My Workstation Choices
I’ve been talking in fairly abstract terms about this new workstation
that I’ve been setting up, and about how this fits into the general
ethos of my existing hardware setup, but I think, it’s probably the
right time to interject and clarify some of the choices and
base-assumptions that I’ve made during this process.
- My current systems (hardware):
- A moderately powered dual-monitor workstation (ubuntu-from-Dell,
circa October 2008) that’s running Ubuntu for the moment (probably
move to arch or Debian in the next few months.) This was my work
computer during the freelance period.
- A thinkpad x41t (vintage 2005); 1.4 GHZ pentium M (?); 1.5 gigs of
ram; 60gb hard drive, running ubuntu with the lenny kernel. This is
my main personal computer at the moment, as I haven’t gotten the
desktop setup yet. It’s a great machine, but I do feel a bit cramped
on it for heavy day-to-day useage, it’s great for distraction free
writing, and portability.
- (The work computer) A contemporary vintage iMac running OS X 10.5
latest, and also running Arch Linux in Sun’s VirtualBox system.
- (The infrastructure) Debian based virtual server(s), to provide my
own personal cloud (web hosting, git hosting, file syncing, remote
shell access, email).
- My current systems (software; but application centered):
- Window Mangement: awesome. I
run slim as a display manager on the
laptop, and just use startx/xinit on the desktop/virtual box
- Email: I use mutt for reading email,
compose emails in emacs, sort email using
procmail, download email using
fetchmail (if neccessary), but mostly keep
mail synchronized using my own
For sending email and smtp connectivity I use
msmtp, and I
suppose I’m using postfix on the server as well.
- Text Editing: I use emacs23 (still the CVS/development/snapshot
branch) of emacs (stable is v22). I use 23 because I like the
functionality, and it’s pretty damn stable. I have aquamacs installed
under OS X for the moment, but I’ll probably install 23 soon, because
- Personal Organization: org-mode,
which is technically included in emacs (and I use whatever the stock
version in 23 is, these days.) I use org-mode for managing my todo
lists, shopping lists, project planning and appointments.
- Shell/Terminal: bash and
under linux, and terminal.app on Leopard. And GNU Screen. I live in
- Web Browsing: I use firefox with hit-a-hint, and
emacs-key-bindings (firemacs) on linux systems, as I wait for the day
when good functional web-kit based browsers begin to become a
- IM/IRC/Chat: mcabber
for IM (running ejabberd on my server with the pyaimt transport), and
irssi for IRC.
- Linux Distribution: Debian stable on
servers; Ubuntu-mostly on desktops with a desire to move to
ArchLinux for desktop use. I love debian,
but I think for my desktop-use purposes I cant find a setup that I’m
comfortable with, and while ubuntu is great (and I’m glad it works so
well with my laptop;) it’s a bit heavy and makes assumptions that I’m
not comfortable with. Alas.
That’s what I’m working with. Just so you know. The mocking can begin