A few years ago I bought a fairly cheap laptop. The specific reason for this was: I was working from home during the pandemic, and would sometimes have long periods where I didn't need to actually be working - mornings where I was waiting for client feedback, for instance. Sometimes I would leave my apartment with one of my kids and go to a playground, only to have to rush home to do two minutes of work. My plan was to use a laptop to screen-share with my computer at work, allowing me to do minor adjustments, etc., from a playground bench.

So I bought a $500 Windows laptop - up until this point I had only used Macs for maybe 13 years - and booted it up and just immediately fucking hated it. There were pop-up ads for McAfee virus software on the god damned desktop. And I was trying to figure out what to do with it, how to make it more usable, when my wife said, "Why don't you put Linux on it?"

I did, and became a weird Linux guy, and the more and more I tinkered with this laptop the more I wondered - what is a computer? What does a computer do?

When I was a kid my family would go on long car rides, and eventually my family had a laptop, and I would sit in this car and mess around with this laptop for hours. No networking, nothing, just the machine itself. Now, almost all of the stuff I use a computer for in my personal life doesn't rely on computing power on my end - instead, I'm manipulating bits on a server thousands of miles away. What can I actually do with my computer, with the plastic and metal I have? What is a computer for?

I don't know that this is going to help any with that question, but that question is what lead, eventually, here.

who is this jackass