A false-color image of the planet Neptune, modified from a photograph taken by Voyager 2 in 1989. The color filters are intended to highlight the methane that is thick in Neptune's atmosphere by making it appear red. I like this photo because it also brings out the Wizard's Eye storm spot that raged on Neptune in those days (this storm was also called the "Small Dark Spot", but that name is pathetic in comparison to "The Wizard's Eye"). This is a cropped version of the original image which was uploaded by NASA to flickr and later hosted to Wikimedia Commons (where I found it). I use this particular image as a profile picture on several websites.
My name is Erik Letson. I am a computer programmer/technician from Alabama, United States. I have used and worked on computers professionally for nearly 10 years, and privately for much longer than that. Over the course of my career, I have worked as a computer salesman, a laptop and mobile device repairman, a server-side Python scripter, a blockchain ecosystem developer, a web developer, a Linux systems administrator, and a freelance programmer. I have worn many hats and had the oportunity to gain a very broad skillset regarding computers, though I have had virtually no formal education or training on the subject. I am currently self-employed.
I have a YouTube channel where I upload videos on computing topics, focusing on GNU/Linux, and the Gentoo operating system in particular (though I am trying to branch out into other Linux topics/systems). My videos have gotten a pretty good reception, and I am told they are very useful for newcomers to the Gentoo world. I have no set upload schedule, and am known to take prolonged breaks. The channel is still active, though, and I pretty much always have videos that I want to make. Sometimes I even get around to uploading them!
I also work on free software projects. Many programs I have developed are available from this site's git repository. As a programmer, I am personally most familiar with Bash, Python, and C, though I have worked with many other languages in the past as well.
My daily-drivers are a desktop Intel i5 PC that I built as a gaming computer some years ago (running Gentoo) and a Lenovo ideapad laptop (also running Gentoo). In the past, I have also used Linux Mint on my systems. It is still on a few PCs around the house, such as my wife's and the one we have for the living-room television. While I am mostly known online for using Gentoo, I also like Linux Mint quite a lot. I find it to be the best of the Debian derivatives, and a particularly good OS for someone who has never used GNU/Linux before. APT can't hold a candle to Portage, though, so Gentoo remains my main system. I also recently began using a Galaxy Tab S2 flashed with LineageOS, which I use as an e-reader mostly. This is the first mobile device that I have put a custom OS on, and I must say that the experience of using LineageOS with no Google crap at all is refreshing, and is going a long way toward curing the virulent animosity that I have developed for smartphones and other touch-screen devices over the last decade or so.
Outside of computing, my life is mostly focused around my family and my various personal projects. I have many other hobbies and interests, including gardening, strength-training, language study, and others. I am very fortunate to be my own master, and I try to spend most of my time on either productive tasks or on self-improvement. I am particularly interested in the independence and security that comes from growing most or all of the food you eat yourself. I have been working off and on again for a number of years now on a home farm project, and hope to improve it still more in the future.
About This Website
This site is intended to be my main outlet for communication on the web. I host a blog here, as well as some other pages that might be of interest. I have moved away from most social media at this point, though I maintain profiles on some sites even now. This site is the only place I intend to post regular updates to in the future. I will probably expand this site significantly over time, and there are several web-based projects that I would like to try out here, such as perhaps self-hosting my videos. Time will tell.
Design-wise, this site is heavily inspired by bestmotherfucking.website, and also by the homepage of that site's creator, brashear.me. The former is far and away the best of the "motherfucking website" clones, and I have tried to stay relatively true to the spirit of it. I was also informed philosophically by suckless.org's 'The Web Sucks' page. I do not agree with everything on suckless.org, but I think that they are spot-on when it comes to what is on that page. The web could be better, and more bells and whistles and over-designed 40MB infinte-scrolling "minimalist" monstrosities is not how a better web is achieved.
This is the fourth homepage I have had over the past few years, and I have every intention of sticking to this one.