A Tour Of The Phoronix Office
As I am frequently asked about my unique monitor setup, brand preference on different computer peripherals and other questions about my personal hardware choices as it pertains to Linux, here's a tour of my Phoronix office for this weekend article. There's also some additional thoughts beyond what you will find in previously-published Phoronix reviews.
This is where near single handedly a majority of the Phoronix content is produced. In eight years (the Phoronix birthday was this week), I have written more than 6,000 Linux news articles and more than 2,100 featured-length articles/reviews on Phoronix. This is also the office where the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, OpenBenchmarking.org, and other software is developed. This is the latest office layout as I try to maximize efficiency. The Phoronix Test Suite and related components can take care of maximizing the benchmarking efficiency and tasks from the software end, but it's still a matter of keeping all the hardware well organized and within easy reach. A.k.a. this is the place where a majority of the public Linux and *BSD benchmarks in the world are produced. Advertisements for the Linux hardware enthusiast vertical aren't exactly the most lucrative, so you need to be very lean, efficient, and aggressive. If Linux advertisements were extremely lucrative, there would be a whole host of staff by now working to churn out extremely well-researched content, interviews with upstream developers, etc. But there isn't hence why Phoronix Premium subscriptions, PayPal tips, good beer, and other contributions are welcomed.
Lenovo is one of the favorites when it comes to notebooks/laptops. While the ThinkPad brand has lost some of its prestige, they still generally work terrific under Linux, even for recently launched parts. The HP EliteBook that was part of Intel's Software Development Platform for Sandy Bridge also works very well. When it comes to nettops/mini-PCs, the ASRock devices that have been reviewed on Phoronix continue to work well under modern Linux distributions. My main notebook is in fact an Apple MacBook Pro. I cannot really complain about the hardware aside from the highly inflated price tag and that it's not too easy swapping out components (replacing the HDD with an SSD was a pain), but with the hardware overall I am happy.
It's also true I do run Mac OS X on the MacBook Pro, but that's because I get better battery life when virtualizing Ubuntu Linux using VMware atop Mac OS X than when Ubuntu Linux is running bare metal on the hardware. My current desktop is GNOME with Ubuntu 10.10 -- I did not bother trying out newer versions since I am not too fond of the latest direction of Ubuntu and then there was the host of issues I discovered with power regressions, etc. When the "Ivy Bridge" MacBook Pro laptops are released (or when a vendor offers me some other compelling Linux notebook), I will give Ubuntu 12.04 LTS a shot as my main environment. There are also a few programs I rely upon that do not have suitable Linux alternatives, such as for accounting (though the web-based Intuit products are decent these days) and language learning (Rosetta Stone). To the dismay of some Phoronix readers, I choose software based upon technical/feature merits and not solely upon a license.
SilverStone cases continue to be a favorite. It is tough to recall a SilverStone computer case that was not almost perfect in every factor, well, aside from their elevated price tags compared to normal ATX enclosures.