Tools

2022-08-31  🌱  Running list of some of the things I'm using right now for work and life. Noting a few techniques I use, and a few problems I'm looking to solve, too.

Time and mind management

Nix notifications, thx :)

Orgzly and Markor on Android.

Pomodoro technique for screen-based stuff.

Quick 10 minutes of sitting meditation and a good hour of walking.

Digital asset management

ExifTool for metadata spelunking.

Photo Mechanic for metalogging photos.

Plaintext is forever.

Rclone does local sync, too.

Syncthing on Android + Mac.

* Mobile is no place to manage picture metadata, I’ve found; field notes from trying various Andriod and iOS apps coming soon-ish.

Web and ebook design

Adobe CC for collaborative projects.

AP Stylebook in print and, finally, as an ebook, too :)

Calibre for troubleshooting reflowable ebooks.

Github Pages for this website.

ImageOptim is better than anything else I’ve tried at optimizing JPG and PNG file size; I like to use it with an macOS Automator workflow. (Probably would be smart to let a CDN handle this automagically but that’s overkill for my current use case.)

Mac mini + floor desk + pandemic fern, now well-shaggy.

* More details on the process, and tools, I used to build The Photographers Field Guide to Beijing are included in this colophon.

Photo

DXO Photo Lab 5 is my go-to raw file converter.

RPP64 app to convert my old Canon raw files to TIF before handing off to other software for converting to black-and-white. Outstanding level of control.

Sony RX100-series cameras, for now. The on-camera JPG engine on these cameras is not good, in my experience. DXO Photo Lab handles the raw files from this camera better than anything else I’ve tried.

When possible, JPG straight-out-of-camera is my favorite workflow. It’s faster. It takes up less disk space. It’s simple. But it all depends on the hardware I’m using and the intended use of the pictures.

* More detail on one of my photo workflows is included in the project notes I wrote up for Laughing Lost in Briars.

Work and play outside

Always looking for a better hat.

Dish soap and cold water to wash off the poison ivy.

Loksak zipper bags for keeping my phone and other small stuff safe from dust, rain, sweat.

Weather and climate stuff on my phone:

  • droughtmonitor.unl.edu
  • texaswildfirerisk.com
  • public.tfswildfires.com
  • Radarscope
  • Joshua Tee’s wX app, which is a mobile-friendly front end for NWS forecast data
  • yr.no

Longevity

  • Mac, 20 years
  • Photo Mechanic app, 15 years
  • Pleco app, 10+ years
  • The DAM Book, 10+ years

Bought my first smartphone just so I could get access to Mike Love’s suite of Chinese language learning tools and dictionaries. Many smartphones later, Pleco is still my favorite app.

The techniques in Peter Krogh’s The DAM Book completely changed how I manage my picture workflow and archive. So good.


Whenever I travel, visit a friend’s workshop or read a bit of archaeology, it is always the day-to-day stuff people use that raises my eyebrow and makes me smile. Only fair to ante up, eh?