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My Hardware Setup

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On this page, I summarize my IT set-up according to the last update time-stamp above.

At home

At home, I am working on an intel NUC i5 (16GB RAM, 32GB SSD for the OS) running Debian GNU/Linux stable with a stripped down Xfce desktop manager. I work on a pimped Kinesis Advantage2 keyboard using a customized US international QMK layout. I've used other keyboards as well. My data resides on an external USB 3.0 8TB HDD.

You can learn about the software I'm using on this page.

I'm using a Speedlink MANEJO Ergonomic Vertical Mouse which is fine but I already ordered a Kensington Orbit Trackball to try out a trackball.

In 2019, I switched from my Dell UltraSharp U3014 30" display with its enourmous screen estate at 2560×1600 (100 ppi) to a smaller 23.8" Dell P2418D with a high-density resolution (WQHD 2560×1440, 123 ppi). In 2021, I extended with a 24" Dell P2421DC at the same resolution. Both TFTs are mounted on a Logilink Dual BP0041. One is landscape, one is in portrait mode.

My sound is processed via a Nobsound Mini Bluetooth 5.0 Digital Power Amplifier which I'm using via its USB interface (not Bluetooth). This ultra-small amplifier drives a pair of Paradigm Studio ADP-590 speakers. I can not express how cool this sound setup is: cheap (except the speakers) and really good quality.

My microphone is a Blue Snowball white (USB) on a Rode Microphones PSA1 stand.

When being away from home, I do have a lenovo X260 notebook running Xubuntu LTS.

For scanning documents, I am using Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500m. In our house, there is also a Konica Minolta Bizhub C224e machine for professional printing on paper and scanning.

My main router is a TP-LINK AC1750 Archer C7 running an up-to-date version of OpenWRT. It connects to a TP-Link TL-SG2424 24-port-Switch and I do have two TP-Link TL-WA901ND running OpenWRT in bridge mode to provide a decent WiFi network in the house.

My digital camera is my Google Pixel 4a. I stopped using dedicated digital compact cameras years ago because even my old OnePlus5 produced significant better images compared to my Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ31 or a Lumix TZ80 of a friend of mine.

I own a BOOX Onyx Note Air 10.3" e-ink Android Tablet. It is perfect for active reading (highlighting, adding notes and drawings) and reading e-books and PDF of all kind in general. I use it also to read my news feeds via the NewsBlur app. It has a battery life in weeks and an optional background light for reading in bed.

In the living-room, there is a Epson EH-TW6600 V11H651040 projector.

Business

My business notebook is a lenovo T490 (i7-8665U, FHD 1920×1080, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD). It is running Xubuntu 20.94 LTS.

Since I'm working in home office, I use my two 24" TFTs via a DELL D6000 Port Replicator and its DisplayLink technology which is consuming way too much CPU. I'm thinking of replacing the D6000 with a different device that doesn't rely on DisplayLink technology as soon as I get confirmed that it supports my two TFTs without DisplayLink.

Keyboard, mouse, microphone and amplifier are plugged in to a NIERBO USB Switch Hub 3.0. This hub connects to my intel NUC as well as to the D6000 replicator. This way, I can switch between the two machines by pressing the button on the switch and manually changing inputs on my two TFTs. That's a poor man's KVM switch which may be optimized even further but so far, I didn't care.

Future plans

Currently, I am still very satisfied with my overall setup.

With my current job, I don't need to use Microsoft Windows any more except an installation for working with MS Office 365 within a virtual environment.

Back in the days, when I was using OS X on my Mac Mini 2009, I was not satisfied with OS X: plugging in my FW800 backup disk corrupted my FW800 3TB disk fifty percent of the time. Apple did not give me an update path from 10.5 to a supported system. I was losing support for tools like the OS itself, Chrome, Flash, and so forth. Current Apple OS X versions I do not like either because of strategic decisions such as the heavy use of cloud-based services I want to avoid to protect my privacy.

What about you?

I really enjoy listening to other peoples setup. There is so much to learn from other users' stories. And there are great sources of stories out there. Further more, I happily attend show-and-tell sessions at events like the Grazer Linuxtage and/or give talks about my setup.

If you want to share your setup with me and/or this blog, please drop me a line (email below or comment below).


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