New Laptop and Linux

Not too long ago, I picked up a Lenovo Thinkpad L440 laptop on eBay. It comes with Windows 10 Pro on it, but I could care less. I’m, obviously, going to install Linux on it because that’s my preferred platform. The question, now, is what flavor am I going to go with? Currently my desktop runs ArchLinux, which is great for keeping on the bleeding-edge. My ChromeBook-turned-LinuxBook is running GalliumOS because of the compatibility patches and packages that help make using the ChromeBook’s… unique hardware… less of a pain.

Moving forward, I think I’m going to give OpenSuSE a try. It’s been decades since I’ve used SuSE, and I imagine a massive amount of things have changed. They use KDE as the default environment, which I think will be a great Desktop Environment (DE) for the laptop, plus it’s very fast and generally lightweight. I honestly think I’m going to enjoy this a lot.

On top of this, OpenSuSE has a rolling-release distribution (similar to ArchLinux) in tandem with their more contemporary timed-release. Which means I can choose to be just as bleeding edge, but with OpenSuSE’s cool build server to get out of band packages.

The next few days are going to be exciting!

Fitbit is Awesome

I seem to have an on-and-off relationship with technology. Either it’s working in near seamless harmony with me, or as it seems lately: it conspires to end me through stress, messed up configurations and endless errors.

My wife, however, seems to have a perfectly reasonable relationship with technology. That is until the price point hovers somewhere between $100to $500. It’s at this point bizarre things begin happening. Her iPhone,shortly after getting it, decided it didn’t like connecting to most WiFi access points (except for those at the store…).

Recently, she purchased a Fitbit to track steps with me and help get in shape with me. Things seemed to be nice and dandy for a week or so, that is until her Fitbit stopped charging what-so-ever.

She dutifully contacted Fitbit via e-mail and, as they stated they contacted her back to say that they’d be happy to help. Since she purchased her Flex through a retailer, they suggested that she try there first. They also said that if they were unwilling to return/exchange the product that they would do so without question. The retailer in question (Target) did without hesitation, and now she is beating my pants off via steps.

Customer service is a rare thing today. Good companies do it well and generally have a strong following. I guess that I’ve had so many bad customer service experiences (looking at you, Acquia) that I had almost been sworn off contacting them when something goes wrong. I know that,as someone who works in IT, delaying or hiding the problem doesn’t get anything fixed and only breeds resentment on both sides of the equation,but the having to slog through the same troubleshooting steps and having to repeat the same questions to eight different representatives, as I get passed around like an unwanted fruit cake during the holidays.

So, *thank you* Fitbit. You’ve done my wife and I a solid. I didn’t trust you initially because I don’t like it when I can’t get the data you’re collecting on me, but the excellent Flex and the incredible service have given you a shiny gold star in my eyes.