Guns and Frocks

Loving Delta and the Bannermen since 1987

In certain tech nerd circles, it's become a thing to have a /uses page on your site, a page that lists the hardware and software and things you use to get your work or your side projects done. This is mine.

If you want to know more about who I am and what I do generally, take a look at my About page. If you want to see what I'm up to now-ish, take a look at my Now page.

/uses

Last updated on Saturday, 2 March 2024.

Hardware

I’m using the first M1 MacBook Air, from 2020. 16 GB of memory, 2 TB of storage. I learned long ago that I didn’t need the most powerful or most expensive laptop available — for years I was using the adorably tiny 11-inch MacBook Air. No plans to upgrade for now.

The Air is attached to an LG UltraFine 24" monitor, which is attached to my podcasting mic and my Time Machine backup drive. It’s nice having the extra screen space, but I can certainly work quite well without it.

And I have a clicky mechanical keyboard, the Keychron K2. It’s got RGB backlighting, which is fun and was kind of unexpected. I am yet to become completely obsessed with buying new and exciting keycaps, but I did get one nice set of transparent keycaps, which let the backlight shine through beautifully and made the keyboard almost impossible to use in the dark.

I also have a 2018 iPad Pro 11-inch, which I use for three things: as a work notebook in class, for dicking around on the internet when I’m at the pub, and for editing podcast episodes. (More of which later.)

Software

It’s not quite software exactly, but everything I write, I write in Markdown. I’m writing this in Markdown right now, all my website copy is written in Markdown, the personal notes I write in Obsidian are all in Markdown, and I’ve just started creating documents for school in Markdown again as well.

Markdown is great. It supports all the styles you need: headings and bold and italic and quotes and lists and links and things, but then it just gets out of your way and lets you get on with your writing.

Podcasting

When I’m podcasting here on my own, particularly when I’m recording Untitled Star Trek Project, I use Audio Hijack to record the audio, and I talk into a RØDE NT-USB microphone. When I’m recording with friends on the couch, I use some cheaper Shure mics plugged into my adorable arachnoid Zoom H8 recorder, which lets me plug in four to six XLR mics and record all the tracks.

Then I run the audio through Adobe Audition, which has some nice podcasting presets. But the real magic happens on the iPad in Ferrite. Ferrite is the only app I’ve ever used to edit podcasts on, and it’s so elegant and easy to use that it’s just possible that the reason I have created so many podcasts is to have an excuse to use Ferrite regularly.

Websites

To create this site and six of the seven websites I’m currently responsible for, I use a static site generator called Eleventy. And I’ve kind of fallen in love with it. It’s powerful and easy to use and it produces fast and simple websites. On top of that, it’s in active development, and it’s supported by a lovely, friendly and positive community which is a credit to the creator and maintainer of the project, Zach Leatherman.

My coding (and some of my writing) is done on Visual Studio Code, of course. It’s easier to imagine a prettier, less cluttered editor, but hard to find one that does all the things that I’m currently using it for.

My websites are hosted on Netlify for now, and the assets for all my sites, including the podcast episodes, are hosted on Digital Ocean S3-compatible cloud storage.