Adventures in Jeffland

I haven't really thought this through

actual content ↓↓

Things I Use to Make Things Other People Use

Note: You may also like a post I wrote about what I pack in my bag for work trips.


Computer - I have a honking M1-PRO 16" MacBook Pro with 32gb RAM. It is waaaay more than I need to fiddle with text, but I make my computers last (got 7 years off the previous MPB) so I load them up for the long haul. Plus I might try doing a bit of video/pods in the next year (narrator: He would not). I've had Windows and Linux but I prefer Apple stuff for longevity and some basic set-it-and-forget-it stuff.

Keyboard(s) - I switch keyboards in and out to keep things spicy and save my wrists from RSI. This is my current fleet:

Mouse/Trackpad I have adopted the dual pointer lifestyle. On the right side of the keyboard a Logitech MX Master 3 for Mac that I swiped from herself after she moved up to a verticle style mouse. It does everything I ask it to. On the left side I have a Apple Magic Trackpad. The hope is that I will stave off RSI a little longer by using both hands, but I really only seem to use the righthand mouse.

Monitor - I have a couple Dell U2713h that I've never loved and hope they die soon so I can ask for something +4k to spare my old eyes. They don't play very nice with my new MBP (or vice versa).

Local Backup - I use Time Machine to backup to a My Passport Ultra. These things seem to die more often than they should. This one is solid state, so I'm hoping the lack of moving parts might keep this thing in the mix longer.

Dock - Everything is plugged into CalDigit TS4 Thunderbolt 4 Dock. I like this thing because it allows me to have one USB-C cable go to my MacBook and that's it. I can then have multiple monitors, backups, chargers, speakers and cables/connectors all ready to go.

Desk - I have a simple wood desktop from Ikea bolted to some motorized sit/stand desk. I wish I could say I stood a lot.

Chair - I sit on a refurbished Aeron that is fine. If it broke I would try something else. I had about 2 hours to find a chair before the world shut down for a month and this is what I ended up with.

Laptop Stand - I have a Roost that I very much enjoy. It folds up nice for portability and it keeps the laptop up fairly high. Pricy but if you use it 8 hours a day...

Headphones - I have some Bose Q35 over my ears most of the day. Again, overpriced (I didn't pay for them), but if you work in a open office (or at home during a pandemic) and are easily distracted, can you put on price on them? I wish the ear-pads were tougher, I've had to replace them.

Phone - I currently have a iPhone15 Pro that I will keep for 3 or 4 years and then get whatever the current model is. I am kind of indifferent to a phone as long as it works. A good camera is nice, but I don't know what to do with it, so.

Eyeglasses - I have marginal eyesight, but I hate wearing readers at a computer because they rest of the world become blurry. Ray-Ban makes some "computer glasses" that are more magnified at the bottom of the lense (less at top) which seem to work well for my situation. I can look away from the screen and still see things.

SOFTWARE (Default Apps) #

Text-editor: Shocker, I use VS-Code. I tend to just use whatever everybody else is using because any questions I have will be robustly answered in StackOverFlow and any extensions I need will exist. I will say this is probably the longest I've ever been on one editor (I was on TextMate for a long while too).


Graphics Editor I have a full Adobe install, that I despise, through work, so I tend to use that. Bonus, if my furnace quits I just fire up 3 Adobe apps and my laptop will heat the entire office. I have used Sketch and Figma when I've worked with designers who use them. They all confuse me. In times of desperation I will turn to GIMP.

Password Manager 1Password. First thing I install on a computer/device. But each time I update it, it seems to work less great. Which is not great.

Browsers For development I use FireFox. I like to support Mozilla and I like their inspector. Chrome is on my machine for testing (Lighthouse), but I just feel like I'm being spied on. I use Safari for personal stuff because I can bounce between my phone and laptop easily.


Email Deep breath. Because my employer is a Microsoft [ed] shop, I must use Office and Exchange. While you can use almost any email client with Exchange, none of them work super great. The one that works best for me is...Outlook for Web. I know I know. Since I don't love email as a part of my browser, I sandbox it into a container app (I used Flotato last time I use Safari Web Apps). So now the web view works like a native app. Kind of. Email sucks and this is the best system I've come up with so far. My personal email is on GMail, for now.

Calendars Work is thorugh Outlook/Exchange; personal/family is through google. Both are viewed via Apple's Calendar app.

RSS NetNewsWire

Task Management As mentioned above, my org tends to use MSFT Planner for project planning. I also use MSFT To Do and don't actively hate it. The "My Day" feature is nice and I can turn emails into tasks that refer back to the email. If I have it open inside of out Outlook Calendar, I can drag/drop tasks onto my calender to schedule time to work on it. In general, because I have serious focus issues, I try and practice "1 Item To Do Lists."

Contacts Work is via Exchange; personal is via Apple.

Chat Apple Messages, Slack, Teams (work) and occasionally WhatsApp for family and friends in the EU.

Word Proccessing Word, Google Docs.

Spreadsheets Excel, Google Sheets

Shopping Lists AnyList (shared with herself)

News CNN (out of muscle memory) NYTimes, and (aggregator)

Music Apple Music just because we save money with our Apple One subscription. We have some Sonos gear and the intergration is not as good as Spotify.

Podcasts Overcasts for personal, Apple Podcasts for work.


Cloud Storage iCloud for me, OneDrive for them.

I use Slack, Github and Terminal like any other good little dev. I have to use MSFT Teams and Planner, but I can't say I love it. But we get them for free, and we get support with it, so.

STACK(s) #

New big sites are built in Gatsby.
Old big sites were built in Drupal .

New small sites are built in Eleventy.
Old small sites were built in Jekyll.

Code is hosted on github and deployed to Netlify.
Content is edited via Netlify-CMS and, preferably,

We use Bootstrap a lot for front-end stuff. Just stop. Stop what you are about to say. If it's ok for me to run 400 libraries and frameworks on the backend of the stack, I don't see why I can't run bootstrap on the frontend. Shhhh. Yes, we customize it. Shhhhhh.