Component Type
Case Antec SX840
Monitor Sony Trinitron G520P
Speakers Altec Lansing ACS45.2
Sound Card Creative Sound Blaster Audigy
NIC Realtek RTL8139
DVD-ROM Sony DDU1621
CD-RW Plextor PlexWriter IDE 40x12x40
Hard drive Western Digital Caviar WD200BB
Video card ATI Radeon 8500
Memory Two 512M PC2100 reg ECC DDR
Mainboard Tyan Tiger MP S2460
Processors Two AMD Athlon MP 2000+ (1.67GHz each)
Component Type


This is my desktop machine. It plays my music, provides a Web browser, lets me easily chat with my friends, plays DVDs, rips CDs, steals music and movies, tells me the weather, and so on. However, since all of these tasks are trivial, I use the remaining processor time and RAM space on the finer parts of life — that is, I write programs, run a Web server, run a Tetrinet server, share music and movies with my FTP server, and run a OpenFT, Gnutella, and Kazaa server as part of the music stealing process.

I've tried many, many programs to achieve most of these tasks, so here I will present a little information on my setup of each:

Playing Music

Rhythmbox, hands down. It's themeable along with the rest of my desktop, allows for very fast music selection, is non-intrusive, and above all is very easy to use.

For music not on my system, such as streaming casts, I use a combination of Streamtuner and Totem. I really don't know a useful alternative to Streamtuner, but I use Totem only because Rhythmbox has some trouble with streaming music currently.

Web Browser

I wobble between Mozilla and Galeon. Mozilla provides a lot of cool features, such as the navigation bar; on the other hand, Galeon integrates very well into my desktop environment.

Two major reasons that I use Mozilla are

  1. my CSS ad-blocking hack somehow blocks the comic from Diesel Sweeties in Galeon, and
  2. Mozilla provides digit accesskey support, but Galeon's tab selection support kills it.


I use gaim. I'm not in love with it, but it's certainly progressed since version 0.15. I'm primarily a Jabber person, and I would use Gossip if AIM transports worked, but they don't, so I don't. The sad fact is that most people are still on AIM, even though Jabber totally rocks.


DVDs are tricky to play because they're not very legal to play. So far I've been able to play Sleuth very easily, though it was jumpy, but the Mr. Show first season DVD took about an hour to start playing.

Regardless, I use whatever works. Ogle, mplayer, Xine, and Totem all seem to give different results depending on the DVD and the phase of the moon. So it goes.


For CD playing, I just use gnome-cd. It's a CD player that works.

For CD ripping, I've tried Grip, rip, wrote my own, and finally settled on abcde. The reason I like abcde so much is because it's just so simple, yet it has many options. I have close to 200 CDs, each of them ripped; with abcde, I just stick the CD in, run abcde, select the correct information from the list it generates that guesses the CD, and everything is done for me from there.

Peer-to-peer file sharing

I once used Gtk-Gnutella, but then I discovered giFT. It's a daemon that shares music in the background, and many user interfaces exist to simply interact with the daemon through API calls. This, as a programmer, sold me. For those who don't understand, the implication of this — which is, fortunately, the reality as well — is that effort can be put into the UI alone, separate from any concerns about the background task, and the daemon can be developed easily, separate from any UI concerns. Thus, bugs get fixed and features are added faster.

The plug-in architecture of giFT allows for many protocols to be easily used for P2P file-sharing at once. Thus, I can search from and share to OpenFT, Gnutella, and Kazaa at the same time from the same program. And I do.


The weather is simply the GNOME weather applet. I have both Celsius and Fahrenheit applets running concurrently, just in case someone demands a conversion (I usually tell them the Celsius value first, so a conversion is often demanded).


I'm a programmer, I'll admit it. The big question: vi or emacs? The answer: Vim. Emacs didn't start quickly enough for me, plus as a hobbyist systems administrator, I need to know vi keybindings anyway. Vim provides nicities such as recordable macros, syntax highlighting, smart indentation, autocompletion, plus some more stuff that I take for granted now.

My programming language of choice seems to change monthly, according to a trustworthy source. My current favorite is Haskell, but other programming languages I enjoy are Smalltalk, Scheme, Prolog, and of course the Bourne shell. For Haskell I use GHC because it has awesome library support and useful extensions, plus the error messages are easier to decipher than the other's. For Scheme I use PLT's DrScheme because I know it better than the rest, a friend of mine works on it, I'm part of a summer camp that teaches it, and it has better library support than the others, in my opinion.

Web Server

Unless I'm playing with the PLT Web Server, I use Apache. There really exists nothing else that works as well and reliably as Apache.

The content I serve are my shared files (music and movies), the most current version of this Web site, and internal stuff regarding the local network.


All we have in the Free Software world for a Tetrinet server is TetrinetX, I believe. For a client I use GTetrinet. It's an awesome, awesome game.


Getting the computer working correctly was a long process, so thanks to Los Alamos Computers for putting up with me.


Elsewhere in this archive dump I found one screenshot from 2002. For context, I was 18, and all Linux screenshots had naked women in them. I also found an Xdefaults configuration.

That monitor weighed 50 pounds. Good riddance.

Re-reading this makes me want a desktop system. I don't really have a place for such a thing in my life, but it'd be fun to build a computer and have a predictable hardware to futz with.

When I wrote this, browsing the Web was not taxing on a computer. Good times.

Rest well, Mozilla site navigation bar.

I still use vim, GNOME2 (MATE), shell, Firefox, and Celsius. I have nostalgia for Tetrinet LAN parties but I can't imagine living a life such that I'd be at one again.

That summer camp that teaches Scheme is apparently a national sensation now. Neat.

The hard drive with all my CDs ripped to it crashed the day after I sold the last of my CDs. I had no backups.

Navigate this Web site.