Kevin Marsh is a web developer from Toledo, OH with a focus on simplicity and usability, an eye for design, and insatiable curiosity.

Like most geeks, I spend an inordinate amount of time obsessing about technology choices. Here are some I'm happy with:

I use a 2020 13″ M1 MacBook Pro as my primary computer. It has been quite amazing, even given the fact it’s a bit before its time with regard to compatibility. I’m impressed how snappy and responsive it feels so far.

It’s almost always plugged into a Dell P2715Q 27″ LCD monitor which, despite not having any USB-C ports, I’ve liked a lot.

I use a wired Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad. I have a mechanical keyboard that fell out of use when I was working in an office with others and should get back into, but it’s not up to the standards of the enthusiasts I follow. I even have an IBM Model M and an Apple Extended Keyboard II that I love the feel of but are impractical to connect to modern hardware.

I use a Apple Magic Mouse 2, which I just upgraded to from an Magic Mouse that I’ve had for years. I know many mock it, but I like it a lot. I tried a Logitech MX Master but couldn’t get used to the ergonomics.

Development

I’ve used Visual Studio Code for all development since around 2017. I don’t use many of its advanced features, but have made a commitment to use the built in terminal and git integration more and it’s been pretty good!

I’m a sucker for the Ocean Dark theme and I’ve made variations for Terminal.app and Alfred as well. I’ve taken cues from the colors for this site as well.

I use the Source Code Pro font from Adobe which is free and open source.

Previously I used Sublime Text and TextMate (like everyone after DHH’s infamous screencast) and have given vim more tries than I can count.

Desktop Wallpaper

I love these polygonal desktop wallpapers and use them both on my desktop and phone. I’ve been using them for so long, I regret I don’t remember where they came from:

Office

In the Summer of 2020 I remodeled our smaller detached garage into an office I call The Shedquarters. It’s small at just over 200 ft² but just big enough for a desk, a fridge full of drinks, and some shelves. Quiet and peaceful, yet still close to home, it’s my favorite place to work.

I sit in a Herman Miller Mirra chair that I bought in 2010 and has served me well for hours a day ever since, they’ve even sent someone to my home once to fix a cracked back free of charge!

My desk is a Jarvis standing desk by Fully that I don’t take advantage of enough throughout the day and wish was bigger.

I have way more notebooks than I could ever use, and am somehow always buying more. I typically keep a pad open on my desk, usually a Field Notes or a Rhodia spiral bound pad for quickly jotting things down. Dot grid, please. I have a similar obsession with pens. My current favorites are the Le Pen by Marvy Uchida and Pilot Razor Points.

I bought a Canon PRO-100 inkjet printer really cheap one time from B&H that can print beautiful 13″×19″ prints that, if it weren’t for Precision Colors inks, would be more far more expensive than just going to a lab. Red River Paper makes awesome stocks in lots of different sizes.

I try and scan every piece of paper that comes my way with a Fuji ScanSnap S1500M. Big props to them for continuing to support it through new releases of macOS! Right now I don’t have a very good filing solution other than OCR’ing PDFs into Dropbox.

Phone

I use an iPhone 11 Pro in Space Gray. I’ve owned pretty much all the iPhones, starting with the original back in 2007. I’ve felt the need to upgrade less and less as time goes on: maybe the differences are becoming less noticeable or maybe I’m just getting older. I love it and wish I didn’t glance at it so much.

Apps

Some of the apps I use on a regular basis.

  • 1Password (macOS, iOS): I try to do the right thing and use random password for everything.
  • Adobe Lightroom (macOS): While I don’t use it much these days, all my photos pre-2019 or so are here. Since shooting mostly with my iPhone, importing became too cumbersome compared to iCloud and Google Photos so it’s mostly an archive of the past. I still use the Classic version because, as of very recently, the cloud one still didn’t support printing(!)
  • Alfred (macOS): I got on the launcher bandwagon years ago with Quicksilver. While its development languished Alfred stepped up.
  • AnyList (iOS): Sharing grocery lists and recipes with the wife has never been easier, especially with Alexa and Google Home integration (“Alexa, add beer to the grocery list.")
  • Apollo (iOS): Much better than new Reddit.
  • Chrome (macOS): Occasionally need to fire it up for the dev tools, which are top-notch.
  • Drafts (iOS): I should use this more.
  • Dropbox (macOS, iOS): I’ve never paid for it or used any of it’s. I have 6GB+ or so of free usage from referrals back in the day and it’s good enough for what it does. Keeps a bunch of folders in sync and backed up across devices.
  • Fantastical (iOS): I only use this on my iPhone.
  • GoodReader (iOS): The best app I’ve found for consuming PDFs on the iPad.
  • Google Photos (iOS, Web): The search is amazing and I love seeing photos on our Google Nest Hub in the kitchen. It’s also nice to have (another) automated backup. I use their API for creating a photo calendar for my wife’s Christmas present every year.
  • Plex (Everywhere): I run a Plex Media Server on my Synology and stream TV and Movies to almost any device.
  • Reeder (iOS, Mac): The best app to consume RSS feeds, used with Feedbin
  • Safari: For performance, privacy, and battery life I’ve recently switched to Safari from Chrome as my daily driver.
  • Snapseed (iOS): For quick editing of photos before sharing
  • Spark: The best native email client I’ve come across for several Google-hosted email accounts. Used on macOS and iOS.
  • Spotify: I’ve been a user since you had to use a proxy server in the US. Their music discovery has gotten so good.
  • TablePlus: For connecting to PostgreSQL database servers (or any) with a decent GUI. Replaced Sequel Pro.
  • TickTick: Giving this a go for task management. I gave OmniFocus a bunch of money over the years but it never stuck.
  • Tweetbot: As much as I’d like to avoid Twitter, I keep coming back.

Photography

Back when I had more free time I loved to shoot with a real camera. You know, setting up flashes, changing lenses, and so on. I upgraded a few times but I currently have a Canon T2i with a bunch of lenses.

But nowadays most of my photos are taken with an iPhone.

I grew up posting to Flickr for the world to see, but now most photos are private and stored in Apple and Google Photos.

Home Network

After years of dealing with bad wi-fi from single routers I decided to take the plunge and invest in some prosumer-level network gear in the new house.

At the center is a UniFi Dream Machine from Ubiquiti. We have several in-wall access points (UAP-AC-IW) throughout the house and a UAP-AC-LR in the Shedquarters, connected via Cat6 run underground. The APs are powered via PoE by a US-8-60W switch.

Everything works together really well, of course, and the iOS app makes managing it and checking stats a breeze.

There is also a Synology DS918+ in the basement with 4 6TB drives. Like everyone else that raves about these, it has been a great experience. It has just enough power to run Plex Media Server and some Docker containers (like Homebridge.)

Blog (Colophon)

This site is a static one, built with Hugo and Tailwind CSS. Hosted at Netlify. Source on GitHub.

It is set in Noto Serif and Source Code Pro via Google Fonts.