Our Users

Derek Taylor

Content Creator

Who are you, and what do you do? What do you like to do outside of work?

My name is Derek Taylor, and I am the creator of the DistroTube channel on YouTube and LBRY/Odysee. If I had to describe myself briefly, I would say that I am a Linux enthusiast and an advocate for free and open source software. My video content is largely Linux tutorials with a pretty heavy emphasis on topics such as learning the command line, window manager configurations, Vim, and Emacs.

Despite the geekiness of my content, I have never actually worked in IT or a computer-related industry. Although Linux and technology have always been my hobby, I worked in the retail industry until recently. In 2020, with the pandemic and the subsequent shutdown, I lost the job that I had at the time. The retailer that I worked for went bankrupt and cut most of their supervisory positions (including mine). Thankfully, I already had a side job of sorts—making YouTube videos! So since the pandemic started, my full-time job has been making video content.

Derek Taylor's setup
Derek's setup includes extensive A/V equipment and plenty of screen space

What hardware do you use?

My main production machine has an ASRock X399 Motherboard, 1920x Threadripper (12 core/24 thread), an AMD Radeon VII, 64G of 3000MHz RAM, and a 1TB NVMe drive with four 256GB SSDs in an Icy Dock bay. I’ve always had good experiences with liquid cooling, so in this machine, I have NZXT Kraken X62 with a 280mm radiator. This machine was built largely with video creation and video rendering in mind, hence the need for lots of cores and lots of RAM.

I use three 24-inch monitors, which I feel has greatly improved my productivity. I have been a multi-monitor user for the last six or seven years, and I cannot imagine ever going back to using a single monitor. I love the ability to have a text editor open full-screen on one monitor and a browser open full-screen on another monitor.

I have a server rack that has a Mackie ProFX12 mixer, a dbx 231s equalizer, a dbx 166xs compressor/limiter/gate, and a Behringer sonic exciter. The microphone I use is an Electro-voice RE27 N/D. If I need to monitor my audio as I record, I use the Audio-Technica ATH-AD1000X headphones.

And what software?

I have been strictly a Linux user since 2008. The distro that I currently run is ArcoLinux with the xmonad window manager. Some of the software that I use daily includes GIMP (for graphics), Kdenlive (video editing), Audacity (audio editing), and OBS (for recording/streaming video). I also use a distribution of Emacs called Doom Emacs. It is my preferred text editor, although I often use Vim as well, especially if I am already in a terminal.

What’s your keyboard setup like? Do you use a custom layout or custom keycaps?

I use the standard QWERTY layout that ships with the ErgoDox EZ with just a few minor changes. Since I use the Vim text editor, I am used to the Vim key motions. In Vim, the h/j/k/l keys are the motion keys for left/down/up/right. So I moved the arrow keys to be two rows below h/j/k/l, on the right hand keyboard, and in the correct Vim order of left/down/up/right. Since I use tiling window managers in Linux, and the Super key (Command key) is used in almost every keybinding in most tiling window managers, I also moved the Super key back into a more traditional spot rather than being on the thumb cluster.

What would be your dream setup?

With all of the gear that I currently have, I don’t really have anything that I just absolutely need to add. Since I do have some empty slots on my server rack, I wouldn’t mind having a rack-mounted NAS so that I could store the massive amounts of video that I produce. Currently, my storage solution is Amazon S3. And I wouldn’t mind trying out a standing desk at some point, because as I get older I do notice the effects of sitting for hours at a time. For now, I will just have to set a timer to remind myself to take a break every so often.

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