CodingBobby | Uses

On this page you’ll find things I am using regularly and are worth listing here. I found other people’s /uses pages quite intesting or useful, and maybe you will, too.

My daily drivers aren’t any fancy modernities, just good and robust tech I’m working with for quite some time now. To prevent waste and to treat resources more respectfully, I try to get the most out of hardware and use it as long as it’s build quality allows. Thus, I’m often testing items in stores or at friends’ beforehand and the materials / durability / long-term usability is one of my top requirements when considering to buy something new. I am also often on the lookout for getting it second-hand somewhere.

Probably, I have forgotten something but I’ll keep this page updated in the future.

Hardware

Main computer related hardware:

  • relatively old MacBook Air from 2017: Could be superseded, but it still handles most of my work easily; the display is bad though, so I’m often connecting it to my monitor.

  • even older Huawei P9 phone: I’m not a phone-guy and with some manual optimisations it works fine after almost 6 years, so I don’t expect to need anything new in the future and I will only get a replacement when the phone is physically broken; the only Google-app left on it is the play store, everything else (not much) is open source and/or carefully selected.

  • Linux / Windows desktop: Very outdated hardware on a µATX board with an AMD 6-core processor from before the Ryzen era, the arguably prettiest GPU ever made (XFX R9 280X DD) and (for my applications) mediocre 16 GB DDR3; the machine is a custom build with a black and light green design; it runs Windows 10 and Manjaro (Ornara, KDE Plasma) in dual-boot; obviously prefer the Linux partition but often I need Windows for the special programs.

  • 27” LG monitor: Okay-ish display with usable colour accuracy (99% sRGB) for photo editing.

  • Keychron K1 keyboard: Slim but still mechanical TKL keyboard with simple white backlight; can be used via bluetooth but Windows sucks too much for that.

  • Razer DeathAdder mouse: Using this for over a decade now, eventually the small rubber pads fell off but some superglue fixed that; only using it on the PC though.

My regular audio equipment:

  • Bang & Olufsen H6 over-ear headphones: Fully analogue (no badly aging batteries and no misbehaving bluetooth!); superb sound detail for it’s portable form factor as well as great build quality make them the perfect cans for me.

  • Sennheiser HD 480 classic II on-ear headphones: Very nice sounding open pair if powered adequately (\(100\,\Omega\) impedance); ear cushions got a new custom padding because the original crumbled and was very uncomfy to wear for extended listening sessions.

  • ancient Dual CV 61 W amplifier: This beautiful piece of equipment with a slick white finish is almost 50 years old but works like new after replacing a few caps; produces a wonderfully rich soundstage together with the B&Os.

  • Hartig & Helling MX550 audio mixer: I’m routing all the audio sources through this and have the Dual amp connected to the output; PC is permanently connected, phone and laptop get a loose 3.5 mm jack, my turntable (also a Dual) and the CD player (from Sansui) get their own channels; my computers and the phone are set to 80% volume when connected, this allows haptical volume regulation on the H&H while eliminating distortions.

Other stuff:

  • cameras: Mostly old models as photography is just a hobby; for digital photos I’m using the Nikon D300 (main glass is 17–55 mm f2.8, 70–300 mm f4.5–5.6 and the 105 mm f2.8 micro); for film photography I’m experimenting with anything in my collection, like the Praktica LB, the fully manual Zenit 3M (which is built like a tank) or one of the various folding cameras that take 120 roll film.

  • several Raspberry Pis and Arduinos: Some are permanetly used in projects like MuonPi, PiHole and a PM 2.5 / weather station; others are free and I use them to experiment and in upcoming projects.

Software

The applications I use every day run on Mac but might have Windows or Linux equivalents:

  • Spark e-mail and calendar client: Has simple and functional features without being overloaded; automatic smart folders that filter the inbox.

  • Firefox browser: Modern browser without too many Google dependencies; searching with DuckDuckGo, blocking ads and tracking with the DuckDuckGo addon and caching CDN requests with Decentraleyes.

  • Jupyter environment: I do most of my calculations here; everything is possible though Python packages, overall way more flexible and less shit than Excel.

  • iTerm terminal emulator: Nothing much to say, other than that it is slick; running ZSH, Fig, Oh-My-Zsh and Powerlevel10K.

  • AntennaPod podcatcher: Open source app to download, play and organise podcasts on my phone.

Other software and services:

  • Spotify: Mostly using it to discover new artists and to play background music as I prefer the higher quality of FLAC files and the feeling of phyical CDs/LPs; I play HiRes audio files with VOX on my Mac and MusicBee on the PC.

  • Adobe software: For photo editing and organisation I’m using Photoshop CC and Lightroom Classic; pretty much the standard stuff.

  • LaTeX language: Extremely flexible but still standardised language for scientific documents; I always use it if I have the freedom to do so; I manage the BibTeX bibliographies with the GUI-tool JabRef.

  • VSCode and TextMate editors: I’m certainly not VSCode’s best friend but I still use it for most coding projects; TextMate is best for single-document editing.

  • Trakt.tv: Platform for tracking personal progress in TV-shows and movies; also good to manage watchlists.

  • Blender 3D software: Extremely powerful open source program for 3D modelling; using it for my attractor artworks.

  • Processing language: Allows creating all sorts of graphics programmatically; very manual, i.e. most algorithms have to be written by hand which is demanding but also fun; most mathematical graphics you find on my site are made with this.

  • selfhosted Nextcloud server: Used to access most of my files from multiple devices except those from software development (too many files that change too quickly, I also only develop on my Mac); runs on old and weak hardware that doesn’t consume too much power.

  • Wakatime: Plugin for text editors to track coding time.