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Computer Workstation

Operating System

Preferred Kernel: Linux

Preferred Distribution: Debian

Secondary OS: Windows


SSD: SAMSUNG, Pro Series (strongly recommended)

Power Supply: SEASONIC, Prime Series

Data Drives


  • SAMSUNG, 970 Pro

SSD, 2.5FF:

  • SAMSUNG, 800 Series

HDD, 3.5FF:

  • TOSHIBA, MG08ACA16TA (16TB, SATA, 512e)


  • SAMSUNG, Bar Plus


  • Small Cases: NANUK, 903

USB Drive Use:

  • CAM file transfer
  • Technical file transfer (ex. datasheets, MCAD drawings)
  • Full disk backup software and images (ex. CloneZilla, bare metal dev)
  • Live OS installers

Password Manager

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.

Regularly save a copy of your password-database to a backup-system.

Basic Programs

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

Atom - Text Editor - Free, simple, customizable integrated development environment (IDE). Developed by Github. - Diagram Maker - Free diagramming tool with emphasis on alignment and node-to-node connections. Use online with the browser app, or download the desktop app.

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

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

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).

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).

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

7-zip - File compression and archival tool.

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

Blender - 3D Modeling and Animation - Free and open-source with integrated video editor. Supported by the Blender Foundation.

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

GNUCASH - Accounting Software


Autodesk Inventor

Based on valid concerns expressed in this forum thread, we are considering alternatives such as Solid Edge (SIEMENS) or BricsCAD (Hexagon).

FreeCAD is accessible and basically functional, but we consider the featureset and UI/UX too limited for professional workflows for now.


We use Kicad 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 such as with the Digikey Kicad Library.

Industry-standard suites include:

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