Inspired by an endless array of similar catalogues, this page offers a list of the things I’m using regularly: the software and computing hardware I rely on; my current office setup; my personal uniform; the things I carry daily, etc.
A general unifying theme, for me, is a kind of pragmatic ‘respect for the defaults’. My recent switch from ‘vim with an incredibly small .vimrc’ to ‘vscode for most things’ was reluctant, to say the least. I think there’s a lot of value in carefully picking a small number of well-made tools — and understanding them deeply — rather than the yak-shaving and endless tweaking of a more ‘custom’ setup. This is particularly true in my own professional domain — ‘academic’ software engineering — where work is often done in a hurry, on a shoestring budget, and ‘useable research outcomes’ are the only thing that really matters.
You can see a more complete config in my dotfiles repo.
Language-wise: I used to rely heavily on R/RMarkdown, then shifted to Python/Jupyter Notebooks for coordination reasons. I still use these occasionally but, as the nature of my work has changed, I’ve ended up loving the reduction in anxiety offered by Clojure & Clojurescript.
- VSCode for text editing (& most of life), with:
- iTerm2 for terminal emulation, with:
- Chromium for webdev.
- Clojure & ClojureScript for painless, lispy hacking, with:
- Babashka for scripting.
- Fira Code for font ligatures (everywhere they're supported).
- Toggl for time tracking, with:
- timery for actually using toggl, because toggl's default interface is terrible.
- Omnifocus for task management.
- Fantastical for calendaring, with:
- calendly for scheduling.
- RescueTime for tracking my device usage.
- Signal for secure chat.
- Protonmail for email.
- Ivory for mastodon, with:
- masto.host for hosting my own mastodon server.
Research & Consumption
- Safari for daily browsing.
- Zotero for reference management, with:
- better bibtex for clean citation export.
- Reeder for RSS.
- Anki for spaced repetition.
- Apple Music for tunes.
- Overcast for podcasts.
- ProtonVPN for VPN.
- 1Password for password management.
- GlobalProtect for connecting to work networks.
- Metaculus for forecasting.
- Manifold for occasional prediction-marketish-ness.
- Metaforecast for deferring to the community.
- R for (occasional) fast data analysis, with:
- Guesstimate for any time I need to share my uncertainty.
- Strava for tracking my runs.
- myfitnesspal for tracking my food.
- exist.io for quantified self data aggregation (and custom tracking).
- Topo Designs Rover 'Tech' Pack, Black
- Apple Macbook Air, M1, 2020, 13", 8GB, 512GB SSD.
- Leatherman Skeletool CX, Black / Stainless Steel.
- Blunt Umbrella, Metro, Black.
- Zojirushi Thermos, 600ml/20oz, Stainless Steel.
- Rothco Shemagh, Black.
- Pelican 0915 SD Memory Card Case, containing:
- Travel Pill Case, containing:
- Maxpedition Cocoon Pouch, containing:
- Kong 737B Big D Screw Gate Carabiner, Black.
- Maxpedition Coin Purse, Black, containing:
- RFID-Blocking Pouch.
- Glasses Case, containing:
- Apple Airtag.
- At least one:
- Primary Setup (connected to laptop in clamshell mode):
- A supply of:
- Moleskine Cahier Notebooks, Black, Dot Grid, Large,
- Blank Index Cards, 3x5, White,
- Pilot G2 Pens, Ultra Fine (0.38mm), Black,
- Twin Tip Sharpies, Black,
- Fine Tip Sharpies, Green,
- Fine Tip Sharpies, Red,
- Staedtler Whiteboard Markers, 2mm Bullet Tip, Black,
- Gorilla Tape Rolls, Travel Size, Black,
- Zip Ties, 5x300mm, Black,
- Ikea 'Bastis' Lint Rollers,
- Neodymium Disc Magnets, 5mm x 2mm,
- Koala Kleaner Microfibre Lens Cloths.
In Pattern Recognition, Gibson writes, of the clothes that his protagonist wears, that they are the kind of items that “ideally seem to have come into this world without human intervention”; that
what people take for relentless minimalism is a side effect of too much exposure to the reactor-cores of fashion […] she can only tolerate things that could have been worn, to a general lack of comment, during any year between 1945 and 2000. She’s a design-free zone, a one-woman school of and whose very austerity periodically threatens to spawn its own cult.