The people who use our boards.

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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