How I do my computing

Posted on 2020/07/01 (Updated 2021/11/11)

A section where I keep a log of how my computing and devices change through time.

My computer

My daily driver is a second-hand ThinkPad X220 with elementary OS. I bought it on TipidPC in 2018 for 12,000 PHP. I love the aesthetic of this lineup because it's simple and gives a nostalgic vibe.

The X220 lacks power for modern software development, so I work and code on my Intel NUC 10. However, I'll be moving to the US by the end of November 2021. I handed over the NUC, together with the P2214H and HyperX keyboard, to my girlfriend to ease my travel load.

I made several upgrades to this laptop. I reverted the keyboard to the classic 7-row from the chiclet keyboard that it came with; added 16GB RAM and 500GB SSD; upgraded the battery to 9-cell 94Wh; and converted the TN display to IPS. Because this model is user-serviceable, I did the upgrades myself.

GNU/Linux

For work, I use the OS that best suits the job. I'm proficient with macOS, GNU/Linux, and Windows. But I prefer to run macOS on my work machine and Linux on servers.

But for my PCs, I use GNU/Linux instead of Windows because it is lightweight, free, and simple. Windows 8 and later versions have terrible interfaces and privacy issues. I don't want to use an OS that has telemetry and forced online account sign-in.

My current distro is elementary OS. Like the other distros I used, it has unique annoyances, such as the lack of options, notification area, menu bar, and other minor bugs.

I previously used Arch Linux and i3 but got tired of the conflicting interface and behavior. elementary OS 6 "Odin" has a better design than its predecessor and most Linux DEs, so I decided to give it another shot.

What I do on my computer

My communication and workflow commonly require a web browser. I use Firefox because it's more privacy-respecting than Google Chrome. I only use Chrome for web development because it has better dev tools.

For software development and most operations, I use a text console. My shell of choice is zsh, spiced up with oh-my-zsh. I organize files with ranger, track changes with git, connect to remote machines using ssh, and monitor system status with htop or gotop. vim is my go-to console text editor. For multitasking, I use a terminal multiplexer called tmux.

Text editors are an essential tool for my workflow. For basic text editing to simple projects, I use a text console and vim. For larger projects, I use VS Code with vim and LSP extensions. I learned how to use vim sometime in 2019, so its keybindings got stuck in my muscle memory.

When I feel nostalgic, I play my favorite PSOne games using emulators like ePSXe and DuckStation. I'm currently not playing any PC games.

In October 2021, I got a Fujifilm X100T to dip into photography. I use darktable, a free software akin to Adobe Lightroom, to do the post-processing.

I use the package manager that comes with the distro to install the applications I need. If a software is not in the distro's repositories, I download the package directly from the vendor or build it from source.

While I'd like to use free software for ethical reasons, it's not entirely possible because many good tools aren't free. Free GUI applications like LibreOffice and Gimp typically lack features and are complicated compared to their commercial counterparts. However, there are excellent ones, such as Blender and Krita.

How this site is maintained

This website runs on a $5 Digital Ocean droplet, built and deployed using GitHub Actions. It started as a Ghost website, then migrated as a static site, using Nuxt for a simpler workflow.

It also uses free software, such as Matomo for the analytics and MinIO for the large and media file storage.

The purpose of my website is to present views, information, and some images, so I keep it as simple as possible.

Hardware

Computers

BoxTypeSpecsYearStatus
Intel NUC 10 KitDesktopIntel Core i7-10710U
Upgrades: 16GB RAM, 500GB SSD M2, 120GB SSD SATA
2020➝ SO
Digital Ocean DropletVMIntel Xeon Gold 6140 (1vCPU)
1GB RAM, 25GB SSD
2020
ThinkPad X220LaptopIntel Core i5-2520M
4GB RAM, 250GB HDD
Upgrades: 16GB RAM, 500GB SSD, IPS, 9-cell 94Wh
2018
MacBook Pro 13" 2017LaptopIntel Core i5-7360U
8GB RAM, 120GB SSD, Intel Iris Plus 640
2018➝ Sister
Fujitsu FMV-A8290LaptopIntel Core 2 Duo
2GB RAM, 120GB SSD
2018
Lenovo G40-80LaptopIntel Core i5-5200U
4GB RAM, 120GB SSD, ATI Radeon EXO PRO R5 M330
2015
Acer Aspire 4935GLaptopIntel Core 2 Duo
4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, NVIDIA GeForce 9300M GS
2009
Dell OptiPlex GX260DesktopIntel Pentium 4
1GB RAM, 40GB HDD
2008
Dell Inspiron 3500LaptopIntel Pentium 3
64MB RAM, 4GB HDD
2006
AcerPower S SeriesDesktopIntel Pentium 3
64MB RAM, 4GB HDD
2005

Mobile Phones

MobileTypeColorYearStatus
iPhone 7SmartphoneBlack2018
Sony Xperia XASmartphoneGray2016~
Asus Zenfone 4SmartphoneBlack2014
Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 PlusTabletWhite2011
Nokia 5130 XpressMusicFeature phoneRed2009
Nokia 3200Feature phoneClear2007
O2 XDA IIsPDABlack?

Peripherals

PeripheralTypeNotesStatus
Logitech MX ErgoPointingTrackball, Ergonomic
SteelSeries Arctis 5AudioHeadset, RGB, Mic, Audio Mixer
Dell P2214HDisplay22" TFT LCD➝ SO
HyperX Alloy FPS ProKeyboardTKL, Cherry MX Red, Sister's gift➝ SO
Sony XB550AP Extra BassAudioHeadset➝ SO, Damaged
SonicGear SpeakerAudioBluetooth Speaker~

Cameras

CameraTypeNotesYearStatus
Fujifilm X100TMirrorless DigitalNew, 700 USD2021
Samsung SL50Point-and-shootBank reward2010➝ Mom

★: current ~: inactive †: disposed ➝: given

Intel NUC 10, Dell P2214H, HyperX FPS Pro, SonicGear BT Speaker

Software

Applications

ApplicationDescription
Blender3D modeling
Chrome/ChromiumWeb browser (development)
DarktablePhotography/RAW editor
DockerContainer/virtualization
DuckStationPSOne emulator
ePSXePSOne emulator
FirefoxWeb browser (daily)
GimpRaster graphics editor
GitVersion Control System
GotopSystem monitor
KeybaseEncrypted chat
KritaDigital art
LibreOfficeDocument processor
NeofetchSystem info
SignalEncrypted chat
SpotifyAudio streaming
Standard NotesEncrypted notes app
ThunarFile explorer
TmuxTerminal multiplexer
TransmissionTorrent client
VLCMedia player
VS CodeText Editor
VagrantVM provisioner
VeraCryptDisk encryption
Vim/NeovimText Editor
VirtualBoxHypervisor
ZSHShell

Operating Systems

OSBoxNotes
elementary OS (Ubuntu)ThinkPad X220★ Daily driver
ArchLinux/ManjaroFujitsu A8290, ThinkPad X220, Intel NUC
DebianLenovo G40-80, work PC
CentOSRemote VM (work)
UbuntuAcer 4935G, Lenovo G40-80, Remote and local VM (dev/work), Docker, DropletFirst Linux distro
RaspbianRaspberry Pi 2Basic OS for RPi
macOSWork MacBooks, MacBook Pro 13" 2017
Windows 10Lenovo G40-80, Intel NUC, Fujitsu A8290Media creation tool / Windows Update
Windows 8.xLenovo G40-80OEM installation
Windows 7 Home PremiumAcer 4935G, Lenovo G40-80Purchased license + disc for SEA activation
Windows Vista Home PremiumAcer 4935GOEM installation
Windows XP Professional2005-2008 PCs
Windows 98AcerPower Desktop
Windows 95AcerPower Desktop

I use the following tools to create bootable discs/drives:

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