Tools I enjoy

Tools I enjoy

March 9, 2024

Tools amplify your talent. The better your tools, and the better you know how to use them, the more productive you can be.

From: The Pragmatic Programmer by Andy Hunt

Many years of professional software engineering have led to my opinionated list of tools and their configurations that are a daily driver to get things done.

My Toolset #

If I had to describe my toolset it would be:

  • keyboard-oriented (see this blog for the why)
  • Vim-centric (i.e. avoiding using arrow keys)
  • terminal-heavy (preference in using “text” instead of GUI)
  • Linux-based (Ubuntu usually)
  • i3-dependent (for windows management)

My Dotfiles #

Dotfiles are configuration files for various programs usually stored in the home directory of the current user. In Linux, hidden files are identified with a leading dot (.). Since the configuration files are usually hidden, they are nicknamed “dotfiles”.

For an up to date list of tools and configuration files, see:

Remapping Caps Lock to Windows (Mod) key #

I wish to arbitrarily remap keys to different functions at a low-level.

Touch-typing means fingers are on the home row most of the time.

Using i3 window manager, modifier key is a central key for navigating / executing. For comfort, I rather have the modifier key be in their line than to have to move the pinkie south-east to press the windows key.

Therefore, disable Caps Lock and make it into the Windows key.


! maps caps lock into "WIN_KEY"
clear control
keycode 66 = Super_L
add control = Control_L Control_R
clear lock

and activate it with:

xmodmap ~/.Xmodmap

Seamless switching between docked / mobile modes #

I wish plugging in monitors / keyboards to work out of the box.

When I plug in the laptop into a docking station, I wish the screens to automatically get set to the correct resolutions and position. I also wish the keyboard layout to be correctly configured.

Autorandr is a great tool which can automatically select a display configuration based on the connected devices.

It also offers a postswitch event firing after the display get auto-changed, to which we can link the keyboard mapping changes:


xmodmap ~/.Xmodmap