Setup

For getting things done!

My Home office
My Home office

Hardware

Last update: August 2018

  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2018, i7 2.7GHz quad-core, 1TB SSD, 16GB RAM)
    Primary development device. I tried last year's (2017) model, but didn't like the noise of the keyboard. The 2018 model with the 3rd version of the Butterfly keyboard is nice and quiet. I'm also happy they finally put a quad-core CPU in the 13 inch model, but the Touchbar is still an annoyance. Luckily I work 95% of the time with an external keyboard. - Apple
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2013, i7 2.8GHz, 1TB SSD, 16GB RAM)
    Backup development device. Still happy with its performance. However it could not support an external 4k monitor at 60hz. I also still have my Macbook Air 13 inch from 2011, which my wife is using now. Perhaps still my favorite macbook.
  • LG Ultrafine 4K
    I really like this 22" Monitor, which has apart from its size the same screen specs as the new Macbook Pro (dpi, brightness, color space) and supports True Tone. To raise the monitor to an ergonomic height (top of the screen at eye level), I simply use a stack of books. I was used to always work with a 16:10 24" monitor at 1920 x 1200, which is close to the effective resolution of the Ultrafine at 2048 x 1152 (but 4 times as sharp). - Apple
  • Roost Stand
    Recently I got 2 Roost laptop stands. One for at home and one for on the road. It's really compact and lightweight. - Roost Stand
  • Apple Magic Keyboard 2
    I really like the small size of this keyboard. As well as the typing experience. I prefer it over the new Macbook Pro's butterfly keyboard - Apple
  • Corsair M65 Mouse
    For years I used the Apple Magic mouse, but using this gaming mouse, it is night and day. The magic mouse makes my hand feel tired, as I constantly keep my index and middle finger up in the air, to make sure it registers right-clicks. I also tried the Magic Trackpad 2, but found that even more tiring. I ordered the Logitec MX Anywhere 2S for on the go. - Amazon.de
  • Apple Watch Series 3
    I actually bought the Apple Watch to avoid spending time on my phone, which really works for me. The functionality of the Watch is limited, but I miss it when I'm not wearing the Watch. I additionally use it to track my running activities and for automatically unlocking my Macbook (super convenient)- Apple
  • Sony MDR-ZX750BN
    Once I received this headset for free when I bought a Sony smartphone. I find it comfortable to wear for long periods of time. I did try the Bose quiet comfort series, but active noise cancellation makes me nauseous. - Tweakers
  • iPhone 8
    After my iPhone SE, which was my first iPhone, I was hooked on IOS and really like my iPhone 8. I like my phone to be small, so I didn't go for the iPhone X. Together with a wireless charging pad from Mophie, it was a great upgrade. - Apple
  • iPad 2017
    I use my iPad for browsing the web on the couch. My older iPad 2, was simply getting too slow for that. - Apple
  • Kindle Oasis
    I upgraded from a Kindle Paperwhite, and really like its size, weight and physical page-turn buttons. - Amazon
  • Remote Server
    For extra horse power I have a couple of remote servers at Hetzner. They are located relatively close by in Germany, and are dirt cheap for their dedicated servers. Especially compared to AWS (10x cheaper for the same performance). - Hetzner GPU

Furniture

My office desk and chair.

  • Chair
    I tried the Herman Miller Aeron chair, but found it cutting of the blood circulation in my upper legs :/ So I contacted and visited Scholtens Werkplek for advise and they suggested the RH Logic400XL. The owner personally delivered the chair to my home and helped adjusting the chair for my posture. I'm still really happy with this chair and highly recommend seeing Scholtens to get your own personal advise. - Scholtens
  • Desk
    I use a wooden dining table, which has the ideal desk height for me at 78.5cm. I haven't really tried a standing desk yet, but may venture into trying this some day (read: not any time soon).

Software

All the software I install when setting up a new Laptop, and which I use on a daily basis.

  • Emacs
    Primary Editor. I'm using Emacs for the past 10 years, and while I have tried other IDEs like Text Mate, Sublime Text and IntelliJ, I keep coming back to Emacs and keep iterating on my .emacs.d settings (Source). On remote servers I switch to VIM.
  • iTerm 2
    With Fish Shell. And of course the unofficial package manager for MacOS: Brew, which makes any package just one install command away (e.g. "brew install htop").
  • Google Chrome
    I got used to its developer tools and like the overall speed of the browser. I'm already giving all my data to Google by using Gmail, so I don't mind using Chrome... Additionally I use a couple of helpful ad-blocking extensions, and really enjoy the Vimium extension, which gives me shortcuts for website navigation to help me leave the mouse alone.
  • Bear
    I recently discovered Bear, which is a beautiful note taking app. I used to use Evernote, but found it to become increasingly slow. Bear is what Evernote should be, with great and sane keyboard bindings together with a lovely minimalistic design. Bear can also import all your notes from Evernote.
  • iStat Menus
    I like keeping a close eye on my system's resources and find iStat menus great for that.
  • Dropbox
    I primarily use Dropbox, where I also automatically upload my iPhones Camera roll. I Also use Google cloud and iCloud for backups.
  • Slack
    I like Slack as a separate app and not only in the Browser. Unfortunately application speed seems like an afterthought.
  • 1 Password
    The first password manager I tried, and I never left.
  • Beamer app
    To Stream any movie or series to my AppleTV in the living room I use Beamer, which works flawlessly for me. For playing videos on laptop I use VLC.
  • Caffeine
    Keeps your Macbook awake. Caffeine is especially handy when giving presentations.
  • Apptivate
    MacOS doesn't allow you to natively add shortcuts to open/switch applications, so I use Apptivate for that. I have my primary applications linked to CMD-1 (Emacs), CMD-2 (iTerm 2), CMD-3 (Chrome) and CMD-4 (Slack). I keep these applications at Full screen, but all in one single space to avoid the slow space switching animation.
  • Google plus screensaver photos
    Locking my screen gives me a screensaver that shows beautiful photos from all over the world. I linked CMD-0 to start the screensaver and lock my machine (Created a service with Automator).
  • BetterSnapTool
    For keyboard shortcuts to Maximize windows, or fill the right/left/top/bottom half of the screen I use BetterSnapTool
  • BetterTouchTool
    Additionally to BetterSnapTool, its sibling BetterTouchTool allows me to customize the Touchbar beyond what is possible by MacOS itself. I dislike the Touchbar lighting up when I use the external keyboard, so I configured BetterTouchTool to turn it completely off. By pressing "fn" I can toggle to the default Touchbar controls, and holding "fn" shows me the Function keys (ESC, F1, F2, etc). I hope Apple backtracks on the Touchbar and drops it from future Macbooks.

Work habits

I have written before about my work habits and my system to win big., which includes continuously learning new stuff by following Coursera courses, playing with new technologies and reading technical books.