Recommendations

A loosely organized list of things I love and go out of my way to recommend.

Terminal Tools

  • alacritty: I use Alacritty as my terminal emulator across macOS and Linux. It's configured through a yaml file, which makes it very easy to share configs between computers (scowls at iTerm).
  • tmux: You know what this is. I'm still going to recommend it.
  • nix: A cross-platform package manager. All my devtools are installed and managed by Nix. It's phenomenally well designed.
  • glow: A markdown renderer built for the terminal. This makes documentation much more comfortable to absorb.
  • ripgrep: A grep/ag replacement, and wicked fast, too.
  • fd: A find replacement with a great command line interface. It's significantly faster and easier to use.
  • viu: Renders images in the terminal using colored ascii art. Especially handy when working over SSH.
  • skim or fzf: Fuzzy finders. Fantastic for finding files, searching notes, or sorting through massive troves of unstructured text.
  • delta: The fanciest git diff viewer you'll ever find.
  • zoxide: Quick navigation around your file system. Phenomenal for jumping between projects without remembering the exact path.
  • dog: An alternative to dig that's so good, you'll want to use it.
  • w3m: A quick way to browse the web from a terminal.
  • ncspot: An ncurses-style Spotify client.
  • rage: A small and simple encryption tool that works on public keys.

Vim

  • neovim: IMO vim is getting left behind in favor of Neovim. They're leading the charge for new editor features.
  • coc.nvim: This provides IDE-quality editor features right in vim. Powered by the LSP architecture (no startup penalty).
  • splitjoin.vim: A convenient way of splitting things from one line into multiple statements (or reversing it).
  • undotree: I've never found vim's 2D edit history easy to navigate. This plugin provides a nicer graphical interface.

Browser Extensions

  • uBlock Origin: Most of you already know this ad blocker. I didn't for a while. It's pretty great.
  • Vimium: Vim keybindings for navigating the web. It works surprisingly well.
  • Stylus: A tool for injecting custom CSS. I use this to hide annoying UI elements and apply custom dark themes.
  • Bitwarden: Not technically just a browser extension. This password manager is open source, self-hostable, and has official clients for about every platform, including command line.

Android Apps

All references are open source and available on F-Droid.

  • AntennaPod: A beautiful and feature-filled podcast client.
  • Olauncher: A minimal launcher with heavy emphasis on search.
  • Geometric Weather: The slickest weather app on the open-source market.
  • Aegis: Hands-down the best 2FA app of the 12 realms.

Servers

  • OPNsense: Turns your computer into a cutting-edge router, including treasures like DDNS and ad blocking.
  • Pi-Hole: Use a Raspberry Pi as a network wide ad blocking DNS proxy (without committing to OPNsense).

Websites

  • Learn X in Y Minutes: A set of comment annotated programming language references. Very useful for jumping into a new language, or remembering how to use an old one.
  • Learn Vimscript the Hard Way: If you're serious about vim, take some time to learn Vimscript. It's worth it.
  • Squoosh: An image compression tool right in your browser.

Standards

Papers

Podcasts

  • Philosophize This!
    Before coming to this podcast, I had no real exposure to the field of philosophy. The podcast proved a fantastic gateway drug, and its broad overviews gave me enough context to navigate the reading landscape on my own.
  • Hardcore History (Dan Carlin)
    Apparently everyone knew about this podcast except me. Dan Carlin gives incredible renditions of history topics. As someone equally ignorant about history as philosophy, this podcast was a gold mine.
  • Darknet Diaries
    This guy interviews hackers, both ethical and unethical. The format is pretty structured and the stories are always captivating.

Books

The best books are the ones which radically change your views. These are the most impactful works I've read.

  • Permutation City (Greg Egan)
    This book helped me grapple with the meaning of life under nihilism and explores some fascinating aspects of transhumanism.
  • 1984 (George Orwell)
    A dystopian novel describing in shocking detail how massive countries could censor, oppress, and indefinitely subdue citizens through technology and propaganda.
  • The Phoenix Project (Gene Kim)
    A fiction book describing a dumpster fire of a software megaproject, how it got there, and how a team slowly turned it into a success. It gave me perspective and empathy for managers, along with ideas for improving my own work.
  • Avogadro Corp (William Hertling)
    This novel pitches a precise and believable scenario of how an AI could run out of control. It's a startling difference from your typical Terminator narrative, and deeply unsettling.

Movies/TV

Similar to books, I'm only listing the most impactful movies, the ones that shaped my view of the world.


If you like this idea, make your own recommendations repo and add the my-recommendations topic.