On Tools

Working remotely means I can rely on the following things:

  1. My laptop

Seriously. Nothing puts more pressure on your toolchain and methods than moving from desk to desk, hotel to hotel, and a series of shoddy internet connections. (I miss my Das Keyboard and high-dpi mouse something fierce.) I have a nice VM floating in a datacenter to work from - and in theory I can VNC/NX to it - but that’s a sucker’s game.

Tool philosophy is for a later post. Here’s what I use - I’m skipping over obvious required tools (XCode) and I’m not going to cover the various web apps I use.

Sublime Text

I used to be a huge fan of TextMate but the 1.X to 2.0 transition lost me. Sublime Text does everything TextMate did for me with the added benefit of working (with one license) on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Package Control lets me easily throw in new features - GitGutter, Local History, and SublimeGit are easily the most important.

Side note: learn the basics of Vim. I won’t ever advocate using it - here’s a great writeup of why - but it’s a reliably-present and good-enough option for quick server-side edits.


Bash is dead; long live Zsh. Prezto adds a number of useful features. YADR is a Mac-only package of modifications that encapsulates Prezto - it’s one of the fastest ways to tune a new Mac.


I made the jump to Chrome from Firefox long before I started at Google. Set Chrome up once, set up sync, never worry about it again.


Mosh is better than SSH.


Byobu extends TMux (and if you’re using GNU Screen, just make the jump already) and makes long-running terminal sessions just that much more pleasant.

iTerm 2

Best/only terminal option for Mac.


Best/only package manager option for Mac.

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