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”. It was decomissioned in February 2023, when I decided to switch to reduce my home setup (at peak - laptop, desktop, 2 x NAS) to just a laptop, and a large USB hard drive. Compute and further storage now cloud based (combination of commercial services and two servers at work). If I do any gaming, it’ll either be on the laptop or a console (e.g. Nintendo Switch).

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

Note: Due to the gaming motherboard, isaac won’t boot without a monitor connected. This makes it pretty much useless as a server.