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Steve Ambler

Music

I'm a classical music nut. Here are some of my favorite composers:

Sibelius 

Mahler 

Schubert 

Shostakovitch 

Vaughan Williams 

Nielsen 

Golijov 

Tubin 

Rubbra 

Simpson 

You may have noticed a penchant for twentieth-century music. For those who are not convinced, see the book by Alex Ross, my favorite among all books I've read over the last couple of years.
The Rest is Noise

Cycling

I discovered recumbent bikes (and trikes) after suffering from a stiff neck and a sore back after long rides on diamond-frame bicycles. Another convincing argument in favor of recumbents is not supporting more than 80% of your body weight between your legs. See the "why recumbent" link on the first page below.

Recumbents 

Wikipedia article on recumbents 

 When enclosed in a shell ("fairing"), these bikes are also by far the fastest in the world on flat ground. Would you believe better than 125kph (yes, you read that right!) on a 200-meter track from a flying start? See:

Recumbent world speed records

Linux

I run Linux on all my computers. The only commercial software that I currently use is MATLAB, and that's only because I run simulations that use the analytical math toolbox: otherwise, Octave does just about everything that MATLAB does, with a syntax that is mostly compatible. Many Windows programs run under Linux using Wine, an open source software (OSS) implementation of the Windows API (application programming interface).

Here's some proseletyzing about Linux:

Why Linux is Better

I use a version of Linux called Ubuntu. It's free (as in beer) and free (as in speech, i.e. OSS). You can download a cd image with the operating system and over a thousand programs, try it out without  disturbing your Windows system, and install it with a couple of clicks, either in place of or alongside Windows (boot either into Windows or Linux when you turn on your computer). To sort through the different versions ("distributions") of Linux that are available, see:

Distrowatch

Here are some Linux equivalents of common Windows programs.

Linux equivalents to Windows software

For any economists that stray onto this page (or anyone else that does technical word processing), LyX does what Scientific Workplace does (minus the MAPLE interface) and is just as user-friendly.