May 03, 2024

Dogfooding Windows

Written by Pascal Pixel
Dogfooding Windows

Dogfooding Windows

May 3, 2024 11:44 AM
How I built a PC from scratch to debug and dogfood my indie browser start-up, Horse Browser, using Teenage Engineering case

Why we needed a PC

Elly and I constantly "dogfood" Horse Browser, which means we use our own software to better understand the user experience. This hands-on approach helps us identify bugs, UX pain points, and any awkwardness, driving us to improve and refine.
While I can run Linux on my Apple Silicon-based Mac thanks to Asahi Linux, neither of us has a modern Windows PC, and we couldn’t properly address weird little bugs our Windows users would report sometimes.
I needed the acquire the power of the ancients, the red-hot technology covered in fans known as x86_64. But I refused to acquire it in the large RGB-lit metal coffers commonplace at altars across the land. I needed something adorable. Something colorful.
Thus, I built... drumroll... Orangeboy! A mini ITX computer with a mid-range processor and a low-profile GPU, mirroring the average Windows user's specs.

Building Orangeboy

Building the Teenage Engineering case and fitting the components
Building the Teenage Engineering case and fitting the components
I shared my experience building Orangeboy on Reddit, which you can read here.
I was a bit worried about assembling a computer from scratch, as my last experience opening a PC was an IBM i386. But a "Small Form Factor PC" subreddit inspired me with how whacky their creations were, making me feel a lot more confident about not blowing myself up. After a failed attempt at getting the local computer store to find and order the right parts ("That small case can never be a good PC! You can't even buy fans that small!"), I took to Amazon, armed with ChatGPT by my side to figure out if things would... you know... fit together. The result? A successful build! It was fun carrying the result with one hand to the local computer store, which turned from mockery to praise upon testing the result.


  • PSU: Cooler Master V750 SFX
  • Motherboard: ASUS ROG Strix B650E-I
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 7600
  • RAM: Corsair Vengeance DDR5 32GB
  • Storage: Samsung 980 Pro M.2
  • GPU: Gigabyte RTX 4060 Low Profile

What it’s been like switching to Windows

There’s a little cat sneaking around my desk
There’s a little cat sneaking around my desk
Adjusting to Windows, the Ctrl-based keyboard shortcuts, was a stretch (pun intended) for my pinky finger. Overall though, it has really been fun adapting to another OS, it forces some neuroplasticity; Windows has an indescribable ‘feel’ to the overall experience and interactions, the way the mouse works, etc, same as Mac, Gnome, or KDE have their own ‘feel’. It’s hard to feel comfortable, though the differences can be so small.
As for fixing the issues, it’s well underway!
Windows presented resizing issues due to legacy support for XP styles, which offset reported window sizes to ensure compatibility—all these sorts of “issues” take work to deal with, but kudos to Microsoft for maintaining such fantastic backward compatibility for older programs, in sharp contrast to Apple’s approach of nuking an old API and telling everyone to rewrite their apps.
Navigating the maze of Windows Code Signing proved nightmarish, when dealing with third-party vendors who preferred verifying our business via us placing a "pin" on Google Maps, as opposed to using the public business registry of a sovereign nation. Despite these hurdles, progress is steady on fixing all the little annoyances on Windows.


The very happy end result!
The very happy end result!
Despite its modest specs, Orangeboy has allowed me to, ahem, enjoy the finer things in life on the side. Baldur’s Gate 3, runs at a crisp 5K at 60fps, though that's due to AI upscaling. It's exciting to think that bulky black gaming PCs could soon be a thing of the past, potentially shrinking these to console-sized PCs like Orangeboy.
Building Orangeboy was a lot of fun, by evoking the 'IKEA effect'—aka assembling something myself—I have succesfully been brainwashed into being in love with it. I hope you like Orangeboy as much as I do, especially when Horse Browser on Windows becomes as beautiful (Mica effect!) as on macOS.
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Japanese TeasGoogle Search
Green TeaWikipedia
Matcha TeaWikipedia
Sencha TeaWikipedia


Sencha Tea

Sencha (煎茶) is a type of Japanese ryokucha (緑茶, green tea) which is prepared by infusing the processed whole tea leaves in hot water. This is as opposed to matcha (抹茶), powdered Japanese green tea, where the green tea powder is mixed with hot water and therefore the leaf itself is included in the beverage. Sencha is the most popular tea in Japan. It represents about 80 percent of the tea produced in Japan.

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Pascal and Elly at Disneysea Tokyo
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Pascal and Elly at Disneysea Tokyo