Alex Johnstone



For the coronavirus outbreak, I’ve brought in another table and setup some more monitors. Actually quite like this arrangement. iPad and Switch clearly most important when working from home :)

Slight upgrade over my i5 2500K, with a i7-3770, 16GB RAM, and a GTX 1060 6GB powering a 32" HP Omen 1440p 75Hz monitor, a 22" benq, and a 24" HP borrowed from work. Desktop is actually a prebuilt Dell Optiplex 9010 with an upgraded PSU. It’s quiet and was great value for a 8 thread CPU.

I’ve owned a lot of keyboards over the years and plan to share a history of them. Right now I’m using a Goldtouch GTP-0055-UK. Work gave it to me as part of the “road warrior” kit, but have come to enjoy using it so much it’s now my main keyboard.


Keeping the picture of my X230 here for prosperity. Actually upgraded to a T460s, still running Arch but now with GNOME. Not sure I like GNOME but it just works so there’s that. Daughter has been using it full time for her school work whilst we’re all at home. Linux only slightly annoys her mum :)


My, now sold, Thinkpad X230 with Arch Linux, XFCE. Looking at the photo makes me want to buy another one.

Work laptop is a T480. I do like the USB-C dock I have at work. Be nice to have that with my personal laptop.


Lenovo TS140 ThinkStation, i3, 32GB RAM and 4x 4TB WD Red. Running Arch Linux and ZFS. For a couple of years I ran FreeBSD.


Work gives me an iPhone SE. Have a LG G3 kicking about too.


X100F Use a Fuji X100F when we’re travelling or I want a discrete/lightweight camera. Have a Nikon D7200 for all other times.


A couple of Raspberry Pis about. One acting as DNS via pi-hole, the other varies between RetroPie emulator box, and general purpose linux box.

Old desktop still sat about. Thought about selling but it’s not worth much, probably give it to my sister. Still plays modern games well with i5 2500K, and RX580.

I really like my Kindle Paperwhite. I started a list of the books I’ve read.

Previous Hardware


Never really liked laptops before then, always preferred a desktop.


First, and previous server was a HP Microservr NL40, with 4x2 TB drives running Ubuntu server, then later Arch Linux. Tried out FreeNAS but prefered linux.

Prior to running my i5 2500K build, my desktop was an Athlon 64 X2 4400+. This was one of the first dual core CPUs from somewhere around 2005/2006. I upgraded as it really was CPU bound and even with a new graphics card I couldn’t play Skyrim (which I’d just received for my birthday in 2011). Prior to the 4400+, I don’t remember what CPU I had…I remember buying a huge aluminium Thermaltake case which was probably expensive and I hated it immediately.

We had a couple of computers from companies like Tiny and Time back in ~1996. They were probably horrible and overpriced but no-one in my family knew anything about them. I vaguely remember the flyers and special deals that the salesman would try and win you over with. One of which we agreed to, but then later it mysteriously disappeared and no-one in the company remembered such a deal…so we had to buy a more expensive one.

Work Setups

A few images of work setup over time. Newest first.


Big screens This is my favourite place to work with my team.

Secret Project