More Mobile: Hubs and Docks (Premium)

I’m barely a month into my experiments with a more mobile home office computing setup, and I’ve already seen some interesting results. For example, I’m surprised to report that I’ve successfully transitioned to using a laptop as my primary work PC, something I wasn’t sure I’d ever be comfortable with, and certainly not this quickly. And I’m equally surprised that the experience of playing Xbox Series X games on a 15-inch portable display has been far less successful: I spent most of this weekend trying to get used to that configuration again and it’s just not working for me.

I’ve already written about my attempts to downsize my gaming hardware requirements, but I only mentioned using a portable display with the Xbox Series X in passing, so here’s a quick photo and yet another promise that I’ll be writing more about portable displays soon.

Here, I’d like to focus on transitioning from a Thunderbolt dock to a USB-C hub, because I feel that the latter will make more sense in the long run. But first …
If you’re already familiar with the “why” of this article series, you can skip to the next section. But I’ve had enough questions about this that I figured a recap was in order.

I first brought up the impetus behind these experiments in a Thurrott Premium newsletter a while back: with the kids pretty much out of the house---one has graduated from college and the other is in her second year and will likely get an apartment near her school sometime next year---my wife and I are preparing for the future. That future will include selling our house, which was too big when we moved into it in 2017, let alone today, and then … something. That latter bit is still a mystery of sorts.

But it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows that I spent at least one month of the 15 pre-pandemic years outside of the United States each year that our international experiences are both a cause and effect of a desire we have to split our time between different locations. And now that we can do that more effectively, we’re going to. We’re just not entirely sure what that will look like.

And it doesn’t always have to be the same thing every year either. We’ve talked about spending a full year in places like Washington D.C., Providence, Rhode Island, and elsewhere. About spending a month or two in a succession of cities we’ve always wanted to visit, but never have, combined with some favorites. And about something international: perhaps Mexico City or Lisbon, Portugal.

What we do know, what I have been planning for and working towards with this “More Mobile” stuff, is that life will almost certainly be a lot more mobile than it is now. There could be some period of time, perhaps several years, during which we don’t have a fixed base of any kind, a home like the one we have now that can accommodate too much stuff.

Obviously, the exact nature and timing of this future is still unclear. ...

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