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 sessions.
    • 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 git-mail scripts. 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 emacs-daemon 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 it's quirky.
    • 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 urxvt(cd) under linux, and terminal.app on Leopard. And GNU Screen. I live in screen.
    • 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 possibility.
    • 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 now.