Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a list of things that have enabled them to accomplish various tasks, it seemed good to me also, having spent an inordinate amount of time determining what works best, to write an orderly account for you.

Inspired by a number of other people who have set out to document their setups, I too spend a lot of time tuning my workspace and toolset.

Hardware

  • Apple Mac mini, M1, 16GB RAM

    I am amazed by the M1 processor. Nearly 2x faster, perfectly silent, cool to touch. I purchased the M1 shortly after their announcement and don't regret it. The decrease in RAM from 64GB to 16GB has surprisingly not been impactful.

    My previous setup was an Intel Mac mini + eGPU that would push 400W+... leaving my office hot and noisy from fans. The difference is 150-1,250 BTU vs 25-130BTU with the M1. 🙂

    Previously

    • Apple Mac Mini (2018), Intel i7 6-core, 64GB RAM + AMD Radeon 5700XT via Razer Core eGPU
    • Apple Macbook Pro (2019), Intel i7 6-core, 16GB RAM
    • Apple Macbook Pro (2013), Intel i7, 16GB RAM
  • Apple Macbook Pro 13", Intel i7, 32GB RAM

    For my portable needs, I use a Macbook Pro. I appreciate the extra RAM headroom offered. I'm sure as necessity dictates, my next laptop with be an M1.

  • Viewsonic 32" 4K Monitor

    I wish I had purchased this sooner than I did. I set my resolution to native 4K, and get an amazing amount of screen real estate. Viewsonic monitors are known for their color accuracy, and so far this doesn't disappoint.

  • Dell Ultrasharp 27" 4K Monitor

    My secondary monitor; I love the small bezels and professional look. I would not recommend for color accuracy, especially over time.

  • Apple Magic Keyboard

    I love low-travel keys, and this keyboard doesn't disappoint. I also appreciate not having a numpad, to reduce the amount of travel my arm has to make to reach the mouse. This transition happens a lot, and I've found reducing this motion helps with RSI. I'm only waiting for Apple to release a new version with the latest keys found on the Macbook laptops.

  • Razer Naga Pro - Wireless Mouse

    I love this mouse (there's also a similar wired version). A close runner up that I also use is the Logitech G604 Lightspeed, though I did have to RMA this because of a persistent double-click issue.

    The interchangeable side-plate, combined with a nice charging base, and side clicking on the scroll wheel, all let me create a number of shortcuts to keep hand travel to a minimum.

  • SteelSeries QcK Gaming Surface - XXL Thick Cloth

  • Baseus Computer Monitor Light

    I use two of these lights as key-lights for video calls. They're excellent, easy to turn on and off, and slim... taking up much less space than something like Elgato key lights.

  • Logitech C930c HD Webcam

    I prefer the wide field of view with the C930, but I also use the C925-e version.

  • APC Sinewave UPS Battery Backup - 1350VA

    Using a Mac mini as my primary machine, I want to keep it from power glitches/outages.

  • AirPods Pro

    The noise cancelation on the AirPods Pro in excellent, and helps when working from home.

  • Herman Miller Office Chair

    I spend a lot of time in my chair; it's not something to skimp out on. I also replaced the caster wheels to protect my wood floors.

  • Custom L-Desk

    I purchased a standing desk frame, and built the rest of the desk with a butcher block for the table top, and shiplap on a 2x4 frame for the surrounding piece, to give the desk a solid and grounded feeling.

  • Audio-Technica ATR2100 Microphone

    Great sound quality, no requirement for XLR connectors and equipment (but the option is there!).

Software

  • PHPStorm

    I love PHPStorm. Great integrations with everything I do. My only complaint is it's all Java-based. 🙂

  • TablePlus

    TablePlus lets me connect to a number of database servers; super easy.

  • Fork

    An awesome Git UI that makes routine operations simple and fast.

  • Bear

    I love Bear for note taking, if for no other reason than keeping my notes in a transportable Markdown format.

  • iTerm

    Fast, native, feature-rich command line.

  • Alfred

    I think Alfred is a little faster than Spotlight; and the clipboard history feature is crucial to keep from going back and forth from app to app.

  • Trello

    Classic, easy task management and brain dump.

  • Flux

    I found early on that staring at a bright, blue tinted screen all day and many nights can really strain your eyes. Not only do I run my monitors as 50% brightness and contrast, but Flux removes the blue from the screen and greatly reduces eye strain.

  • Backblaze

    3-2-1 backup rule. Three copies, two local, one offsite. Crucial. Test your backups!

  • 1Password

    Secure password storage for the whole family!

Services

  • Fastmail

    Email is critical, and I have many domains. Fastmail is simple, low cost, and not Google. 🙂

  • Digital Ocean & Linode

    Call me old school ‐ I'm still rocking small virtual servers managed through Forge.

  • Forge

    Forge makes it incredible simple to spin up and manage servers.

  • Envoyer

    Dead simple deployments for Laravel apps.

  • Buddy CICD

    Amazing web application that makes the CI process dead simple.

  • Sentry

    Great error reporting and tracking.

  • LogDNA

    Great, affordable, scalable log recording.

Gaming Setup