Tom Uses

Every few months someone asks me what font I'm using. To keep up with this incredible demand, I've written this web page. Enjoy! 🙌

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Arch Linux

A lightweight and flexible Linux distribution that tries to Keep It Simple

The biggest benefits of Arch Linux is that it encourages you to actually learn Linux and it gives you full control of your computer. I initially switched to Ubuntu Linux from macOS after my first year of professional web development experience. As a web developer, the product of my work always runs on Linux servers, and I knew that switching to Linux would help me improve my Linux skills. After half a year on Ubuntu, and a brief stint on Manjaro Linux, I made the switch to Arch Linux. Arch Linux provides you very little out of the box. No browser. No file manager. No desktop environment. Not even the `sudo` command. Arch has made me learn so much more about Linux and the command line than I would have if I stayed on Ubuntu or macOS.

Arch Linux Homepage

ThinkPad T580

A laptop made by Lenovo

When it came time to replace my 2013 Macbook Pro, I knew I wouldn't be buying another Mac. The Macs on the market were expensive, hard to repair, and seemed to be getting less usable with every iteration. Instead I got a ThinkPad and threw Linux on it. My ThinkPad has a nice UHD screen, really bad speakers, a decent keyboard (for a laptop), and enough ports for everything I need to plug in. I used to love my Macbook, but now I can't imagine going back. The ThinkPad is much faster than the equivalently priced Mac, and Linux runs perfectly on it.

ThinkPad at Lenovo I Like My ThinkPad Now, but the First Two Hours Were Horrifying

Colemak

Colemak is a modern alternative to the QWERTY and Dvorak layouts, designed for efficient and ergonomic touch typing in English

I explained why I switched to Colemak on my blog. I also explained some of the downsides.

Colemak Tom's Blog: I Switched to Colemak Tom's Blog: A Year of Colemak - What I didn't expect

Neovim

Neovim is a refactor of Vim, built for users who want the good parts of Vim, and more

Neovim is my editor of choice. I use it for everything I can. I've used Intellij, Sublime Text, Atom, and VSCode in the past. They all have their merits. But no editor has made me as productive as Neovim. It's fast and it allows me to be fast.

Neovim

bspwm

bspwm is a tiling window manager that represents windows as the leaves of a full binary tree

I don't use a full desktop environment. I try to do almost everything from the command line. But I do need to run a graphical environment and I need a window manager. For a while I used i3, and I liked it. When I switched to Arch Linux, I decided to choose a window manager that was more minimal than i3. bspwm does not include a hotkey daemon, so I had to install one. bspwm does not include an application launcher, so I had to install one. I like the simplicity of the bspwm configuration file. All in all, I'm still learning to use bspwm.

bspwm

Hack

A typeface designed for source code

I like Hack because it looks great in the terminal and in the editor. It's easy to scan and not too thin. The name is cool, too.

Hack

Firefox Developer Edition

Firefox built for developers

I use Firefox Developer Edition because it's fast, it tries to block trackers, it has great developer tools, and it uses dark mode out of the box. Also, it's good to develop using Firefox because I am able to spot things that only work in Chrome.

Firefox Developer Edition

nightfly

nightfly is a dark GUI color scheme for Vim and Neovim heavily inspired by Sarah Drasner's Night Owl theme

I use nightfly because it's easy on the eyes, it looks great, and it was easy to make my terminal theme match my Vim theme.

nightfly

Alacritty

A cross-platform, GPU-accelerated terminal emulator

I used Kitty for quite a while, but in June 2020 I switched over to Alacritty because it worked better with Korean and Chinese characters. I've been told that Alacritty renders fonts better, but I'm not really the type to notice these things. I don't love that Alacritty uses a YAML configuration file, but that's life.

Alacritty

Blue Yeti

A USB microphone

I bought a Blue Yeti when I started working from home because I knew that I'd be doing a lot more video conferencing. It's pretty good, and was very easy to set up. However, it picks up a lot of ambient sound. In the future I'll probably switch to something else.

Blue Yeti

mycli

MyCLI is a command line interface for MySQL, MariaDB, and Percona with auto-completion and syntax highlighting.

I've tried a number of database clients. On the Mac, I used Sequel Pro. It was simple and clean. When I switched to Linux, I used DBeaver for quite a while. DBeaver has a ton of functionality, but it was slow to load and more complicated than I needed. Eventually I switched to mycli and I love it. It's very fast, gives useful highlighting, and has made me a much better SQL user. I have recommended it to others, but so far no takers.

mycli


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