What I Use

I’m frequently asked what I use and why. This page will be kept up-to-date (and added to) with the tools I am currently using!

Productivity tools

Desktop OS: Pop!_OS

I am currently rocking Pop!_OS and have been since mid-2020!

I began using Pop!_OS in earnest when they implemented their tiling and stacking feature. Before then, I’d always been somewhat GNOME-averse, but tiling and stacking made the difference for me. I frequently use the vertical workspaces as well- it’s essential in my workflow!

Before Pop!_OS, I was on Arch for a number of years, with either Plasma or Openbox as a desktop. On my lower-spec Chromebook, I am currently using the Fedora i3 spin, and I like it!

Laptop: System76 Galago Pro

My (main) laptop is the 4th iteration of System76’s Galago Pro. I purchased it in mid-2020 to replace my (increasingly frustrating) 2018 15-inch MacBook Pro.

This laptop is everything I could hope for in a laptop. It’s snappy enough for virtualizing a server stack for testing, yet light enough to throw in my backpack. Plus it has an Ethernet jack.

We love the Galago Pro so much that when my wife decided to buy a Linux laptop, she bought the 5th iteration. Much of the art made in this merch store is made on that machine.

Text editor: Vim

Yes, I use Vim. [gasp]

I came to Vim slowly. I’d been using Nano (on the server) and Atom (on my desktop) for a number of years and liked it. I’d started to dip my toe in the water with Vim thanks to some COBOL-related .vimrc settings which really helped a colleague of mine. However, it didn’t really click until around 2020, when I decided I wanted a personal Wiki that wasn’t tied to a Linux desktop (i.e. I wanted it to integrate with Nextcloud Notes, which is a markdown-based notetaking app with a thriving Android version).

Enter Vimwiki– this project changed my digital life. Having my notes in the terminal, instantly greppable, and a fantastic diary feature (perfect for logging my work) was a game changer for me. I’ll do a video on it someday, but that was the gateway. Soon after I discovered Vimwiki, I decided I’d never quit Vim again (pun).

Anyway, I love Vim, but every time I mention it in a video, somebody somewhere seems to get angry about it. Don’t.

This Website: WordPress/WooCommerce

I really went back and forth on this. Still am.

I decided to go with WordPress because I know it pretty well: I manage a smattering of WordPress sites, by virtue of managing their infrastructure, and I know enough about it to make it work (IMO). WooCommerce was the easiest way to work the channel blog and the merch store into the same project.

While I’ve done custom themes in the past, for this site I went with my favorite theme: GeneratePress. It’s heavily customizable and I find the “elements” aspect very worth the price.

I seriously considered using the Eleventy static site generator for this site, and may switch it in the future. I love Eleventy very much, and highly recommend it. The only reason I didn’t use it for this site was because of the e-commerce bent: integrating a storefront into an SSG is time consuming, especially if you want to show “out-of-stock” errors dynamically. I’m keeping my eye on Eleventy though- if a good, easy storefront option opens up for it, I might make the switch.

Video editor: Kdenlive

The videos you see on my channel are edited using Kdenlive! I’ve been using Kdenlive for light video editing since 2018, so when I started my channel, I just kept right on going with it. It’s a quite capable editor for my needs, although I wish it had better options for scrolling titles.