What I Use

The software and hardware I use to get work done. Inspired by


I have used a wide variety of operating systems (OpenBSD, FreeBSD, 9Front, many Linux distributions, MacOS, Windows). These days I run various OSes and have no strong preference for any particular desktop environment. At the moment, depending on the computer, I’m running OpenBSD with spectrwm or Fedora Linux with GNOME.

A screenshot of one of my desktops with two terminal windows open, one with vim and the other with a manpage. At the top is a statusbar showing workspaces, system information, and the date and time. Everything is monochrome light themed.
Spectrwm on OpenBSD with my preferred monochromatic light theme

Over time, my choice in software has shifted from a philosophy of idealistic minimalism to one of pragmatism. I don’t mind a bit of tinkering here and there, but I want a stable workstation and a set of tools that lets me get on with my work.

Neovim is my editor of choice with a monochromatic colour scheme, a few plugins, and a simple configuration.

Ungoogled-Chromium is my main web browser, but I also use Firefox on OpenBSD and for its dev tools otherwise. My only installed plugin is usually uBlock Origin.

My interactive shell is fish, mainly for the superior tab completion and autosuggestion capabilities. I also maintain a configuration for *sh shells in case I ever want to go back.

My email client is Mutt with a very small configuration. I use this because I haven’t found a good enough GUI client and this is the best of the terminal clients I’ve tried. Eventually I’d like to write my own but that’s probably a fair ways off.

My IRC client is Irssi (also with a monochrome theme). I run it in a tmux session on one of my servers and use SSH to connect to it to chat instead of configuring a bouncer.

I keep my dotfiles in a git repository (they are tailored to OpenBSD, but I use them on Linux too) for easy deployment and updating.



My main workstation is a custom-built PC with the following specs:

PCPartPicker build list.

I have no real need for a computer this powerful except for playing video games, which is something I do quite often with friends. These days Proton and Lutris are able to run all but one or two games I have on Linux without issues, so I rarely find myself booting into Windows.

I also wish manufacturers made 16:10 or 3:2 HiDPI (>200 DPI) desktop monitors, but, alas, only laptop-land gets such privileges.


Old Workstation

PCPartPicker build list.


I use a Dell XPS 13 9380 with an Intel i7-8665U, 16GB of RAM, a 256GB NVMe SSD, and a 13.3” 1080p touchscreen display. This runs OpenBSD.

I also have a 2009 MacBook Pro (model A1278) with an Intel Core 2 Duo P7550, 8GB of RAM, an NVIDIA GeForce 9400M, a 250GB SATA SSD, and a 13.3” 1280x800 display. This runs Fedora Linux because of the NVIDIA GPU.

I have a pair of 2008-era Toshiba netbooks both with an Intel Core 2 Duo U9300, 2GB of RAM, a 160GB HDD, and a 12.1” 1280x800 display. These run various operating systems such as OpenBSD, 9Front, and I did get one to boot SerenityOS but then the kernel panicked.

The most important factor that I look at when judging a laptop is its build quality. I don’t want a laptop that feels cheap with a wobbly screen, flexible or creaky chassis, terrible trackpad or keyboard, loud fans, etc. That’s more important to me than performance. I also prefer a screen size between ~12” and ~13” and with a 16:10 or 3:2 aspect ratio.


I have an iPhone 6 with 16GB of storage and 1GB of RAM which I got for free. I use my phone for listening to podcasts/music, calling, texting, and taking photos. This phone does those things perfectly, is relatively small, and still receives security updates (I got one in February, 2023).


My home network/servers are made up of old Dell and HP small form factor machines. I have five boxes in total with only two in active use. Two I got for free and the others I purchased for ~$100 or less.

As these machines age and start to fail I aim to replace them with smaller, fanless mini PCs or single board computers. I may also sell a few of them off since I have far more than I really need (I was not expecting to receive the free computers).


A Dell Optiplex 3010 SFF with an i5-3470 and 8GB of RAM running OpenBSD connects to my cable modem and controls networking for my home. I’ve expanded the number of network ports on the back using PCIe cards.

File Server

A Dell Optiplex 3020 MT with an i3-4150 and 6GB of RAM running OpenBSD acts as my file server running Syncthing and handling backups of all data synced to it.