this is still under construction! going to take a while, since it is the root post.
table of contents
- hardware - computing
- hardware - audio
- hardware - misc
- software - desktop
- software - android
- data management
hardware - computing
dell xps 13 9343
this ultrabook has been my daily driver since early 2015! around mid-2017, i upgraded the stock ssd from 128gb to 512gb (samsung 850 evo) and the stock wlan card to intel 7265. by mar 2019, the battery had degraded to roughly 15% initial capacity, so i finally swapped in a fresh one from ebay for ~$20.
i wish i could upgrade the 4gb memory, but it's soldered. however, i rarely exceed 3gb usage in normal workloads + web browsing (a lot of effort has gone into being memory-conservative). i'm occasionally watching the ultrabook market, but honestly, i think i can still squeeze a few more years out of this machine!
it boots via uefi to refind, where i start arch linux. i really wish the uefi implementation on this thing could pass kernel parameters, then i could boot straight into the efistub kernel.
xiaomi redmi note 5 pro
prior to owning this phone, i had a galaxy s6 (jfltevzw) for a few years, which now serves as a great way to decouple mobile media/entertainment consumption - for example i have read-only accounts for podcasts, youtube, reddit, instagram, twitter, and the like on the s6. the s6 is left at home, a more straightforward way of limiting this consumption.
a nice side effect is that as a result, my main phone is quite lean; the battery lasts around 3-4 days elasped regular usage. the 4000 mah battery and dual hybrid-sim, while retaining the familiar headphone jack + micro usb, is very nice and i don't except getting a new phone for a few years or until i start missing out on a reasonably large number of security patches.
this runs a custom-built los 15.1 with the latest security patches. i won't go into detail here, but as a power end-user, lineage has been nice. i don't really like rooted android, or mobile operating systems in general, but it's the closest thing to home.
lenovo thinkpad x220
i own too many old thinkpads for my own good, but this is the best one (still hoping to max out an x230, but it's low priority). this one is i5-2430M with 8gb (4x2) pc3-12800s memory when i got it, and i swapped out the spinning rust for a budget 120gb teamgroup l5 lite ssd. i also flashed it with coreboot with seabios, and put an atheros wlan card in. don't remember the specific model, but it's driven by ath9k fwiw.
i currently have alpine linux on this. in the future, i'm hoping to switch over from arch, with the main value propositions being i get to migrate from X to wayland, and have a musl-based userland with services managed by something other than systemd.
hardware - audio
koss porta pro X (massdrop)
these are the most compact and best-sounding-bang-for-your-buck headphones i have ever had the priviledge to own, period. i also own the regular porta pro, but the massdrop version is better both aesthetically (all black) and ergonomically (y-splitter and matte rubber cable).
rock zircons w/ comply tips
i own a lot of iems, including the tin t2s, but i keep coming back to these because rock zircons are very compact, and sound extremely nice with comply tips. if there's one iem anyone should own, this is it. i cannot overstate how pleased i am with the zircons, and the price... oh my gosh.
sandisk sansa clip+
this great piece of hardware is running the latest rockbox firmware, and i love it, enough said. thankfully i owned this before it was discontinued and the price shot up way high!
audio-technica ath-m50x + fiio e10k
these were my first headphones, and are still the only closed-backs i own, so i use it at work.
audeze lcd-3 + schiit magni + schiit modi
these were absolutely an indulgent impulse purchase, and sound totally beautiful, especially when playing studio-recorded instrumentals + vocals. though i'm not at all embarassed to say that the returns here are extremely diminishing, especially when compared to my koss porta pro Xs driven by the dac on my xps13 motherboard, which i use more often at home. mainly, the schiit dac stack is bulky, and dumbly draws power and dissipates a non-trivial amount of heat even when idle. the power bricks are equally deficient in this respect.
hardware - misc
vortex race 3, mx clears
i appreciate a better input experience, but i'm not too into mechanical keyboards. this is what i use at work, and love it. at home, i use a more compact magicforce 68-key mini with mx blues. fwiw, this one time i went to a keyboard meetup, and found that i really like the feeling of kailh box jades.
sony a6000 + sigma 30mm f/1.4 prime lens
not much of a photographer at the moment, but the a6000 is a very nice mirrorless, and these prime lens from sigma in particular are great for portraits and still-life.
software - desktop
i'm particularly into customizing my desktop + workflow, which is showcased here. my dotfiles are here - in particular, see
configs/dd (daily driver v1) for the arch linux specific stuff. much of the cli/tui software i use is configured by my dotfiles, so i won't be mentioning most of them here.
aside from a kludge of small tweaks and optimizations, more significantly i like to run dnscrypt-proxy as a caching resolver, udiskie for mounting convenience, and some stuff in firejail.
here's a list of graphical software i use, mostly minimal-ish and simple to keep the package count low:
- secrets: pass
- pass is exceptional software.
- notes: Standard Notes
- sn is great. i went from onenote to laverna to it. the only thing missing is a tui client, which i tried writing a while ago, but abandoned. the ultimate ideal for me would be a pass-based notetaking workflow, but the main limitation is accessibility from android - certainly possible with effort, but sn provides a much better ux.
- files: spacefm
- images: feh, gpicview
- pdfs: qpdfview
- music/video: mpv
- some will say: why not mpd + ncmpcpp for music? simply put, i have no patience to add good metadata, and instead organize my music with directories and symlinks so i can just
- also, i cannot praise youtube-dl enough.
- torrent: qbittorrent
- basic video editing: avidemux-qt
- raw photo editing: darktable
on arch linux, i run the latest firefox in firejail with a private directory, mostly so it doesn't clog up my
~. some may say this is low effort sandboxing, and i agree, but it hits a sweet spot between balancing sandboxing (most critically, filesystem scoping) and os-native performance. a next step would be to put it inside docker + volume mount a fake home, and this would be great because s/glibc/musl, but firefox is too outdated in the alpine repos at the moment.
my user.js is here. i use the following extensions:
- firefox containers
- ublock origin
- i am aware of umatrix, but don't feel like learning how to use it.
- let me also say that ublock origin + blocklist maintainers are the heroes we need, but don't deserve.
- css exfil protection
- neat url
obligatory text editor mention. i'm not ashamed to say i like the mouse and emacs-style keybindings, and never got around to learning vi derivatives, so micro was a godsend for me early on and i still stick to it despite some cricks. i use gnu nano in a pinch, but with micro being golang, it's trivial to download the prebuilt cross-platform static blob as a user, privileged or not.