A couple things I saw and thought "Mastodon will love this":

- Alias, a 3D-printed "parasite" that sits on top of your Amazon Echo or Google Home, feeding white noise into its mic until you say the wake word:

- The adminbook, a wonderfully ugly design for the ideal sysadmin notebook:


@nev I would have a very hard time restraining myself from buying that notebook.

@nev Ooh. I'm going to have to give Alias a try.

@nev did you just call the most beautiful notebook ever conceived ugly? :P


That "adminbook" is something I would love to get my hands on.

Seems very close to the GPD Pocket, which you can order with Ubuntu pre-installed:


This is the thing that bothers me with the "adminbook", on 2nd thought: too many ports.

I mean, sure, who does not want dozens of USB ports on an admin-oriented laptop? But all those ports are a drain on the laptop battery even if left unused.

The GPD Pocket, on the other hand, seems to get it right by only using a couple of USB C.

OK, I need to investigate the power consumption of idle USB C ports now. I'll be back in a couple of months. 🤔

@paulgatling @nev

It's interesting, certainly, but severely underpowered (ARM processors only).

It was conceived, if I remember well, as a replacement / next-gen for Psion Series5 PDA, not entirely as a laptop PC.

Now, don't misunderstand me, I like the Gemini, but it's not just in the same category as the GPD Pocket (though the form factors are very close).

I would be interested in benchmarks comparing the CPUs in the GPD and the Gemini.

It doesn't take much CPU to fire up a terminal and ssh into a remote host. I thought this thing was for sysadmins not developers..

@paulgatling @nev

You have a point -- I have no idea if Ansible runs well on ARM CPUs.

See also: Salt, Chef, etc.

There is nothing, that makes a newfangled telescreen surveillance device acceptable.

@akf @nev agreed. but if i had family or friends who had one, and i couldn't convince them of the folly, that parasite might make a good gift.

@nev While I wouldn't ever consider installing a spying device in my home on purpose. I'm even a phone luddite, I like the idea and wonder if it could be used to 'fight' amazon.

Ok, I know resistance is futile, but I'll try.

Even though I normally get my computers out of the trash bin, I would totally buy an adminbook.

One question though. Why do you say 'ugly design'? That kind of design is the most beautiful in my eyes.

@Jason_Dodd I think it looks very cool, but not in the way that, say, a MacBook does, or even the organic-looking thingy in the other link. It's, like, aggressively functional.

@nev I seem to be in the minority when it comes to this kind of thing. Common things I don't get: People say an application I use from another desktop just fine but people claim doesn't integrate well, "It's square and ugly", hiding things when you aren't even getting real estate back, endless pages, and most of the other new fangled things that are supposed to make the design 'beautiful', but seem like utter annoyances to me.

As Diddy Kong says, "Function over form, baby!"

And, curves in tech suck! The more things are curved, the less they 'integrate' with other hardware.

See what I did there?

@nev Macbooks and most other Apple hardware scream, "Look at me! I'm not going to play nice with ANYTHIMG biotches!!"

I don't want an Amazon Echo at all but the idea of white noise is very clever. That laptop however, fffff, looks so good!


@nev The adminbook post just keeps getting better,,

I have no justification whatsoever for wanting one, but, CUTE


I could almost get off to that laptop.

The HDMI port is *reversible*! That would have come in handy quite a few times for me!

@nev that Alias thing... someone should make one shaped like a headcrab

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