Stuff I Use

In the long tradition of The Setup, here’s a little more about my computing environment, updated April 2016.


Yep, like many geeks these days, I use a Mac, two in fact. I’m currently using an “early 2015” 13” Retina MacBook Pro, 2.9Ghz i5, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD - it fits my requirements of being fast and portable. It’s not quite as light as the MacBook Air I used before but the retina display more than makes up for it. I also have a “mid 2012” i7 Mac Mini, again with 16GB RAM and a 512GB SSD.

I have various servers but sadly almost all are x86_64 - finding quiet, fast, reasonably priced (pick any two!) non-x86 hardware is difficult these days.
They’re running a mix of Debian GNU/Linux and OpenBSD. There are also lots of virtual machines scattered around running a mix of operating systems, mostly Linux. There are a few Windows virtual machines but they’re in the minority and hardly used.

I like mechanical keyboards, particularly those with Cherry Brown switches (I’m currently using a Filco Majestouch-2 Tenkeyless Ninja). If you’re looking for something similar I can highly recommend the folks at The Keyboard Company.

Wireless routers all run OpenWRT - it’s hard to find supported 802.11ac hardware, but the TP-Link Archer C5/C7s work reasonably well.


Nothing out of the ordinary here. I use a regular mix of tools: 2Do (on OS X and iOS) for task management, Alfred, TotalSpaces, Evernote, 1Password for password management (with a YubiKey for two factor authentication and GnuPG key management), iTerm2.

I’m an open source Unix guy at heart (well, when I’m not using proprietary software on a closed source operating system from a company based in Cupertino), so I stick to Unix tools wherever possible. Amongst other things, that means Mutt for email and Vim (well, usually MacVim) for editing - I’ve used that combination for somewhere around 20 years and don’t see the need to change.

A few vim plugins I like:

Plugins are managed with Vundle and I use the Fura Mono font.