Single computing device lifestyle

For as long as I can remember, I've used multiple computers. I would have a desktop PC at work and both a desktop and laptop (or 2) at home. I think the main reason for this multi-system lifestyle stemmed from my fondness of using Linux and wanting to try different Linux distributions. I could move between systems with relative ease and pickup working on one device where I finished on another. This has worked well for me in the past, but recently it's become more and more like hard work.

In the good/bad old days, web development was relatively simple and all you really needed was a good text editor. These days, things are a little more complicated and it takes time to install and maintain the tool chains that some modern web development techniques require. And having to manage these tool chains and build systems across multiple devices can be both time consuming and a pain in the arse.

Recently, I've decided to simplify my life and start using a single computer device. So, I ditched my desktop machines in favour of using my laptop, a Lenovo T470s. This lasted for precisely 1 week. The T470s, whilst being a lovely laptop, was beginning to show its age. It was usable, but moving from a 10th gen Intel desktop with a dedicated GPU to a 7th gen laptop, the difference in speed was noticeable -- even more so when hooked up to 2 external 1440p monitors.

To rectify this issue, I ordered myself a new laptop, a Lenovo T14s Gen 3. I've been using the T14s as my sole device for a couple of weeks now and I'm super happy with it. It's currently running Debian Bookworm and everything just works -- USB, Thunderbolt, Bluetooth, web cam, microphone, fingerprint reader, everything. TBH, it's probably the best laptop I've ever owned and it's a joy to use. But this post is not really about my new laptop, it's about the advantages of using a single computing device, and not spreading myself too thin over too many devices.

As mentioned early, the main advantage I have experienced is the amount of time I'm now saving by not having to maintain multiple tool chains and build systems across multiple devices. I simply take myself off to work in the morning with my laptop, hot-plug my monitors, keyboard and mouse into it and start work. At the end of the working day, I take myself home with my laptop, and if I want to continue working, I just open it up and start working. I don't have to concern myself with configuring any tools I might have set-up during the day, or even pulling down any Git repositories. Everything is just there, ready and waiting.

Anyone who has been using a single computing device for a while may be thinking, 'well duh!' But for someone like myself who has always used multiple devices, the experience so far has left me feeling somewhat liberated.

The only real negative that I can think of at the moment is that I now need to be more diligent about performing backups. Using multiple devices lends itself nicely to automatically creating backups as a byproduct. I've added an item on my todo list to perform a weekly backup. I'm thinking of using my old T470s as backup device, but it will be installed somewhere out of sight and out of mind as I don't want to accidentally slip back into using more than one device.

debian thinkpad


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Philip Newborough and a donkey enjoying a beer.


My name is and I’m a full stack web developer living and working in Lincoln, England. This website ( serves as my personal homepage. When I’m not working with tech, I love to ride bicycles with my wife and friends.