Tools of the trade
AKA ‘things I use, but didn’t make’. If you’re looking for tools that I created, this page is what you’re looking for.
A custom-built Windows 10 desktop computer.
I use this mostly for gaming, 3D work, and video editing, because it’s the only one of my computers that has a graphics card. I also use this to compose music. If I’m at my place for a long time, I sometimes use it as a general workstation, as it is the most powerful computer I have.
This is a Thinkpad X1 Carbon, I’m not sure the generation number. I got it in 2017. It runs Windows 10.
I use this as my primary computer when not at my place, and optimized for weight (I’m not good at carrying things) and processor speed / memory (for long builds). It is extremely unoptimized for graphics and audio.
This is a Thinkpad T430s, which I’ve been using since 2013. It runs Windows 8 (and never updated to 8.1 because certain old visual novels would stop working if I did.)
I use this as a backup machine for trying out new programs, and an archive for older, text-based games that don’t always work on new builds of Windows (though this might change.)
This computer was optimized for processor speed and durability. It is also extremely unoptimized for graphics and audio, but also has a removable battery and considerably more ports than my typical laptop.
Somehow, I used it as a gaming rig too, once upon a time.
This is a Raspberry Pi 4 connected to a 256gb Hitachi hard disk, which runs Raspbian, NextCloud, and Syncthing. It is used as a file and media server, and keeps files in sync across all my other computers.
An iPad Pro 1st generation w/ Apple Pencil. I got it in 2018.
This is the most infuriating item on the list, because I typically do not like iPads, and I was also not pleased with the Apple Pencil and its sort of ridiculous charging scheme.
But, cost for cost, the iPad Pro is the best-feeling and most cost-efficient drawing tablet with a screen I’ve ever seen. And getting one of these things has markedly improved both my drawing quantity and skill.
I use this machine almost exclusively for art. Occasionally I use it for web-browsing in areas where it’s less convenient to use a full-laptop.
An iPhone XR.
I have this phone because my family has a curious habit of throwing away or otherwise replacing my very old things that they think I should replace - and that’s what happened to my old phone whose screen had shattered into a gazillion pieces. I think my preferred iPhone model would be the SE.
It’s an iPhone. I use it mostly to interact with other people, which unfortunately or not also includes spending a lot of time on social media. I don’t typically do any consistent creative work on here other than jotting down random bursts of inspiration.
I’m not terribly picky about mice. As long as they have a middle mouse wheel, I can use them. I prefer mice with thumb buttons though, and currently use an MMORPG mouse with 12 of them (though I don’t play MMOs and have only mapped 4 of the buttons.)
I make my own mechanical keyboards, which I typically rotate between depending on the task.
This is a Korg M50 that I got to play piano when I was younger. I use this to experiment with music composition.
I use Windows (usually 10, sometimes older) and iOS most prominently, so these are represented most on the list. I’m actively dabbling in Linux, but so far haven’t found a workflow there that works for me.
General Purpose / Social
- Firefox - web browser.
- Discord - most common social media.
- Messenger - I work at Facebook.
- VS Code - main text editor. I usually use Horizon as my theme and diffusion as my coding font.
- vim - terminal text editor.
- git bash - version control & terminal on Windows. I don’t use the Ubuntu subsystem.
- ConEmu - terminal shell.
- Unity - for 3D games.
- Godot - for 2D games and jams. I used to use Game Maker Studio more prominently, but now I solidly use Godot in its place.
I do almost all of my writing in Markdown, or in custom-authored supersets of Markdown.
- VS Code - using Markdown syntax highlighting.
- Obsidian - self-documentation and knowledge base.
- Rune - web app for when I don’t have access to any of my computers.
- Drafts - iOS app. Jotting down quick notes without computers.
- Procreate - iPad app. I use this for pretty much all of my illustration and 2D drawing work.
- Affinity Photo - desktop app for processing images and doing filtering work.
- GraphicsMagick - Command-line based image editing.
- Blender - general-purpose 3D modeling
- Unity - scene-building and layout planning. Very occasionally game development.
I used Anvil Studio extensively when I was younger to write MIDIs, but FL Studio now also has similar functionality.