This is not the suitable time for your laptop motherboard to start failing you. Lately, my MacBook Pro 17 inch (Early 2011) has been shutting down too frequently due to the failing dedicated graphics card from AMD.

I am also officially outside my 5-year warranty period to claim (yet another) a free repair. I could fork out £300 to replace the motherboard through Apple, but my model is now considered obsolete due to its age. I have also considered using a company in Surrey, England to replace the graphics card with a newer revision for around £245, but I don’t know if my laptop will be returned in good condition. If I was really daring, I could source a replacement graphics card from AliExpress and do it myself.

With these factors in mind, I have since rigged my Mac laptop to utilise only the integrated graphics chip from Intel, which has been highly effective. I accidentally stumbled upon a working solution on Google. It sadly defeats the purpose of a dedicated graphics card, but hey ho! At least I have a stable and silent workstation PC to do any powerhouse projects like video editing or graphic design. Oh the irony of a Windows PC!

Stupidly, I am considering a new revision of a MacBook Pro (purely for the long-term warranty, despite the lack of user-upgradeability). I am fond of Apple’s glass trackpad, but not so much with the new-style chicklet keyboard. And it’s annoying to accept that there are two known applications that exclusively use the Mac OS. Sketch which is used for UI/UX design and prototyping, and Xcode which is used to code apps for the Mac OS and iOS environment.

I have also been looking at the Razer Blade and the Dell XPS 15, but I’m a sucker for silent operation – even though they are both powered by a dedicated graphics cards from nVidia, a GTX 1060 and GTX 1050 respectively. The other alternatives that I am considering is a HP EliteBook x360 G2 (2017) and a Gigabyte Aero 15. As you may have gathered, I spend a ridiculous amount of time in researching stuff.

Realistically speaking, I am likely to invest in a Lenovo laptop, due to the standard 3-year on-site next-day warranty (extendable to 5 years with optional accidental coverage). From the Lenovo range, I am considering a ThinkPad X270 and the X1 Carbon (5th Gen). They are both dual core processors, which is sufficient for basic stuff – just not so much with video editing. I am swinging in favour of a Lenovo X1 Carbon due to the 1-hr rapid charge and it houses 2x USB Type-C ports, which I consider essential for future connectivity. The X1 also works well with Linux operating systems, so there is an added incentive to invest in a Lenovo laptop.

It’s also annoying that I still want my other foot in the Apple ecosystem, especially when I hope to start experimenting with app development for the iOS. I could however use a virtual machine like Oracle’s VirtualBox to run Mac OS on a Windows machine. Overall, I miss the creative space to work on personal projects, be it web or print. I have several web projects pending and a logo design to work on.

This also explains why I cannot yet surrender a job related to IT. There are far too many exciting and trending technologies that exist and it’s my only way to be knowledgeable in the field, and at least, gain some practical experience. I once gave my IT skills to the LORD when I taught English overseas, but He returned the skills to me because He knew I needed them to earn a modest salary to pay for my seminary studies.

With my primary laptop making its journey to the Grey Havens, I am happy as Larry with my ThinkPad X220 (the £150 laptop from eBay). I’ve been using it daily since I won the surprise bid. Silent operation and long battery life FTW! I am surprised a dual core processor is actually sufficient for my daily needs.

With my savings now stagnated since paying my dig money for the whole year, I have £6k in the bag. In recent weeks, I have been inspired to improvise on a close-to-the-chest ambition. I have been on the verge in making a spontaneous decision that is spiralling around the secondary component – the contraption I have no physical space to host or mod. I am tempted to bite my tongue and ask a mutual neighbour whom I am friendly with and trust. I know his family and have attended their computer as their PC guy.

There are two other people whom I could approach from my former church family, one of whom knows about the general concept of this Kingdom-focus vision – the other doesn’t have a Scooby (who ironically is the leader of my former cell group). Curiously, from the two, I would rather ask the latter due to his location near the train station. At least, I could walk to his home if need be and I know he is not likely to move, as they only settled a few years ago. Sadly, both are looking to be unlikely for various reasons.

The reason why I have yet to make that spontaneous decision is because I sense the need to move on with work. The wait is excruciating – and so far, it appears the doors to escape my current circumstance is blocked at every consecutive application I make. Does this mean I am stuck in limbo land? Does this mean I should forget this Kingdom-focus vision, as I cannot secure solid time to execute this ambitious project?

At the same time, I’m glad I’m not pursuing this Kingdom-focus vision out of haste. I have learned so much behind the scenes about the mechanics and customer servicing. For the past 2 years, I have also been eyeing on competitors and making observations, be it mental, written or notes of photography. I am happy to use this time to over-research, while time itself clocks forward. Inspired by John Lasseter of Pixar, you can never do too much research. So far, I am making healthy progress in this area and I know my character is still in the process of being refined, in terms of allowing the LORD to declutter my life and prune my attitude to be more Christ-like.

With this in mind, I need to force myself to fixate on the formalities of this renewed business proposal. It’s going to be Plan 2.0 with a purpose and I have lately found confidence to step forward, since acquiring a prized web domain. I’m going to target an ethical bank based in the Netherlands, as they deal exclusively with social-based enterprises, churches and ventures. I also want to see if they consider this project as a social enterprise, despite pursuing the exclusive Private Limited Company umbrella. It would also be nice to receive their ethical standing and support. The short answer is yes, they should, but you never know when dealing with folk in business attire.

Lately, I wish to focus efforts on an ethical approach to running a business. I want to believe that you can be honest and still run a healthy business. At the end of the day, it’s the people whom you attract that will be key to creating that founding culture​. You want to avoid the oil snakes and two-face Harvey Dents of this world.

I also want to craft an application to a major grant funder to see if I can secure £5k mainly to acquire the services of a business lawyer who specialises in social enterprise and corporate law. I hope the person can advise on IP (Intellectual Property), as I want to be mindful in keeping my options open for the future. I want to partner with a sound legal advisor, especially when I want to be thinking about retail properties and future-proofing the company structure.

Once again, I am attempting to slice the fog of the unknown using cheese wires, but I trust the LORD will intercess at the most appropriate times and ways, especially if I am on the verge of slamming my face against a brick wall.

The weird thing is… I feel the need to move on, and I know the LORD is aware of my inner frustration with my current situation. Whether I am to endure and stay base, I know He will provide and deliver me in my current circumstance to the fields that need workers who are willing. I also need to be careful to discern His voice and not assume every path leads to Him.

Update: Curiously my parents offered an unusual proposal, that involves me to trading using the secondary component, but be based indoors of the highest floor of a popular shopping mall in the city. They will even pay the first year of rent. Strangely, the footfall in this particular mall is rather poor and the location goes against the grain of being based on location to maximise the footfall traffic.

The reason for this offer is that they are afraid of my safety, should I be based on location. I’m more afraid should this venture go mainstream, due to the unwanted attention and temptation to follow the ways of the world. Back to square one with investment…

~Richard