natpen.net
Adventures, Sustainability, and Technology


The Things I Use

This page contains a list of the technology I use, both software and hardware. I’ve seen a number of other people doing a uses page and I’ve always found them interesting, so here’s mine.

Laptop

I have a several-year-old Dell XPS13 that I use for most everything. When I got it, I did some research to try and find a laptop model that was all three of small, powerful, and Linux-compatible from a hardware perspective. This is what I ended up with, and it's basically been just fine ever since. The biggest annoyance is probably just that the webcam is positioned below the screen, near the hinge, and it makes for a very unflattering camera angle in my opinion.

                  -`
                 .o+`                 natpen@goldfish
                `ooo/                 OS: Arch Linux
               `+oooo:                Kernel: x86_64 Linux 5.14.6-arch1-1
              `+oooooo:               Uptime: 6d 15h 4m
              -+oooooo+:              Packages: 1252
            `/:-:++oooo+:             Shell: fish 3.3.1
           `/++++/+++++++:            Resolution: 1920x1080
          `/++++++++++++++:           WM: sway
         `/+++ooooooooooooo/`         GTK Theme: Adwaita [GTK3]
        ./ooosssso++osssssso+`        Disk: 164G / 239G (73%)
       .oossssso-````/ossssss+`       CPU: Intel Core i7-8550U @ 8x 4GHz
      -osssssso.      :ssssssso.      RAM: 3685MiB / 15719MiB
     :osssssss/        osssso+++.
    /ossssssss/        +ssssooo/-
  `/ossssso+/:-        -:/+osssso+-
 `+sso+:-`                 `.-/+oso:
`++:.                           `-/+/
.`                                 `/

I really wish I could get power management working better with Arch on this laptop. It doesn't do well unplugged from wall power, which causes very rare, but very intense, annoyance. This is probably very solvable with kernel something or other, but I'm fairly daunted anytime anything mentions "kernel" so I avoid this kind of problem, lest I accidentally make it worse!

Raspberry Pi

I've used a single Raspberry Pi as a low-powered home server for a couple years. I think it strikes a nice balance of prudent and thrifty resource consumption, with flexibility and enablement to self-host most anything you want.

VMs in the cloud

I run a few more things using cheap $5/month VMs from DigitalOcean. I've used DigitalOcean for a number of years, at this point, and I think they're just fine. They have a much simpler interface to grapple with than AWS', and for personal projects I generally don't need all the bells and whistles anyway.