Workstation

I have tried so many different laptops you could even write movies about it.

I was advocating for Microsoft to release their own PCs back in early 2010 and I was pumped when I watched the original Surface RT announcement. I really enjoyed the Surface RT and was disappointed to see its apps ecosystem not being able to flourish and compete with iOS or Win32. Then there were all sorts of Surface laptops, tablets and hybrids released with Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. While the hardware is breathtaking (and I’m a fan of the industrial design of those machines), it’s always the OS that sets me back.

Believe me, I love Windows. It’s extremely powerful and incredibly versatile. The new Windows Terminal and the overall Windows Subsystem for Linux are impressive and deliver on the developer experience. But give me any Windows 10 machine, and I can show you 2 or 3 absolutely unacceptable UI issues in less than ten seconds. Those were obviously reported through the Windows Feedback app.

Perhaps I’m an extremely demanding user and I’m asking for things that cannot easily be fixed or are considered very minor issues by the teams in charge. They honestly probably have very good reasons not to fix the issues I’m talking about. However, these really draw me back, which is why nowadays I use macOS about 95% of my time, which is not a problem considering the Microsoft technologies I use work great on this OS (if not better!).

macOS: MacBook Pro 15”, 2018

I use a QWERTY layout, which surprises my french colleagues. There’s a pretty good case for getting QWERTY instead of the french AZERTY: the layout is perfect for coding, with a great access to [ ] { } | \ ; : ' " / ? > . < , ~; it provides all the accented characters needed to write french properly; and obviously it makes you learn one of the world’s most used keyboard layouts, which can be quite useful.

When it comes to the internals, what I require the most is lots of RAM for multitasking (and Docker), as I often have to switch between many contexts in the day (therefore leaving a lot of open apps and tabs in dedicated virtual desktops). Then, a powerful CPU for short compilation times; never having to wait for your machine to finish any task is delightful and lets you stay into your flow. I find it terrible when you lose your focus because your machine isn’t answering properly.

I don’t really mind the graphic card as long as it runs at least one external 4K/5K screen plus the laptop screen (which is 2880x1800). I don’t play games (except Civilization 🙈).

The config of my current MBP is the following:

  • 2,2 GHz Intel Core i7
  • 16 GB 2400 MHz DDR4
  • Radeon Pro 555X 4 GB

One major downside of this config is the lack of RAM; 32 would be best, but 16 is already beyond ‘good-enough’.

Windows: Shadow

The Shadow Ghost

iPhone XR (red)

Peripherals

Magic Trackpad 2

I don’t use a mouse, only trackpads! It’s like playing piano or being a conductor. Everything’s so smooth with the trackpads, especially for repeatitive tasks like switching between virtual desktops or app windows, launching apps, and quickly glancing at the latest notifications.

Software

Notion

Bear

Visual Studio Code

Safari