I use a variety of tools, software and infrastructure on a daily basis. Here's what I'm currently using as of February 2023.


For personal projects, I'm using Gitlab and Gitea for source control, along with JIRA and Confluence to manage and document them.

On the monitoring side of things, I used to use UptimeRobot for external monitoring, but that had reasonable flaws. I've switched to an in-house monitoring system with HetrixTools as an external monitoring system. I have a special place in my heart for Zabbix recently, it's clunky, but it works nicely and gives some decent visual graphs... but I still run Grafana to get the nicer to read/see graphs to share. The data sources are now some Prometheus monitors and Zabbix.

For communication, I'm using Protonmail Visionary package for email. I use a mixture of MailChannels and Amazon SES service for SMTP relaying. I use Slack, Discord, Matrix for both work and personal communications; however, my preference is Matrix. Something about the federation and encryption makes me enjoy communications more.

For managing my infrastructure, I'm using Ansible for the host operating system deployment, and 95% of the applications (including this blog) run entirely in Docker. I used to rely on PHPIPAM and similar software but found this was clunky and didn't fit my need. So I've switched to a more verbose in-house option that picks up new IPs used and statically allocates them in the DHCP server, forwarding this information to the IPAM software to lock its allocation. It's quite a fun system if you do it right.

In order to keep everything glued from a DNS perspective, most of my domains sit behind Cloudflare and ClouDNS. I'm working to remove Cloudflare from the stack and rely entirely on my in-house reverse proxy system and Bunny as a Content Delivery Network. I'll likely keep DNS at Cloudflare until I have a better in-house way of managing DNS. If all goes well, by Q3 2023, we'll be entirely off of Cloudflare and ClouDNS and have no real external dependencies... that's the hope, anyway.

Software Development is an entirely different realm these days. Still, my preferences remain at JetBrains IDEs (PHPStorm, PyCharms, etc.), and if you read the JetBrains article on this blog, you'll receive their stack for free for 30 days for new users on top of the pre-existing trial. I also dabble with Visual Studio Code, and while it's come a long way since the early days, it's still lacking the full and proper IDE functionality I prefer. I imagine one day it'll be better, so I'll keep trying it every month to see if it's ready to become the new full-time editor of choice.

I'm also an avid fan of Firefox's direction (privacy-first approach). I switched to Firefox over five years ago, but in 2022, I jumped to Brave. I still love Firefox, but Brave feels less clunky, even though it's built on Chromium.

Data Backups

Here's my current backup situation:

  1. Devices have original copies
  2. Devices are backed up to backup machines, server(s)
  3. Backup machines, and server(s) are backed up to Backblaze B2 encrypted with Restic
  4. Backup machines, and server(s) are backed up to an off-site NAS stored at a local datacenter

Laptop Hardware

I've been through a few laptops. I used to run the Mac Mini when the new Mini came out years ago, then I switched over to a 2019 Macbook Air, and it ran fine for a few years... but in 2022, I made the leap to the new 14" Macbook Pro with the M1 processor, and it's miles ahead of the old machines I've had. I take this everywhere, and I'm not looking back on the old Intel-based Macs.


I have a few extras in my stack that aren't entirely noteworthy, that said:

  • Bear for taking notes. It's a lot nicer than the default note application and supports sane markdown
  • Signal for communications on mobile. You should be encrypting everything you can.
  • Microsoft 365 for some emails. It's Microsoft; it isn't the best but it works.