This page lists all the hardware, software, and services I use. It is heavily inspired by all the /uses pages out there, and I’ve always wanted to do one of my own. I’ve split the page into sections, each which is linked directly from the list below.
- Primary Computer
- Portable/Secondary Computer
- Phones & Tablets
- Audio Setup
- Desk & Chair
- Camera Gear
- Networking Gear
I have been using a Mac since 2004-2005 and have gone through 5 different Macs since then. I currently use an M1 Mac mini which is set up in the following form:
— 2020 M1 Mac mini
— 16GB RAM
— 1TB SSD
— Displays: Two LG 27″ 4K Displays
— Keyboard: Apple Wireless Keyboard with Touch ID
— Mouse: Logitech MX Master 3 mouse
— Webcam: Elgato Camlink 4K used with my Mirrorless camera (detailed below)
When I’m traveling, I use a 15″ MacBook Pro (Intel, 2016 Model) — yes, the one with the terrible keyboard. This was previously my primary computer for 4 years, and rather than selling it, I decided to keep it so I can use it away from my desk. It has 16GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage.
Phones & Tablets
Due to the prevalent nature of SMSs and Spam calls in India, I actually carry two phones every day.
My primary mobile number sits in a OnePlus 8, which has Microsoft’s SMS Organizer app to filter and sort SMSs coming my way. It is an exceptional app and I highly recommend it to everyone. In fact, it’s reason enough for me to use an Android device. That said, I’m getting annoyed at the way OPPO has been changing OxygenOS lately, and do plan to switch to another phone by next year.
My primary mobile phone is currently iPhone 13 Pro (256GB Pacific Blue) which replaced iPhone XS Max I was using for three years. This is the most important piece of tech in my life. I also recently upgraded to Apple Watch Series 7 (GPS + Cellular) since I’ve started taking my health seriously.
I also have a 10.5″ iPad Pro that I occasionally use, as well as a Kindle (on long-term loan from Pranay).
Speakers: I have a pair of Apple HomePods that I picked up for cheap in a Flipkart sale (a few months before the company discontinued them). They’re still amazing, and sound exceptionally good. Along with these, I also have a Bose Soundlink Mini II that I use at times.
Headphones: I use the Sony WH-1000XM2 when I’m at my desk. They’re super comfortable and sound really good, but the cushions are now wearing out due to heavy usage. I almost always use them wired in combination with the Fiio E10K DAC. I’ve been meaning to upgrade to the WH-1000XM4, but ₹22,000 is a lot of money.
Earphones: I have a pair of AirPods Pro that I use when I’m out for walks or commuting. I don’t like carrying the headphones on my head when I’m out, so the AirPods are what I like. I have to use the AirPods Pro because the normal AirPods (even the 3rd-gen) keep falling out of my ears. I also have the KZ ZS10 Pro wired in-ear earphones that I use on the field with my camera setup detailed below.
Microphones/Interfaces: For podcasts, meetings, audio recordings, etc. I use a Rode PodMic that sits on a Rode PSA1 Studio Boom Arm. The microphone is connected to a Tascam 2×2 Audio Interface. There’s a Cloudlifter CL-1 that sits in between and raises the gain as required.
Desk & Chair
Desk: I have a custom-built wooden desk that measures 6.5 feet wide and is 2.5 feet deep. I had it made so wide to accommodate the current dual-monitor setup + the HomePods and other items on my desk. It’ll also hopefully help me upgrade to a three-monitor setup in the future.
Chair: As much as I have wanted to get myself a Herman Miller chair, the cost is simply not something I can afford — it costs as much as my M1 Mac mini. Instead, I use the Featherlite Helix medium-back chair and absolutely love it.
My workhorse is the Sony a7r II that is used with a Zeiss 55mm f1.8 lens and a Sony 24-105 f4 lens. The a7r II has a really tiny battery that runs out really quickly when shooting 4K video, so I have to carry four spare batteries when I’m in the field. I rely on Sandisk memory cards.
For camera audio, I have the Rode Wireless GO II kit, along with a couple of Rode Interview GO handheld adapters. I also have the Rode NTG 4 shotgun mic, but it’s sparingly used now.Depending on the shoot, I use the Lilliput A7S 7″ screen when required. All this gear is stored and carried around in two Vanguard camera backpacks.
The very first time that I connected to the Internet was sometime around 1999-2000, the early days of dial-up Internet in India. Since then, I have gone through several different ISPs and all kinds of networking hardware. Internet is such a vital part of my life today that over the last several years, I have been paying for two ISP lines — a high-speed primary line & a kaam-chalaau backup line. My current setup has a Gigabit line from Airtel, and a sub-300Mbps backup line from Jio.
Much like the Internet, Wi-Fi is a critical part of our lives today and to me, it is important the me & my family members get to enjoy a smooth experience when using Wi-Fi devices in the house. I recently switched from the Netgear Orbi mesh networking setup (RBK50 — 1 Router + 2 Satellites) to a managed UniFi network powered by Ubiquiti devices.
I have an EdgeRouter 4 that does the work of handling the two ISP lines in a failover config. This is connected to a UniFi Switch 24 PoE, which in turn to connects a bunch of wired devices, access points, and UniFi PoE cameras. There’s a UniFi CloudKey Gen2 Plus that controls the whole setup.
Wi-Fi in the house is managed through three access points — two UniFi Flex HDs and one UniFi WiFi6 Lite. I wanted to get the LR, but it wasn’t available when I was looking (still isn’t). There are also three UniFi cameras working round the clock.
All of this networking gear is set up in a network rack that also houses a Raspberry Pi, a Philips Hue Bridge, and my Hackintosh server with a total of 36 TB of storage.
Mac Apps (not an extensive list):
- Alfred — This is one of the first apps I install on my Mac, and is by far one of the most important ones. Not only is it a fantastic Launcher, Clipboard Manager, Snippets Manager, Calculator, etc., its Workflows feature is an immensely powerful tool for my day-to-day tasks. I have over 15 workflows in Alfred, many of which I use multiple times a day, such as the Currency Converter, Giphy Search, Dig, and the Twitter Toolkit.
- 1Password — This has been my password manager for the longest time, and is another app I always install first on my Macs (quite obvious, isn’t it?). I’m not particularly happy with the direction it has been going in lately, and we’ll have to wait and see what comes of it, but so far, it has been an insanely invaluable app for me.
- CleanShot X — This is the best screenshot utility for Macs. You’d think how much can there be in a screenshot utility, and CleanShot X will still color you surprised.
- Nova — This is the Code Editor and IDE I currently use. I used to love Panic’s Coda back in the day, and while Nova is not a 1:1 replacement for Coda (it’s a whole different direction), I still prefer this over the other options.
- Pixelmator Pro — is an Incredible image & photo editor. I switched to it completely from Photoshop about a year ago and haven’t looked back. I do wish it handled vector files in some basic form.
- Reeder — I was using ReadKit for the longest time, but since that seems to have been abandoned, I’ve switched to Reeder as my RSS app recently.
- Soulver — Imagine if a Calculator and a Notes app had a child… this is it.
- Spark — I have been using Spark as my email app long before I joined Readdle. It’s a phenomenal app that has everything you need to improve your email experience.
- Things — Cultured Code’s Things has been my To-Do and Task app of choice for many years now. I believe I have been using it for about 14 years now.
- Amphetamine — This is a keep-awake utility for your Mac. When enabled, it stops your Mac from going to sleep. There are others like it, but I like this one and it’s really good at what it does.
- Bartender — Bartender brings sanity to your menu bar by letting you organise and optionally hide the icons in your menu bar. Most apps and utilities these days come with companion apps that place an icon in the menu bar, which creates unnecessary clutter. This is especially annoying when you’re on a notebook. Bartender lets you choose which icons you want to be always visible, which ones you want to display only on hover, and which ones you want to be always hidden.
- Hazel — Hazel is a remarkably good automated file & folder organizer for your Mac. You create certain rules and Hazel organizes & moves your files that match these rules. For e.g., you can create rules such as “Move all PNG files from my Desktop to the folder called Images” or “Move all files older than 7 days from my Downloads folder to the folder called “Archives” (you get the idea). Create as many and as complicated rules as you want to organise your files and keep everything tidy. Here’s the set of rules I have in place for keeping my Downloads folder tidy.
- iStat Menus — Puts stats about your Mac in your menu bar. What more do I need to say?
- Magnet — This is the window manager I use, a necessity as I have to work with two displays.
- Parcel — I switched from Deliveries to Parcel recently to track shipments. Although Deliveries has a better design, Parcel has support for more carriers, including BlueDart in India. Its UI is quite simple and minimal, but its features more than make up for it.
- Pause & Pandan — If you think you spend too much time at your Mac, Pause & Pandan will bring you to senses. Pause is a menu bar app that reminds you to take a break & step away after every X minutes, whereas Pandan sits in the menu bar and shows you how long you’ve been using your Mac in the current session.
- Pika — is a simple color picker app that lets you click on any element or image on the screen and get its value.
- Sleeve — This is a gorgeous now-playing app that works with Spotify, Apple Music, and Doppler.
- Step Two — A beautiful app for your two-factor codes.
- Time Zone Converter and Clock — I love how easy and straight-forward this app makes time zones conversions.
Social & Communication:
- Day One — I have been journaling using Day One for a few years and it’s almost become a daily habit now. I have always loved the UI and typography offered in the app, and its recent acquisition by Automattic is only going to make it better in the long run.
- LookUp — A universal dictionary app that helps me improve my vocabulary.
- NextDNS (See below)
- Wireguard (for Work & Mullvad VPN)
1Blocker, Cascadea, Hush, Matter, and Tweaks for Twitter.
On iPhone (not an extensive list):
I love taking photo using my iPhone, and there are a number of apps that elevate the whole experience. Although a majority of the photos I take are from the default Camera app, for some specific type of photos, I use Halide, the remarkable camera app that makes taking RAW photos worth it. To edit Photos, I use a combination of Darkroom, Adobe Lightroom, Pixelmator Photo, and VSCO. Once edited, photos are typically shared on my Instagram: @preshit, or on my Glass.photo profile.
I use my iPhone to read a lot, most of which is done using RSS apps like Reeder and Unread. One recent app that has completely redefined how and what I read is Matter. For podcasts, I rely on Overcast. Spark is my email app of choice, whereas Things & Due ensure that I get things done. I use Day One for journaling, Parcel to track shipments, Telegram to chat with friends, and Apollo to browse Reddit in my free time.
Services & Subscriptions
- Backblaze — A reliable data backup service that backs up all the drives on both my Macs.
- Carrd.co — A lovely service that lets you create simple landing pages or small websites.
- Cloudflare — If you run websites, you ought to be using Cloudflare in some form or the other.
- Fastmail — An exceptional email service that has powered my personal email account for many years. It’s run by an bootstrapped company of passionate individuals with a strong leadership. Highly recommended.
- Feedbin — There are numerous RSS services out there, but I’ve yet to come across anything that offers the features and finesse of Feedbin.
- Google One
- Mullvad — The only VPN service today that I can recommend.
- NextDNS.io — NextDNS is an indispensable service for me. If there’s one thing on this page that I’d recommend everyone use, it’s this.
- Raindrop.io — One of the best bookmarking services available today.
- Spotify (Music)