About Me

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Computing

Operating System

I use GNU/Linux. My favorite distros are Arch-based and FSF-approved. I prefer Arch and Arch-based distros because of their excellent package manager, comprehensive and well-written wiki, and dedication to simplicity and elegance. Not to mention the Arch User Repository. I prefer FSF-approved distros for reasons listed here.

Of the two FSF-approved Arch-based distros, my favorite is Hyperbola. While most of the GNU/Linux world marches toward becoming Windows-like, Hyperbola walks closer to OpenBSD. Currently I'm using Parabola while Hyperbola transitions from Linux to BSD. This is a necessary correction from the disastrous decision to base GNU Hurd on the Mach kernel instead of 4.4BSD-Lite.

This website is currently running on Debian, but was running on CentOS until December 8th 2020.

For people currently using Microsoft Windows, I recommend switching to Linux Mint or Manjaro. If you're using freedom-respecting hardware and don't want to use an Arch-based distro, my recommendation is Trisquel.

Web Browser

I use Firefox because of its security and privacy features. I don't like browsing the Internet on my phone, but when I do I use Firefox Focus. My preferred search engine is DuckDuckGo.

For people currently using Google Chrome, I recommend switching to Brave and Startpage as un-Googled alternatives. For more detailed information visit my article on web browsers.

Social Media

I don't use social media, unless you count GitHub. Not only do I think social media is psychologically and socially harmful (which is basically proven), but I don't really think it's fun to use.

When I have to use YouTube, I avoid logging into a Google account. If a video is age-restricted I watch the video in mpv (my favorite video player) with youtube-dl. If I feel the need to subscribe to a channel, I subscribe to their RSS feed with newsboat.

Text Editor

My favorite text editor is GNU Emacs, which I use for most of my writing and software projects. I use the Doom Emacs configs with evil-mode, and depending on what I'm doing I use org-mode. I also run it as a daemon for fastest startup time. If you can only install one piece of GNU software, it should be Emacs.

On the other hand, this website is written using neovim. In my opinion, vim is objectively better for quickly and easily writing plain text. The keybinds are also much better than the default Emacs keybinds.

Other Software

Init System

I try to avoid using systemd for reasons outlined here, although in my opinion you don't really need a list of reasons to oppose systemd. Between Fedora's adoption of systemd in May 2011 and Ubuntu's adoption in April 2015, virtually every major distro other than Gentoo and Slackware replaced sysvinit with systemd. Could systemd be replaced that quickly?

I use OpenRC, but I'm pretty sure it's not the best init system.

Desktop

I think every desktop environment (other than GNOME) is good. My favorite desktop environment is LXQt. Not only is it the lightest DE (unless you count Enlightenment), but it is also the most Unix-like DE. Unlike GNOME or KDE, LXQt programs have very few dependencies and can be swapped out freely. Most importantly, LXQt is WM-agnostic! By default it comes with Openbox, but it can be used with almost any window manager.

On the other hand, my computer is a toaster supercluster from 2009 and it's important for me to get the longest battery life and most efficient use of screen space that I possibly can. Because of this, I generally use a standalone window manager instead of a desktop environment. My favorite window manager is dwm with slstatus.

Terminal

My favorite terminal emulator is st, because of its Unicode support and low memory usage. I use GNU bash as my shell, because I like its "bloated" features compared to other shells. I also use a lot of terminal applications, like my favorite file manager lf and the plain text Bible drb.

Web Server

This website is hosted by Vultr, and uses the nginx web server and Certbot to bring you a fast and secure browsing experience.

Miscellaneous

Lifestyle

Background

I was born in and grew up on the Westside of Los Angeles. For the past year I've been living in Texas.

I'm enlisted in the US Marine Corps and have written a guide on the enlistment process.

Religion

I am Catholic and I attend Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Walsingham. I was baptised in the Episcopal Church and have a lot of respect for Anglican tradition and liturgical practices, which is why I try to attend Ordinariate Churches as much as possible. If I can't find one, I try to look for a church that offers the Extraordinary Form or one of the Eastern Catholic rites.

Entertainment

Most of my favorite games are arcade-style; shmups, racing games, combat flight sims, stylish action games, and fighting games. I'm also a big fan of role-playing games, platformers, and grand strategy games. There are very few genres I dislike, but I usually don't like open-world games, "cinematic story-based" games, mobile games, first-person shooters, or action-RPGs. There are plenty of exceptions though.

I try to pirate all of the digital media I consume with exceptions for projects that I like. On the other hand I gladly pay for fairly-priced physical media. I will not pay over $60 for a video game and I will not pay over $20 for a computer game.

I enjoy console gaming and have a collection of video game consoles, my favorites being the PlayStation 2, Super NES, Nintendo 3DS, and PlayStation Vita. I play current-gen games on either the Xbox One or Nintendo Switch, although I do own a PS4 to play its exclusives.

Other Info

I studied Spanish for three years of high school. I couldn't actually speak or read any of it until I listened to Michael Thomas's audiotapes and watched the Spanish dub of Dragon Ball Z without subtitles.


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Copyright (c) 2020, 2021 Declan Cash
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