My new computer setup

In case you’re wondering what I’ve been doing with myself now that I’m not blogging about OpenSim as much, here’s an update.
First, I’m super busy at my day job. I’m covering artificial intelligence for IDG’s CIO magazine and cybersecurity for CSO. I’ve also been getting my new blog, Upsider, up and running. Today, we brought a new digital artist on board, Keith Cassatt, who creates digital images from his original drawings and photographs using artificial intelligence algorithms and other image editing tools.
His work will be showing up in Hypergrid Business too. I’m using one of his pictures for a press release I’m running today.
Virtual reality. (Image by Keith Cassatt.)
If you’d like to share art, essays, or news on either Hypergrid Business or the Upsider, get in touch with me at [email protected]
New computer
I replaced my old laptop with a new Samsung Galaxy Book — a day before the Book 2 came out. So, bad timing. But I’m extremely pleased with the computer, so I actually have no complaints.
It’s a Windows 10 laptop that switches to tablet mode when you take it out of its case. In the setup below, I’m using it as a third monitor, in combination with a separate wireless keyboard and mouse:
(Photo by Maria Korolov.)
This is what it looks like in its official case:
(Image courtesy Samsung.)
My keyboard and mouse are both wireless. Since the Galaxy Book only has USB-C ports, I couldn’t use a regular USB keyboard or mouse. My choices were to get a USB hub, or to get wireless accessories. Not the 2.4 ghz kind of wireless that has a little USB dongle — because of that whole USB thing. I actually bought the wrong one at first, and had to take it back. But Bluetooth wireless, which is rarer.
I got the Logitech K375s multi-device keyboard, which also came with a useful stand for the Galaxy Book. I got it at Staples, and used it right then and there, to make sure that it worked.
(Image courtesy Logitech.)
I’m actually using the included tablet stand to hold my Galaxy Book at work, as you can see in the very first picture on this post. For the mouse, I got the Logitech M590.
I spend all day working on the computer and touch typing, so I need a separate keyboard and mouse. And also, I hate trackpads. They’re fine when I’m using the Galaxy Book at home or on the road, for short periods of time, but I really need a mouse for extended work sessions.
I got my Galaxy Book through Verizon, so it has an always-on Internet connection. I already had an unlimited data plan, and just added on to it, so the total additional cost for me was $20 a month for a line, plus the pro-rated monthly cost of the laptop itself — which was only a little higher than a new Pixel 3 would have been, so I decided to hold off on upgrading my phone and upgrade my computer, instead.
For the monitors, I have regular generic flat screens I bought from Walmart.
I connect them using the dual-port USB-C to HDMI Multi-Monitor Adapter from Accell.
(Image courtesy Accell.)
The folks at Accell actually send me the adapter for free so I would review it — this is my review: if you have the right ports — the USB-C on the computer — and the right cables — HDMI — then it works great. Just plug it in, the computer automatically recognizes the monitors and you’re in business.
I need multiple monitors to do my work. At any particular time, I’m using my editorial database, have a dozen browser windows open for research, have PDFs open, have my email up and have an image-editing program running. In addition, I’m often also running Skype and a word processor. It’s not just about multi-tasking — I need to be able to cut-and-paste between windows.
The only problem I have with the multi-monitor setup, and this could be just a loose connection on my end somewhere, is that if I jostle the adapter cable, it loses track of the monitors for a second. That means that all my windows fly back to the Galaxy Book desktop and I have to drag them back to where they’re supposed to be. I’ve moved the cable to behind the leg of my monitor stand so that I’m not hitting it when I put stuff on my desk, and that seems to help.
My favorite part about the whole setup is that at the end of the day, I just pick up the Galaxy Book and drop it in my bag. It looks and feels just like a regular 12-inch tablet, and weighs 1.7 pounds. It snaps into its case with a magnetic hinge, which I like a lot. The battery is supposed to last through 11 hours of video watching and in my experience it does last me for a whole evening of computer use — I haven’t tried going a full day on just the battery yet. It charges fast, using the same USB-C chargers as my phone, so I don’t have to carry multiple cables.
Unlike the Android tablet I used previously, the Galaxy Book can run all my regular desktop apps — GIMP, Filemaker, OpenSim — whatever I’ve got.
So far, I haven’t faced the issue of wanting to run some Android app that wasn’t available for Windows. If I did, I’d just use it on my Pixel phone.
And when I did a speedtest on the Galaxy Book using the Verizon connection, it was actually twice as fast as my home cable Wifi from Charter. If I didn’t have other family members using the Wifi, I’d have canceled my Charter connection right then and there.
I do notice that Windows 10 isn’t 100 percent optimized yet for tablet mode — but it is much, much better at this than when I first reviewed it a few years ago. I can’t find that original article now, but I remember that Microsoft had problems with software that could run in both

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