Update (2020)


  • Safari: Back to use it as my main browser since Chrome always takes more resource and is less responsive.
  • LanguageTool: self-hosted, replaced Grammarly
  • Remark42: self-hosted, replaced Disqus
  • Flycut: clipboard management
  • GIF Brewery: Edit GIF
  • Inoreader: subscribe to RSS feeds (used with for some social network feeds)
  • Poetry: a better python package manager

Stopped to use:

  • Firefox: The extension ecosystem is average, the speed is average, …
  • Basecamp: still quite heavyweight … also, why are there SO many project management tools?
  • Evernote: too expensive, not working well with Markdown, can’t export to Mardown, poor math/code support
  • Smart Countdown Timer
  • Grammarly: I don’t want to expose my data
  • Disqus: bad bad
  • anaconda

Update (2019)

  • Big fan of Google Calendar
  • Increasingly use more Dropbox Paper than Google Docs / Evernote
    • Simplicity
    • Responsive collaboration experience
    • Export to markdown
    • TODO tracking
  • Try out Basecamp right now
  • Typora for Markdown
  • iTerm2
  • Zoom
  • Safari Chrome + Firefox
    • Why: try not to use too many services from Apple
    • Chrome is for managing most of web services that requires log-in
    • Firefox is for browsing information in a more private way
  • Clocker: time zones
  • Grammarly
  • Caffeine AntiSleep
  • More Docker, less virtual machines

Update (2018)

  • Linux workstation with Ubuntu LTS
  • Command line editor: emacs vim
    • Why: 80 column visual bar is impossible to configure in emacs. vim mode is useful for preventing mis-editing in Ops.
  • Font:
    • monotype: Source Code Pro
    • Evernote: B612 - The font family
  • GUI Editor: Atom vscode
  • IDE: IntelliJ
  • Alfred spotlight is sufficient for me
  • IRC Slack. Also, there is an open source alt called mattermost
  • Paper management: Mendeley Finder
  • Markdown: MacDown vim
  • reStructuredText: better fit for big project than markdown
  • python: anaconda + virtualenv

Some new MacOS Apps:

  • Smart Countdown Timer
  • TeamViewer

Had been using some old applications: e.g. Evernote & Dropbox. They are stable and not too expensive. Evernote is platform friendly and exportable to XML


Computer: MacBook Pro 13 inch + Linux Workstation + iPhone

Operating System: OS X, Virtual Box (in which live many Linux and Windows). Linux distro is [Ubuntu, including Lubuntu (LXDE) and Xubuntu (XFCE), sometimes Fedora and CentOS. Why Virtual Box?Great command line tool VBoxManage, headless mode + ssh forwarding is nice. More tips here.

NOTE: the following software are all on Mac.

Terminal: Terminal App + ohmyzsh themed zsh.

Command line tools:

  • cloc: code stats
  • ctags: for editors
  • tree: print directory structure nicely
  • tmux: tiled layout
  • fasd: shortcuts for locating file/directory
  • rlwrap: wrap any stdin/out with readline
  • Package manager: brew


  • emacs dotfiles customization include emacs-color-theme-solarize theme and math-symbol-lists package
  • Sublime Text 3 for writing Haskell and Rust. Tried Atom before, but given up for its slowness in launch, response, and code search, as well as that is GFW’ed, editor UI is too gloomy, and no highlight for special characters.
  • IDE: not a lot, Java needs IntelliJ IDEA. Xcode is useless, sometimes MATLAB. Use Proof General mode in emacs to write Coq
  • Markdown: MacDown

Font: Source Code Pro for terminal and editor

Haskell: Haskell Platform for global ghci and snippets; per project using stack

Visualize git repo using SourceTree

Window manager: Spectacle

System Monitor: Colossus (drawback: too resource savvy)

Launch & search: Alfred

Test REST API: Postman

Use Caffeine to prevent Mac from sleeping.

Microsoft Office 365

IRC with irccloud (web app + iOS, great UI, persistent history, mention notification, $5/m)

Paper mangement: Mendeley

Books: Preview, no iBooks

Proxy: ss + proxychains for terminal applications (spawned process might not be properly proxied). ss traffic is safer than L2TP traffic

Blog: Jekyll + Github Pages.

Personal homepage: DO droplet (SFO).

Domain name: godaddy

Image processing: GIMP

pandoc + MacTex for complex document formats.

Pre-installed: Notes, Safari, calendar

Mail client:Airmail 3.

Python: iPython

OCaml: no ocaml for interpreter, use utop

cnpm for node source (in China)