Aspects Of My System Configuration
This will be a quick low content post going over parts of my current computing setup, and brief comments on each segment.
Emacs has a much better package ecosystem, and comparatively more powerful scripting language as opposed to Vim. Emacs lisp may not be an ideal compared to a modern Scheme, but it’s much nicer than vimscript.
That being said vi is installed by default on almost every server environment. While it is possible to remotely mount files for editing this is rather inconvenient.
Instead of memorizing multiple bindings I use the Spacemacs configuration for Emacs in Evil mode. The feature set of Spacemacs has been rather convenient so far.
Dvorak is a keyboard layout designed in the 30’s as an alternative to the existing QWERTY layout. It is designed in such a way that many commonly used letters may be typed without leaving the home row of the keyboard. As such “correct” typing form is easier to maintain. The fastest sustained typing world record was won using Dvorak.
I have used Dvorak for a few years now. I do not believe that it has increased my typing speed, however the act of typing feels less straining due to the decreased movement. My QWERTY typing speed has suffered but I still use it enough to have it memorized.
The window manager i3-gaps, is a fork of i3 with extra functionality. This is what is known as a tiling window manager. In this configuration applications are opened, and manipulated via the keyboard. The window manager automatically positions applications on the screen.
Instead of clicking around constantly to launch things, and dragging applications around, you quickly manipulate them with the keyboard. Applications are controlled over 10 desktop contexts. So you can have a browser, compiler, editor, and switch between these instantly. If you open two terminals next to each other they are positioned ideally without manual intervention.
Alacritty bills itself as “the fastest terminal emulator in existence”. It’s a new project to build a GPU accelerated terminal emulator in Rust. Alacritty is intentionally missing many features, and is intended to be augmented with other software such as a terminal multiplexer.
I am using a fork of Alacritty adding scroll back support. They say that they plan to eventually support this officially. I’m not sure that the GPU acceleration is meaningfully beneficial, but it’s to try something actively developed without 30 years of historical baggage. I previously used the Unicode fork of RXVT.
I have used Arch Linux as my base distribution for several years now. I previously distro hopped trying everything. Eventually I settled an Arch as a minimal base install I can build up from, instead of tearing things out.
Despite being a rolling release the system has been fairly error free assuming consistent updates. It does not however make a good deployment target. On servers, or for docker images I end up using more stable things.