My Software Stack 2011 edition

I realize that I haven’t written my customary “software stack” post for this year yet. But hey, from where I’m sitting, I still have … 36 minutes to spare ;)

I’ll be using the same categories as last year; system, communications, web, development, office suite, server, organization, and entertainment.

System

The OS of choice is still Archlinux, my window manager is still wmii, my terminal emulator is rxvt-unicode, upgraded by also installing urxvt-tabbedex.

My shell is still bash, my cron daemon is still fcron, and my network manager is wicd.

To this configuration I’ve added the terminal multiplexer tmux, and have lately found out just how useful mc can be. Oh, and qmv from the renameutils package is now a given part of the stack.

Communications

Not much change here, Thunderbird for email, Pidgin for instant messaging, irssi for IRC.

Heybuddy has been replaced by identicurse as my micro-blogging (identi.ca) client. Heybuddy is very nice, but I can use identicurse from the commandline, and it has vim-like bindings.

For Pidgin I use OTR to encrypt conversations. For Thunderbird I use the enigmail addon along with GnuPG.

This means that Thunderbird still hasn’t been replaced by the “mutt-stack” (mutt, msmtp, offlineimap and mairix) and this is mostly due to me not having the energy to learn how to configure mutt.

I also considered trying to replace Pidgin with irssi and bitlbee but Pidgin + OTR works so well, and I have no idea about how well OTR works with bitlbee/irssi (well, actually, I’ve found irssi + OTR to be flaky at best.

Web

Not much changed here either, Firefox dominates, and I haven’t looked further into uzbl although that is still on the TODO list, for some day.

I do some times also use w3m, elinks, wget, curl and perl-libwww.

My Firefox is customized with NoScript, RequestPolicy, some other stuff, and Pentadactyl.

Privoxy is nowadays also part of the loadout, to filter out ads and other undesirable web “resources”.

Development

In this category there has actually been some changes:

  • gvim has been completely dropped
  • eclipse has been dropped, using vim instead
  • mercurial has been replaced by git

Thanks in no small part to my job, I have gotten more intimate knowledge of awk and expect, as well as beginning to learn Perl.

I still do some Python hacking, a whole lot of shell scripting, and for many of these hacks, SQLite is a faithful companion.

Doh! I completely forgot that I’ve been dabbling around with Erlang as well, and that mscgen has been immensely helpful in helping me visualize communication paths between various modules.

“Office suite”

I still use LaTeX for PDF creation (sorry hook, still haven’t gotten around to checking out ConTeXt), I haven’t really used sc at all, it was just too hard to learn the controls, and I had too few spreadsheets in need of creating. I use qalculate almost on a weekly basis, but for shell scripts I’ve started using bc instead.

A potential replacement for sc could be teapot, but again, I usually don’t create spreadsheets…

Server

Since I’ve dropped mercurial, and since the mercurial-server package suddenly stopped working after a system update, I couldn’t be bothered to fix it, and it is now dropped.

screen and irssi is of course always a winning combination.

nginx and uwsgi has not been used to any extent, I haven’t tried setting up a VPN service, but I have a couple of ideas for the coming year (mumble, some VPN service, some nginx + Python/Perl thingies, bitlbee) and maybe replace the Ubuntu installation with Debian.

Organization

I still use both vimwiki and vim outliner, and my Important Dates Notifier script.

Still no TaskJuggler, and I haven’t gotten much use out of abook.

remind has completely replaced when, while I haven’t gotten any use what so ever out of wyrd.

Entertainment

For consuming stuff I use evince (PDF), mplayer (video), while for music, moc has had to step down from the throne, to leave place for mpd and ncmpcpp.

eog along with gthumb (replacing geeqie) handles viewing images.

For manipulation/creation needs I use LaTeX, or possibly Scribus, ffmpeg, audacity, imagemagick, inkscape, and gimp.

Bonus: Security

I thought I’d add another category, security, since I finally have something worthwhile to report here.

I’ve begun encrypting selected parts of my hard drive (mostly my email directory) using EncFS, and I use my passtore script for password management.

And sometimes (this was mostly relevant for when debugging passtore after having begun actively using it) when I have a sensitive file which I for a session need to store on the hard drive, in clear text, I use quixand to create an encrypted directory with a session key only stored in RAM. So once the session has ended, there is little chance of retrieving the key and decrypting the encrypted directory.

Ending notes

That’s about it. Some new stuff, mostly old stuff, only a few things getting kicked off the list. My stack is pretty stable for now. I wonder what cool stuff I will find in 2012 :D

:wq

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4 Responses to “My Software Stack 2011 edition”

  1. Bernhard says:

    Hi,

    since the last FSCONS I am using byobu (GNU screen). But this don’t need to be the last word.
    Which advantages do you think tmux has over byobu?

    Greetings

    Bernhard

  2. Patrik says:

    Hello Bernhard, good to hear from you :)

    Now I’m worried that my memory have crapped out on me again, then again, there are few things from FSCONS I actually do remember so might just chalk it up to me just too focussed on my tasks to have anything enter long term memory…

    Anyway, I can’t remember anything about byobu, more than it feeling vaguely familiar.

    However, reading up on byobu (first by yaourt -Ss byobu and then yaourt -Si byobu) I get:

    $ yaourt -Ss byobu
    aur/byobu 5.0-2 (184)
        Enhanced profile and useful notifications for tmux (or optionally screen)

    So I can’t really say… it seems more like something you’d use with screen/tmux, not instead of.

    I can however tell you why tmux entered my stack (and please note that this hasn’t put screen out in the cold, screen + irssi is still awesomeness). tmux has one killer feature which screen lacks:

    Ctrl-a:setw synchronize-panes

    In essence, this lets you type text into one client, and all the other clients does the same thing. You could get similar behaviour with a for-loop for sure (say you wanted to restart a service on 10+ blades, then you could either have a loop log into all the blades and execute a command, one by one, or have tmux do it all nearly simultaneously). The downside with the loop in that example would be that it is sequential, and would have to wait for each blade to respond before being able to move on to the next.

    See http://amjith.posterous.com/synchronize-panes-in-tmux for a video demonstration of synchronized panes.

    Cheers,
    Patrik

  3. Viewnior says:

    “eog along with gthumb (replacing geeqie) handles viewing images.”

    You might like to try Viewnior. http://xsisqox.github.com/Viewnior/

  4. Patrik says:

    You know, that might just be a new favorite. I’ll have to try it a little more before I make any decisions, but eog might very well have gotten a competitor for the throne here.

    Thank you :)