Spencer Michaels

Spencer Michaels

I’m Spencer, professional hacker and casual Chinese enthusiast. You can learn more about me and my research and technical projects on the About and Portfolio pages respectively, or read my English translations of various Chinese works on the Translations page. The Blog section features posts on technology, linguistics, and more — available bilingually, of course.

Want to read this site in Chinese? Hit the 中 button at the top left. Use the circular button beside it to switch between light and dark mode.

A Modern Linux Laptop, Part 2: Why Arch?

In part 1, I pondered switching to Linux on my primary personal laptop, largely on account of a series of particularly awful hardware choices on Apple’s part — but I’m not just going to install Ubuntu or Linux Mint and be done with it. Those kinds of distros strike me as being a bit Mac-like themselves: they have sane, stable, and usually secure defaults, but if you want to use something other than those defaults, they tend to get in your way. Suitable for your grandparents (and I say this as someone with a pair of grandparents who use Linux and like it!), but not for people such as myself who run Linux not just because we consider it a superior choice for what we’re doing, but because we find it inherently fun and interesting. I want a distro where I can configure everything from the ground up, tweak it to my exact preferences, and learn how it all works while doing so. For this kind of use case, Arch Linux is my (and many others’) distro of choice.

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A Modern Linux Laptop, Part 1: Background & Motivation

The late-2013 Macbook Pro I’ve been using as my primary computer for nearly six years is finally beginning to show its age, leaving me to ponder what to replace it with when it finally and inevitably dies. While I am quite fond of my current machine, I am at this point inclined against getting another Macbook, because whatever appeal MBPs might have is now far outweighed by the dual disasters of the butterfly keyboard and the touch bar.

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鬼吹灯 TXT Files for Pleco Reader

I scraped the canonical text of the Gui Chui Deng series from guichuideng.org and converted the books to plaintext files for use with Pleco Reader. Links within.

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Hello, world

This site is under construction. Please excuse occasional inconsistencies in the theme.

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