My HP Omen notebook was frustrating the hell out of me.

The main issue was hardware. Even with a new battery, it was only getting 30-45 minutes of battery life in a charge. It was not clear why–when I first installed it, it was on the order of two hours. I started to think there was a system board issue. Basically, I lost confidence in the hardware.

But the Ubuntu experiment felt like it had run its course. I learned a lot about UNIX, and making things work. However, there always seemed to be a compromise. I didn’t have the software I wanted; I had to find some Open Source equivalent, or use some browser-based variant. For some key things, Sufferfest or Zwift, I had no choice but to boot into Windows, which meant, in addition to maintaining my primary OS, I had to keep a Windows system up-to-date.

Ubuntu always felt like a kludge, regardless. Drivers for things may or may not be there. I could use the lower-power video card for battery life, or use the high-end one to run dual monitors. Switching ultimately required a reboot. Any driver update could result in having to dig into the bowels of the OS to patch everything else that broke.

While I enjoyed the learning and could handle it, I basically was not confident in the hardware. Any time I wanted to leave the house, the laptop was not something I could count on.

I started a new job, which resulted in ten years of PTO being paid out–a nice bonus. I took part of that, and bought a new MacBook Pro. I stopped believing that OS X (now “MacOS”) was the best desktop UNIX. Everything “just works,” as they say. I have applications, like Word and Excel, that are native, and there are no trade-offs. Everything is integrated, without a patch breaking ten other things. The new hardware brings the best battery life I’ve ever seen in a laptop–I’m not sure I could go all day on a charge, but I could see going out without bringing my charger “just in case.”

I’m inclined to think it’s the best laptop (WorkTops included) that I’ve ever used…but it’s only been two weeks. Still, I feel like I have something I can rely one. As I’ve always felt, I can get down to a prompt and geek out, while still getting stuff done with the rest of the world.

I’m home.