My Tinkering Laptop

My Tinkering Laptop
2012 11-inch MacBook Air.

Buying an old MacBook Air has been great for my tinkering needs.


As I mentioned in my recent post, My Desire For Retro Tech, I bought a 2012 MacBook Air for mostly nostalgia reasons. Now that I am a parent of two, reflecting on technology that makes me happy, and being able to buy it for cheap to repurpose it in my life is something I found exciting and fun.

This 2012 MacBook Air isn’t replacing my main workstation, which is a Asus Zenbook 14X, but is instead becoming my tinkering laptop. A computer that I can sit down with and just play with. This includes installing Ubuntu on it, setting up the theme and look I want, and also exploring other Linux utilities that I have never heard or used before.

So far I have treated this MacBook Air as just an alternative to my Zenbook. I have Thunderbird installed for email, MarkText installed for writing, and Microsoft Edge for web browsing. So far those are my main three apps that I use on this device. The only other app that I installed is a Office 365 app for me to upload markdown files from MarkText to my OneDrive to edit and publish from my Zenbook.

MarkText in Ubuntu on MacBook Air.

The reason I call this my tinkering laptop and not just another general computer that I have is because this laptop is available for me to do anything to it. I am not saving any crucial data on this device, nor do I have any specific workflows that I am becoming reliant on. This laptop can be wiped away and another OS be installed in an instant.

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Jamie Larson
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