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My 2022 setup

You know the drill… new year, new setup. Not entirely true, I don’t plan on switching my setup every single year, but I made some changes this year that are worth mentioning.

You can read my 2021 setup post here.

The main thing I started to miss in 2021 after I built my powerful Hackintosh was portability. I mean… look at this photo from last year’s “workation”, where I was somewhere in the Romanian Carpathians but I was still working, I had to carry my whole PC with me along with the monitor. A lot of extra care to transport those safely in our car. Never again. Of course, I could still work on the 2017 Macbook Pro but that was freshly installed and slower than I got used to with the pc.

So without further ado, here’s my 2022 setup.

Hardware

Main work laptop: Macbook Pro 2021, M1 Max processor, 64GB of ram, and 4TB hard drive. This thing IS A BEAST.

Secondary and third work laptop: I still have my 2017 edition of Macbook, but I don’t use it as much nowadays, it is mainly for movies and media and that happens rarely now that I have the M1 Max. The Macbook has 16GB ram and 512GB SSD. I also got a new laptop from the company I work with, it is an i7 Dell with Ubuntu on it. I also don’t use it, it is there for backup only.

PC: I kept the Hackintosh I made and bought a new desk for it so I can still have it in the office. Its specs: i9 3.6GHz, Sapphire Radeon RX5700 XT, 16 GB of RAM, and 3128GB of storage. It is powered on almost 24/7 mainly because it is also a Plex server. I still have Windows on it and I plan to play more on it from now on. My wife uses this PC a lot, but I rarely use it nowadays.

Windows testing laptop: an older i5 Thinkpad with Windows on it for the rare occasions I need to test something on Windows.

Extras: iPhone 11, a Macbook 2015 that my wife uses, 2xSkullcandy Crusher (1st gen and 2nd gen with ANC), Keychron K10 Blue Hot Swappable switches (for the main desk), Keychron K2 Blue switches (for the secondary desk), Magic Trackpad, Apple Watch Series 7, Samsung studio speakers, Ubiquity EdgeRouter X with Unifi AC Pro, Logitech C922 Pro webcam, one random gaming microphone for meetings with an arm hooked up to the desk, Gorillapod tripod.

New in summer 2022: I purchased a few audio items so I can use them in a yearly children’s summer camp: microphones, speakers, and a small audio mixer. I use the Behringer audio mixer as an audio interface for my laptop and I also have an input in the mixer with the audio from the Macbook for the speakers. It is not necessary but I like the feeling of turning a real button to control the volume. Also, I replaced my old USB microphone with some Audio Technica XLR microphones.

New in October 2022: I went into my first US visit and came back with two new gadgets that I use a lot now and are worth mentioning: Apple Watch Ultra which is now my primary watch, I still have my old Series 7 watch but I use it less, mainly when the first one is charging. Also, I got the Airpods Max headphones which are one of the most accurate headphones I owned.

Desks: for the main desk where I work 90% of the day I have a Uppsel desk from Ikea that is also height adjustable, whenever I have meetings I press a button and I work/speak standing up. For the desktop PC, I have another desk on the other side of the room, again from Ikea but this time called Fredde. The latter one is really practical also for desktop PCs and has a lot of storage space, even for headphones and stuff you could hang.

For chairs, I have two options: the older chair I also got last year, Ikea Markus, which is really nice and comfortable. I also got a new one this year, Ikea Gruppsel, which is also nice but forces you to stay in a correct position, and thus on very long stays, it might feel different than the Markus.

Here’s what the main adjustable desk looks like:

November 2022 desk photo update:

Here’s the other gaming/PC desk. Notice also the USA flag there, an important piece of my setup 😂:

Software

I still use macOS for anything, the best option ever. Now on Apple Silicon it even runs better than ever.

I code using VSCode almost 90% percent of the time. Here’s how it looks:

For PHP development, the Intelephense extension helps a lot that I bought the pro license. The font I use is MonoLisa, usually 15 pixels in size. I like keeping the extensions to a minimum so I do not have a lot of them, only some for React and JS, GraphQL, and a few themes.

I also use PHPStorm also for the PHP projects I work on, previously it worked okay-ish on my laptop and Hackintosh but oh my, it works super fast on the new M1 processor. Here’s how it looks:

Other software I use, some daily, some only when I really need them:

  • Hyper for my terminal. This is almost always open on my OS
  • My main browser is Firefox Developers Editions. I also use Safari for non-dev browsing
  • DBngin for managing databases locally
  • Laravel Valet for local development on PHP projects
  • Docker for work projects, I have a love-hate relationship with Docker, I like it but the performance on macOS is not so great. Room to improve.
  • Instead of Alfred now I use Raycast as a Spotlight alternative.
  • Transmit to connect to FTP and sFTP servers
  • I use Helo for local mail testing
  • Tinkerwell for running random code and testing bits of code
  • Ray app for debugging PHP apps
  • PAW to test APIs
  • I use iCloud, paid the 2TB plan and I have 1 Tb used.
  • TablePlus for connecting to databases
  • 1Password for password management
  • Photoshop for quick editing pictures
  • Illustrator for messing with vectorial images
  • TG Pro for showing the temperature of the M1 laptop and Fan speed
  • Mail.app for mails, the native one
  • Slack and Discord for work and personal chatting
  • Grid App for window management
  • OBS for the rare times I stream or record something.
  • Rocket for emojis 😺
  • Notion for notes
  • BetterTouchTool, an awesome tool for managing input devices and more.
  • AnyDesk for remote control
  • CleanMyMac for doing regular cleanings to my OS
  • BeFocused PRO for when I use the Pomodoro work technique
  • Sip, an app that can tell you the HEX to RGB color of any pixel on the screen.
  • Telegram, Whatsapp, Signal for chatting with friends and family
My Hyper terminal app

We got to the end, my friends. I am sure I have more things I can put on this list, but if I forgot about it it’s not really that important. I am ending this article now with a photo of my office, 2022 edition.

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  • Filip Pacurar

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