Uses This

1279 interviews since 2009

A picture of Lain


Software developer (Pleroma)

in developer, mac

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Lain, I started one of the more popular Fediverse server projects, Pleroma and I have a blog at I tend to do both frontend and backend work. These days I use Elixir on the backend nearly exclusively, because it's just so fast while still being easy to use. On the frontend, I mostly use with Vue and Preact. I work as a freelance software engineer and have been traveling more or less non-stop for a year now.

What hardware do you use?

I used to have a giant desktop tower with 64gb of memory and an AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X 32 core processor. That thing was beast, but I sold it when I became a full-time traveler. Now I use a MacBook Air M1 with 16gb. I'm a big fan of the ThinkPad series of notebooks, but they just don't have anything that comes close to the MacBook at the moment. It's very fast, completely silent and lasts forever on a charge.

I use a UPerfect 4K travel monitor which really works well. This plus a notebook computer is the perfect travel setup. It can be connected with just one USB-C cable and can act as a USB hub, so it's super easy to connect and disconnect.

One thing that's annoying to carry around but that I don't want to be without is my Ultimate Hacking Keyboard. I already have two but I like them so much that I ordered two more, so I can be sure I'll never be without one.

For note taking, I got myself a Remarkable 2. It's useful for reading PDFs and more technical books, too. I'm not sure yet if it was worth the money, although I am using it every day.

And what software?

There's no much choice on a Mac besides macOS, so I'm using that. I don't like it that much, but it's alright. I prefer Linux, but any unix-like environment is fine.

I write all my code with Neovim. I tend to bounce around between different editors, as long as they have the VIM style of modal editing. I used to use Spacemacs for a long time, an Emacs distro that generally works really well, but it had so many features that I never used that I went back to VIM. I'm currently using my own config in Neovim, but I find it hard to configure beyond cutting and pasting magic code. Recently things started breaking again after a few updates, so I might be switching again soon.

I run the development servers and my editor inside of a Tmux instance, in iTerm2. I don't have much love for iTerm2 either, but it's OK.

To stay productive, I use the Session app, which is a pomodoro timer with a few more features (although I barely use those). I try to aim for 8 sessions a day, which doesn't sound like much it's all proper work and no slacking off or watching youtube.

Working on the web I tend to use all kinds of browsers, but my favorite is Firefox. I use lots of extensions, but the most important one is probably Bitwarden, an open-source password manager that I use on all my devices.

What would be your dream setup?

My current setup already comes pretty close! I'd wish to have a keyboard that feels as good as the UHK without being so bulky, but that might be impossible. On the software side, I'd want to have a vim-like editor that just gets out of my way. Being able to use Linux again would be great, so I'm looking forward to Asahi Linux becoming more useful. Other than that, I'm really happy with everything I'm using right now.