For years, maybe decades by now, I’ve been following, however weakly, the thinking expressed in Brian Niemeier’s highly recommended book Don’t Give Money to People Who Hate You. Which can be summed up as: don’t give money to people who hate you. Hollywood movies? Out. Professional. Olympic, and major college sports? Out. Books from the big publishers? Find ’em used. Streaming services of any kind? Nope. Nicely dovetailing with this is a desire to waste less time. Video games? Out years ago. I’ve never watched much broadcast TV, never paid for cable, so dodged a bullet there.
But don’t get the impression I’m some sort of disciplined hermit. Hardly. Rather, I seem to have something like a genius ability to find other ways to waste time…
What I want to do is write and make music. On a typical day since I lost my job, I waste as much or more – almost certainly more – time online as I spend on those two activities combined. I have plenty of legit reasons to be surfing around but – mostly not.
The biggest sink by far is YouTube. I watch independent short sci fi movies, check in on what’s going on at SpaceX, follow a number of people who work on boat and housebuilding projects, watch a couple makers make things, watch a history guy, check out a bunch of musicians, look at recipes, and dive headfirst into the ubiquitous rabbit holes. There’s this volcano erupting in Iceland, and – so on and so forth.
YouTube is owned by Google. Google most definitely hates me.
I’ve been thinking I want to continue until a couple of the boat builders set sail, or at least get their boats in the water (half the work on a boat is done after the boat is afloat). That should be happening within the next couple months. Then – well, the recipes and music instruction is good. Don’t know if/how I can replace those things with non-Google stuff… I can at least cut way, way back.
This brings us to the next gigantic corporation owned and run by people who hate me: Microsoft. I’m going to need a new laptop here shortly. What I want to do: keep Microsoft, and all its works, and all its empty promises, off it. I would like to be as anonymous as possible as well – don’t give information to people who hate you is a solid principle as well. This means Linux and some sort of VPN, last I checked. To do so, I will need the following:
- Browser – Brave.
- Writing – Open Office.
- Email – Protonmail.
- VPN- ? Or do I even need one? Brave has that Tor functionality. Not sure how all this works.
Then comes a digital audio workstation (DAW). Looks like Reaper, which is highly recommended by my son-in-law, is available for Linux.
Can’t think of anything else I need. Seems like, if there turns out to be some Windows only thing I need, I could use an emulator , which (legend has it) have gotten much better and more seamless. I’ve heard that story about tech before – sometimes true, sometimes not so true. Unfortunately, I have tons of stuff for my history classes on Googledocs. Short and probably mid term, I’ll keep nursing one of my current aging laptops along to use them.
Any of the Regular Reader do anything like this?
5 thoughts on “The Next Laptop: Don’t Give $$ to People Who Hate You”
Not yet, but let us know how it goes– we will have to replace the desktop before long and have been thinking hard about this.
Haven’t begun to seriously disconnect yet, but from the relatively small amount of research I’ve done so far (it’s rather frustrating, since you can easily find people on this subject who will emphatically say the exact opposite of what someone else has just told you with equal conviction. I suppose that’s to be expected from a topic dominated by self-styled non-conformist libertarians), I think you do need to still get a VPN with Brave.
I’ve heard positive things about Torguard as a VPN, though as noted above take it with a grain of salt.
(Mostly I take comfort in the fact that I’m not important enough yet for anyone to take a lot of effort to watch and / or silence).
ProtonVPN seems okay; using that and Brave to post this.
I’ve been running Fedora Linux on my PC laptop for a couple years now. It works great. I can’t think of anything I haven’t been able to do that I needed to do. It did take a bit of reading-up to figure out how to properly partition the hard drive. I also had issues with my touchpad and wifi drivers, which again took some studying to figure out how to fix. But once they were fixed they were fixed. The internet, which is most of what I use it for, works just like the internet on any other OS.
I’ve eliminated chrome as a browser, use Brave, Firefox, Opera and Safari. Trying hard to eliminate Youtube. Tried Rumble (Trump is on there) but the selections are limited and the search engine is clunky; vimeo, less so.