My hardware and software setup for 2021

Published on March 29, 2021

My desk as of 2021-03-29

I keep this post updated throughout 2021.
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Physical setup

I sit on a limited edition SOHO Premier Soft Pad Management Chair in brown Italian leather with a matte black aluminum frame. My previously chair was a generic padded dining chair, but it broke and now I use the seat as a foot rest.

My desk is a 48”x24” Herman Miller Everywhere Rectangular Table. I wish I had gone with the white finish and legs for the table.

A giant AUKEY mouse pad covers the top, granting unlimited mouse travel, and it’s much nicer to have a soft surface than to place my wrists on the bare desktop.

In the corner of the desk is an Amazon Basics Magazine Rack to hold mail and to-do paper items I eventually have to go through.

I have a nice Poppin file cabinet that doubles as a second seat.


Main computer

My primary computer is a Mac Pro 5,1 2010. I bought it in an office liquidation auction in 2016. It’s considered end-of-life by Apple, but with third party support through OpenCore bootloader I’m able to continue updating it.

I upgraded it with a wireless AC/bluetooth 4 card, 48GB of RAM, a SAPPHIRE PULSE RX580, two NVMe drives using PCI-E adapters and several SSDs.

For peripherals, I use

Everything plugs in to a Belkin 8-Outlet surge protector.

Media computer

I use an Intel NUC 7i5BNH as a secondary computer. It is outfitted with


I’m an Android user on a Pixel 4a. My particular favorite apps are:


On my main computer, I use Sony MDR7506 headphones that I never put on my head. I use them as terrible speakers even though they’re highly praised studio headphones. They’re connected to a Nobsound NS-08E preamp, which I mostly use for the physical volume knob.

My going-out headphones are Samsung Galaxy Buds+, paired only to my phone.

My work headphones are Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones, paired only to my work computer.


White Pebble Time running rebble services. I’ve had two pebbles, both Kickstarter backer editions. I still consider the Time the best smartwatch.


My dotfiles, vimrc, zshrc, and Chrome extensions of choice are in GitHub if that’s what you’re into.

My terminal

CLI tools I use include:

  • fd for finding files and directories
  • fzf for fuzzy finding integrated with git, vim, and my shell
  • ripgrep for finding and filtering files by contents
  • zinit for managing my zsh plugins
  • zoxide a fast implementation of autojump / z

On the mac I use Catalina and am scared of Big Sur. I use iTerm2 because I like its window splitting features above all other terminal emulators.

On the NUC and on a second boot drive on the mac I use Manjaro Linux KDE version. Manjaro has the benefits of Arch Linux (IMO, primarily pacman and the AUR) without having to do the setup for the millionth time. Konsole is my terminal emulator because it is non-electron, supports splitting without tmux, 24-bit color, customizable shortcuts and scrollback.


I still use the HEAD release of Neovim having moved from Vim years ago.

I made my own color scheme called ”meh.” It caters to what I consider important when looking at code.

My programming font of choice is Mozilla’s Fira Mono.

Neovim in Konsole

Note Taking

Standard Notes is my note-taking app for the moment. My criteria are full, audited encryption, markdown support, and automatic syncing. I left Joplin Notes because the WebDav sync was giving me issues (though it could have been my server).

Password manager

My password manager is Bitwarden. I moved off of KeepassXC to make it easier on my family, but they are equally good to me.

File sync and backups

I’ve done my best to stop using Dropbox, just so I have one less account to manage. I use Google Drive for one-off document sharing and syncing app settings on any app that natively supports it.

For everything else I use my Synology NAS. My phone automatically backs up photos to it using DS File.

The NAS is running Gitea on Docker. I have my GitHub and GitLab repos are mirrored in case either of those services go down or missing. On both my NUC and Mac (when using Linux), I have /etc backed up using etckeeper and pushing to a remote repo in Gitea.

Google Drive is synced to my NAS as well. Everything is backed up using restic, which send encrypted, incremental snapshots to Backblaze B2.