What I use

1 January 2023


Computer: My daily driver laptop is a ThinkPad X220T. It needs occasional maintenance, but this tends to be very inexpensive. At some point I would like to upgrade to a refurbished 4:3 model — I keep a T60 in my desk for just such an occasion.

Phone: My phone is a Samsung Galaxy S8, which I’ve had since I was a teen because Phones Are Expensive. This represents a good chunk of my nonfree software usage, and I’m looking forward to getting a PinePhone in the near future.

Keyboard: I use an Anne Pro 2 with Kailh Box White switches, flashed with custom open-source firmware.


As far as I can, I strive to use open-source software. I am not a license geek; I tend to defer to my friends on such matters.


Distribution: I use Void Linux. In the past, I can recall using Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora, Arch, and NixOS. I really really enjoyed NixOS, but it created too many yak-shaving problems when I wanted to install anything that wasn’t prepackaged.

AUR helper: When I’m using Arch, I use paru. In the past I’ve used yay and yaourt, which is unmaintained.

Window manager/Wayland compositor: I use Hyprland, which is finally just about mature enough to be usable as a daily driver. In the past I’ve used pretty much every WM out there.

Terminal: I use Alacritty. In the past, I’ve used urxvt, st, sakura, and termite.

System font: I use Drafting* Mono, which fills my deeply held want for a pretty, open-source monospace serif font that I’ve had ever since I saw Triplicate. In the past I’ve used too many fonts to list here.

Editor: I use neovim and Doom with about equal frequency, depending on what I’m doing.

Browser: I use qutebrowser, which is far and away my favorite.

Search engine: I usually use SearXNG.

Music player: I tend to use ncmpcpp.

This very site

This website runs on Hugo using a custom theme of my own design. It uses KaTeX for math markup.

It is served by sr.ht.

It is a proud member of the 1mb.club. The heaviest page on the site is somewhere around 800KB, almost all of which is font files.

Nonfree software that I still use

I exclude from this list anything that I absolutely need to function — banking services, things like that. I am not RMS, who lives in a major city and apparently doesn’t need to have normal human relationships, and I’m not interested in taking things to his level.

Firmware. There’s probably a few blobs in my computer firmware, but right now this doesn’t concern me too much.

Discord. This is the really big one. I’ve cleansed myself of most social networking software — Discord is the only straggler.I have an obligatory presence on Twitter and LinkedIn, viz. “this is me,” but don’t use either with any regularity. I look forward to a utopian future in which everything is federated and nobody is locked into a proprietary client, but until then, I will conduct most of my business on Discord.However, I do consider myself a “Discord accelerationist,” in that I hope they go under and/or do a bunch of highly objectionable stuff so that I can successfully move most of my friends onto a better solution.

Zoom. It is conceivable that in future I may have enough social leverage to demand that videoconferencing be done on Jitsi or similar, but presently I’m a little too meek to make my friends install yet another app just to speak to me.

YouTube. This is one of the last Google holdouts that is not inextricable from my phone. I have to admit that the direction of the platform irritates me more with each passing day, and I would like to separate myself from it entirely. I get by with NewPipe on mobile and Invidious on desktop.

Google Maps. I really like Organic Maps as a replacement. The one killer feature Maps has that no OSM-based app does is reliable business listings, but that’s not a huge deal anyway — Google listings are wrong more often than anything on a website.