What I Use: Trideceth12’s Favourite Software And Hardware

Our What Readers Use series continues with frequent Lifehacker commenter Trideceth12, who explains the most important apps for a Linux system and why an old phone never gets stolen from the beach.


  • 2.8GhZ Athlon II
  • 4Gb RAM
  • GeForce GTX 260
  • 1TB Internal HDD
  • $3 Logitech mouse
  • $5 Logitech keyboard

It’s nothing special but I’m not running any demanding processes. My choice of components is mainly driven by price. I might switch back to Intel next upgrade though because I have occasionally been frustrated by the lack of support for AMD64 with certain packages.

Operating system

Ubuntu 10.04. Every time I use Windows, I am reminded why I use Linux.

When I was upgrading from Ubuntu Karmic I detoured via Debian 5, but after a play around I switched back to Ubuntu (for more extensive Python support mostly). 10.04 is great, after I switched the window decorations back the right way and replaced the icons with my nostalgia-inducing Amiga favourites. Despite the scoffing that Ubuntu is “baby’s first Linux” I have yet to be converted, despite tinkering with other distros.

Essential apps

  • OpenOffice: Everyone needs office software, even better when it’s free and can save in MS Office formats (if you must)
  • GIMP: Free Photoshop
  • Audacity: Free audio editing
  • Mencoder and Avidemux: I use these for video conversion (with overlapping responsibilities). I often find myself converting obscure video (such as the Chinese version of Spongebob Squarepants) into a format my PS3/DVD player can easily read.
  • GPodder: Podcast Aggregator. Nice little tool, preferences allow a command-line statement for launching external players for audio / video, so I can send it to VLC with the switches I need.
  • VLC: Not many would argue that this isn’t an essential. One downside is the lack of Chinese character support.
  • Deluge: For torrents.
  • Evolution: For mail.


As much as I detest Google, I use Chrome. It’s soooo light and fast, and AdBlock for Chrome works just the way I want it to (I hate corporate self-promotion, so I cut it out as much as possible — even as far as moving the logos off sites like YouTube and Facebook). I also have Opera and Firefox, but only use them when I get a real compatibility problem — and when I do use them I miss Chrome.


By far the best phone I have ever used is my faithful Nokia 2310, which can

  • Make calls
  • Send text messages
  • Battery lasts upwards of one week
  • Fast, responsive menu
  • Leave it on your towel at the beach — come back, it’s still there
  • Drop it and it won’t break (even the plastic casing won’t break, but it’s a cheap fix if it did . . . but it won’t)
  • Because its appeal isn’t based on “look at my fancy new phone” you can have it for years without having to fork out for a new phone (I’ve had mine for four years)
  • It’s dirt cheap

Thanks Trideceth12! Want to tell us about your own setup and why it works? Send us the details by email to [email protected].

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