What I Use (Hardware) - An Update!

I haven’t forgotten about this little blog I started earlier this year. Work has been keeping me busy for much of 2023, and I just haven’t taken the time to sit down and write about the things I wanted to talk about here. I’ve made a note on my productivity list to do this more often.

In the meanwhile, I should update my hardware list from earlier, as I have been making adjustments as of late. So here’s the original blog entry from April, with changes I’ve made since then.


I fully believe that my data should not be locked into a specific ecosystem. My data should always be securely available to multiple operating systems, not cost a lot of money to maintain, and be as future proof as possible. So, for my hardware setup, I have this.

  • My main computer is an M2 MacBook Air. I went for the second model up from the bottom, with a 512GB hard drive and 8GB RAM. Though I waffled a bit on deciding on what my computer would be for (hopefully) the next five years, I decided on the MacBook Air because of its size, weight, and the excellent performance of Apple Silicon. Unfortunately, this runs a little contrary to how I feel about right-to-repair, but the build quality of this MacBook Air should endure for the lifespan I have intended for this device.
  • I have a secondary laptop that I use when I really want to tinker, and it’s a Lenovo ThinkPad T460s, maxed out at 20GB RAM and with a 256GB SSD. It’s running Fedora Linux with the Cinnamon desktop (a little more lightweight than Gnome). It’s now running Pop_OS! 22.04 LTS. Pop_OS! is tweaked a bit more than standard issue Gnome and the laptop handles it well. I’ve also disabled the TrackPoint, it just gets in the way.
  • My productivity ecosystem is partially based around two home servers a home server. I have a 2011 Mac Mini configured as a server running Debian Linux. This server handles my task management, RSS aggregation, and a bunch of housekeeping scripts I’ve built over the years.
  • I have an Alienware Aurora R7 for gaming, primarily for X-Plane 12 and Microsoft Flight Simulator. It’s running Windows 11, with Pengwin Linux installed in the WSL. Update: I have been messing around with Pop_OS! on this as well, but it’s not conducive to reliably running games without a bunch of tinkering, so it’ll be moved back to Windows 11 as described before by the end of this month.
  • Work has provided me with a Dell laptop running Windows 10 that is pretty locked down. The BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) program at work doesn’t work well for my development needs, even though I’m more of a people leader these days, so I go with the company provided equipment. WSL isn’t allowed, so I run a bunch of Linux-y stuff in git bash. Update: I also have allowed work applications installed on my M2 MacBook Air and my iPad Pro. I have found doing a bunch of my routine work on my personal devices has led to a better mindset.
  • I have an M1 iPad Pro (the larger model) that I was initially going to use as my mobile machine, but iPadOS is not where I want it to be on an open level. The iPad is fantastic though, and there’s a lot I do on it, especially when traveling on short trips, but for longer trips I want a laptop. Update: I have been running the iPadOS 17 beta on this device since beta 2, and it’s been solid.
  • I also have a iPad Mini 5 that I use as a private pilot. I heavily rely on ForeFlight during my aviation endeavors. I also use this iPad Mini 5 as an ebook reader.

As you can see, I use plenty of different operating systems in my day to day operations. When it comes to data, cross compatibility is imperative.

Update: I gave up on todo.txt and went back to OmniFocus after about a year or so of tinkering to keep plaintext todo working for me. There’s a lot of advantages, but I was dropping todo items on a too frequent basis; Dropbox sync issues and having two lists (one for personal and one for work) that worked cooperatively was a great development exercise, but there are better options out there. Plus, this past spring I was promoted to a Director level position at the large corporation and trying to notice if I “lost” a todo list item is counterintuitive to having a todo list in the first place. While there will be another discussion around my software choices, I am sticking with “available regardless of operating system” by embracing Apple only or Windows only solutions if they have a web counterpart that maintains at least 90% of the same functionality.