Inspired by Paul Stamatiou‘s post about the stuff that he uses on a daily basis I thought I would do the same. Not only to let people get an idea of what I use daily but also so I can keep track of hardware/software that I have installed. *Links on this page are likely to be affiliate links.
- MailGun – Originally I was utilizing Google Suite for everything but it was a bit of an overkill for my needs. The free tier with MailGun allows me to use my domain and set up forwards and filtering to my Gmail.
- Bear.app – Evernote was my go-to note app until they decided to bloat their app with every possible feature. Bear.app is a minimal replacement for Evernote and gives me the features I need across all my devices.
- Google Docs – While I do not use Google Docs often it is still needed when it comes to sharing documents with others in an easy to use fashion.
NextCloud – DropBox served me well for a long time until they changed their pricing structure. Switching to NextCloud allowed me to more or less have all of the same features while cutting costs and utilizing my NAS and server for this.
- Synolgy Drive – While I had been using NextCloud for a while via Docker, it was working great but also started to be a bit more than I needed for simple filesharing on my network. I switched to Synology Drive and it has been working great.
- Zendesk – Cloud-based helpdesk system, works awesome. They even have a free iOS app that helps when on the go.
- InvoiceNinja – I was a long-time user of Freshbooks, but when they changed their pricing structure it was no longer cost-effective. I stumbled upon InvoiceNinja and it has been a fantastic replacement.
- Slack – This is my main form of communication both for personal and work-related topics. I stopped using Skype, Google Chat, etc.
Droplr – I really only use this for screenshot sharing. I remapped the default OS X screenshot keys to go through here instead. Works great for fast, simple sharing.
- Dropshare – I switched to this as I was interested in a self hosted softwre rather than a service like Droplr. So far it has been working great and keeps a local copy on my network so I have it for backup.
- Safari – Ever since the newest release I have switched back to Safari full time, only using Chrome for random site testing.
- Brave – While I mainly use Safari for everything I also use Brave daily, mainly for personal use eg non-work-related stuff.
- 1Password – I couldn’t imagine daily operations without 1Password.
- Alfred – This app really boosted my productivity as it allows me to keep my hands on the keyboard instead of using the mouse to navigate/launch apps.
- Transmit – Simply the best FTP client for OSX
- TextMate2 – I gave Sublime a couple of tries, but Texmate2 just works how I need it to.
- Sequel Ace – When you are needing to access MySQL/MariaDB databases all day this is a must.
Desktop (Laptop Setup)
- MacBook Air M1 (2020 Model) – With the MacBook Pro keyboard issue and frequent lockups I had to jump the gun and get a new MacBook as I couldn’t handle it anymore. I ended up with a Space Gray M1 with 16GB of ram and the 1TB drive model.
- Twelve South BookArc – Expensive piece of metal to hold my MacBook.
- LG 34WN80C-B 34 inch 21:9 Curved UltraWide WQHD IPS Monitor – Upgraded to this out of envy of a couple of friends that purchased some new Ultrawide displays.
- Apple Wireless Keyboard w/Number pad – I wish it didn’t have the number pad, but it was the only way to get the space gray model.
- Yikda Dual-Sided Mouse Pad Desk Mat
- iPad mini (6th generation) – With the release of the new iPad mini not only with the new form factor, but better screen, touch ID, as well as Pencil 2 support this was the iPad mini I have always wanted Apple to make.
- Anker USB C to Ethernet Adapter – For the times that I need to connect via Ethernet. (Driver Download)
- Apple Magic Mouse 2 – I have had the original Magic Mouse for years, but once again wanted the space gray so HAD to upgrade.
- UpLift v2 standing desk – I opted to make my own desktop as theirs seemed overpriced.
- UpLift Locking Under Desk Drawer with Shelf
- TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp with Qi-Enabled Wireless Fast Charger – I ditched the previous lamp and charger and got an all-in-one to free up some space on the desk as well as one less cable now.
- Apple AirPods Pro – I recently upgraded to the newest model for wireless charging and noise cancelation, which did take some getting used to. The fit is 100x better than the 1st gen Air Pods
Audio / Video recording
- Blue Yeti Blackout Mic – When it comes to recording audio this came highly recommended.
- Blue Compass Premium Tube-Style Broadcast Boom Arm – Originally I had the mic on my desk but was missing out on the desk space so I got this to get me a little more room.
- AUPHONIX Pop Filter
- AUPHONIX PRO Blue Yeti Shock Mount
- Lume Cube Panel GO – I do a lot of video conferencing these days via Zoom and wanted to up my lighting.
- Inkeltech Desk Mounting Stand – In order to position the lighting properly I picked this up to attach to my desk.
- UTEBIT Mini Ball Head – Used to properly position the Lume Cube Panel GO
- Logitech C920S HD Pro Webcam – This also came highly recommended and not only was plug-n-play but takes great video for calls.
- Intel Core i7-8700K – I wanted to make sure I had enough power no matter what I threw at the server. Everything is running in its own Docker container and I have plenty of resources left.
- Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB – Same as above, I wanted to make sure I didn’t run into issues with running out of memory.
- Samsung 970 EVO Plus Series – 500GB PCIe NVMe – Initially I had a 500GB SSD, but I was still seeing some random buffering issues with Plex. Since installing the M.2 drive the only bottleneck I run into is the network bandwidth.
- Rosewill 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet Card – While the motherboard had a gigabit NIC already I wanted to separate the NAS traffic from the rest of the traffic. The Synology and server are on a private VLAN directly on this NIC.
- ASUS Prime Z370-A II
- NVIDIA Quadro P2000 – This was added after the initial build as I wanted to offload some of the heavy lifting to a CPU. I am now able to transcode up to 23 streams without hitting the CPU.
- 2x Tripp Lite 1500VA Smart UPS – Provides plenty of power to the server and the rest of the networking equipment in case of a power outage.
- Synology 8 bay NAS DiskStation DS1817+ – Over the years I have gone from a Drobo, homebuilt server, QNAP, and finally the Synology. This has been an amazing NAS, I wish I would have gone this route originally. The only issue is that I wish it was a Rackmount version though that would have increased the price by another 1-2k which is totally not worth it.
- 8x WD 12TB Hard Drives – Total available storage is currently 72TB.
- NavePoint 18U rack – The most recent upgrade, so much nicer than having everything on a baker’s rack.
UniFi Security Gateway Pro (USG-PRO-4) – I started out with the entry-level USG but after upgrading to Xfinity gigabit internet I figured a higher-end USG wouldn’t hurt.
- Ultimate Dream Machine Pro (UDM-Pro) – In an effort to keep my network as fast as possible and with the newest hardware, I upgraded to the UDM-Pro and am glad that I did. It has helped to max out my download and upload speeds.
- UniFi Switch – 24 Ports Managed (US-24-250W) – This was also an upgrade as I didn’t account for future devices. I started out with an 8 port switch, then 2 and then 3 before finally selling them off and replacing them with this beast.
- 2x UniFi 5 port switch (USW-Flex-Mini) – I wanted to bring some hardwired locations to various areas of the house and this helped in doing so with their small footprints.
- 3x UniFi nano HD Compact 802.11ac Access Point (UAP-NANOHD-US) – Since the office, AP was doing a lot of work I upgraded to the new nano HD to handle some of the load.
- 3x UniFi 802.11ac Dual-Radio PRO Access Point (UAP-AC-PRO-US) – Being in a multistory house I found that it required more than a couple of AP’s to provide an optimal signal on all floors and locations in the home.
- ShortPixel – While I optimize images before uploading them to the site, I utilize the ShortPixel service to further optimize the uploads.
- WP-Rocket – Even though the hosting via Systm is cached and uses Redis, some of the additional features WP-Rocket has helped to speed up the site further.
- GeneratePress – is a fast, and optimized theme that has lots of features without all the bloat.