Software I use, October 2014 edition

On Zack’s indirect suggestion, I’ve decided to do a clean install of Yosemite. As I wait for Yosemite to download, I thought I’d do an itemization of the software I’m using these days. The last time I did this was January 2011 — fun to see how some things change and others remain the same.

Writing code and leading development teams is my full-time job. For local development, I use Vagrant and Salty WordPress. I was using VMWare Fusion for a while, but the filesystem caching issues drove me back to Virtualbox. I edit files with Sublime Text 3 running the Colbalt 2 theme. iTerm 2 (full-screen mode, duh) tames my terminal windows. Only on a rare occasion do I have to open Cyberduck to SFTP somewhere.

On the command line, my life is complete with ZSH, autojump, Git, hub, and WP-CLI. I consider every day I don’t have to use Subversion to be a good day. Most projects I’m on use Github with a as-simple-as-possible feature branch pull-request workflow.

Bartender wrangles my menu bar into submission. If I didn’t have it, my menu bar would be overrun with icons for:

  • 1Password – The only sane way to use passwords these days.
  • Quickcast – Shareable screencasts in just a few minutes.
  • Glui – Annotated screengrabs. Far superior to Skitch.
  • Alfred – Maybe obsoleted by Yosemite.
  • RescueTime – Keeps track of which applications I’m using. I mostly use it for the weekly email summaries.
  • Sidestep – Securely your internet traffic over any SSL connection.
  • Flux – For the rare occasion I have the computer on past 7 pm.
  • Clocks - Menu bar clock replacement for those who always be coordinating in multiple timezones.
  • Caffeine – Jiggles your mouse when you need your screen to stay awake. Useful when giving presentations, etc.
  • Crashplan – Affordable service for keeping everything backed up in the cloud.

Skype and Slack are open everyday. I’d like to say Slack is over-hyped, but they’ve done a really nice job. Sometimes I remember to open Linkinus to idle in various open source project IRC rooms.

How I run my business is really a post in itself. Harvest is indispensable — I use it for sending estimates, time tracking, and billing. Things is awesome for keeping track of what needs to be done and when. A long time Remember The Milk user, I love having a dedicated desktop application for task management. Mailplane is the best way to deal with email in 2014.

Oh, last but not least, I use a mid-2011 13 inch Macbook Air with a 256 GB SSD and 4 GB of RAM. It’s the best computer I’ve ever owned.

Computers are still hard

My goal: have a place for Leah and I to store all of our photos and videos (and maybe documents too). Both of us have gigabytes of media from the last decade or so, with more to come. I’d like for the hardware layer to work well with the software layer — it should be easy to access and upload on a daily basis. Ideally, it should be in the cloud so I don’t have to worry about hardware failure. Realistically, I only care about catastrophic backup.

Options I’ve looked into over the last two hours:

  1. Attach a USB hard drive to our ASUS N66U router to serve as NAS. Reportedly, this is possible. However, when I began my search, I came across this article from February 2014: “Dear Asus router user: You’ve been pwned, thanks to easily exploited flaw.” This doesn’t give me much confidence, particularly considering I’ve never upgraded our router’s firmware and have no desire to do so.
  2. Buy a Time Capsule, connect a secondary USB hard drive, and put a common iPhoto library on it. However, this comes with a bunch of caveats. Namely: it doesn’t really work. Plus you really need to commit to a wired connection.
  3. Chuck all of our media assets into one of those fancy file sharing services. Box appears to have the best deal: unlimited storage for $15/month. However, that’s on the Business plan with a 5 user minimum.
  4. Use Dropbox or BitTorrent Sync to sync files between our computers. We’d get an additional layer of redundancy. Leah has 500 GB free and I have… 30 GB free (SSD).
  5. Buy an iMac and use it as our shared family computer. We can use whatever we want, but we’d have to figure out where to put it in our small condo.
  6. Or buy a Mac Mini, put it in the figurative closet (actually the bottom of the changing table, where our printer is), and VNC into it when want to manage photos. Might be on to something there.

P.S. Crashplan supports backing up a NAS drive as long as you can mount it. It’s $60/year for unlimited data. And Dropbox is $100/year for 100 GB. How does that work?

A full fridge is the sign of a happy home

Or so I’ve always thought. Our fridge tonight contains:

  • Homemade whey (and it’s corresponding cream cheese).
  • Fermented salsa. Leah has a new, quadruply-spicy batch on the counter.
  • Half an avocado. Bobo is eating these like it’s her job. Go Bobo!
  • Homemade watermelon citrus gummies. "Tummy Gummies" — good for the gut!
  • Eggs by the dozen. Duh.
  • Cheese: cheddar, blue, parmesan, Babybel, smoked gruyere, Brie
  • Corn tortillas. Eggs, tortillas, avocado and fermented salsa is pretty much the best breakfast ever.
  • Homemade quinoa, cashew Asian salad.
  • Homemade lasagna. It’s vegetarian, but you wouldn’t know with the awesome mushrooms it has.
  • Fruit: blueberries, strawberries, watermelon. Veggies: zucchini, onions, red pepper, asparagus, carrot, brussel sprouts.
  • Crab caught by my dad this morning from Nehalem Bay.

Yum!