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Tools, Computer

Info

REV: 2020-12-15

Workstation Hardware

CASE: FRACTAL DESIGN, solid-side-panel

CPU: AMD, 5950X

Leading CPU at 105W TDP.

GPU: AMD

Good Linux compatibility.

FAN: NOCTUA, air-cooling

Leading performance-noise ratio. We prefer the low-risk zero-maintenance longevity of air-cooling over liquid-cooling.

SSD: SAMSUNG

We have a successful 8+ years track record with Samsung SSDs.

PSU: SEASONIC, Prime Fanless Series

We like the efficiency and reliability of fanless designs, especially when supported by 10+ year warranties.

MOUSEPAD: RAZER, Gigantus V2, XXL (410mm x 910mm x 4mm)

Supporting Hardware

Modem: TECHNICOLOR, TC4400 (4Gbps, DOCSIS 3.1)

Security Gateway, Router: NETGATE, SG-3100 (1Gbps ports, 2.5Gbps throughput)

Wireless Access Point: UBIQUITI, Unifi AC Pro, UAP-AC-PRO (1.3 Gbps at 5GHz channel)

Power Bar, Surge Protector: TRIPP LITE, Isobar 6 Ultra

Ethernet Cable, Cat 8.1, 2m: STEWART CONNECTOR, CA81-020M-01 (LSZH, RJ45 metal-frame terminations)

Printer: HP, OFFICEJET PRO 9015

SSD Enclosure: STARTECH, M2E1BRU31C (IP67, MIL-STD-810G drop-test, USB 3.1 Gen2 10Gbps)

M.2 enclosures can be assembled into external data-drives for greater capacity, reliability, speed, and modularity than normal USB drives.

USB Drive: SAMSUNG, Bar Plus

Operating System

Primary: DEBIAN

Secondary: WINDOWS

Official download link for the Windows 10 ISO here

We like to install operating-systems on a per-drive basis (instead of multi-OS partitions on the same drive).

Password Manager

We strongly recommend that you use a password-manager that works offline (without internet).

We strongly recommend that you regularly save a copy of your password-database to a back-up system.

Keepass - Free, open-source, good long-term track record. But out-dated, clunky GUI. Recommended.

KeepassXC - Free, open-source, cross-platform, modern GUI with v2.6+. A fork of Keepass with more active development that we are testing.

Document Suite

Libreoffice

(RECOMMENDED)

Free, open-source, high-quality, cross-platform alternative to Microsoft Word for producing text documents, spreadsheets, slideshows, basic drawings, and simple databases. Great import/export compatibility for various file formats.

Markdown Text Editor

STANDARD: Ghostwriter

(RECOMMENDED)

We look for 2 major features in an efficient markdown editor:

  • Header menu for one-click navigation to internal headers.
  • HTML preview for one-click links to external websites.

Team Chat

STANDARD: ZULIP

(RECOMMENDED)

MCAD

STANDARD: Autodesk Inventor

It's good but expensive. The built-in simulation is useful.

WAITING: FreeCAD

Usable but not ready for efficient professional workflows.

ECAD

STANDARD: Kicad

(STRONGLY RECOMMENDED)

We use this for most of our schematic-to-PCB ECAD work. This is a good free, open-source, cross-platform EDA suite sponsored by CERN and increasingly supported by the industry.

Alternatives include:

  • Altium
  • Cadence (Allegro/Orcad)
  • SIEMENS Mentor (PADS/Xpedition)
  • Eagle (Autodesk)

IDEs

Visual Studio

Atom - Free, simple, customizable integrated development environment (IDE). Developed by Github.

Diagram Editor

Draw.io

Free diagramming tool with emphasis on alignment and node-to-node connections. Use online with the browser app, or download the desktop app.

Vector Graphics Editor

Inkscape - Vector graphics editor. Create or edit logos, line art, infographics, and other line-based images.

Raster Graphics Editor

GIMP - Raster Graphics Editor - Produce, resize, crop, rotate, and retouch your photos and other dot-style image files.

Audio Editor

Audacity - Audio Editor - Record your voice or music, manipulate audio clips for your media library, and import-export different filetypes. Great for handling standard audio tasks like other digital audio workstations (DAWs).

Video Editor

Kdenlive - Video Editor - Simple, robust video editor with primary support for Linux. Free and open source. Renders to numerous standard formats, including WebM and MP4 (AAC/HEVC).

Video Screen Capture

Open Broadcaster Software - Screen Video Capture and Live Streaming Tool - Simple on-screen video recording and live streaming program.

Compression

7-zip - File compression and archival tool.

Torrenting

Transmission - Free, simple torrenting client. Recommended by Wikileaks.

3D Animation and Modeling

Blender - Free and open-source with integrated video editor. Supported by the Blender Foundation.

Digital Illustration

Clip Studio Paint - Popular and effective digital drawing program for illustrations and manga. Formerly named Manga Studio. Use with a drawing tablet.

Accounting

GNUCASH