Kit and Caboodle

Update 2019-01-25.

Over the years, I’ve documented bits and pieces of my kits on this website including my diabetes travel kit, my diabetes kit for photowalks, and iPhone camera kit. I even have some kits — my basic camera kit and coffee making kit — documented on an external site dedicated to “kits”.

Aaron Parecki recently updated his “life stack” page with the tools, apps, services and other things he uses to manage his work and life. I think the idea is worth “stealing” and given my recent attempts to re-embrace the IndieWeb principle of “owning your data,” I’ve documented my collection of things, my “kit and caboodle”1 on this page.

I use a lot of apps and services. I will only add the products and services I use and recommend2. If possible, I will also link to any reviews I have written. I add things to this page if I would personally recommend purchasing them.

Computing

My 2013 iMac has a 3.5GHz Intel “Core i7” with 32GB of RAM, a 27” HD 2560×1440 LED-backlit 16:9 widescreen IPS display, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M graphics processor with 2 GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory. I have a lot of external storage, so I limited the internal solid state storage (SSD) to 512GB. Peripheral ports include four USB 3.0 ports, dual Thunderbolt ports, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n compatible), and Bluetooth 4.0. The iMac came with an Apple Wireless Keyboard and a multi-touch “Magic Mouse,” but I also purchased a multi-touch “Magic Trackpad.”

I purchased the iMac primarily for use with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. It’s an excellent performer, especially when stitching panoramas from several 24MP images.

I have a 11-Inch (Wi-Fi Only) Apple iPad Pro with 256GB of memory. I use it mostly for reading (email, news, RSS feeds, books), note-taking and quick research during meetings, writing, presenting and shopping. It is my laptop replacement. I understand and acknowledge the limitation, and I have no expectations that I will be as productive on the iPad Pro, as I am on my iMac.

I use an Apple Magic Keyboard and Apple Magic Mouse.

iOS and macOS

The apps listed below have iOS and macOS versions that sync between my iPhone, iPad Pro and iMac.

  • 1Password is the password manager I have used on iOS and macOS for years. It syncs with macOS and iOS. I also use 1Password to store credit card numbers, insurance account information, social security numbers, etc. I trust this software.
  • Adobe Photoshop & Adobe Photoshop Lightroom are the apps I use to edit and catalogue my digital images. I use both the macOS and iOS versions of these apps.
  • AirMail is a mail client with support for Markdown, multiple accounts, Unified Inbox, Exchange, iCloud, Gmail, IMAP, POP3, Google Apps, Yahoo!, AOL, Outlook.com, Live.com, etc. and supports attachments from Google Drive, Dropbox, CloudApp, Box, Onedrive, Droplr, and FTP.
  • Wunderlist is a nice todo app with projects, labels, shared lists, and anything else you can think of.
  • Byword is a minimalist Markdown text editor with subtle syntax highlighting. I use it with and without MarsEdit to create my blog post. Documents can be synced via Dropbox or iCloud to iPad, iPhone, and macOS. Byword can publish to Medium, WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr and Evernote.
  • Reeder is an RSS news reader that supports Feedbin, Feedly, Feed Wrangler, FeedHQ, NewsBlur, The Old Reader, Inoreader, Minimal Reader, BazQux Reader, Fever, Readability and Instapaper. I use it with Feedbin and Instapaper to sync and track my news feeds.
  • Tweetbot is my preferred Twitter client. It has support for multiple accounts and lists. It also has mute filters and multiple column views.
  • iCloud Calendar works for me. I no longer use Google Calendar.
  • Apple Maps on makes it simple to get directions and information about local points of interest including restaurants. I no longer use Google Maps.
  • AnyList is the best way to create and share grocery shopping lists with a family. When my kids or spouse make changes, they show up instantly on everyone’s iPhone, iPad or Mac.
  • iCloud Drive syncs important files to my iPad, iPhone and iMac. I no longer use Dropbox or Google Drive for anything important.
  • Mint is how my wife and I keep track of our finances.
  • Micro.blog so I can post to WordPress directly from the iOS app for Micro.blog.

iOS Only

I have Type 1 diabetes and useFatSecret to help with carbohydrate counting and tracking my diet. This is useful information for my endocronologist and myself to review to make any necessary changes to my diabetes management.

I enjoy coffee over the years I have learned various brewing techniques. I use the Press app for customizable brew timers and entering tasting and brewing notes.

When travelling I use Foursquare to find restaurant recommendations. I use Yelp as well but I prefer Foursquare and the sister app Swarm to check-in to locations that I think are noteworthy.

macOS Only

I’ve used MarsEdit for what seems like … forever.

Programming Tools

I used to do a lot of Web development in Perl, PHP and JavaScript on top of a Linux, Apache and MySQL (and to a lesser extent PostgreSQL) stack. I have not coded professionally since 2013, but I do mess around with PHP when making changes to WordPress, and I create small Perl 5 scripts for personal use. The macOS Terminal app (for local or remote access to a Linux VPC) with vim, a highly configurable text editor that I have used since the 1990s, is included as “vi” with macOS and is my IDE of choice. I don’t need anything else.

Photography

After over ten years of shooting with Nikon DSLRs, I dumped all my lenses and switched to Fuji. My current camera kit is minimalist – the Fujifilm X-T2 (Body Only) + Fujinon XF16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR lens. I have two Lexar Professional 32GB SDHC UHS-II/U3 SD Card setup in a backup arrangement with every photograph capture saved in both cards. I have a Manfrotto 496RC2 Ball Head with Quick Release Replaces Manfrotto 486RC2 for my Manfrotto 055XPROB Pro Tripod Legs (Black). I bought a Hejnar Photo 3.250 Inch conversion Clamp for Manfrotto that provides an ArcaSwiss style mount plate. For mobile photography I use a Manfrotto MTPIXI-WH PIXI Mini Tripod (White) with a Glif.


  1. The word caboodle may be derived from the Old-English word bottel, a bunch or a bundle, as a bottel of straw. Later the word boodle may have become synonymous with the word pile, a term used at a gaming table, and signifying a quantity of money. The word kit may have originated with the military, referring to the whole of a soldier’s necessaries, the contents of his knapsack. 
  2. links on this page or review posts may link to affiliate links for the product. I make a few bucks if you purchase the product. 

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