This year I've discovered the blog Uses This and I'm fascinated by it. Since I will never be on there, I decided to roll my own. As I started thinking about it, I realized that I kinda have something like it, at least describing my current development environment so maybe I will just allude to that when I get there.

The hope is that maybe others will post the same type of thing in their blog. I just find it interesting. Maybe I'm just weird.

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Mike Hostetler and I'm a Principal Consultant at Object Partners, which is probably the best place to work for my current station in life. Historically I've been doing Java development but now I'm living in the world of AWS, Python, and NodeJS (if I have to). Since Python is my favorite programming language, I'm ok with that change.

What hardware do you use?

My employer issued me a MacBook Pro. I like the CPU and memory but ignore the Touchbar and dislike the keyboard. A lot. While working, I usually have it closed and hooked up to a monitor.

Through work, I won a pair of Sony WH1000M3 headphones. It's both Bluetooth and noise-canceling. I would have never bought them for myself but I really love them. I use them for calls as well as having them on for deep-work. Before I used a $30 pair of MPOW headphones – still decent sound, longer range, but not good for calls. Not noise-canceling but it filters out a lot.

At home, I use a Das Keyboard, which I have a love/hate relationship. I love the feel of it, and the keys, and it's sturdy. But sometimes I accidental press a key a little bit and the keyboard sees that as a press. But I haven't found a keyboard I like better. I also have a cheap Bluetooth keyboard from Anker that I port around that works surprisingly well. I had a co-worker suggest a Magic Trackpad 2 and I like it more than I thought I would.

Personally I tend to not upgrade my tech very often. I have a Samsung Galaxy S8 phone and a Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 tablet. I use the phone for …, well, communicating, and use the tablet for games, reading and research. I read a lot of novels have really like my Kobo Aura. Why a Kobo instead of a Kindle? Better integration with my local library and I like the epub format more than Kindle.

And what software?

If you know me very well or frequent this blog, I'm a big fan of Emacs. I won't belabor this point because I've already stated my opinion. I would say there is no such thing as an "Emacs tourist."

So besides that – what other software do I use? For browsing I moved back to Firefox and don't regret it. It was the announcement of the Multi-Account Container add-on that sent me there and I don't regret it . I now use it on my tablet and my phone with syncing, etc. I have things locked down tight with uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger so sometimes a site I need doesn't work quite right, and I have to use Chrome. But most of my browsing is done in Firefox and I like it.

For my todo-list, I'm currently using Todoist, which I've come to really depend on. The Premium version is worth every penny. My favorite Todoist feature is email forwarding – I can forward an email from my (or any) inbox and it will immediately appear in the Todoist app, with my email as an attachment. I've found this really handy for movie tickets, store coupons, etc. There are a lot of integrations with Todoist and plenty of other features. If you want to if you want to try Todoist Premium, click this referral link. I don't think you will regret it.

Other software: Keybase for my private git repos, KeePassXC to manage my passwords, Swinsian for my music collection, Inoreader for blogs, Shift for all the GMail accounts I have to manage, and pCloud to keep my important files in.

What would be your dream setup?

I sometimes think that I would be just as happy or happier with a stronger laptop with Linux on it instead of a MacBook Pro. None of my software I used for development needs MacOS and most of the other software (pCloud, Todoist, etc) work fine on Linux or have good alternatives. And yeah it would have to be a laptop because I really like the portability.