My Everyday Tools
This is a documentation of useful tools to boost my everyday efficiency.
I am still debating between Mac's built-in Terminal app and Alacritty. The former is more traditional and supports tabs, while the latter is more modern and uses GPU for rendering and claims to be "the fastest terminal emulator". As I am just starting to use tmux, I will see whether I will get used to Alacritty, which only has only 1 tab and settings in a YAML file.
I switched from Oh My Zsh to fish shell in October 2019, because my Mac was just updating to Catalina and Oh My Zsh failed to build. After I switched, there is nothing I could complain about fish: minimal customization, good autocomplete prediction, beautiful color schemes, etc. I literally only had less than 5 lines in my
config.fish if not counting alias definitions.
I bought a Macbook Pro released in mid 2015, after I lost my ThinkPad in April 2017. I was very sad but quite happy after I have this 15-inch beast. It almost never disappoints me. I love it very much and I will use it until it breaks and can't be repaired.
# Operating Systems
Needless to say, a Mac has macOS as its OS, which I am pretty satisfied with. I tried many other operating systems and want to give a brief overview.
- Windows: I used to have a thousand stuff to complain about, but now I only have a hundred. The top item is it doesn't have a built-in terminal with usable shell and package manager
- Linux: I have tried at least 5 distros by now (from what I can remember: Manjaro, openSUSE, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Cinnamon, Fedora), but none of them satisfy my everyday needs after extensive tweaks. In the future, if and when I become a pro, I will probably try out ArchLinux, given that I could install it. However, I don't think I will ever try out Gentoo, as every package is built from source and it takes periodic but non-paid care
I was a real Apple fanboy. My first MP3 player was iPod. Then I had an iTouch and iPad. Afterwards I used several iPhone's. However, I gradually grew tired of the terrible camera (especially at night), unreliable camera (short life compared to Android phones & auto shut down when too cold), inflexible screen sizes (only two screen sizes for each version) and late support for dual SIMs (only XS and after). Although Apple is still creating beautifully designed products, the products are not groundbreaking and ingenious anymore. Over past few years, iPhone borrowed many design ideas from Android phones and I gradually begin to doubt why I should pay more than twice the price for slow improvements and mediocre experience. The latest iPhone's are only good until the next generation comes out, and the old iPhone's don't drop their prices much.
I bought a Xiaomi Mi X 2 before graduation in May 2018 and use it as a secondary phone. At first I thought it's alright, given its fine hardware and marvelous design. The best part I loved about it was the smooth ceramic back. It's the first phone to use porcelain for the case, but I gradually fretted about its inconvenient heaviness. Last but not least, its OS, MIUI, though well-designed at first glance, is far from usable and wasted much of my time.
Right after I accidentally deleted all photos from my Xiaomi (sad and long story) because there wasn't a built-in feature to retrieve photos deleted no more than 30 days, I bought a Huawei Honor 20 for 2k RMB or 300 USD, and a Huawei Honor band for 200 RMB or 30 USD. I am really really happy now.
Tools are like clothes, we use them to feel confident and comfortable to live a better life. Thus, here comes my motto for tools: affordable and well-designed with good taste to boost efficiency and get things done.