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Hello, I’m Alin, originally from Romania, now living in Oxford, United Kingdom. I’m currently the information security manager and application developer at a local company by day and working on building my own company in my spare time.
I’m very much into coding, and I research any subject/practice that I believe will help me become a better programmer. I believe that as a developer I need to be aware of what tools are available and use them as needed.
On the side, I’ve started reading Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software by Charles Petzold. Currently reading Chapter 16, but really great so far.
I’ve always been into motorcycles, probably since before I was into computers. I’ve been a fan of Suzuki, so I had two of them, the latter being a GSX-R 600. I recently sold it, and I’m now going through a flying phase. I’ve tried both gliding and flying a small airplane, and now I’m trying to decide which route to go for. Outside of these activities, I like swimming and downhill mountain biking.
I’ve got an ASUS ROG laptop, which I use for programming and other sysadmin tasks, and an HP server, which is providing a few services (e.g Plex for my projector) for my house connected to a separate network only for us (guests don’t have access to it).
At home, I tend to use my laptop speakers if I’m alone or my noise-cancelling headphones (TaoTronics SoundSurge 46), which I am happy to say do their job pretty well for the price. They’re a bit heavy on the bass.
My mouse is a pretty basic one, a Logitech M180, which does the job very well. However, it’s slowly being replaced by the keyboard’s own mouse emulator, which I love but sometimes makes me feel too slow (I’m open to any tips to improve this—I’ve tried putting the mouse out of my reach :) ). I’m unsure at the moment what I’ll decide regarding this…I may get an upgrade for my mouse.
At home I have been using an ErgoDox EZ keyboard for a few months now. This was after an extensive search online. It was my first mechanical keyboard and also one of my most expensive accessories, but I highly recommend it.
To help me keep track of what I need to do, I use a simple task manager on my iPad and use Trello for more detailed planning.
I spend at least 70% of my time reading code, so over the years I’ve jumped between a few IDEs, but now I use Sublime Text and Vim/Onivim 2. I prefer Vim, but it’s not as good at adapting to different languages without much tinkering or extra plugins as I would like, so I switch between these. I sometimes use VS Code, as it integrates very well with Xdebug.
I also use Notability and MindNode on my iPad quite a lot. They are really useful for organising your thoughts. I use both of them all the time—Notability more, though. It’s so much better than pen and paper. You can move bits around and reorder ideas without going to a blank new page. I like to call it my favourite whiteboard (even though with my config, it looks like paper).
I have an ErgoDox EZ Glow that I use at my home desk. My original idea was to use the LEDs to figure out groupings of keys. I neglected the fact that I don’t actually look at the keyboard when I type (I’m not a proper touch typist, though). I do like how it looks, although I wish the keyboard had LEDs for the thumb cluster as well.
Probably a lot of people will think I’m a noob in this aspect, as I haven’t done any tweaking at all to it. I bought the keyboard with Cherry MX Browns and I think I should’ve gone for Blues. I am, however, using a custom layout I designed myself using different parts from other layouts I found to be practical.
On my todo list: Buy a pair of braided cables to connect the sides.
I actually like the keycaps the keyboard came with, so at the moment I feel there is no need to look for replacements. Maybe I’ll change my mind over time, but for the last six months I haven’t felt the current ones were lacking in any way.
I also have a plan for attaching the keyboard to the chair’s armrest, but that’s going to happen only if I get along with the mouse emulator.