Microsoft Surface

That odd thing.

27 Oct 2018 View Comments
#microsoft #surface #laptop #windows

Microsoft Surface Laptop
Microsoft Surface Laptop

I bought Microsoft Surface Laptop for my wife in 2017 August since she returned to school (for a graduate degree). My wife having exposed to Mac for a couple of years, she despised Surface. She lamented about pretty much everything on Windows which is not behaving the same way as Mac. I had spent some time setting up her basic Windows related accounts. I explicated on other cool features Windows are offering. As addled as she appeared, she was eventually capitulated and convinced to give it a try. After a few tries, my wife appreciated it. She loved One Note and some education application which runs better on Windows than Mac. The laptop was well suited for her B.Ed. lectures and practicums.

After she finished her school just recently, I noticed she wasn’t making any use out of Surface. It was pretty much exiled at the corner of the desk, untouched. I passingly asked her if she still needs it. “No,” she said. She told me I could use it. It’s ironic that I would never spend that much money to buy a laptop for me when I did it for my wife. With the laptop bestowed to me, I seemed to be way too excited and felt like I was given a laptop for free, and as you know, free is always right and correct. Just like my wife, I was also on Mac for several years, but I always desired to try Windows again. It is still challenging for me to adapt to Windows fully.

Starting from as little as backward/forward slash difference all the way to the file system difference, Windows was a different animal than Mac. Even a simple copy-paste got me in much trouble. I kept pressing “windows button + c/v” when it’s ctrl+c/ctrl+v on Windows. I would shake my head every time I make the same damn mistake. I decided to have both Windows and iMac on my desk and kept on switching between the two; Surface laptop in front of Mac.

Running projects and coding on Surface and having Mac as an organizer for the documents and the web surfing seemed to work pretty well. It has been about a month of intensive work on Surface and Mac combination. So far, I love it. There were apparently few changes I made to Windows to have a familiar environment as Mac or Linux. These 3 applications, at least, made my work simpler on Windows. They helped me reducing my developments time and efforts by folds, literally.

1. Cygwin/Babun

A lot of Windows developer would probably prefer Powershell over any other bash for windows alternatives. I tried Powershell a couple of time but it felt like learning some new shell all over again, and I didn’t have much motivation for doing that. I began to look for a bash possibility for Windows. There were several bash/shell options for Windows. At first, I tried git bash. It was okay for a day (for running some basic git commands) until I noticed many commands were still missing. I came across Cmder which seemed to have most of the commands I wanted to run. I used Cmder for a couple of days without much issue. Then I hit a block. I wanted to use “tmux.” tmux is a tool which provides the ability to work on multiple terminal sessions. It wasn’t working so I assumed that it wouldn’t work on Windows. That’s when I came across Cygwin and Babun combination. Babun is built on top of Cygwin to provide a lot more add-ons. It may appeal as very clunky and space consuming. At least I felt that way, but I wanted tmux so bad I didn’t care anything else. In the end, all I needed for tmux was “pact install tmux.” I ended up sticking with Babun for my bash shell.

2. Docker for Windows

Docker helps me daily in numerous ways of working on my various projects. I can boot up Linux regardless of what OS I am on. From my experiences so far, running Docker on Windows (Docker for Windows) is quite quirky and unstable. Not to mention how horrendously slow docker tasks run on Windows, it has a couple of other issues such as incompatible shell other than CMD, mounting volumes. I had my ways around these problems that I could at least boot up my containers and play in it. So far, basic functionalities seemed to work without too much trouble, but I am sure I would encounter another wall at some point where I probably need to find ways around it again. I would never recommend running Docker for Windows on production. It has enough power for my projects but probably unstable and unsuitable for production load.

3. Sublime Text 3

I started out using sublime back in when I was in my previous company. It was a quick and straightforward notepad-like tool for me to have configurations/documentations done. I then wasn’t much into it until recently when I was working on some ReactJS development which sublime offered some add-ons such as syntax highlighting, autocompletes and different shortcuts which expedited my development progress. After the project, it wasn’t being used a lot again. These days I use it a lot on my blog work. Its simple layout and light weighted like NotePad structure; I can easily navigate and know the progress quickly. I would probably continue using it in the future. It’s a great tool to replace your NotePad/WordPad. With so many of users, it offers so many add-ons to make your development life more comfortable. Give it a try!

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