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Uses

All the cool kids seem to be detailing their hardware, software and general setups on "uses" pages. Naturally, I had to put mine together. After writing this, however, I did realise that I put a lot more effort than first thought into my setup.

Check it out and let me know what you think... any questions feel free to drop me a tweet or contact me directly and I'll do my best to explain ✌️

The Desk

The desk itself is super simple but I love it. Basically I've always had some form of raw wood for my desktops, previously I've had OSB but there's always a risk of splinters so this time around I went with a couple of sheets of 15mm plywood cut to size and slapped on top of each other for rigidity. These are then atop of a couple of IKEA Alex units, on the left is the 5 drawer cabinet where I keep all of my pens, notebooks and various other day-to-day nonsense, and on the right is the storage unit which I use to hide all my wires, drives, networking, etc.

For lighting, I've got a mixture of Philips Hue (one either side of the desk in some IKEA Fado lamps and one in my Tomons desk lamp) and some cheap Chinese RGB strips to create ambience and an oaky timbre. During the day, this combination is nice and subtle... at night, however, it feels like a totally different animal.

On the desk

My laptop is the 13" Macbook Pro (always in clamshell via a vertical Mosiso laptop stand unless I'm working out of the house. The external screen is a nice entry into the ultrawide world with the LG 29UM69G. It's not so wide that it's awkward to work on, and it looks fantastic. This is then just mounted to the desk using a cheap Amazon arm. Eventually, it'll be mounted to the wall with all cabling routed within the cavities but I haven't got around to this just yet. I use the Logitech HD C920 webcam for when I'm doing Slack stand-ups or video calls with clients.

Keyboards (yes plural) are more an obsession than just a peripheral for me nowadays so I've had to dedicate a whole section for these further down. TL;DR is that I either use my UT47.2 or my RoPro.

For my mouse, the ever-popular MX Master 2s from Logitech. I really want the v3 but currently, I don't feel there's enough of a difference between them to invest so I'm holding out for the inevitable 4th iteration to see what that brings to the table.

For sound, aside from my headphones, I have the awesome IKEA Eneby. When this came out, I thought it looked great, it was a bonus when it also surprised me how good it sounded too.

I've always dabbled with photography but never at anything more than a beginner level and the camera I have currently is the Fuji XT-100 with the kit lens. It's compact, lightweight and looks great... ultimately, it's a point-and-shoot with a changeable lens but that's all I really need these days. I still need to spend some time with it to get the best out of it but straight out of the box it definitely does the job.

Pens and Pencils

(Left to Right)

Caran d'Ache Supracolor II Soft Pencil (Yellow), Caran d'Ache Neocolor II Crayon (Golden Yellow), Staedtler H3 Pencil, Muji (0.5mm, B), Muji (0.5mm, H), Zebra M301 (0.7mm, HB), Rotring Tikky (0.7mm HB), Kaweco Brass Sport Rollerball (Black Ink), Sharpie Ultra Fine Point (Black Ink), Lamy Safari Fountain Pen (Medium Nib, Black Ink), Lamy Safari Rollerball Pen (Black Ink), Blue Acorn Fineliner Pen (0.4mm, Black Ink)

Keyboards

UT47.2

The latest and greatest addition to my keyboard family and already my goto on a daily basis. Turns out, removing the num row and having symbols hidden under a layer is actually logical and makes sense. The UT47.2 is damn near the perfect keyboard for me so far.

  • Gateron Yellow Switches
  • SA Vomit Caps

RoPro

It might sound weird that a keyboard can carry a sentimental value but my RoPro is probably the only keyboard that (gun to my head), I wouldn't get rid of amongst my collection. The RoPro marks a very poignant moment in my life and one that I'm very thankful and happy for.

  • Gateron Yellow Switches
  • SA Ice Caps (R3)

DZ60

The DZ60 was my first proper custom mechanical keyboard and is unquestionably the best 60% that I've tried. Fully programmable, USB-C and great layout possibilities. I hadn't explored soldering keyboards until this board so it takes a firm spot in my collection for this reason.

  • Kailh Purple Switches
  • EnjoyPBT 9009 Caps

MF82

Following the MF68, the MF82 arrived on the scene. Another worthy gateway despite the fact that I haven't used this board anywhere near as much as I probably should have. This comes down to the simple fact that I thought I'd love clicky switches and I unquestionably do not.

  • Gateron Green Switches
  • SA Dolch Caps

MF68

My genesis... the board that began it all. I can't get rid of this board because, without it, I don't think I'd have become as captivated by keyboards as I am. It's not the best board by a long chalk but it's a decent entry into the keyboard world if you're looking for an "in".

  • Outemu Brown Switches
  • EnjoyPBT Hiragana Caps

Software

I've used A LOT of software over the years but for the past few years, I haven't really deviated as everything works perfectly for my needs and I'm more than happy with my choices. That being said, if there's anything you would recommend that I look at to replace something in this list, feel free to let me know 👍

Design Tools

  • 🖌 I design almost exclusively in Sketch. I keep being told to try Figma so I might have to dive in there at some point soon.
  • ✏️ I've been creating some of my wireframes and low fidelity mockups in Adobe XD recently.
  • 🎨 When required I also still use Photoshop and Illustrator.

Development + Editor

  • ⚡️Over the years I've tried Coda, Atom, Sublime Text and a couple of others. None have come close to how good VS Code is.
  • 🔮 Table Plus for all things databases. This was SequelPro but the crown was taken 👑.
  • 🥔 Local dev environments provided by the fantastic Laravel Valet.
  • ☠️ iTerm2 as my terminal app. I did try Hyper for a while but it was memory hungry and just wasn't as good as iTerm.
  • ⚰️ Since I can remember, I've used Transmit to connect to S3, FTP(?) and SFTP servers but this is all changing since playing with Netlify and CI/CD pipelines.

Communication

  • 💬 Slack and Discord for day to day communication with my clients, project collaborators and communities.
  • 📧 Like many others, I use GSuite for my email provider and Spark is my email client on both my Mac and my phone.

Media

  • 🎵 Spotify is my goto for music listening. I used to be fully paid up on Google Music but there's a noticeable streaming quality difference.
  • 🎧 As a heavy listener of podcasts, my weapon of choice on that front is PocketCasts.
  • 📺 All of my personal media (music, TV and movies) is controlled and served by the fantastic Plex.
  • 📚 Even since the demise of the brilliant Google Reader, RSS is still near and dear to me. My reader of choice is Feedly.
  • 📖 I use Pocket for articles that I want to save or read later.

Productivity

  • 🎩 Since Alfred arrived on the scene I've been obsessed with it purely because it changed the way I use a Mac for the better. If you're not using it yet, I recommend getting it with the PowerPack for sure.
  • 📒 Trello pretty much runs my life. Whether it's client work, personal projects, home/life tasks or basically anything that I need to keep a track of and in communication with someone about, Trello is my goto.
  • 🔐 I've tried a few password managers but I'm very happy with LastPass.
  • 📝 For day-to-day task management, I've possibly tried all todo apps ever. Of late, I've been pretty impressed with Microsoft Todo.

Misc

  • 👓 Spectacle is one of my all-time favourite window management applications. The key commands are firmly committed to muscle memory.
  • 🍺 Bartender helps me keep my menu bar nice and tidy as I have a lot of apps that come with menu bar functionality.
  • ☕️ I use Homebrew for most of my package and application management.

Everyday Carry

I've got a thing about nice pens and mechanical pencils of late and so there's a small collection of those going on. Currently, the tools of choice are the Rotring Ticky 0.7mm mechanical pencil and the stunning Kaweco Brass Sport Rollerball pen. Both are fantastic and are a dream to use. For my notebook, I use a Rhodia Dotpad No. 16 because it's excellent.

On our 3-year (leather) wedding anniversary, my wife and I chose to get each other wallets, I chose the Mulberry Credit Card Slip in Oxblood. I don't carry coins at all these days so i just need something to stick some cards and a bit of cash in. This looks great and serves the purpose with a nice sentiment behind it. My wife also got me the Skagen Rungsted watch as a wedding present and so this is what I use for timekeeping.

For audio listening, I can't stand over-ear headphones at all and so I have the Tin Audio T3 Pro IEMs with upgraded MMCX cables and memory foam buds which sound absolutely incredible.

I've been using a Google Pixel 2. Stock Android, looks fantastic, the camera is unreal and unless something drastic happens, I'm not sure why I'd change this as it does everything I want from a phone. I hate that phones these days don't have headphone ports so I also have a braided USB-C to 3.5mm adapter.

You might question the playing cards too... 🤦‍♂️ another collection that I started a year or two ago. I generally carry a pack of cards with me just really for practising my novice level cardistry (if you've not heard or seen this before, check it out), and just because I like cards really. At the moment, I love Jerry's Nuggets in red.

Coffee

☠️☕️

Get in touch

Would you like to work together, or simply chat about a project? Don't hesitate to contact me.

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David Perkins © 2020