I have officially survived the first of my 10 Unorthodox PC Challenges with the Vensmile Mini PC and wanted to do a quick up and review on how the Vensmile Mini PC did over the past two weeks. This challenge was designed to test several shortcomings of mine; I normally do not use Windows as my primary operating system and I am normally used to using more powerful machines.
It is a well known fact that all work and no play make Keith a grumpy Alaskan husky. The past few weeks have been incredibly busy and as I get ready to wrap up the first of the 10 Unorthodox Computers in the Unorthodox Computer Challenge, I wanted to end on a fun note – How does the Vensmile Mini PC handle gaming?
I am sorry that I have not posted an update to this site this week about my Unorthodox Computer Challenge but it is not because I dropped the challenge but because I have been working hard at resolving my storage woes that I wrote about last week. This process is going well however complicated due to my slow workstation.
My last 48 hours can be summed up in as little as 2 words “Storage Woes”. Between Microsoft announcing that they will be killing OneDrive Storage Plans greater than 1TB and the fact that the Vensmile Mini PC seems to have one of the slowest eMMC storage modules around, I am really feeling the pressure. To make matters worse, my Cloud Storage space is a mess of old, outdated and duplicate files scattered among a few hundred GB of important files.
On September 2nd of 2008 a web browser was released that changed my browsing habits forever, this web browser was known as Google Chrome. Shortly after it was released, it put a wedge into my monogamous relationship with Mozilla Firefox and caused us to separate after many years. I have been using Chrome as my primary browser for years with no complaints, that is until I took part in my Unorthodox Computer Challenge.
I will be spending the next two weeks with the most orthodox of the machines I have selected for the unorthodox computer challenge, the Vensmile Windows 10 Mini PC. Dont let this fool you however, while this computer is technically a full fledged Windows Desktop – it is hard to find a great use-case for such a machine as it is not powerful enough to do much and the performance leaves a lot to be desired.
Yesterday, I announced that I will be taking part in the Unorthodox Computer Challenge over the next few months and was met with quite a bit of comments and recommendations. As the challenge starts at midnight, I wanted to clarify a few things while I clean off my desk.
I often consider myself a power user when it comes to computers. My personal collection of computers that I use as daily drivers contains a bevy of high end purpose built machines. Between my Dell XPS 13 and my prized System 76 Kudo Professional, I am well equipped to handle just about anything that comes my way. Within the few week, I will be embarking on a challenge to put my 2 primary machines aside and use several unorthodox computers as my daily drivers at home. Here is how it will work.
For anyone that knows me, one thing is made abruptly clear almost immediately. I do not like Apple Products, I will never buy one and I will never own one. In fact, I have been known to publicly ridicule anyone who owns an Apple Product. This post may come as a shock but I will actually be giving Apple a compliment today, yes you read that correctly and no, I have not been kidnapped by the Coupertino mafia.
We owe a lot to the widely used, yet under-appreciated encryption system known as the GNU Privacy Guard, also known as GnuPG. Although GnuPG has been around for a very long time, it recently made it into the news as one of the tools used by Edward Snowden to encrypt emails containing sensitive information. What is hard to believe is that the GnuPG software stack was built and maintained by one single person, Werner Koch who makes his living giving the software away for free. Werner has unfortunately come under some hard times as donations have dried up and he is looking for help.