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My name is Miguel Laginha (@brecke on Twitter), and I’m a generalist software engineer based in Brighton, UK. I’m originally from Coimbra, Portugal, where I spent most of my life and plan to go back someday. I currently work remotely as tech lead for Apereo, a US-based open-source foundation focused on EdTech, specifically on the Open Academic Environment (OAE). In previous jobs, I have worked on transportation open data and open science research publishing.
Outside of work, I like to read non-fiction books (mostly behavioral economics and self-improvement) as well as spend time relaxing assembling Legos (I’m especially fond of medieval castles from the ’80s and the ’90s and Star Wars spaceships). I also enjoy watching TV quite a bit. That includes popular TV shows, movies, and English football.
I do most of my work on a maxed-out new-generation Mac Mini on a Furna electric E2 standing desk. I type on a black ErgoDox EZ Glow with a Logitech MX Ergo mouse and an Apple Trackpad in between the two halves. I have tried several vertical mice, and this is by far the best regarding wrist pain (I’m quite sensitive to that). I sit on a somewhat unremarkable chair, which is neither bad nor very good. Just recently, I have bought a pair of wooden wrist rests which are much larger than the default ones and help me with wrist pain a lot.
I listen to music all day while I work, either from Soma FM or Brain.fm, some of it on my Sony MDR-ZX770BN Headphones. I also make extensive use of a notebook and I have plenty of Tesla amazing magnetic notes on the wall.
Firefox is my default browser, mostly because I’m very aware of online privacy and am a supporter of the Open Web. All my connected devices are connected to ProtonVPN 24x7, and I’ve been a ProtonMail user for a couple of years now. All my backups are on SpiderOak ONE. I use Alfred for pretty much everything, Pinboard for bookmarks, and Myki for passwords and 2FA.
Regarding keycaps, I have the default printed Glow ones from ErgoDox EZ.
I’m still using the Cherry MX Brown keyswitches, even though I think they’re a bit too loud. I’ve tried Zilents V2 and loved how silent they are, but then I started feeling pain because, apparently, their actuation force (62g) is way too high for my hands (I’ve got long yet thin fingers). If I were to buy another ErgoDox, I’d probably go for a lighter and smoother linear keyswitch, such as the Cherry MX Silent Reds or the Kailh Silver ones.
Something else I’ve found is that it’s more comfortable for me to type with plenty of elbow room. I now push the keyboard a bit further towards the screen which forces me to deliberately rest my elbows on the desk. For some reason, this position is less prone to causing pain in the back of my hands.
Although I like my monitor very much, I’m always envious of those 3 side-by-side monitor setups you see in movies. However, I’m not sure that actually works well in real life; it looks like too much screen real estate for a confessed unitasker such as myself. Speaking of envy, I keep seeing a lot of nice pictures of Clark Kables, so I might eventually get one myself. Once I have all the cables I want, I’ll finally sort them out properly below the desk, I promise!
In what comes to ergonomics, I intend to buy a kneeling chair in the future, as it helps me to keep a good posture. Not sure my cats would approve, though, as they love sleeping on my lap throughout the day. :)