I have been interested and tinkering around with computers from an early age. The first OS I remember using was MS-DOS 5.0. Windows 3.1 was the first version of Windows I used. I started to use Linux in college on my own and as part of a system’s integration lab requirement for class.
Hardware, OSes, Software
You will find me learning about something I find interesting at the moment. Those are usually: operating systems (Windows, Debian Linux variants, Fedora Linux), hardware (CPU, Hard Drives, RAID), and networking (Routers, NAS, VPN, Wireless) most of the time. I use virtualization often for testing and sandboxing.
On the software side, I am a huge fan of Free and Open Source Software. These programs tend to be written by serious enthusiasts or a community of contributors. I was first exposed to Open Source with the Linksys WRT54GL router using Tomato and DD-WRT firmware. Open Source firmware for these devices transformed them into enterprise grade devices.
I was using Media Center hardware long before it became popular to use them in HTPCs. Web server technology became an interest when I started developing websites. I’ve used both LAMP & WIMP server stacks.
Couple years ago I found myself interested, as a user and programmer, in the work done by security researchers to uncover issues with computing devices and how the might be used by bad actors.
Many of my computer interests crossover to Ham Radio. This is currently what I spend most of my time doing.
Audio editing: Audacity.
Audio playback: Foobar2000.
CD/DVD/Blu-ray burning: ImgBurn.
DVR & Media Center: NPVR, Plex.
File compression: 7-Zip.
File encryption: VeraCrypt.
File integrity checking: HashTab.
Graphics editor: Paint.Net.
Operating systems: Windows 7, Fedora Linux (Cinnamon Spin).
PDF reader: Sumatra PDF.
Router firmware: pfSense, Fresh Tomato.
(MP3) Tag editing: MP3Tag.
SSH client: PuTTY.
Text editor: VIM on Linux. Notepad++ on Windows.
Video playback: Media Player Classic and Video LAN.
Computer build history
I’ve built every desktop system I’ve ever owned. Here is a quick history of what I remember the last configuration to be.
386. 170 & 212 MB HDD.
Celeron 800. 768 MB RAM. DVD-ROM, CD-RW, Iomega Internal Zip 100. Creative Audigy. WinTV-GO-FM.
Pentium 4 Hyper Threaded. 2 GB RAM. 80 & 250 GB HDD. DVD-ROM, CD-RW, DVD-RW, Iomega Internal ZIP 100. Creative Audigy 2. Hauppauge PVR-350.
Pentium Core i7 Sandybridge 2600K. 8 GB RAM. 2x 650 GB & 2x 1 TB HDD – RAID 1. DVD-RW. Asus NVidia GTX 460. Asus Xonar DX. Hauppauge PVR-1850.