Andy has self-built two “Philosopher’s Desktops” (an allusion the the philosopher’s broom, in the sense they are built at a certain time but tend to have bits added or replaced over the years. Somewhat arbitrarily, it’s a new machine if the case is replaced.

PD1 (unnamed), built inside an aluminum case bought in 2003 and initially using a Pentium 4 processor, ended up as a Core 2 Quad machine. It had a least a couple of different graphics cards, too, and hard drive upgrades. It was repurposed as a Linux server in 2012, and was finally scrapped in 2020.

PD2 was built in December 2017, and named “isaac”.

Specifications for isaac

  • Ryzen 5 1600X (12 threads, 3.6 GHz)

  • GTX 1060 (1280 CUDA cores, 3 GB)

  • 40GB DDR4 RAM (originally 8GB)

  • 2TB SSD (originally 240GB SSD)

  • 4TB Iron Wolf HDD

  • 2 x DVD-RW

  • Micro-Star B350 motherboard

  • Corsair 850W PSU

  • White, LED-lit windowed case from

Logging on

  1. You’ll need an OpenVPN client. plus a bunch of info about Andy’s OpenVPN server to be able to log on(request via email). Once you have that…

  2. Log on via SSH: user@ If you want to be able to e.g. view images, you can ssh -X and use the eog command.