Everyday I use a series of tools that make my life easier. These tool change and morph each year. This is my most up-to-date list of recommended tools and equipment.
Inspired by UsesThis.com - A collection of interviews asking people from all walks of life, what they use to get the job done.
Who are you, and what do you do?
My name is Steven Smethurst and live two lives. During the day I am a CTO at Chipkin Automation Systems and at night I am a maker, hacker and artist. You can find more about me and my projects on my instagram or twitter.
What has changed since 2021
The biggest change since 2021 is that I moved to a new house with more space and a seperate home office.
I stopped subscribing to Netflix after they started cracking down on Netflix account sharing passwords canada. With the fragmation of streaming services, piracy has become more appealing.
What software do you use?
- Visual Studio Code - A Extensible and customizable text editor. I tend to use this text editor more than I use Visual studio’s these days. It’s Free and extensible.
- Visual Studio - A fully-featured, extensible IDE and compiler for CSharp, C/C++, etc…
- WSL - Linux subsystem for windows (AKA Ubuntu bash on Windows). I user this every single day.
- GitLab - A alternative to Github. git repo, issue tracker, CI, etc…
- GitKraken - A Git client. Paid app.
- Beyond Compare 4 - A file/folder comparison tool.
- Wireshark - A widely-used network protocol analyzer. I use this every single day.
- Signal Private Messenger - Private secure, end to end communications. My preferred form of communication.
- Github pages + Jekyll - Main blogging platform.
- Spotify for music.
- BitWarden for passwords, and Authy for 2FA
- Obsidian - Markdown note taking app and knowledgebase
- KiCAD - Making PCB and electronics.
What hardware do you use?
- Logitech MX Master 3S - Best mouse I have ever had. Wireless, adaptive scroll wheel auto-shift from click-to-click to hyper-fast scroll.
- Pixel 6 Pro - I am becoming disillusioned by Android these days and I may switch to an Apple product next hardware update.
- Dell 27 USB-C Ultrathin Monitor: S2719DC and Dell UltraSharp 27 4K - Do not recommend. See this post Do not buy from Dell.
- Logitech G610 Orion - A great mechanical keyboard with media keys and volume dial. I got into the keyboard crazy a few years ago and got a bunch of strange-looking keyboards but I always came back to this one. It great and just works.
- Blue yeti - Desktop USB microphone.
- Logitech C920 webcam - I do a lot of video conferences these days. 6+ hours a day and this web camera has been great.
- Sony a6400 - It can shoot in 4k and has built-in optical image stabilization.. APS-C, 24.2-megapixel
- Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens - Long lens uses for birding, connected to my Sony a6400 using Sigma MC-11
- Sony FE 50 mm F2.8 Macro - Macro lens used for taking pictures of spiders
- Sony E 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Kit lens - Came with the Sony a6400, I don’t use it often
- GoPro Hero10 Black - Mostly used for underwater Scuba, and time-lapse photography
What would be your dream setup?
I been dreaming of becoming a digital nomad and traveling the world while working. Reducing my footprint of gear to just what fits within a single suitcase appeals to me. I am planning on significantly reducing my equipment and stuff over the next few years in an effort to become more mobile.