The Setup


What do people use to get stuff done?

Daniel Stenberg

Daniel Stenberg

Open source developer (cURL)

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Daniel Stenberg. I'm an open source developer and consultant. Some of my claims in life so far include being the creator and main developer of curl and libcurl, leading additional projects such as c-ares and libssh2, as well as having co-founded Rockbox. I'm a contract embedded systems developer by day and an Internet protocol addict by night. I work at Haxx.

What hardware do you use?

The Stenberg family computers.

My 10-20 hours of spare time development per week is done primarily on my old desktop PC (the rightmost on the photos). It is an AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+ (2.8GHz) with a single 24" LCD 1920x1200. I'm one of the old guys who use many windows on screen (and never any of them in fullscreen mode) and I use my machine pretty much exclusively for development, email reading, IRC'ing and casual browsing.

While I was still actively developing in the Rockbox project the desk would be covered with a set of mp3 players of various brands and sizes, but I've basically stopped being an active participant there and I'm not really using any dedicated mp3 players these days. I'm using my Android phone for that purpose now - still using an HTC Desire HD that hangs in decently and haven't yet made me upgrade the phone even after over 18 months.

Next to my machine on my desk are my kids' computers. I have a 9yo daughter and a 6yo son and they have one Linux computer each. The laptop to the far left is my old portable work horse, an ASUS F3JA (Intel Core 2 Duo T5600 1.83GHz with a 15.4" 1680x1050 display). I bring it along when I need to go somewhere and need to bring a machine that can still compile etc. I really need >1000 pixels vertical resolution in a screen to be productive. The middle computer, my daughter's, is a really old beast with 20" LCD that is subject to get upgraded soon to make it struggle less with full-screen YouTube browsing... =)

I have an ASUS EEE PC S101 (10.1" screen with SSD disk) that I use to bring with me when I travel light and I use it as presentation computer when I do talks at conferences and similar arrangements.

On the lower floor of my house, we have the family/wife laptop for casual living room use and the occasional displaying of video on the TV screen.

The household internet setup is all centered around where media converter is located: under the stairs. Also located there is the Dlink wifi router, the HP ink printer and my Synology DS211j NAS.

There's not a single tablet in my house, since I simply haven't found any compelling reason for one. I'm assuming I'll figure out a reason one day...

And what software?

I'm a Linux guy. I run Linux on as many machines as possible and out of all distros I really prefer Debian. I run Debian unstable on my primary machine, and I use Debian testing and most others. Apart from the OS, I'm a C coder and an Emacs user, and what more do you need?

I was quite happily using gnome2 and I'm one of those guys really upset and disappointed about where gnome3 has gone and done. I've therefore abandoned gnome for KDE, which isn't a perfect fit for me either but still way better than gnome3.

I do daily backups of my primary machine to the NAS and to a friend's (off-site) NAS.

What would be your dream setup?

I wouldn't mind having a refreshed pair of developer machines, like:

Desktop: a modern core i7 CPU, perhaps 8 or 16GB RAM and a fairly large SSD. That would make my recompiles and reruns of the test suites use a lesser portion of my spare time. With a decent 30" 2560x1600 screen to go with it. Of course, with a graphics card with fine support in Linux without any stupid binary drivers. I'm not really a fan of multiple monitors but like a fairly big single one.

A decent developer laptop with a decent CPU and SSD, but no larger than 15" LCD to keep it portable. It would have >1000 lines vertical resolution on the screen, not have a numerical keypad and not have any annoying switchable 3D graphics stuff that won't work on Linux or just suck/waste more power. Why do the laptop manufactorers insist on numerical keypads to such a high degree?

I should also update my kids' computers to a set of modern computers. Probably laptops to allow them to bring them along when they want to. It isn't that my kids have any really demanding computer use yet, and the fact that their computers run Linux have sort of kept them away from some of the most CPU and graphics eating PC games. It is mostly that they want snappy operations and being able to enjoy modern things in full-screen and at decent frame rates.

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