but still you have the problem that you need to maintain two separate systems.
I think technically this is not so far fetched. With the portable USB3 memory you could almost achieve it. This would just require that the operating system supports waking up in a bit different hardware (at least different CPU, possibly also different amount of RAM).
Iirc there are even generic Thunderbolt based docks that could hook up some of the beefiest desktop GPUs to a laptop.
The CPU aspect is still an issue, but high end full voltage mobile CPUs are pretty powerful, and can still scale down power usage.
What I want is to have docking stations with extra computing power/GPU/RAM/HDD etc built in, so that I can keep the small Surface with its limited battery for the road but have an absurdly powerful desktop PC when I dock it.
Can't say I agree with that. The mini is awfully fat, and most of that space is power supply, fan, and a rotating hard drive. (Seriously, Apple, don't you know it's 2016?) So I still need a bag to carry it. I'd much rather have an MBP than a Mini. (Also, a mini can't sleep unplugged.)
You stick 1TB of your files in your Documents directory (or app-specific data folders..), and you can access them in any device that supports iCloud, including iPhones & iPads.
Try it, you'll like it, and you don't have to deal with physical storage devices.
I mean, have people never even tried iCloud sync?
Where at the mo they need to overcome the issue that desktop apps are x86 but for battery reasons mobile apps need to run on ARM
I read a while ago that Intel abandoned their mobile chips.
Office runs natively ARM but businesses have a few productivity apps tied to x86 (e.g. requiring a P3 or higher) that shouldn't tax the CPU too much.
It's a good question if a CPU should be included or not. On the one hand, I want a desktop class CPU in some situations and a laptop class CPU in other situations. And it would be nice to upgrade your entire computer without even having to shutdown the OS.
On the other hand, an Skylake or Kabby lake laptop class processor is actually the same silicon as the desktop class processor, just but with some cores disabled, clocked at a lower speed and binned for low power usage instead of performance.
So theoretically, you could have CPU which can be a quad core desktop processor when plugged into a beefy power source and cooling solution, but disables cores and downclocks when power and cooling is more limited.
A 13" tablet is still a bit big to be carrying around - I'm hoping they'll eventually manage to make an x86 phone with enough oomph to operate as a development workstation - but it's getting there.
It's an open hardware standard for switching the computer between different interface devices.
It would be interesting to have something like process migration across VMs, but with mobile devices.