/uses

Last updated on 2nd of June.

I always find it interesting to read about which hardware and tools are used by people whom I perceive to be productive and who do good work. Certainly there’s something to learn. And because creating beats consuming, here is my version of it. It might be useful for someone else. Feel free to contact me in that case, I think the human connection is a big part of what makes this fun.

💻 Hardware for Work

This setup doesn’t leave anything to be desired for me. An external screen is very helpful for my type of project management, coding, and writing work. Whenever I’m traveling with just my MacBook, I miss the external screen. Seeing all the relevant information at one glance has been improving my workflow by a lot. The MacBook is silent and powers everything effortlessly. Keyboard and mouse work great.

🕹️ Hardware for Play

Under my desk, there’s a Windows PC which I put together at the beginning of the first COVID-19 lockdown, early 2020. I use it for recreational gaming exclusively. It’s still powerful enough for what I like to play, which is mostly Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, IV, and V, the Half-Life series including the incredible Black Mesa and the Virtual Reality one, Alyx, on my Oculus Rift S, as well as the two Portal games and occasional some old classics like Minecraft or Anno 1602.

The MacBook and the Windows PC share the monitor (Mac via USB-C, PC via DisplayPort), the mouse via a Bluetooth dongle each, and after the the cheap speakers died on me in February of 2023 I finally went for good USB-connected active speakers of the Kanto YU2 type. They look nice, have no hum due to the USB connection instead of a 3.5mm audio cable, and by putting a bunch of different USB adapters in a row I was able to connect them to both sources (Mac and PC) with a USB click switch. I could get rid of my Behringer mixer that way and significantly reduced the amount of cables. Not to mention the sound quality is a lot better now!

🪑 The Desk and Chair

I’m quite happy with this setup. The wood adds warmth and the chair is unbeatable in terms of cost to benefit ratio.

📱 Peripherals

💾 Software on Desktop

🌐 Web

Most of my work happens within a web browser. I sometimes switch between all the major ones (Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge) to find the best one for me personally. Currently, I’m mainly using Google Chrome. Chrome still is fast, reliable, easy to use, and has probably the best developer tools. I want to love and use Firefox, but it’s just not there.

📨 Mail

I spend a huge amount of my time reading and writing email. For a long time, my favorite tool to do this has been GMail. I tried many apps and different (web) interfaces, but this one still just barely has the best package for me. The main advantages for me are the incredibly fast and Google-like search and the best-in-class spam filters.

There are downsides, for example giving all of my email to the giant and possibly evil corporation which is Google, and being limited to include other email accounts via POP3 instead of the superior IMAP protocol, but I have decided those are outweighed by the might of search and spam treatment. The ultimate end goal would be a mailserver which is somehow lightning fast, has a perfect spam filter, search indexing, and maintains itself. It might be Migadu, which I’ve been testing over the last few months. Still needs the perfect interface or app for it, though. I want to love Thunderbird, but it’s still not cutting it for me.

💬 Other Communication

ℹ️ Information Management

One of the most important things in running a business as I used to, and running a personal family life, too, is staying organized. My brain currently works great with numbers and visual impressions, but in other regards it needs help. That’s why I use several different apps to stay on top of things.

⌨️ Development

I like to do web development myself, but at quite a low level. The world of development tools seems to change often, which is why I rely on the tool recommendations of my more experienced friends and former colleagues.

🎛️ Other

The usual suspects and some specialties.

📲 Software on Mobile

I entered the iPhone market in 2009 with the 3GS model and subsequently went with an upgrade every one or two years. They’re great phones and there has never been a reason for me to switch to a different brand. Currently, I’m using an iPhone 14 Pro in the black shade, 128 gigs minimal version, because I have everything in the cloud so I’m not devastated when my phone breaks or gets lost.

I’ll be only mentioning the apps which I haven’t before. It’s a rapid fire round.

That’s all the basics. Do you have suggestions? What’s your setup like? I’d love to hear from you! Send an email to tim@tee.ge.

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