Tools and equipment 2024

3 minute read

This page is inspired by - A collection of interviews asking people from all walks of life, what they use to get the job done.

A series of snapshots of the tools and equipment that I use over the years. Previous snapshots of my tools and equipment lists can be found here: 2022, 2021, 2018, 2016

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Steven Smethurst and I 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 2022

Since ditching Netflix, and other streaming services in 2022. I have moved to using Plex to stream media from my Synology DiskStation DS923+ to the devices in my house.

I have taken the effort to switch most of my note taking, todo lists, and journaling to Obsidian. I built a custom ChatGPT chatbot to help with daily journaling prompts (Idea #30 chatbot-journaling)

I been doing more hardware devlopment over the past few years. To help with diagnose and debug the hardware I got a Saleae Logic 8. One of the best logic analyzers that I have ever used.

I picked up a Anbernic RG35xx plus to play reto games on the bus or airplanes. Its good, but the size cramps my hands after a few hours.

One of my goals in 2022 was to become more mobile. Following the paths of the digital nomad to escape Vancouver’s winters. To help with this goal I got a Lenovo Yoga 9i (14” Intel). I been attempting to spend 2 days a week working from a coffee shop.

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?


What would be your dream setup?

A phone with magsafe case and the associated mounts. The only thing that is stopping me is the price of ~$200.



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