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My hardware and software setup

Have I gained the right to publish a lazy and semi-informative "My Setup" post? Is there a right to gain it in the first place? Anyway, here's my take on that blog post classic. Yes, it could be (mis)interpreted as a bit show-off-y, and yes, the harmony between these tools is totally subjective - but from time to time a fellow reader is pointed towards a tool she/he not yet has heard of. And so I pretend publishing the following list is totally legit:


Browser: Opera

Some time ago I wrote a few lines about my switch. But I'm still happy with the choice, although I really would really fancy having DuckDuckGo as default search engine in the Omnibar (and yes, I know of their Opera extention). Especially when I learned that even Apple let's you set up DDG as the default search on Desktop and Mobile Safari. But maybe that is not an oversight but part of the deal between Google/Chromium and Opera. Or maybe I'm overstating DuckDuckGo and am a bit paranoid.

Editor/IDE of choice: PHPStorm 8

Like with many other softwares, techniques and bits of knowledge I owe this decision to Jeffrey Way of Laracasts. Being a long time SublimeText user, PHPStorm and the unbelievably reactive and open minded attitude of its creators, JetBrains, just impressed me. And the pricing model and price tag is fair, if you have in mind that editor/IDE is the most important tool for a web developer.

Mail app: Airmail

This one is quite new and thanks to Tino. Airmail has the smartest interpretation of seperating/dealing with different accounts I've encountered so far. Up until a few month ago I used the, hm, VIM of Mail apps, Mailmate. Although it maybe the mightiest of players around, it has some very odd design characteristics, just as not letting the user decide which signature belongs to wich mail account. Instead, it states: We got an artificial intelligence built in, just use signatures manually on some contacts in your accounts, Mailmate will learn it. Nah.

Git GUI: Tower 2

Nothing more to say here. Starting with Tower 1, I cheated with SourceTree for a few weeks, but went back to Tower 2 as soon as it was released.

GTD/To Do: OmniFocus 2

Not just only swinging between Git GUIs but To Do apps as well (but who doesn't). Things was my first love, but as I mentioned before, giving users the feeling that your product is actually continued and developed is kind of a big deal. And CulturedCode's take on this is - special.

Invoicing: GrandTotal 3

I guess that was the very first app I purchased when I started freelancing four and a half years ago. Not as almigthy as its Windows competitors, it does all what I want from it, and it does it well and reliably. And it's even pretty!

Timetracking: Timings 2

Also from GrandTotal's creator, Stefan Fürst. I like the calendar-y visual take on time tracking (and that scary-awesome-informative ability of even tracking your open applications). I used mite since their beta phase, but learned that I'm far more disciplined when actually having an app (and a strong visually narrative). So I just recently switched, with a metaphorical tear in my eye.

Workflow: Alfred 2

I don't have to write complete sentences to describe Alfred, I guess: Workflows! Far better than spotlight! Amazingly fast! Free! Full of features! Apple copied! Extendible to infinity!

Podcasts: Instacast

Why? Synchronisation between computers and devices. Works like a charm. Maybe I should post my podcast subscriptions themselves in a seperate post.

FTP: Transmit

Having outgrown Coda, I still remain faithful to the world's best named software company, Panic Inc. Another reason is the fact that Transmit is just the gold standard for FTP'ing on Mac.

Twitter: Tweetbot

Common sense: Official twitter apps aren't the best pieces of Twitter software around (although I fear that some point in time they are the only ones, thanks to capital-driven decisions). An update for let's say OS X Yosemite would be nice, though.

Knowledge Management: Evernote, but...

I was an ealy adopter of Evernote years ago but want to step by step embrace indie solutions around. For a time I had a Mediawiki installation running (since I'm using Evernote totally text-based anyway) but after all, wiki software and me, we won't be good friends ever in this life. Now I'm trying to build another web based software solution myself, based on ProcessWire, if I ever find the time...

Terminal: iTerm2 and zshell

I just like the looks and features of this combination : -)

Testing on devices and within Parallel VMs: meetfinch.com

While still in beta, Finch became a crucial part of (manual) website testing for me. More on their website.

Markdown: Byword

After having tested loads and loads of editors I somehow got stuck in this editor. I'm writing most of my (few) blogposts and project internal readmes in there. It's just a calming and simple interface. I know, that's not unique to Byword. Can't explain.

Syncing between computers: Spideroak, having tried Owncloud and Dropbox

I relied on Dropbox for too long, even a time post-Snowden. As much as I wanted Owncloud the perfect tool, it turned out to be simply not reliable for professional use. So unfortunately I had to stop this experiment. Right now, I'm using Spideroak, and though it ain't pretty, it just works solidly.


old iMac 2010 27" i3 2.0 GHz

Standing in my office, and developing signs of age (defective pixels), but until now a (mostly) faithful companion. Once it bites the dust, will be replaced by the MBP mentioned below and an absurdly big screen.

rMBP late 2013 i7 2.3 GHz 16GB RAM

Bought for use of working in-house at client's space, but there will be a time I'll use its sheer power and marvelous screen as the main machine. Until then, perfect for working at home and on-the-go.