Ruin The assorted ramblings of Brendan Tobolaski

2014: The Tools I Use

Inspired by Justin Williamsʼ posts about the tools he uses, here are the tools Iʼm using this year (here is last years in case you want to see whats changed).


I do almost all of my work using my Mac and therefore, I will cover it first.

  1. neovim - In a stark contrast to last year, I use vim as my editor. Specifically I use neovim which is a cleaned up and extended fork of vim. Iʼve changed jobs to a DevOps position. Idea isnʼt very useful for the kind of work that Iʼm doing. I use vim exclusively on the terminal.
  2. iTerm 2 - I work in the terminal all day long and I want it to be really great. The built in terminal on OS X isnʼt very good. Luckily, there is a really good terminal available, iTerm 2.
  3. tmux - Going with the terminal theme, I use tmux. It prevents me from accidentally closing a terminal session in the middle of something. Its also great to be able to split my terminal into multiple panes.
  4. git - Not a whole lot to say here but, git is the best source control software that Iʼve ever used. Yes, its cli is a bit of a mess but, git is very powerful.
  5. Vagrant - I still use vagrant every day. Its great for setting up isolated development environments without polluting your host machine.
  6. Airmail 2 - Iʼm not a fan of email but Airmail doesnʼt make me hate email.
  7. Slack - We use Slack for chat at Signal Vine. Its really great.
  8. Textual 5 - While we use Slack for work, I hang out on freenode as well. Iʼm usually idling in a number of open source projectʼs channels.
  9. Alfred - I use Alfred at least 10 times a day. I donʼt use it for nearly enough. I use it mainly for launching apps. It works really well for that but it does so many other things. I really need to dig in and utilize it for more things.
  10. Dash - Dash is the best way to search and read documentation. I primarily utilize the Alfred integration to search documentation.
  11. Arq - Arq is a great piece of backup software. It backs up to a number of different online storage providers. I use s3 and glacier. I use s3 for things that I may need to restore in non-emergency situations. I use Glacier for larger files that would only need to be restored in a catastrophic situation.


  1. Tweetbot - I rarely use anything else besides Tweetbot to access Twitter. l use Twitter frequently throughout the day to keep up with various happenings.
  2. Prompt - If you need an ssh client on iOS, Prompt is the one that you want. It works really well but, youʼre still using an ssh client on a device with a touch screen keyboard.


Since I purchased the iPhone 6+, I decided that I didnʼt need to have an iPad anymore. So I sold my iPad mini.


  1. 1Password - It simply isnʼt safe to keep track of your passwords yourself. 1Password makes logging into services even easier than simply using the same username and password for everything. I have it installed on all of my devices and I use it to log into everything. I just need to remember one long and very strong password to have secure access to all of the services that I use. Its available for Mac, iPhone, and iPad as well as Windows and Android.
  2. Transmit - Transmit is a really great FTP client. I donʼt like using ftp from the terminal. It just feels really crappy. Transmit is really awesome. If you have reason to use FTP, FTPS, or SFTP, Transmit is the client you want. I have a workflow utilizing Transmit and Prompt to publish posts to my Jekyll blog from my iPhone. Its available on Mac and iOS.
  3. Byword - I use Byword to write all of the posts for this site. It works much better than vim for writing prose. Its available for Mac and iOS.


  1. Linode - Linode is a pretty great vps provider. They are relatively inexpensive and are extremely reliable. This site runs on a vps from Linode.
  2. GitLab - While I like GitHub, it gets to be pretty expensive for a large number of private repositories. Instead of paying them a large sum of money, I run a server with GitLab installed and I can have any number of git repositories for the same price. I also happen to like GitLab better than GitHub.


  1. FastMail - While running your own Email server is possible and not too complicated, it is a pain. While you could pay Google for Google Apps, I prefer to pay a company that isnʼt interested in mining my personal data for profit.