Nice Tools We Like
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There are so many tools out there that can make your life as a developer easier or more fun. In today’s episode, Alex, Tessa, and Ari sit down to share some of their favorite tools. We hear about why everyone loves VSCode and find out the story of how each panelist came to use this editor for their work. We also dive into themes, terminals, and font choices, where there are some seriously hot takes. In fact, Alex has such hot takes, we are not even sure he will be a host anymore! Our conversation even gets into mouse selection, keyboard choice, where you hear about what a hot-swappable keyboard is, and some of the best extensions for typos. Ultimately, you have to decide what makes your life better and improves your workflow. We are just here to share what works for us. Tune in to hear it all!
Key Points From This Episode:
- Hear what editor everyone is currently using and the story behind their decisions.
- What makes VSCode so powerful: all of its plugins.
- Everyone’s VSCode theme of choice at the moment.
- Hear about some of the instances when Alex uses light themes.
- Find out what a ligature is and when you should and should not use them.
- Fonts that Alex, Tessa, and Ari use in their editors.
- The panel’s terminal decisions; there are some seriously hot takes!
- Insights into why Alex doesn’t really use git commands.
- Hear about Mac’s productivity app, Alfred, and how it works.
- Some extensions that help with typos in the terminal.
- Why Ari uses a gaming mouse and how this has helped her.
- Ari, Tessa, and Alex’s keyboard habits and which fingers they use for what.
- Some of the mouses Tessa, Ari, and Alex have used and currently use.
- A look at the panel’s keyboard preferences.
- What a hot-swappable keyboard is and the benefits of using one.
- Final tools and tricks from everyone to end the show.
- Hear what the panel’s picks for this week are.
“What makes VS Code so powerful is its plugins. You can turn VS Code into an IDE, which is an integrated development environment. That allows you to have your debugging built-in.” —@fimion [0:04:40]
“My random, other extra dev thing is that I use a gaming mouse.” — @GloomyLumi [0:31:41]
“I feel like, if you have a mouse you take that opportunity to try a new mouse, because usually, you don't really have that option.” — Tessa [0:37:07]
“Hot swappable boards are solderless. You just pop the switches up, pop in new ones, but you have to have something in the board to hold the switch in place.” —@fimion [0:40:54]
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
[00:00:00] T: This episode is brought to you by Ionic. For more, visit ionicframework.com/vue.
[00:00:16] AC: Hey everybody, and welcome to Enjoy the Vue. I am Ari. Today on our panel, we have Alex.
[00:00:22] AR: Hello.
[00:00:23] AC: And Tessa.
[00:00:25] T: Hello.
[00:00:27] AC: Today, we are going to talk about a topic I've talked about before on the show, but we have not yet discussed with our newest panelist. Today, we're talking about our dev environments and what tools we use to be productive as developers. First question, what editor are you using, Tessa?
[00:00:48] T: I guess, when I started working well, not professionally as a web developer, but when I was looking to transition into web development, because I've used other editors. Before that, I started with Sublime Text. One of my classmates really liked VS Code, because they were like, it does all the git stuff for you. I was like, “Listen, I dedicated a week to memorizing the terminal commands.”
I got Wes Bos’s Sublime Text power user course. I was like, “Now I know how to use Sublime Text.” I started working on this open source, Angular Education Project. I mean, it's a long, weird story with weird hashtags. Hashtag eight spots. What does that mean? I don't know. The person who came up with it doesn't know. I go to the meetup for the first time and he's like, “Why are you using Sublime Text? You should use VS Code for Angular, because it gives you a lot of convenient tooling.” I was like, “Okay.”
The next time I came in, I brought in VS Code and VS Code has this extension, where you can keybinds to Sublime Text shortcuts. I was like, “Great. All the stuff that I learned last week wasn't a waste.” I come into VS Code. Then he's like, “Why are you using VS Code? You should be using WebStorm. That gives you a lot of great tooling for Angular.”
For the next week, I switched to WebStorm. I could not figure out how to do anything. Opening the terminal, even after googling it, I could never remember. There was keybinds for VS Code, but not for Sublime Text. Also, just like, you can't change the theme. I know, one of my teachers really likes it, because you can zoom in and stuff. I went back to VS Code, and I haven't changed since, because there was a lot of built-in support for Vue. I got really into Vue, and that's what I'm still using today.
[00:02:37] AC: Okay, Alex. Tell us your editor story.
[00:02:39] AR: We're going to go away back.
[00:02:42] AC: Okay, maybe let's limit this to five years, or we’ll be here all day.
[00:02:47] AR: We’re going to go way back. Oh, go way back, then we'll jump forward a little bit. I started doing web development in high school, early 2000s.
[00:02:58] T: 75 years ago. What?
JetBrains has the PyCharm Community Edition Editor, which is excellent for Python, because it is purpose built for that language. I really got into using PyCharm. Probably about six months to a year after I started using PyCharm, Microsoft came out with VS Code. I've picked it up as an editor, but I've never really used it as an IDE.
[00:03:57] AC: Oh, let's stop there. What is the difference between an editor and an IDE?
[00:04:02] AR: Why Ari, I'm glad you asked.
[00:04:05] T: I can't believe you fell for his trap. No.
[00:04:11] AR: An editor is very bare bones. You can type text. There may be a little bit of helpful auto-completion. Notepad ++, it's an editor. It has way more features than Notepad, but it is an editor. It has some extra bells and whistles, but at the end of the day, it's just an editor. VS Code, Vanilla VS Code starts off as an editor. It is just an editor. Has some extra stuff.
What makes VS Code so powerful is its plugins. You can turn VS Code into an IDE, which is an integrated development environment. That allows you to have your debugging built-in, so that okay, cool. I'm going to click this line in the editor and debug it in the browser. There's all of this stuff that works together, so that you can magically just knows where you are and everything that you're doing.
An IDE is a more heavier version of an editor. It has a lot more bells and whistles. The JetBrains line of stuff, they are IDEs by default. They don't start off as an editor. It's no, you're making a project, right? You start off with a project. You don't start off just opening a file. You go, here's the folder where the project is, and then it has all this extra stuff that it does. IDEs are very powerful. Sometimes you don't need that. Sometimes you don't need the 800-pound gorilla to open a banana. You just need a small knife or something. You need that nice, little –
[00:05:46] T: You open bananas with a knife. We can’t move that. We got to learn more.
[00:05:51] AC: I’m glad that we both were like, “Wait. With a knife?”
[00:05:54] AR: Okay, so have you never needed to take a knife to start opening a banana? Because there are times where I have had a banana that I'm trying to open and it will not open. You just got to cut the skin a little bit to get the peel going.
[00:06:07] T: I mean, I feel sometimes it's too soft. Then I use the bananas method, where you start on the bottom, and that usually works. One under the other.
[00:06:15] AR: See, and that's my problem is that if I start from the bottom, if you hold it the way that a monkey actually would, you're supposed to hold it by the stem, and then start from the bottom and peel. Problem is that I bite my nails. I'm a terrible person. I'm so sorry, everybody. I bite my nails and I don't have enough nail to really rip open a banana properly, to get it started.
[00:06:33] T: Oh, I don't use my nails either. I pinch it.
[00:06:35] AC: I have beautiful nails.
[00:06:36] AR: Apparently, I am just very bad at opening bananas.
[00:06:41] AC: Okay. That is a fun fact about me, is that my nails are something I have always been known for, even since childhood. They're very strong. They're beautiful. I could have been a hand model. Instead, I use these things to type. What a waste.
[00:06:54] AR: What a waste.
[00:06:55] T: Everyone knows typing is just a workout for your fingers.
[00:06:58] AR: You could combine the two. You could get into modeling mechanical keyboards?
[00:07:02] T: Yeah, I was just going to say.
[00:07:03] AR: They're very hot.
[00:07:05] T: If you're listening, mechanical keyboard companies, @GloomyLumi.
[00:07:09] AR: Yes, at @GloomyLumi.
[00:07:10] AC: I have been thinking about trying one. Actually, okay, we'll get to keyboards later. Right. Continue, Alex. Now that we’ve established that sometimes you use a knife for a banana.
[00:07:20] AR: Yes. Sometimes I am incapable of opening a banana on my own, and I need assistance.
[00:07:25] T: I can't believe I thought that was a throwaway joke.
[00:07:31] AR: I tend to use the JetBrain’s line of stuff, and I have lots of different weird extensions installed. Because you also can install extensions in JetBrains world. Most notably, I think, my favorite one is the Nyan Cat progress bars. Instead of just being a progress bar, it's a Nyan Cat that the rainbow just is the part of the status bar. A Nyan Cat goes flying across instead. It's really great. Every time that you do a git commit, Nyan cat goes across the screen.
[00:07:59] T: I installed one of those for my terminal. Whenever I type, Nyan cat would go across and it would play the music and change the background color. It was just too much, so I had to turn it off.
[00:08:08] AR: No, no, no. This is very simple. There's no music involved in this one. It's very nice. I really like this. It's one of my favorite plugins. It adds a nice little pop of color, when you least expect it. Yeah. Typically, I use JetBrains line of stuff lately for my job. I've been having to use VS Code, though. I'm slowly being pulled to the dark side.
[00:08:31] AC: Dark side. Okay, I was about to say, the way you said that sounded like you did not approve of this change in your life. It sounds like, you're approving of it more and more as the days go on.
[00:09:00] AC: Okay. Okay. Well, like everyone else, I did not start with VS Code. I personally started with Atom. Then VS Code came out while I was in a coding boot camp, and the instructor was all super jazzed about it. I'm like, okay, I learned all of the Atom shortcuts. Tessa, I put in the work. Then yes, VS Code does have Atom keybinds. When I started using Vue at work, or at least when we were entertaining the idea of using Vue at work, I had heard that support for Vue was better with VS Code than Atom. I was like, “Okay, I'll try it.” It won me over.
I really didn't want that to be the case, because it was like, Microsoft. Because I've been a Mac person literally my entire life. Microsoft was a bad word in my house, but they made a good product, and I couldn't deny that. It was great. Yup, I feel like, we've talked enough about VS Code. I'm going to imagine that the vast majority of our listeners are using VS Code, just to guess.
[00:10:05] AR: Yeah. Tim webstore all the time.
[00:10:06] T: I actually had trade Atom and Sublime Text and whatever the other popular ones were at the time. The other ones froze on my computer, so that's pretty much what made my decision.
[00:10:17] AC: Yeah, that was the other thing is Atom is well-known for being a massive memory hog. Yeah, I got tired of getting really slow on me all the time. I mean, every once in a while, VS Code pulls that on me, but usually restarting it actually fixes it for a good length of time, rather than a few hours. Okay, so since we are using VS Code, what is your theme of choice?
[00:10:40] AR: Night owl.
[00:10:40] AC: Tessa?
[00:10:41] T: I need to look up the name. I think, I remember.
[00:10:44] AC: Okay. Well, I will go through my evolution. Ones I still enjoy. I will admit, I have recently switched to night owl. Just to make this more interesting, previously, I was using Dracula italics turbo. Yeah, I know, right? Because there was things about Dracula and I wanted italics, but then Dracula italics, the bottom bar was some bright color, which I'm just not about that life. Italics turbo doesn't have the bright bar on the bottom.
[00:11:10] AR: I see. I have always been a dark mode person.
[00:11:15] AC: Oh, yeah. No, I'm sorry. If you use lite mode, I can't talk to you.
[00:11:18] AR: Well, okay, to be fair, Notepad ++ did not have a dark mode.
[00:11:22] AC: Gross.
[00:11:23] AR: Yeah, I know, right? Early 2000s, late 90s. So great. Such a good time. I've always just been whatever the default dark theme is. I've never really spent time customizing my editor, because I'm always like, the amount of time it takes me to spend customizing the editor, then it wouldn't write code for two years, and then have a new computer and I have to reinstall the editor and then reset it up again, I just gave up. I was just like, whatever the default is, go for it. That's been my MO for many, many years.
Then finally, now I've – settings can get synchronized now between computers. There's ways of being able to transfer my preferences and stuff like that. I'm in editors all the time now, so it's a lot easier for me to be like, okay, let's spend some time and make this look the way that we want it to look. I have been doing that a bit more. Night owl was the first one where I was like, “Oh, this looks nice. This looks really nice.”
[00:12:21] T: This looks night. I was going to say, I didn't even know you could customize webstore appearance. That was one of the things I didn't like about it.
[00:12:28] AR: Oh, yeah. Now you can.
[00:12:29] AC: Tessa, did you determine what theme are you using?
[00:12:32] T: I don't want to say anymore.
[00:12:34] AC: Why?
[00:12:35] T: Well earlier, I was going to joke about how we were talking about hot takes before recording, but then you took it there. I'm like, “Mm.” My current theme is suburb light. It is a millennial pink and lavender theme.
[00:12:50] AC: Oh, that's pretty though. Actually, my main hatred of light themes is actually, because the past few years, I've developed a floater in my left eye. I don't see it on dark mode, so it doesn't drive me insane. One theme that I'm actually seriously considering trying out is Yonsei by Mina Markham, because I saw Aisha Blake using it and it's so happy and pretty. It's called Yonsei. I mean, that's cool.
If people don't know yet what their VS Code theme is, there is a website called vscodethemes.com, which makes it super easy to browse the themes. Just FYI. Now, let's go for some real hot takes. What font? Because I know Tessa hates the font I use.
[00:13:47] T: I don't know what you're talking about. Well, before I move on to the next point, I guess just real quick, the reason I started using light themes, because I would change up my theme a lot, and there is actually a dark theme I also really like that I use in my VueConf US talk. I'm perpetually very tired. Days when I was feeling more sleepy, I would use a light theme and it would keep me awake. Once I found suburb light, which I liked the soft tones. I find it very soothing. That's when I started using it a majority of the time.
[00:14:16] AC: Okay, I've stopped judging you now.
[00:14:19] AR: I have used light themes in VS Code in the past, specifically when I am doing code presentations. If I'm live coding something in front of an audience, I will use it, because on projectors, projectors are designed to display light, not dark. Using a dark theme, there is not enough contrast. If you use a light theme, everybody can read your code and you're not having to worry about, is this purple going to show up on this blue?
[00:14:49] AC: Geez. Why? Sitting here caring about other people.
[00:14:53] AR: Yes, yes. I know.
[00:14:55] T: I will say that that's one thing suburb light is not good for, is it's fairly low contrast, because it’s like a pastely theme. Always hunting for a new one, whenever I give a presentation.
[00:15:04] AC: Well, there is a light version of night owl. Just going to throw that out there. I don't think I've ever actually seen it, but it exists.
[00:15:12] T: Videl morning owl.
[00:15:14] AR: I'm looking at this VS Code themes site.
[00:15:17] AC: It's amazing.
[00:15:18] AR: I may have to change my theme.
[00:15:19] AC: Oh, I know. Yeah. No, I went down a rabbit hole. It was bad.
[00:15:23] AR: What have you done?
[00:15:24] AC: Because yeah, it turns out, there are so many options. Okay, on to the next hot take. Fonts.
[00:15:30] T: I talked about my font choice on here before and it hasn't changed yet. I'm currently using a typeface called cardigraph by Connery Fagan. It's a bit wider than I would usually go for a work document. I saw something Eduardo was working on on Twitter and I was trying to – It was a design thing. I was trying to match the font that he was using. I went down a rabbit hole with monospace fonts. Then I saw this one. It wasn't being advertised as a coding font, but just in the font previews, I was like, “Oh, that looks really cute.” That's what I'm using. It has ligatures, which I didn't realize when I had initially gotten it, so that's also nice.
[00:16:08] AC: For those who don't know, ligatures are characters that combine multiple characters that we use commonly in programming. For example, an arrow function, instead of just being an equal sign and a bracket, it actually looks like an arrow, which is super fun. For me, it makes things easier to read. I do personally like fonts with ligatures. Some people hate them.
[00:16:31] AR: Yeah, if you're in a language that is unfamiliar to you, I would suggest turning off ligatures, because it will start – you'd be like, “Is that a double equal sign, or a triple equal sign?” Because it turns it into random, different symbols, right?
[00:16:44] AC: Well, obviously, the solution is always use triple equals, Alex.
[00:16:47] AR: Yeah. I know, right? Unless you're in Python, in which case, they don't have a triple equals, and then you try to put it anyway.
[00:16:54] T: Sounds like a you problem.
[00:16:55] AR: Yeah, it is a me problem. My font that I like to use, because we're talking about hot takes here. First off, if I'm in an editor, I like to use dank mono, because I'm basic.
[00:17:07] AC: It's okay. Me too.
[00:17:10] AR: Yeah. It's a good font. I like it. It's nice.
[00:17:12] AC: Tessa hates dank mono.
[00:17:15] AR: I know. That's also why it’s just to upset Tessa. The other font that I use that I've started using on my website, actually for code examples, because I'm a terrible person, and I have zero design skills. I have started using it, I believe it's comic mono.
[00:17:32] AC: Who are you?
[00:17:34] T: Well, wait. No. I feel like we've had this discussion and the comic mono font that I have, a different one from the comic mono that you have.
[00:17:41] AR: Yeah, there's three different ones. This one is legitimately called comic mono.
[00:17:44] AC: Is this the Comic Sans of mono space?
[00:17:47] AR: Yes.
[00:17:47] T: Yes. It's very cute.
[00:17:49] AR: Well, it goes with the theme of my website.
[00:17:52] T: Yeah. His whole website is Comic Sans.
[00:17:56] AC: I can't even with you right now.
[00:17:58] AR: Yeah, I'm not allowed to design things. Hasn’t anybody ever told you?
[00:18:01] T: Wait. Now this makes me want to read a really spicy blog post that's all in Comic Sans. Imagine if Twitter was in Comic Sans.
[00:18:10] AC: No.
[00:18:12] T: I should make an extension for that.
[00:18:15] AR: Those are my fun choices currently, is that I’m on a big Comic Sans kick right now. I might be seeing if I can find a good one to actually put into my editor and start using that on the regular. Just [inaudible 00:18:25].
[00:18:28] AC: Wow.
[00:18:29] T: Oh, so it's okay when he uses dank mono for that reason, but not when he –
[00:18:34] AC: Yeah. Duh. It’s okay to piss you off, not me. Okay. Now, the next big debate is, what are you using for your terminal? Are you using just terminal I-term? Whatever stuff is on Linux or Windows that I don't know? Go first, Alex, because you look like you have thoughts.
[00:19:01] T: Yeah. Alex?
[00:19:04] AR: I move around –
[00:19:05] AC: Really, Tessa?
[00:19:06] AR: I move around between computers quite a bit. My environment terminal-wise changes rather dramatically, depending on the computer that I'm on. I'm going to say it and it's mildly spicy take. I like PowerShell.
[00:19:23] AC: Well, it was really nice having you as a panelist, Alex. I've never used it, so I honestly can't judge.
[00:19:32] AR: I'm terrible at using PowerShell, but I conceptually – I really like what it does. I don't mind dropping into PowerShell to use things. Typically, whatever system I'm on, I'm using the default, except for Macs, because those I tend to have time to set up the way that I need to, because I usually only use those for work. On a Mac, I'm using Iterm with ZSH as my actual shell. I use Oh my ZSH.
[00:20:00] AC: We can just call it ZSH.
[00:20:01] AR: Well, see. The people that I listen to who talked about it the most are all British, or Canadian.
[00:20:07] AC: Oh, so Zed SH.
[00:20:09] AR: It’s Zed SH. I'm like, that’s actually a lot nicer.
[00:20:12] T: Are you really saying Zed SH, or are you saying ZEDsh?
[00:20:15] AR: Zed SH. Don't make fun of my Southerness, because I can't pronounce things right.
[00:20:20] T: I mean, as long as you also start saying HTML, I’m fine.
[00:20:23] AR: HTML?
[00:20:27] AR: Hey, Tessa. Your new PB and J topping selector website is really blowing up. I wish it came in a mobile app version, so I didn't have to bring my desktop to my kitchen every single time I'm hungry.
[00:20:42] T: Tell me about it. I don't know the first thing about mobile. I'm a Vue developer through and through. Oh, well.
[00:20:51] AR: Are you telling me you haven't heard of Ionic?
[00:20:54] T: Ionic?
[00:20:56] AR: It's a mobile app development platform that empowers web developers to easily make native, mobile and progressive web apps, all in Vue.
[00:21:05] T: That sounds too good to be true. How do I know if I can trust it?
[00:21:11] AR: Well, Ionic is the technology behind about 10% of the world's mobile apps, including ones from Home Depot and Target. It's also open source, so anyone can contribute.
[00:21:23] T: Nice. What if I need help?
[00:21:27] AR: Well, Ionic’s got you covered there, too, with their premium tools and services.
[00:21:32] T: Wow. That sounds almost as smooth as my favorite brand of peanut butter. I'm no good at design. Don't Apple and Google have super-stringent standards on mobile user experience design?
[00:22:06] T: Amazing. How do we get started?
[00:22:09] AR: At ionicframework.com/vue.
[00:22:13] T: I can't wait to make everyone jelly of my new PB&J mobile app.
[00:22:24] AC: Okay, Tessa. What do you use? Actually also, do you use the integrated terminal, or do you use a separate one, or both?
[00:22:32] AR: It depends, because sometimes if you're on a Windows system, and you're wanting to use WSL, it gets weird to use the integrated ones. Then also, depending on my editor, I have a lot of things set up. It's just like, they don't actually type things into the terminal. I’m like, “Oh, I have a package.JSON file. It has scripts in it. Let me just click the button that says, ‘run script’.
[00:23:00] T: What do we mean by integrated terminal?
[00:23:02] AC: In VS Code.
[00:23:03] AR: Or WebStorm. Your IDE of choice.
[00:23:06] T: I mean, the few times I've had to use the terminal on Windows, I've used the built-in one. I think with Mac, I started on the built-in terminal, then I switched to Iturn 2 with bash. Then last year, when I got a new word computer, I was like, “Okay, I'm going to switch to hyper.” Not realizing that hyper was ZSH, and that was a different thing. It also happened to be around the time that Mac OS were switching the default to ZSH.
Because I had seen, I think maybe it was in a tweet from Sarah Drasner, actually, like a year or so before that point about the explodey cursor. That was literally my only reason for wanting to use it. I think, prior to that, there had been an issue where you couldn't make it translucent, but now you can. I switched, but I still have the same issues with my config file with ZSH that I did with bash, which is that I seem to not be able to get my prompts set up in a way that doesn't either add weird characters in the front, or when I tried to delete characters, funny stuff happens. That's neither here nor there. I tried all my ZSH, and I was like, is this an Oh, my goddess reference? Also, I saw an Oh, my goddess t-shirt last week and I was like, “What is happening?” It overwrote all of my handwritten config. I was really upset and then relieved that when I uninstalled it, it was all back, but I didn't know that was going to happen. That's my terminal.
[00:24:20] AC: It sounds like, you're still searching for your perfect terminal.
[00:24:25] T: That's a lot of work. I also use the VS Code one pretty regularly. I feel like, it generally seems to reflect whatever settings I put in, whatever my terminal is at the time.
[00:24:37] AC: I think that's accurate. I think it uses whatever your default one is. Don't quote me on that, because I could totally be wrong. I apparently am one of the only developers who actually still uses terminal. Just terminal. Just because, I don't know. It works for me. It does what I need it to do, so that's what I use. Now, I'm pretty specific about that I use the VS Code terminal for, versus everything else. I really only use the VS Code terminal for git commands.
[00:25:08] T: Yeah. It's so nice not having to CD into it. Right.
[00:25:12] AC: If I'm running a server or something, it's always in terminal.
[00:25:16] AR: That's actually one of the – I'm one of those weird people who doesn't type git commands.
[00:25:23] AC: Again, it was really nice having you as a panelist.
[00:25:26] AR: No, so the JetBrains git interface is really, really good. I wish that they would just make a git client that I could have and not need the full editor. I've been in a lot of code bases, where there's merge issues, and there's all of these things. They have one click buttons to go, “Okay, cool. Rebase the branch that I'm on on this other branch and pull the most recent version, and then rebase on that, so that it's up to date.”
[00:25:58] AC: I still don't know what rebasing is, but that is another episode, I think.
[00:26:03] AR: I think so. It can do really complex things in one button click, and it's laid out in such a way that it just works within the editor really well.
[00:26:13] AC: Okay, so that reminds me, so one of the reasons I use oh, my ZSH is because I'm lazy, and I don't like configuring anything. Oh, my ZSH comes with a bunch of aliases built in. For example, I don't do git add, I just type JAA, and it does git at all. For a git commit message, I just do GCMSG. This comes in. Anyone out there using oh, my ZSH, you can use this. What is it? Let's see. GCOS git checkout. GCB is git checkout dash V, for checking out a new branch. Well, there's a bunch of other ones. Yeah, that is my one productivity hack, because I save 10 characters every day.
[00:26:57] T: Yeah. That reminds me, I keep on expecting my Sublime Text keybinding in VS Code to be a problem when I'm giving somebody shortcuts, like when I'm teaching a class or something. So far, it seemingly hasn't. Yeah, I actually don't use git in the terminal anymore. I just use it all in VS Code. One thing that I didn't know for a while that I found really frustrating is that if you open the command palette, you can accept all of the incoming changes, or all of the current changes, instead of going through each line one by one.
[00:27:25] AC: I did not know that. That's useful.
[00:27:27] T: Yeah. I remember doing it all on the terminal, or SVN on the terminal. I’m like, I don't know if I would be able to do it now.
[00:27:34] AC: There are certain git functions that I will use the VS Code interface for, like undoing a commit, because I don't remember what that is. I go to the undo. I’m like, “Yay.”
[00:27:47] T: With actually undoing, I always do it manually.
[00:27:49] AC: That's so funny.
[00:27:51] AR: The thing that I always use an interface for that I legitimately would not know how to do in the command line, and I was cherry-picking. That is –
[00:27:58] AC: Oh, so the ZSH, the oh, my ZSH shortcut for that is GCP, because I used to have to cherry pick every freaking day.
[00:28:04] AR: Wow. Okay then. Well then. I may have to look into what the shortcuts in ZSH are.
[00:28:09] AC: Yeah. GCP and then the commit hash.
[00:28:13] T: Yeah. Considering how much trouble I've been having navigating my terminal now, I feel it would be hard for me to get used to navigating diffs in the terminal again.
[00:28:24] AC: Yeah, I've never done that. I've always used editors for that thing. I don't hate myself.
[00:28:30] T: I actually really liked it. I think, it takes a lot of practice to get back into it.
[00:28:35] AR: The other tool that I use that's vaguely terminal related, that I try to get something like this set up on most machines that I use is on Macs specifically, I really like using Alfred.
[00:28:49] AC: What is that?
[00:28:50] AR: Oh, so Alfred is this magical program.
[00:28:54] T: It's spotlight with a mustache.
[00:28:56] AR: It's spotlight with a mustache. I always remap my caps lock key to be the super meta key, where it's CTRL, ALT, command and shift, all at the same time. If you hold it down, it's the super meta key. Then if you just press it once, it's F19. Then I map Alfred to be triggered –
[00:29:17] T: Oh, totally normal key.
[00:29:18] AR: Well, exactly. It's not on any keyboard. It's not something else I'm going to be pushing. Then I map Alfred to be F19. Its global hotkey is F19. If I need to open up something, it allows you to basically go, press the caps lock key, type in the thing you want, hit enter, and it opens up. It's super useful for like, “Oh, I need to do a quick Google search. Oh, I need to do a quick math calculation, when you're playing Dungeons and Dragons.”
[00:29:42] AC: Yeah. I just use spotlight command space.
[00:29:46] AR: See, but you’re wasting a whole key. Press there. You could do it in one key, instead of two.
[00:29:51] AC: Okay, but I also save a lot of keys by mapping common key binds to my mouse, which has a ton of have extra buttons. I feel in the long run, I'm totally beating you.
[00:30:03] AR: It's fair. That is fair.
[00:30:05] T: I mapped Alfred to command space. I don't actually do any keybind stuff. I mean, I can't – One problem I have is I've never been able to figure out how to map a function key on my keyboard, external keyboard to the Mac. They just never want to work. I don't know why. It's really annoying. It's really hard to Google for. Nothing I find brings it up.
Yeah. Ari, you mentioned something about typos in terminal and one extension that I've installed occasionally, I keep forgetting to reinstall it. Because for some reason, it was hard for me to get to work in ZSD. Can't say it on the podcast, because of our policy on curse words, but it's the F. Anytime you mess up a command and you type in F, it'll give you suggested corrections. Like, “Did you mean this or that?” You can press enter, and then it will automatically redo the command with the right word.
[00:30:49] AC: What? That sounds amazing.
[00:30:52] T: The F.
[00:30:53] AC: I see what you did there.
[00:30:55] AR: There's another one that's just like an alias that you can do, where if you need to do something with sudo, where you're like, I need to run this as a super user. You type in the command, but you forget to actually type in sudo beforehand. There's an alias that you can do, which is basically sudo, bang, bang, which allows you to redo the last command that you did. You map that as an alias to please, so that you type in the wrong command and it goes, you don't have permission to do that. You go, please. It does it, and you can type in your password and make it work.
[00:31:26] AC: That's amazing.
[00:31:28] AR: Yeah. I think, somebody made a slightly more complex version of that, but it's essentially, you just take the last command that you do and redo it, but with sudo in front of it. It's called the please command.
[00:31:39] T: I love the please one. Yeah.
[00:31:41] AC: Okay. My random, other extra dev thing was what I mentioned is that I use a gaming mouse, specifically the G-604, which has six extra buttons on the side, as well as two buttons on top, in-line with the left click. Let me tell you, the two top buttons, those are copy and paste, because that is what I spend half my day doing, because I am that lazy. I will copy paste two words. Yeah, so Logitech G-604 is awesome. Does anyone else have weird developer hacks that they use?
[00:32:16] T: I mean, one common pattern that I've noticed around people that do a lot of typing, whether it's coders, or songwriters is if you misspell a bunch of words or something, or there's a typo that's up there, you don't right-click and hit correct and you don't highlight a bunch of it and delete it. You delete one by one, and then retype it one by one. I don't know why that's a thing that we all do, but I feel everybody do that. I get it, but I also find it hilarious every time.
[00:32:46] AC: I like the observation. I feel I vary on that a lot. Yeah. No. I tend to just backspace the whole word. Even if it's a really long word.
[00:32:56] T: Right. I feel sometimes, it's like, I still haven't figured out if there's any pattern to it. For example, sometimes it's not enough to just delete to the point where you misspelled. If you have to go back to the beginning of the word and then start over.
[00:33:07] AR: See, I already typed funny, now that we're going into get spicy hot takes. A lot of people touch type. I mean, you put your two index fingers on F and J. Then you have the middle thing and you're able to – You don't look at your keyboard and you do that. I look at my keyboard.
[00:33:23] AC: I look at my keyboard.
[00:33:25] AR: I look at my keyboard, and I don't use my left index finger. I don't know why I don't use my – I found this out the other day. I videotaped myself typing and I looked at it and I went, “I never use my left index finger.” I don't know why.
[00:33:39] AC: I never used my right pinky.
[00:33:40] T: I feel like, also, this is the thing. What finger do you use to press the spacebar?
[00:33:44] AC: Left.
[00:33:45] AR: One of my thumbs.
[00:33:46] AC: You can always tell based on if I have an older keyboard, it's real clear which one I’m using.
[00:33:56] T: I also learned recently that Alex is a right shift person.
[00:33:58] AC: What? I was about to say, also my right shift key is always pristine, because I never use it.
[00:34:04] AR: I use it occasionally. I don't use it frequently.
[00:34:07] T: I will use it for P and O, because they're on the far right of the keyboard.
[00:34:12] AR: I use it for shift enter.
[00:34:15] AC: No, I don't even do it for that. Because then, I have to contort my hand.
[00:34:19] T: I have four or five different mouse options sitting on my desk right now, although none of them will work with my personal Mac Book anymore. Well actually, that's not true. The touchpad, because it's from Mac, I guess, will work with my Mac, but none of my Logitech stuff will connect to it anymore for some reason. I have an ergo mouse. Took me a while to get used to it. The trackball is still a little bit too heavy for me. I have the vertical mouse, which is nice, except it has fewer buttons than the MX Master, which was and is my go-to. I liked the one and two. I haven't tried the three yet. The most frustrating thing about all of the other MX series mice is they don't have the free scroll option, which I really love and I hate not having it so much.
[00:35:03] AC: The Logitech 204 does have that option. Just going to throw that out there.
[00:35:07] T: Nice.
[00:35:09] AR: If we're talking about mice, we'll start there. I have a Logitech M720.
[00:35:16] AC: It’s so tiny.
[00:35:16] T: The mini-MX Master. Oh, the bottom is white. That's unusual. It's like a killer whale.
[00:35:21] AR: It has a forward and backward button. It's meant for business, less so for gaming, but it has a forward and backward button. It has a third button down here and that lets you change it between computers.
[00:35:32] AC: Oh, that's nifty.
[00:35:33] AR: I can connect it via Bluetooth to my Mac, to my PC, and then just switch which computer that I want. It has [inaudible 00:35:39], but it also has –
[00:35:43] T: Oh, so that was the free scroll. You can't hear that one.
[00:35:46] AR: You can't hear that one. It does have the free scroll. I like this. I actually have several of these. Because I would always have one for home, then I would have one for the office. Now I work from home, so I have multiple of them.
[00:36:00] T: Yeah. I have my MX Master for work, then my MX Master for design school, because I didn't want to carry one everywhere.
[00:36:06] AC: I used to use the MX Revolution. Got them back.
[00:36:10] T: That sounds like a 90s, or 80s mouse.
[00:36:13] AC: No, it was late 2000s.
[00:36:16] T: Yeah, just the name. One mouse that I use that had a really interesting scroll was the ark touch, or something like that. It was a portable ark mouse. It would be flat, but then you could prop it up to be a curve. I think they still make this mouse. The scroll button is a center touchpad and then they integrated a motor into it. When you're scrolling, it simulates the effect. Is it as fun as a real wheel? No. But I thought it was pretty cool.
One tip that I have for people is when you start a job, a lot of the time, your company will offer to buy a mouse and keyboard for you. I feel like, a lot of people I know are like, “I'm good. I have what I like.” For me, I feel because I work with my hands so much, I always want to try other options. That's usually when I'll try – That's how I tried the MX Ergo, because I'm like, well my hand hurts a lot. Maybe a different mouse would be better. I feel like, if you have a mouse you take that opportunity to try a new mouse, because usually, you don't really have that option.
[00:37:12] AC: Okay, keyboard preferences. Mine's going to be fast. I use the built-in laptop keyboard.
[00:37:18] AR: I'm going to be judgy McJudgy eyes over here.
[00:37:21] T: Which built-in laptop keyboard? Because I feel that's a big determiner for a lot of listeners.
[00:37:26] AC: Okay, MacBook Pro. I liked the one that everyone hated. I don't currently have that one. I have the next one after that, that people didn't hate as much. Yeah, I had the one that was really prone to breakage, which yes. I liked the way it felt, okay.
[00:37:40] T: I feel that's technically the second one, because the original one everybody hated was on the 12-inch, and that's – I love that keyboard.
[00:37:46] AC: The MacBook Pro 2016.
[00:37:47] T: The pro, they fixed some of the problems. Yeah, and I was like, I wish they didn't fix the problems. They were like, it's more tactile. I was like, “I liked the last tactile.” Also, I won all the typing contest in my class on that keyboard.
[00:38:00] AR: I prefer to not feel like I'm typing on a slab of wood.
[00:38:05] AC: I have fingernails as we established earlier. Low profiles, what I have to do, otherwise my nails catch. I end up hitting the wrong keys.
[00:38:15] AR: What you're saying is is that there is a benefit to me biting my nails, is what you're saying?
[00:38:19] AC: Actually, if I really need to do heads down programming and my nails are too long, I will rip them off, because I don't cut them, because that hurts. Fun fact. I don’t cut my nails.
[00:38:28] T: See, I always keep my nails trimmed. Yeah. I don't know if it’s from my piano days. I just cannot stand having long nails. Typing with long nails, sometimes I'll try to push through it and I can't. Keyboard-wise, I've been using a Logitech K-380 for maybe six years, five or six years now. I started with the one that's a Nickelodeon orange and was designed for PC. Now, I'm using the millennial pink one that's designed for Mac.
[00:38:55] AC: Oh, that’s cute.
[00:38:57] T: I know. I still can't get the function key to work and it's so frustrating. I also got a moon lander and I tried to learn how to use it. Got distracted with other things and figuring it out is really hard. I picked the quietest keys they had and still too loud.
[00:39:13] AR: Oh, well. We just need to swap out the switches.
[00:39:16] AC: Yeah, that sounds like a lot of work.
[00:39:18] T: Also, my fingers are really weak. I'm typing on it and I'm like, it's too hard to type.
[00:39:23] AR: Oh, yes, yes. We have had this discussion. Your fingers are incredibly weak, apparently.
[00:39:28] T: I had mounted some stuff on my desk yesterday and I couldn't get the knobs tight enough.
[00:39:32] AR: She didn't have enough grip strength. I'm using a Keycool KC87 RGB. It is a wireless mechanical keyboard, but I tend to keep it wired. I have swapped out some of the switches, not all of the switches. The ones that I primarily use. The main section here, I have swapped them out, because it's hot swappable. It has hot swappable switches.
[00:39:53] T: Hot swappable.
[00:39:54] AR: They're hot swappable. I can just pop them out, pop them in. They are teal zilence made by ZO PC. They're 62 grams of actuating force. They are tactile, and they are quite quiet. I have not done all the necessary lubrication in order to make them more quiet.
[00:40:13] AC: This sounds like so much work.
[00:40:16] T: I was just thinking, this is ASMR, or the keyboard coven of mukbang for some listeners. They're just like, “Oh, yeah. Tell me more details.”
[00:40:23] AR: Yeah. This is the one that I'm using right now. Then the one behind me has a number pad on it, which I use when I'm playing Dungeons and Dragons, because math. It is Cherry MX brown switches. It's a WASD keyboard. That’s the brand is WASD.
[00:40:41] AC: I’m going to pretend I know what you just said.
[00:40:45] T: Yeah, I don't know what hot-swapping is. I’m always like, what's the alternative? Is it you have to solder stuff?
[00:40:49] AR: Yeah. The alternative is that the switches are soldered in. The hot swappable boards are solderless. You just pop the switches up, pop in new ones, but you have to have something in the board to hold the switch in place. With the soldered ones, there are people who will go get just the bare board and solder their own switches in. I am not that adventurous yet. I would never got into soldering.
[00:41:13] T: Yeah. My friend Mark was like, “Tessa, now that you have a moon lander, I can send you custom lube switches. I'm moving a bunch of switches right now.” When I was ordering my keyboard, I've seen some supplies to that, which is a tiny brush and a tiny little – you know the little plastic thing that makeup samples come in, like the little double petri dish? There's little thing, a lube. I was like, but then I'd have to switch out the switches and then the keys for so many keys. That sounds so much work on top of having to touch grease, which I don't like.
[00:41:40] AR: I think, Ari doesn't like the word lube.
[00:41:43] T: I think she really likes it.
[00:41:44] AC: No. I'm not mature. We'll just leave it at that.
[00:41:50] AR: Yeah, I know the Cassidy Williams Discord that she has. There's a whole mechanical keyboard channel. If any of y'all are listening, I love you all, but you are all a bit obsessed. If you think that my configuration sounds complex, their stuff is way more complicated than mine is.
[00:42:09] T: Yeah. Also, if anyone is listening, I went with the [inaudible 00:42:12] red switches and I still want quieter and easier to press. Also, I feel it got the key tester for nothing, because I was like, “Okay, yeah. I can click this.” Then the keyboard came and it's so much harder to click. I've been playing at the store to try to figure out how to type, but that's only letters and not symbols. The keyboard manufacturer has an online thing where you can practice typing actual code, so a lot of symbols. It's always time. You have two minutes to type as much as you can and they just start over. I’m like, I just want to type TypeScript, but not type type it.
[00:42:50] AC: I feel that is a great place to end, unless anyone has any more final thoughts.
[00:42:56] T: Yeah. Well, I guess for note taking, just one quick one. I feel that's when people always have a question with, like this one seems called coil or something, that let you take notes and have edits. I forgot what it's called, but there's a free trial and then there's the paid version. Then I switched to another one called Agenda, which is very similar but it also shows you your calendar with your meetings and stuff on the right. Currently, I just use pen and paper.
[00:43:17] AC: Word. Pretty colored pens is where it's at.
[00:43:20] AR: I know. Ben is on a bigger obsidian kick and –
[00:43:23] AC: Really? I hadn’t noticed.
[00:43:26] T: Okay. Obsidian doesn't feed my stationary habit. We should talk about that sometime.
[00:43:33] AR: You’re in house and should absolutely talk about that sometime, because she has stationery and cards and everything everywhere. Yeah. No, I I've started using Obsidian. I'm not very good at taking notes, though. I now realize that about myself and I'll probably end up sticking to pen and paper.
[00:43:51] T: Yeah. I set up foam, but I still haven't gone back to it. I feel I shouldn't try a new one.
[00:43:55] AC: Studies have shown better retention when taking notes by hand.
[00:43:59] T: Also, reading notes in a hard-to-read, or unconventional font, like Curls MT, or Comic Sans. I feel like dank mono probably also fits the bill there, because the heights of everything is irregular.
[00:44:11] AC: Such a hater.
[00:44:13] T: I'm not saying that makes it hard to read. I'm just saying, I think, that's a part of it.
[00:44:18] AC: Okay. All right, picks. Tessa.
[00:44:21] T: Right. Okay, so a few weeks ago I started watching, finished watching Sanditon. I don't know if it's because right before that, I had finished watching Better Call Saul, but the camera work on the first episode, especially, feels shaky. If you like regency dramas, it's pretty that show. I enjoyed it. Season two was not out yet. I'm not a 100% sure if they confirmed that there is going to be a season two, but that's fine. You can watch it on BBC, I think.
Then after that, I finished watching Keepo, because a lot of people that I now know worked on it. I was like, “Okay, I should watch the show.” I guess, those are my picks for the week. Oh, and Keepo I was on Netflix.
[00:45:03] AC: Okay. Alex, you're up.
[00:45:06] AR: We've been watching pretty regularly for a while. I don't know if I've actually done this as a pick yet. If you are looking for positive entertainment and exciting illusions, I can highly recommend Penn and Teller Fool Us.
[00:45:23] T: I think you recommended it the last episode.
[00:45:26] AR: Really?
[00:45:27] T: Well, you fooled us once.
[00:45:28] AC: This is published.
[00:45:31] AR: Their most recent season has been really just excellent. We're still going through it. It's on the CW. You can find it there. Maybe elsewhere. If I did do this one twice, then we just cut my pick and I don't have any picks. I'll go and do the recording of that.
[00:45:46] AC: We’re going to force people [inaudible 00:45:47].
[00:45:47] AR: I don’t have any picks this week. Ari thinks. Thanks so much.
[00:45:53] AC: Nope. Not how that works. I just discovered Horizon Zero Dawn. I realized I'm several years late on this, but it is definitely one of my favorite games I've ever played. If you're a fan of RPGs in the vein of Dragon Age, but without a crew, it's like that. It has a strong female lead. Big fan of that. I guess, at some point, a sequel is coming out that they have started working on and I know that I saw a gameplay preview recently. Two years from now, right? That's how that works, right?
[00:46:31] T: You're saying there's a new game on the horizon.
[00:46:36] AC: Oh, Tessa. Always with the puns.
[END OF EPISODE]
[00:46:43] CF: You haven't heard from me for a while. I started a thing a while ago, where people were sending all sorts of feedback and sometimes stuff not even related to the show. To @GloomyLumi, you need to stop. If you have feedback, we have a link in the show notes. Send your feedback there. We want to hear from you. You can make the show better. Tell us what you want to hear more of and who you want to hear from. Okay, that's it. Thank you.
[00:47:11] AC: All right. That's all for this week's episode. If you aren't following us on Twitter, head on over and find us @EnjoyTheVueCast. Please be sure to subscribe to the show, if you have time, by subscribing in whatever podcast thing you're listening to this on. Finally, remember to tell at least one friend that you enjoy the Vue. Thank you for listening. Until next time, enjoy the Vue.