Aaron Leonard https://risingthumb.xyz

Programs and Tools

In terms of Hardware I use a Thinkpad T420 as my laptop, and an Alienware X51 R2 as my desktop PC. I do not intend to move on from either of these systems within the next 5 years if not the next decade unless I have a very good reason to. For audio input I use a Blue Yeti microphone. For audio output I use Sony MDRXD150 headphones. As I am profoundly deaf in both ears, I use a Cochlear Implant in my left ear. As a result, my basis for headphones is primarily based on comfort over sound quality. My Thinkpad T420 has been upgraded to use an SSD. I have not had reason to extend beyond 4GB of RAM on that system yet. I have upgraded its battery to a 9-cell battery as opposed to a 6-cell battery. My desktop monitor is an EliteDisplay E232.

I use the GNU/Linux Operating System, as opposed to an operating system like Windows, Plan 9 or any of the BSD variants. In particular the distribution I use is Arch Linux. The reason for this is to have a large body of free and open source software I can rely on, inspect, study from and modify accordingly. I do not say those things because I can do it, I say those things because I do do that.

I do not use a classical Desktop Environment, I use DWM. A lot of my configs are based in origin from LARBS(Luke's Auto Rice Bootstrapping Scripts). I have deviated from his configs, and patched and modified my DWM and DMenu accordingly to my uses. DWM and Dmenu and the other suckless utilities I use are based on the C programming language, and provide a minimal installation, where features are added through patching. As a result, my system when not using intensive software such as a Browser requires only 300MB of RAM to run. I am aware this is not a significantly low or significantly high, as optimised Gentoo systems go down as far as 50MB if not lower. My status bar is DWMBlocks, and I list volume, wifi, date and time, and music information within it. DWM is chosen as it is a dynamic window manager, supporting the tiling window manager paradigm by default and allowing me to stack windows as I see fit, if the situation calls for it. I primarily use its 9 tags("workspaces"). I use X11 and not Wayland, as it's more mature and supported. When I need to, I can use a TTY.

My text editor of choice is neo-vim, though I can use vim and vi just as well as my configs do not deviate very much from the defaults. I have tried emacs(specifically Doom Emacs), but it is not to my liking, due to the long startup time, the fact it's not included by default on many systems, and my lack of familiarity with the LISP programming language. As a result I do not use emacs, however I respect the innovations it has such as org mode, and suggest any Linux Desktop user to try it for themselves.

My terminal emulator is st. My font of choice is the Terminus font. My colour scheme of choice is Monokai. My menu systems are handled via Dmenu for shallow menus, and Xmenu for deep menus. I use Newsboat as my RSS feed reader and use this to have a list of Youtube and blog subscriptions. The videos are streamed via mpv, or downloaded using youtube-dl. As for music, I use cmus within a tmux session, and remotely control it with keyboard shortcuts. As for browsers, I use Vivaldi. As for social media, I use only Discord, and youtube(within the constraint of RSS). I deploy my configs using the GNU Stow utility.

My website, email server, game servers and some files are hosted using vultr.com, using an xyz domain purchased from epik.com. I maintain my blog with lb, and anything else requiring a lot of work for server maintenance uses either a bash or shell script. I update the UTC News archive with a cron job.

My game engine of choice is the Godot game engine. I currently use version 3.2. For audio modification I use Audacity. For video editing I used KDEnlive. For video recording I use OBS Studio. For image editing I use Aseprite. For writing documents, I use LaTeX. If I absolutely must, I will use libreoffice to modify a .docx file, but I am not fond of when I have to do this, as WYSIWYG document editors are poor in quality(including google docs and microsoft word) in terms of typesetting and maintaining, expanding or extending them.

For scripts I rarely use Python, I infrequently use Bash scripts and I frequently use POSIX-Compliant Shell Scripts. I do this as there is a significant performance difference between all 3.

If you are interested in any of my configs, send me an email or let me know. I don't provide them all publicly available, as it creates a maintenance cost. I provide them for myself privately available. My newsboat configs are publicly available, so you can see what YouTube channels or Blogs I "subscribe" to. This is mainly for use with a script I have.

The philosophy behind my software choices is not motiviated by privacy. I only gain privacy benefits as a result of choosing subjectively superior software. What determines this is a function of its extensibility, functionality, and to a lesser degree simplicity. As a side effect of my choices, I incidentally recycle and reuse hardware, as well as being more environmentally friendly through the decreased power usage of optimised software, although these ethical factors will never be my guiding principles regarding software and hardware, and are simply side-effects of my guiding principles. As a result of simplicity, I only use 1 screen, and the software and workflow is optimised for this.

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