About Me

For years I have been fascinated by observing how other people do their daily work and which setups they use. I used to follow various forums around casemodding and deskmodding, am still subscribed to multiple subreddits like /r/workspaces, /r/battlestations, /r/macsetups, or /r/unixporn, and still read every single post on usesthis.com.

I used to regularly clean out all my devices and review which applications I was actually using and throwing out those which hadn't been used in quite some time. I always felt that setting up a new machine was the most interesting part of getting it. Sure, the new machine had a cool new screen, was a little faster, maybe it has a new form factor or the battery last for decades. But look at my cool new fish prompt, isn't it pretty?

Since I started my professional career this position changed. I still read usesthis.com but have mostly stopped following the other stuff. I like setups that get out of the way. That let me solve my tasks without getting in the way. I still like pretty stuff. I still like when it's setup in a cool way. But mostly it should be fast and the hotkeys I'm used to should work.

When I get a new machine at work I just try to get it to a working state as fast as possible. I'll throw my dotfiles at it and install my software (just finally let me go to the interesting stuff).

Uses This

Hardware

For some reason I ended up being an "apple guy". I bought my first 13" Macbook Pro after high school in 2011 after I worked packing boxes in different factories all summer long. I used that machine through most of my bachelor and replaced it with a new 13" Macbook Pro in 2015 after the old had become unbearably slow. I'm still using that machine as my private daily driver as it's still going strong (also it got a new battery, top case, screen and keyboard through various apple care cases).

I try to keep my screens to a minimum, which means my laptops are usually closed and connected to a screen when I'm at a desk. Right now that is a Dell 1440p 27".

I use a Das Keyboard 4.0 Professional with MX Brown Switches and feel slow when I have to type on anything else. I haven't tried any other switches but the Brown ones feel just right. As a mouse replacement I use a Magic Trackpad because a normal mouse used to give some sort of strain/pain in my arm after using it all day. To get rid of background noises I usually work with Plantronics Backbeat Pro2 Noise Cancelling headphones. I bought these after being unhappy with a Sony pair that was widely recommended but which sounded flat and boring to me. This pair was recommended by Marco Arment (just looked at that in a first time. It's super outdated.) in his headphone guide. And while they are pretty ugly, they are still holding up after almost three yeats and I only had to swap out the ear foam once.

Software

Mac

I mostly develop in Python. It is the language I feel most comfortable with and which is the programming language I can pretty much think in. I do all of my Python Programming in PyCharm Professional with these Plugins:

  • .env files support
  • .ignore
  • Atom Material Icons
  • BashSupport
  • HashiCorp / Terraform language support
  • Indent Rainbow
  • Key Promoter X
  • Makefile Support
  • Material Theme UI
  • Protobuf Support
  • Rainbow
  • Rainbow Brackets
  • String Manipulation
  • Toml
  • Zero Width Characters locator 2
  • Docker
  • Markdown
  • Shell Script
  • YAML

But usually I also have Sublime Text installed, which is still my happy place regarding hotkeys. Today I use it mostly as my fallback solution for editing and looking at any raw data files.

I use iTerm as my Terminal Emulator and fish as my shell. Firefox is my Web Browser of choice but I usually also have a Safari instance running as it supports running Youtube which I can control with the Macbook's media keys. (Also for some reason I get some micro stuttering when watching Youtube on my 2015 MBP). I don't use a mail application, my private email lives in Fastmail whose Web UI is just unbeatable good and for work mail I just take whatever is provided by the company (tbh 99,9% of the digital work communication is happening in Slack anyway). I use Fantastical 2 as a calendar application.

XKCD 1806

I use a heavily modified version of MacOS which makes it almost impossible to use for anyone else than myself. I use Hammerspoon and Karabiner Elements to create hotkeys for all my most used applications. And even though I have Alfred installed I really only use it as a clipboard manager.

Other stuff I usually have installed:

  • MoneyMoney (banking app for german banks, come with categorization and pretty graphs)
  • iStat Menus (is my RAM really clogged again?)
  • 1Password
  • Spotify
  • Slack
  • Skim (Left over from university - awesome pdf viewer for my irregular Latex tinkering)

... to be continued