uses

Uses

Table of contents

It’s not that I get asked about these things often, but to me it’s kinda fun to write about it.

Gear and setups used by people that are being asked this more frequently are collected at uses.tech.

Hardware

Thinkpad X250

I bought this device at the end of 2015. It’s one of the last good Thinkpads in my opinion, but it already has some severe flaws like the super soft plastic case which allows the mainboard to collect hairline cracks when carried arround in a flipped open position. This flaw allowed me to get a mainboard replacement in 2018 though, just before the warranty expired.
The config is maxed out from what I could configure at Lenovo’s website (i7-5600U, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD), minus of course the fingerprint reader and a webcam. I also opted out of the internal UMTS modem.
I use it now mostly on the docking station on my desk where it connects to my two old-ass monitors and other periphery.

I have no intention of upgrading anytime soon without this notebook breaking down.

Ergodox EZ

I was a heavy user of Lenovo keyboards before, since they offer an external USB keyboard that’s almost identical to that of my Thinkpad. It even hast the trackpoint I love so much to use.

Since I switched to swaywm however, the idea of using a split keyboard to have my arms relaxed at shoulder width distance become something I was genuinely interested in trying out.
I went a little overboard with the idea, not going to lie, and invested in an Ergodox EZ Shine in black, with unprinted, sculpted keycaps on Cherry MX Clear switches and both the wrist rests and the tilt/tent kit.
I’m super happy with the overall build quality and it’s just sooo convenient to just adapt the keyboard layout to my needs.

I’m not planning of switching back. Quite the opposite, I’m playing with the idea of getting a successor to ZSA’s Moonlander Mk1, with unprinted keycaps as well since it’s way better suited for transport and I like the way the thumbcluster is organised a bit more. The Ergodox EZ could then be “demoted” to a dedicated work keyboard or for a split-keyboard cyberdeck project.

Oh, and of course, mine is black.

Bose QuietComfort 35

These active noise-cancelling headphones where one of the best investments I ever made. I bought them pretty soon after they came out 2016 since I already had a checklist for bluetooth headphones I wanted, and they ticked all the boxes. The last box missing before that was runtime. I’m pretty easy to distract and would kind of rely on them for cancelling out most of the environment noise at work, and give me another signal instead, which I can fade out better mentally. This meant in “emergency situations” they would need to get me through a long day of work with little time to charge them.
Since those headphones ticked that box, too, the buying decision was kind of a no-brainer, and I still use them today and have no regrets spending so much money on them. Only the ear padding needs replacement every other year, which is fine with me.

Oh, and of course, mine are black.

On-Person Gear

Blackberry KeyOne

The last Android smartphone I’ll ever own. I bought it new in 2017, when my Nexus 4 wasn’t sufficient anymore and I decided I need a physical keyboard. I can’t type on touchscreens if my life depended on it.
There’s already no more updates for the OS though. I’m running around with Android 8.1.0 and a security patch level from April 5th, 2019. This means I’m currently running around with an unpatched, automatically exploitable bluetooth RCE and no prospect of a fix anytime soon. Fuck that shit.

Sony MDR-EX450

Simple but good quality in-ear headset for my phone, which I currently also use for listening to music and podcasts. I rarely leave the house without them, and usually carry a backup in case it breaks (as it happens with cables over time). I’m less dependent on them nowadays though than I used to be.

Desk Setup

  • IKEA Fredde workplace
  • ROVO 1430 S3 chair
  • ThinkPad Pro Dock 40A1 for use with the X250
  • two random old Samsung Syncmaster displays
  • used Logitech Z333 2.1 speakers
  • Logitech C920 HD Pro webcam
  • cheap Neewer USB condenser microphone