I Use This

I was inspired by people writing about their setup on The Setup, so I decided to write about my own setup.

Hardware

I use a Mid 2010 Macbook Pro 15” with an SSD. I only switched last week, when my old hard drive was about to die. I don’t use any external screen, keyboard or mouse. Because I travel a lot and work from pretty much everywhere, the HD display is really convenient. I would like a more lightweight laptop, but don’t feel like compromising on the screen size.

I also carry around an iPhone, and a very basic A4 note taking pad. The last one is essential, I like taking notes and doing sketching on real paper. I own an iPad, but don’t use it that much (mostly for development). For reading, I have a Kindle (which is probably the device I treasure the most).

Development

Being an iOS developer, I spend most of my working hours in XCode. It’s not the most advanced IDE, but I think it’s important to stay with the tools Apple provides. To be fair, I don’t hate it either. And it keeps getting better with every release, although it lacks features that were in Eclipse many years ago.

When I’m not doing iOS development, I use MacVim. I write all my other code in it, and do lots of text editing in it (this blog post is written in MacVim). I started learning Emacs as well, but the many years of learning vim make me feel slow in any other editor.

For versioning, I only use Git. I do think it has a bad interface and often have problems remembering the exact commands. One of the things that did help me understand git a bit better was the chapter on The Git Object Model in the git community book.

I recently changed my default shell from bash to zsh, and I really like it. I installed Oh My Zsh which provides you with awesome defaults and plugins. (Thanks for pointing it out to me Maik).

Other

For browsing, I use Chrome. I like the speed and minimalism of it.

For note taking, I use Evernote. It works on my Mac, iPhone and iPad. And it’s really easy to have shared notebooks. Although I can definitely imagine a better product, it does the job.

Another important app for me is OmniFocus. I practice GTD and OmniFocus helps me keep my current projects and next actions organized. Any other GTD stuff I have is in Evernote.

Wallet takes care of my passwords. It integrates nicely with Chrome, so I never have to remember all my different passwords.

I used to run a mail server with my friends, but switched to GMail last year. I think Google probably takes better care of my data than I could do myself. I wouldn’t mind switching to a better, paid service which gives me good guarantees about my data.

Most people don’t talk about this, but for exploring darker corners of the internet, I use the VPN service by IPredator. It gives me at least some sense of security.

Backups

For backups, I put a lot of stuff in my Dropbox folder. Also, I have Backblaze installed which backs everything up online. And finally, I have an external hard drive for Time Machine backups.

Posted on Feb 13 2012