Uses

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Computing Hardware

For the ‘day job’ I use a 27″ 5K iMac or a MacBook Pro 16 when #WFH.

For personal work, I use a Mac Mini M1 with 16GB memory and a 1TB SSD. That’s attached to a 40″ Dell 5K2K Ultrawide screen It’s one of only a few monitors that suit my needs and has a built in KVM switch – allowing me to use a single keyboard, mouse and ethernet across two systems – so I can also use it as an external monitor for the work laptop when working from home.

Current Desk setup
Monitor has built in KVM to switch machines

Peripherals

I have a few mechanical keyboards. My daily driver is either a ZSA Moonlander with Kaihl Black switches or a Sofle v1 custom build with choc switches and rotary encoders.I think having a column layout keyboard made learning Colemak easier. I convinced myself learning Colemak would make up for the typing speed I lost after losing a finger in a ring avulsion accident in 2020.

I use a Logitech MX Master mouse. This is as close to perfect as I think a mouse gets. I have a 2s version at work and a version 3 at home.

Sony XM3 headphones — the noise cancelling is worth every penny. The Sony XM3s developed a common manufacturing problem. I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone anymore. Plus they don’t allow easy switching between input sources. More about that in the linked review. For now I have picked up an inexpensive pair from Amazon made by ‘Botune’ that also have noise cancelling but only about 15% of the XM3 price.

A Brother HL3170 CDW laser printer. What a revelation owning a laser printer has been. I don’t print a lot, but fannying around with an inkjet is no longer something I concern myself with as ink spills, paper jams and dry ink are not a concern with a laser printer.

Text editor, fonts, OS and utility software

I change my text editor more often than you likely change your pants. Usually Sublime Text with LSP or Neovim.

I tend to use the Monokai Pro theme with Sublime and NightFox with Neovim.

For editing code I like the JetBrains Mono font but occasionally use Dank Mono or Iosevka Slab.

I use Hookshot/Rectangle Pro for window management.

Terminal wise, it’s Kitty. I’m a fan of the Powerlevel10K ZSH theme. Alongside that I make use of fd, exa, broot, ripgrep and Zoxide. I use Homebrew to deal with installing those things

For design, in the day job I use Sketch but it’s gone horribly bloated and slow. For personal projects I use Figma

On a Mac I do almost everything via Alfred; I swear by the clipboard memory feature.

Browser

I tend to code with my editor on the left, browser on the right. I want to use Safari all the time but the dev tools are awful. Plus it has so many shortcomings regarding web platform features.

Chrome is greedy with resources and I worry about Google’s appetite for tracking everything we all do (he writes with Google Analytics on this very site). So for Chromium based browsing and testing I favour Edge.

That leaves Firefox which is great but no platform has it as the default rendering engine so you are always having to check other browsers anyway. So, I suppose Edge/Chrome and Safari. Bah!

Social Media

I don’t have Facebook. I do have Twitter but would be fine if it disappeared tomorrow.

Video work

I use a Sony A6000 with a Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC lens. To get around batteries running out I use a Andoer USB Dummy battery which connects direct to USB. The A6000 is mounted on a desk clamp arm, and captures 4K via a ZasLuke Game Capture card into the Mac. I have a SSL2 USB Audio Interface outputting to a set of PreSonus 3.5 BT speakers. I record with a sE7 XLR microphone on a mic arm, also mounted via a desk arm, and a Raleno LED light, also mounted via a desk arm. I wish I’d paid more and bought an LED light with a remote because it’s hard to reach and turn on!

I edit with Final Cut Pro directly from/to a 2TB external SSD drive I made with a separate enclosure and a Silicon Power PCIe M.2 NVMe 2TB SSD. For backup I have a Terramaster F5-422 NAS on a 10GB Ethernet.

Desk and chair

The best investment I have made, kit wise, is the electronically adjustable standing desk/legs. I bought Flexispot height adjustable legs in an Amazon flash sale for about 260 GBP. Then added an inexpensive Bamboo top from IKEA for 50 GBP. I knew I was too lazy to work a manual adjustable desk and this has been great. I treated myself when I started writing the latest edition of one of my books in 2019 and it has more than paid for itself during #WFH.

I use the Autonomous ErgoChair 2. It’s excellent and fairly inexpensive considering the specifications.