Mike Fallows


A rundown of my setup and the current apps that I use in 2022. (2021 version).

Changes #

This is my first chance to reflect on what’s changed in terms of the tools I use for work. I think the changes are marked by the increasing proportion of development work I’ve been doing versus design work. Over the past few years, I have been specialising more, and I think it has contributed to a calmer working experience and a greater sense of expertise.

The main changes this year are that Fontexporer X is no longer being supported so I need to find a replacement for font management. I’ve not needed to use CodeKit this year, and I think for old projects where I was using it I may well just take a few moments to switch to esbuild or Rollup. I’ve started using Docker this year and therefore Docker Desktop, but I’m interested in trying to use Colima instead (if I get around to trying it out). I still have a few projects that I’ve not migrated to Docker or like to be able to access quickly with Valet so discovering PHP Monitor has been great for that.

I kinda have all the messaging apps, but I generally don’t use them much as I try as hard as possible to be distraction-free when working. That said, I’ve gone on pretty well with Signal. I like the privacy focus and the uncomplicated UI. I think maybe I like it so much because it reminds me of the early days of Skype.

Every year I use Adobe less.

Hardware #

My main work machine is a 2020 Mac Mini with an M1 chip which I use with a 5K LG display. I also have an older 15" Mac Book Pro with an Intel chip I use away from the desk. I was worried that the Mini might feel a little underpowered but I’ve been using it for over 18 months and absolutely love it. The weight, heat and almost constant noise from the fans on my MBP do make me want to pick up a MacBook Air. I use Mackup and a dotfiles repo to keep my dev setup in sync between the two machines.

I’ve been on the Android train for a fair few years, so my main phone is a Pixel. I have some wireless AKG N Series headphones for work (very comfortable, but can fall off I’m agreeing to enthusiastically on a call), and Sennheiser CX300s for out and about.

Editor #

I use VS Code pretty much exclusively now. The ability to customise it is extremely valuable to me because I work across a range of languages, and I got huge value from Caleb Porzio’s Make VS Code Awesome package. That gives me a really elegant setup with very few changes required.

I use the Fira Code font with custom ligatures set.

Terminal #

I tend to use VS Code’s integrated terminal most often, but for tasks not related to a specific project I use iTerm 2 with the Z Shell and Oh My Zsh with the Sorin theme. I use Fira Code here too.

Git #

Most of my project’s code is hosted on GitHub and I use the GitHub Desktop app for most tasks as it’s still much quicker and less error-prone for me to switch between projects and make commits with a visual GUI than on the command line.

Misc #