Spool Five


These are the tools that I frequently use. I set up this page after discovering this useful blog which interviews people about what they use to get the job done.

Last updated: 2023-10-28 Sat



My main laptop is an Asus VivoBook X512DA. I bought this laptop when I moved to Korea in early 2021. I had brought a different laptop with me, but it didn’t survive the journey. In Korea, there are a lot of identification checks required when shopping online on a lot of major sites, so I needed a local to actually buy it for me. The receptionist at a training school I was attending was nice enough to order it for me, and in return I gave her some sweets I had brought over from Ireland. It cost around 400,000KRW (around 400 USD), and arrived with no OS preinstalled. I ended up installing PopOS on it, and so began my linux journey!

It’s not a powerful laptop, but I like using it because the screen is quite large (15.6 inch), at least compared to my other two main laptops, a Thinkpad X230, and a Thinkpad X220. The Thinkpad X230 was also bought in Korea and was around 120USD, the Thinkpad X220 was bought more recently for 70 EUR, with a few upgrades/repairs needed.

I far prefer the keyboard and other ergonomics of the thinkpads, but again, I stick with the Asus for the most part because of the screen.

Update 2023-10-28: Last July, I finally caved and bought a Macbook Air M1. It’s my first time using a Mac/MacOS, and to be honest I really love it! It was very easy to switch to it from using Linux, with all of the same cli-tools still available. Everything I wrote about below in the ‘software’ section still applies.


I use a Ryzen-based desktop (integrated graphics), with Windows/Gnome dual booted. This is the main device I use when playing games (on Windows) or doing any kind of music production (again, using Windows/Abelton). It also is the main backup/storage source of my files.

Raspberry Pi4B

I’ve had one of these for a few years now and it’s a great little tool for lots of random applications.


My Kindle is the longest running piece of tech I use. I got it in 2011 and it’s still going strong.


I installed Arch on my Asus laptop in mid 2021 and have been using the same install without issue ever since. I used bspwm for a long time, and recently switched to hyprland/wayland.

Neofetch Screenshot

Here is the list of the main software I use in my common workflows. Obviously, there are also a huge amount of smaller utilities that I depend on, but I’ll stick to the major programmes for now.

Tool Functions Alternative to?
Emacs Word Processing Microsoft Word, etc.
Coding VSCode
mail (mu4e)
Feed Reader (elfeed) Youtube, News Websites
Network Client (web/gopher/gemini)
Chat (erc)
File explorer/manager (Dired)
Note Management (denote)
Time Tracking/Task Management (org)
Keeping a Diary (denote)
Git Version Control
Mpv Watching Videos
Ncmpcpp/Mpd Playing Music, Streaming Radio
Minidlna/Transmission Streaming Videos on local network Netflix/Streaming Services
Ledger Managing/Tracking Personal Finances
Syncthing Sharing files between devices Dropbox, etc.
Streamlink Streaming Twitch (w/mpv)

Dream setup

I’m not sure that I have a ‘dream setup’, I prefer to work with what I already have. Working within limitations can often lead to creative solutions and a better understanding of the underlying tech.

I suppose I would love to have some kind of server rack and start self hosting some things. At the moment, I rent/share a place and we don’t have the ability have ports forwarded, etc.