Windows, Long Time No See

After working from home for a few months, we decided not to renew Flux’s office lease. So I brought a monitor back for my home work station. A problem soon surfaced: my 2017 13-inch Macbook Pro got annoying noisy when connected to a 4K monitor. Its fan speed shot up to maximum frequently and the whole system got slightly sluggish. So I started thinking: since there is little need to travel with a work laptop now, why not get a desktop?

Mac Mini is not powerful enough, Mac Pro feels like an expensive toy, and I don’t need another screen at home so iMac is out, too. It has been 10+ years since I used Windows. And I heard this new WSL2 (Windows Subsystem for Linux) thing was great. Let’s give it a try! The last time I used Windows for work was more than 10 years ago.

I wasn’t really in the mood of assembling a PC, and kind of want to get it to work asap. So I ordered a Dell XPS desktop. It arrived in a few days with Win 10 pre-installed. I connected it to monitor, my Apple mouse/keyboard. All worked! Great, but…

The single biggest challenge right off the bat was the shortcut keys… With ⌘ replaced by ⊞ Win and my strong muscle memory of using ⌘ shortcuts, it took me quite a while to map all these shortcut keys… PowerToys from Microsoft include a “Keyboard Manager” which can do most of them. (I later found PowerToys is not very reliable and the shortcut keys stop functioning from tiem to time). But then I need to use AutoHotKey to map out a few weird ones, such as disabling that “ctrl+scroll” zoom. Last but not least, a bunch of application-specific shortcut keys needs to be tweaked, e.g. VS Code. It was no fun. My biggest suggestion is to use a PC keyboard other than Apple’s Magic Keyboard.

Adjusting and getting used to the display was another pain in the butt. It took me a while to realize the “recommended” 150% zoom level on a 4K monitor was still way too small for me. I adjusted it to 200% and it looked much better. Fonts look different but generally OK in those popular apps (browser, code editor, terminal, etc).

The fun part started with WSL. It was actually really easy to install WSL, install a Linux in it, and get it to work with VS Code. Windows Terminal and Docker on Windows are two other things that integrate well with WSL. Basically, I installed dev tools in WSL: Git, Brew (yeah I was surprised Homebrew actually has a Linux version), Postgres, node, etc; checked out codes into WSL; use VS Code Remote WSL to connect to WSL. Then it’s a good combination of the two systems: all GUI run in Windows and all commands/servers run in Linux. Auto port forwarding makes it pretty seamless to use the two environments together, meaning you can start a server at port 3000 in WSL then open http://localhost:3000 in Chrome on Windows and it automatically works.

This desktop’s performance is as expected. For starter, It runs our API tests twice faster than my laptop… This one single reason justifies the hassle of switching. And I threw another 32G ram to the gig, now it runs any usual web dev workload without breaking a sweat. #peace

Common applications were easier to replace than I thought. Fortunately, most day-to-day tasks can be done in a browser now, or Electron-based apps that look the same as their Mac version. I don’t want to pick up another set of Mail/Calendar shortcuts, so I just use pinned tabs in Chrome for mail and calendar. Other apps that stay on the taskbar during worktime are Windows Terminal, VS Codes, File Explorer, Slack. Other apps I open from time to time for work are Zoom, Firefox. TablePlus, and Postman. After spending a day or two to get used to the Windows system and fonts, things are not bad.

There were definitely some tough issues. It took me about a day to figure out how to run Cypress testing… The solution was to run web servers (front-end and backend) in WSL and Cypress in Windows, and web servers need to bind IPv4 0.0.0.0 instead of IPv6… which showsWSL’s port forwarding doesn’t magically work for everything.

And one last benefit of using Windows is I can play some games on PC now. I bought Terraforming Mars on Steam the other day and found it only supported Mac :/ And maybe I’ll play Civilization 6 sometime? Anyway, nothing in mind right now.

弱智微软,弱智的Win XP

这阵子movie9公网访问基本不行了,没地方下电影电视了……打算用用BT,又发现速度变得非常渣,在几KB/s的量级徘徊……不仅如此,开网页都经常好几次才能打开。这日子简直没法过了。

几天来我怀疑过木马病毒流氓软件,怀疑过有人盗用我家无线网,甚至怀疑过网通封了P2P。终于在昨天一次windows的auto update之后想起来,这可能是那个Windows连接数问题又被update给搞回来了。重新打了一下连接数破解补丁,好日子又回来了……

有人知道Win XP为什么有那个连接数限制么?为了世界和平?

f**k "仿真虚拟软驱“

今天给小侯装系统,试图在没有光驱软驱的情况下安装windows xp,结果搞了一天,shit
先用vfloppy,结果启动起来之后D和E盘看到的是乱七八糟的,不是应该有的文件
折腾了半天之后决定按照网上的某篇教程来搞,这个教程里就用到了这个叫做”仿真虚拟软驱.rar“的东西,我装了这个玩意儿重启之后就进不了系统了。。。每次都启动到GRUB下面去
这时候按F8可以看到winme的启动选项,然后进到dos,但是这个时候还是装不了系统,去执行硬盘上的windows安装文件(i386\winnt.exe)是可以,但是copy完安装文件重启之后还是引导不到windows上来(又跑进那个该死的grub。。)
这时候十分抓狂,幸好跟winnie借来一个USB软驱,调了一下BIOS之后可以从这个软驱启动了,谢天谢地。刻了(软盘好像不叫”刻了“是么。。)一
张从eea上下载的”超强万能启动盘“(不得不说我现在对名字这么nb的东西都有点怕了),启动进去。试了一下水木windowsTech里面写的一个用
来恢复NT LOADER的东西,其实就是走一下win2000的安装过程,没用
又开始抓狂。。瞎翻帖子,觉得应该是引导区的问题而不是NT LOADER,大概看了几篇文章,看到fdisk /mbr这个命令,用之。。。反正C盘都格了。。感谢“超强万能”里面带了fdisk!这个命令之后,居然就可以了!!靠,总算暂时摆脱那个GRUB了

正在安装winxp,希望能搞定。。。。刚刚看到没法选择中文支持。。。不知道会不会出问题,保佑保佑