A colophon is “a statement at the end of a book, typically with a printer’s emblem, giving information about its authorship and printing” (Oxford Languages). I’ve seen a few of these on blog sites explaining how the site runs and also a few personal ones detailing the tools that bloggers and other geeky folk use in their everyday lives. I’ve modeled mine over the last few years after Jon Saddington’s, because it provides for me a good model to follow. It also satiates my curiosity. 😁
The most significant update in this version is that I’m back to using macOS and iOS as my primary platforms. I haven’t totally forsaken Windows (because Macs are not exactly known for great gaming experiences), but gaming (and work, by necessity) are about the only purposes I use it for anymore.
My Most Important Tools
My two most important tools are Visual Studio Code and emacs org-mode. VS Code is a cross-platform text and code editor adaptable to just about every situation;
org-mode keeps me organized, lets me track my work, and lets me easily keep records of other things with simple, portable plain text files. I write the pages and posts for my blog in Markdown using VS Code.
The blog is hosted on Github Pages, powered by the Jekyll blog engine. Pages and posts can be written using Markdown (my personal preference), X/HTML, or Liquid markup. The theme is more or less stock, with a few customizations to suit my own tastes and format needs.
I’ve been working to consolidate all of my email, documents, records, &c., into a single place (iCloud, as that’s the most convenient when working on a Mac, iPhone, or iPad), but I also use Microsoft 365 and Google Apps
rather frequently on occasion as the need arises, especially Google Apps Script and PowerShell Core on my Mac and Raspberry Pi for automating a lot of things and creating “front ends” to various APIs that I work with on a regular basis, because I can set hourly triggers to keep the API tokens up to date.
I engage in social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,
and TikTok, and frequently livestream on Facebook and Twitch. In 2021 I added Snapchat back (as GloriousAbsence, since it’s limited to 15 characters). I also post a lot of video content (archived game streams, mostly) to YouTube.
I’ve started using Nvidia’s GeForce NOW for gaming on my Mac.
Rather than write with a word processor like Word or Pages, I do most of my writing using Dr. Donald Knuth’s TeX computer typesetting package, Markdown, or
org-mode. Plain text files are much more portable and I don’t have to worry a whole lot about them becoming incompatible with later software versions down the road; and when I need to send something in a proprietary format like Word or an ebook, Pandoc comes to the rescue.
There are somethings that TeX can’t do without significant effort, though; and in those cases where something fancier is needed I’ll use
Microsoft Office or Apple’s “formerly known as iWork” suite (Pages, Numbers, Keynote).
I had previously written that nothing will ever replace pencil/pen and paper, but I’ve come to change that view now that technology has advanced enough where handwriting and speech recognition are practically seamless.
That’s not to say that I have completely eliminated pen/pencil and paper from my life. As I get older, and also being old school, there are times when I want to leaf through the pages of a dead tree versus swiping across a screen.
For pen and paper, I’ve found Norcom’s Exceed products to be every bit as good in quality as the Moleskines, Leuchtturms, and Rhodias of the world, for a lot less money, and they are much more readily available (as in you can buy them at the local Walmart). My preferred pens are PaperMate’s Ink Joy gel pens; but given that they oftentimes bleed through paper I tend to use Zebra a lot more (their F-301 ballpoint pens and M-301 mechanical pencils are a pleasure to write with). While I try to keep separate notebooks or journals for personal versus work-related notes, it rarely ends up that way. Ultimately, everything that is on paper is digitally captured, scanned, snapshotted, and OCRd into my digital tools.
My desktop consists of:
- iBuyPower Slate 9000W Gaming PC (i7-9700K, 16 GB RAM, 240 GB SSD and 2 TB HDD).
- 2020 Mac mini (Apple M1, 8 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD storage hard-wired, and a bunch of external drives using an Insignia two-bay USB 3.0 Hard Drive Dock).
- Late 2018 Mac mini (i3-8100B,
832! GB RAM, 256 GB SSD hard-wired in).
- Raspberry Pi 4 Linux server (128 GB SD card).
- Canon PIXMA G4210 “megatank” color inkjet all-in-one.
- HP LaserJet Pro m118dw black-and-white laser printer.
- Asus VS278Q-P 27″ 1920×1080 LCD display. I had a second 4K screen, but it started acting up and I found that macOS required more resources to drive it, so I disposed of it and stick with the single FHD screen and my iPad as the second screen when I need it.
- Logitech MX Keys wireless multi-device keyboard.
- Logitech M720 Triathlon wireless multi-device mouse.
Logitech G533 Wireless 7.1 DTS Surround Headset.
- Logitech G635 Wired 7.1 DTS Surround Headset.
My mobile bag (usually a LowePro Streamline 250 camera bag, but I have other backpacks and such) includes some combination of the following (not all at once, for obvious reasons):
Google Pixel 4 XL
- Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max (64 GB), with SD Card and USB Camera connector dongles.
- 8th-generation iPad (32 GB), with a
Logitech CrayonApple Pencil.
- Lenovo Yoga Book C930 dual-screen Windows 2-in-1 w/ Precision Pen.
- Acer Chromebook Spin 11 ChromeOS 2-in-1 w/ Digital Pen.
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite Android tablet w/ S-Pen. I usually use the digital pen from the Chromebook with this, though, because the tiny S-Pen feels like writing with a twig.
- Anker PowerCore Metro Essential 20,000-mAh power bank.
Rylo 360° video camera (at least while the software still works—VSCO bought the company and abandoned the product).
- Insta360 ONE R Twin Edition modular video camera. I can switch between a 4K wide-angle action cam or a 5.7K 360° module as desired. It also works as a webcam and streaming cam in a pinch.
- Nikon CoolPix B500 long-zoom point-and-shoot.
- A PNY USB-C storage card reader/USB adapter.
- Apple Earpods (both Lightning and ⅛″ plug version). I know Airpods are great, but it’s something tiny that I would be guaranteed to lose within ten minutes of buying them.
- Brother DSmobile 920dw Wireless Duplex Mobile Color Page Scanner.
…and the creative gear: