What's in Your Bag?

May 14, 2021


People sometimes ask what equipment I use. So here’s a list:

Computer Software

Computer Hardware

  • Laptop: Framework Laptop running OpenBSD. The Framework 13" laptop is expected to live "forever" by upgrading components. (My Review) Framework recently issued various upgraded CPU boards, keeping their promise of upgradeability, along with a larger-screen model.

  • Previous Laptop: Dell Studio 1558, also running OpenBSD. (My Review)

  • Chromebook: A Lenovo chromebook, replacing an old Asus Chromebook that was reloaded to run Debian Linux I put a pause on buying replacements Chromebooks due to their featuring a built-in expiry date, producing tons of eTrash. However, Google and major Chromebook makers recanted, and offer 10 years of support, automatically for those released in 2021 or later, and somehow optionally for others.

  • Desktop: an ancient generic PC dual-bootable with MS-Windows (for testing, and for a client who insists on MS Teams); this also lives "forever" by upgrading parts with generic PC components.

  • Dekstop: A Mac Mini, mainly to compile my Flutter apps for iOS and macOS.

  • Internet Server: Virtual, via Vultr hosting (previously: colo with Clarity). Also with Atlantic.net.

  • Router: PC Engines APU2 running OpenBSD. May upgrade to a LinkStar H68K if it works out.

  • Various printers, mostly HP.

Computer Troubleshooting

  • ISOStick USB device: stores arbitrary number of bootable ISOs, lets one be nominated to be the "USB Boot CD/DVD" image. Doubles as a regular USB memory stick.

  • MediCat for when I need to boot into MS Windows.

  • I prefer wired Ethernet over WiFi because of ionizing radiation concerns (probably groundless but "an abundance of caution") and speed (WiFi 6 finally caught up to gigabit ether around 2020). So I use this Paladin Tools cable tracer (out of manufacture; still findable online a few places) for cabling issues.

  • Generic Asian multimeter

  • Generic PCI bus card for PC hardware issues.

Audio Hardware

  • Studio work: Maonocaster AU-AM-100 studio kit portable podcast studio mixer (My Review)

  • Less-demanding work: Plantronics Audio 478 USB headset

  • Earphones: the above Plantronics, and Pixel Earbuds that came with my 6A.


  • Current ISP: Starlink.com

  • Previous ISP: Bell Wireless (LTE) 50/10, the most I can get out here.

  • Not my ISP (two, which I won’t promote by naming) given taxpayer megabucks to run fiber, both annoyingly and irrationally stopping 500M short of my house. If either of them would serve, I might switch. Maybe.

Cell Phone

  • Current: Google Pixel 6a with Android 14. Local Telco: Lucky Mobile. Travel Telco: various Sim/eSim providers.

  • Previous: Pixel 2 from 2017 - still in great condition but Google dropped support for it :-( so it runs LineageOS, the community build of Android 12.

  • Alternate: Teracube 2e modular, repairable smartphone (My Review) It’s great that it’s modular and repairable. Since it is a budget phone, you won’t be surprised that updates lag significantly (e.g., as of November 2023, Android 14 has been out for months, but TeraCube "have Android 12 [available], and our developers are also working on Android 13."

  • Test devices for mobile app development - the above, plus a few older phones & tablets


  • Camera: Trusty old Nikon

  • Lenses: Nikon, Tamron

  • Bags: Tenba "Shootout" (as in, "shooting outside"; a rare waterproof bag on the market, discontinued, replaced by their Axis line)

  • Drone: DJI Mini 2 (obsoleted by the Mini 3 soon after I bought it).

  • Drone carry case: Nanuk 910.

  • Photo Software: DigiKam cataloging, Gimp, DarkTable, LightZone. Occasionally Photoshop, Lightroom.

  • Video Software: Shotcut, formerly occasional use of Camtasia, but it went out of support.