Antonin Carette

A journey into a wild pointer

2019, as minimalistic

Posted at — Feb 20, 2019

I became fed up with my electronic materials.

The way we evolve, as city dwellers, implies sometimes to adopt a non-minimalistic approach to live:

In 2019, I want to adopt a new approach in my life, which can be simply resumed as: do more, with less.

Both for myself, and for the Planet (don’t forget it).

In this post, I will develop four different points to adopt a general minimalistic approach.

Choose according your usage, and not the inverse

A problem I have with myself is to choose a device based on what I would do with it, and not what I can currently do with it. This sort of thinking implies to buy a lot of devices, for all sort of things I will never have the time to do in the next months/years!

And this is purely wastefulness.

But be careful, I am not telling you to avoid any unnecessary technology, but rather to make a choice in order to use them conscientiously! Let’s make the distinction about my computing usage, based on the last three years.

For now, I have four computing devices:

Four different devices, for four different (and common) tasks:

I think we can easily reduce the number to two: a laptop, and a smartphone.

For programming, based on my previous experience, I only use CPU computation, and my RAM usage is ~ 6GB of RAM. No need GPU here… For web browsing and blogging, I really don’t need an expensive hardware for that…

To avoid the tablet, I can make use of an hybrid laptop - like a surface, or a laptop with touchscreen (with a 360 keyboard).

But the gaming PC… the choice is hard. For this, I have three different possibilities:

  1. Avoid a lightweight and (and unexpensive) laptop to buy an heavy gaming laptop;
  2. To buy an eGPU, which add again a new device for this task exclusively;
  3. To keep the lightweight laptop and buy a subscription to a cloud gaming provider.

Today, a lot of companies are working on gaming in the cloud: Blade (the French company that produces Shadow), Google, Microsoft, Nvidia… and, to have tested cloud gaming using a Shadow PC, it works really well if you have a good internet connection.

Be careful, I did not say “really good” or “exceptional” internet connection, but just “good” internet connection… The promise to have a really good gaming experience on 5MB/s connection was awesome for me.

So, for all those tasks, I can maybe express the idea that… a Chromebook can finally be a good choice for me, as a laptop!

Also, if I sell my current gaming PC, my tablet and my (expensive) laptop (for almost nothing), I can buy a good Chromebook for 33% of the price I will earn in selling those devices.

“Do I really need it?”, or how to avoid all sort of gadgets

The common mistakes with gadgets is to ask yourself a wrong question: “Do I will use it?”. Instead, ask yourself the same question but based on your current needs: “Do I really need it (now)?”.

99% of the time, now, I came to the conclusion that I can avoid this gadget, and save my money for something I really need.

The DIY magic

Sometimes, you have the feeling that, if you want the of your dreams, you have to buy multiple things in order to assemble them, or to buy one unique really expensive thing to satisfy your desire. Also, you tend to forget that you can build it yourself…

To hack an object can, sometimes, be more refreshing and beneficial in the long term than buying a new “thing” for something you can abandon in two months. Also, generally, it costs less to do it by yourself…

Do not forget that the DIY approach is principally based on refreshing old objects, and to make something new with something old (or broken). In this way, do not throw an object in a trash if you don’t use it, even if this object is broken!

Sell it, or give it to someone. Do not throw it.

To finish…

Live in the present, buy according your needs (and not according [only] your dreams), and make it :)