How I Compute

It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything, so how about one of those classic “what hardware and software do you use?"-type posts.


I use a Framework laptop as my main personal computer, and a work-provided Macbook Pro for work-related stuff. My home could server is an old desktop that I’ve stuffed with hard drives and stashed away under a pile of junk near my office desk. My work laptop usually stays docked downstairs in the office (using the monitor, keyboard and mouse that used to belong to the now-server desktop) and my personal laptop floats around with me.


I’m a big fan of FreeBSD, and I use it on most machines, physical and virtual, that I control. Though I still use Slackware Linux on my laptop (better wifi support). FreeBSD runs my home cloud server, which is basically just Nextcloud running in a jail, with user data hosted on a mirrored zfs pool that spans a bunch of spare hard drives. It also runs my mail server and web server, that I host on a virtual private server rented from Luna Node.

As mentioned, Slackware keeps my personal laptop running. I use KDE Plasma 5 as my desktop, KMail for email, Firefox for web browsing, and pretty much everything else is done from within Emacs. Emacs is the one piece of software that I pretty much have to have installed on every machine that I come in contact with. Slackware is one of the few Linux distros that don’t drive me absolutely nuts to use. I can’t stand the rapid pace of which things change in the Linux world. Hence Slackware: it’s a simple system that, once installed, just gets out of my way. I’ve also used and enjoyed Gentoo in the past, and a very long time (over a decade) ago, I used to be an Arch user.

I have a spare computer sitting in my basement that I’d like to toss either NetBSD or DragonflyBSD on, just to experiment with. I like playing with different operating systems from time to time, to expose myself to new ideas.