Your computer is a personal place. It contains all of your personal data. Browser history, games, images, documents and files. Tons and tons of files. Back in the 90s, during the age of Win 95, OS 7, etc many users would customize their machine to their liking. New mouse cursors, back grounds, window colors and every single sound the computer would make when it performed a task. I think most people did this because the computer wasn't connected to a network 24/7. The experience of using the machine was isolated, so people liked to set it up in a way the felt the most comfortable.
I'm not nostalgic for that. But the idea that the computer is your machine is changing. Windows 10 and Mac OS are constantly talking to MS and Apple. The UI is getting standardized across all devices. Even the PC, with windows 11 home, will require a user to have an online account for their computer, even if it spends part of it's day offline. This is already the reality for any user of a Chromebook. I do think this is some form of progress. Operating Systems have gotten better and much more stable every year. I haven't had a single issue with the Macbook M1 this page is being created. In comparison, my Retro PC will crash at least once or twice a day when I am using it.
But this Mac doesn't feel very personal. There's nothing I can do to make it "my own" device (well besides decorating the outside). You can change a few colors for accents and the background, but the rest of the GUI has to look one way, and one way only.
I had a Linux laptop, until it died (which was probably my doing if I am honest), a hacked Chromebook Acer 720. I could customize it. The desktop looked how I wanted it to look. I liked that. I want to find a new Linux based laptop to take over as my personal device. Debian is set up on my desktop, and despite the insanely shitty Nvidia display driver support, for day to day tasks I prefer it over windows. The laptop doesn't need to be a i7 or a Ryzen 7 monster. An ARM soc, or i3 level cpu wil work best.
- Random Lenovo ebay laptop.
- Pinebook Pro
- a new hacked Chroebook with a Linux distro installed.