Reading Time: 4 minutes | Published: 2021-08-18 | Last Edited: 2023-04-06
This is just a simple page detailing some of the important tools I use for those that may be interested! See uses.tech for similar pages on other individuals’ websites.
I built my PC over the summer of 2019, before all of the component prices shot up during the pandemic. If I was attempting to build this now, I would have ended up with a significantly less powerful machine.
- Webcam: Logitech Brio
- Microphone: Røde Podcaster
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 2700
- GPU: MSI Radeon RX 5700XT OC
- RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 32 GB DDR4-3200
- Keyboard: Ergodox-EZ
- Mouse: Logitech MX Master 3
- Monitor: Gigabyte AORUS FI27Q-SA 27"
- Operating System: Arch Linux
- Window Manager: i3
I also have Windows installed for the odd game or two that won’t run in Proton; it’s really nothing more than a gaming console for me.
My university scholarship paid for most of my old laptop but a stipulation was that the device had to be new. I really wanted an old Thinkpad that would have cost maybe $200-$300 after repairs and upgrades, but it would definitely not have been new. Instead, I found a refurbished Thinkpad X200 from Vikings. Because they rebrand the device on receipts, I was able to make the purchase and get a fully free laptop with no binary blobs whatsoever. Because it’s running Libreboot, I was even able to encrypt the boot partition so “full-disk encryption” really does apply to the full disk. That said, I do not recommend Libreboot. It’s been two headaches and a half trying to get anything other than the FSF-blessed distros installed with it.
My current laptop is the Framework. It’s hands-down the best laptop I’ve ever owned (not a very high bar though) and one of my favourite laptops to work on (much higher bar). Mine has the 11th gen Intel i5 processor with 16 GB of RAM and a 500 GB SSD. I actually have two SSDs that I swap between when I want to try a new and shiny distro, but I always end up going back to my comfy Arch setup.
Other devices ¶
I also have a Supernote A5X and have to say that this is a wonderful device. I’m in the process of writing a blog post about it, and once it’s finished, I’ll link it here. For now, I’ll just say that it sits on the corner of my desk any time I’m home and can usually be found in my left hand whenever I’m not.
General software ¶
As for more general software, I’ll only mention things I feel are particularly notable.
My personal operating system of choice is Arch Linux because it’s very easy to work with, simple, and incredibly up-to-date. I’ve used it since somewhere around 2017 or 2018. On servers, I like sticking with Debian wherever possible. It’s a fantastic and very widely supported distribution for pretty much anything. I would eventually like to get involved with the project but my free time is pretty limited at the moment.
My email setup is a little cursed but I use mbsync for synchronising my IMAP server with my local Maildir, mu4e in GNU Emacs for interacting with and composing emails, and msmtp for relaying those compositions to my Postfix SMTP server before sending them on their way to the recipient. Blog post about all this coming soon™.
My browser of choice is Mozilla Firefox. I don’t like the company and the browser is slowly becoming worse and worse for the average user but at least it’s not Google and it’s not contributing to their total domination over web rendering :^)
Nextcloud also finds itself a home on my homeserver. As much as it’s a bloated pile of PHP that does a sub-par job at everything it attempts, it does a good enough job to make life convenient. I mainly use its file syncing, calendar, contacts, and sometimes music features.
I also use a lot of the stuff a friend and I run over at NixNet. In particular, I probably use email, XMPP, BigBlueButton, HedgeDoc, Mumble, and wallabag every day.
I use every open source messaging service known to man. Please send help.