What Tech I Am Using

July 2019 Software

Here are the software applications that I use, sorted from the most to the least, with their current versions as of July 1st, 2019. Here are the software tools that I use from a command prompt and in scripts. All of these I build myself regularly, and I use these more than the apps above. I use them on macOS, Windows via cygwin, FreeBSD, and Linux. I would use them on iOS but iOS sadly has no command-line world. These tools are listed alphabetically. Finally, I have my own suite of tools written in C, some of which are described in my book. I have worked on these since 1982!
They build on Mac OS X (now macOS) using clang or gcc, MacOS 9 using MPW, Cygwin on Windows, Windows using Visual Studio, FreeBSD using clang or gcc, and Linux using gcc. They are:

June 2019 Hardware

Most of these Macs run macOS 10.14 Mojave. I use Eddie and TextPad for most text editing. I use Excel and Numbers for spreadsheets, Free42 for calculations, iTunes for music, Maps, Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Reminders, and Notes, but I use Terminal the most of any app for building software, running scripts, doing backups, etc.

I use a few other machines on occasion:

Other tech that I use a lot: At this point in time, if I had to pick a short list of tech, I would pick:

17 May 2018



My main computer ("C40") is a late-2015 27" iMac 27" with Retina Display (5120 x 2880 pixels).  It has a 4 GHz Intel Core i7 with quad cores and Hyperthreading, 16 GB of 1867 MHz DDR3 memory, a 3 TB Fusion drive, and AMD Radeon R9 graphics, specifically the M395 card with 2 GB of VRAM.  I have been using the included Apple Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse, but I dislike both of them.  They do both charge via a Lightning cable, which is cool.

The computer is on the whole excellent.  I have a short USB extension cord that I can plug in hard drives, iPods, and an Apple external USB CD/DVD burner with.  I leave a Lightning dock for my Apple iPhone 7 Plus 128GB to charge on plugged in, and I primarily use the built-in Gigabit Ethernet connection to my Apple AirPort Extreme router.  Only occasionally do I use the 802.11ac WiFi.

I have a Sabrent USB 3.5" drive case always plugged in, currently with a Seagate 7200 rpm 8TB Barracuda hard disk ("B8") as my primary back-up drive via rsync.  I also rsync to a 7200 rpm 1 TB 2.5" red Hitachi drive ("H1"), to a black 2 TB WD drive ("W2U"), and a black 2 TB WD drive ("W2A") that I store in my Mercedes center console.


My secondary desktop computer ("C31") is a late-2013 iMac 21.5" with 1920 x 1080 pixels.  It has a 3.1 GHz Intel Core i7 with quad cores and Hyperthreading, 16 GB of 1600 MHz DDR3 memory, 1 TB Fusion drive, and Nvidia GeFore GT 750M graphics with 1 GB of VRAM.  It's Apple Bluetooth Keyboard is better than the one that came with the 27" iMac.  This keyboard and mouse use AA batteries.  I use its 802.11ac WiFi as its primary connection to the network.

I have an HGST 4 TB external hard drive ("H4") for Time Machine backups of C31, as well as for rsync backups.


My primary laptop is a late-2015 MacBook Pro 13" with a Retina display that can go up to 3360 x 2100 pixels.  It has a 3.1 GHz Intel Core i7 with dual cores and Hyperthreading, 16 GB of 1867 MHz DDR3 memory, a 512 GB SSD, Intel Iris graphics, and 802.11ac WiFi.

I use a gold metal Western Digital 2 TB 2.5" hard drive ("W2S") as its primary rsync target.


My secondary Mac laptop is a 2012 MacBook Pro 15" with a 1680 x 1050 display.  It has a 2.7 GHz Intel Core i7 quad core with Hyperthreading CPU, 16 GB of 1600 MHz RAM, a 1 TB Micron SSD, a DVD+DL burner, Nvidia GT 650 graphics with 1 GB, built-in Gigabit, and 802.11n WiFi.  This is the most recent "complete" Mac in my collection.  I wish I could get a new fast CPU version of this, with a 4K display, but still with Gigabit Ethernet, and a DVD drive.

I use this, running macOS 10.13.6, as my iPad & iPhone sync machine.  I maintain an older version of iTunes, 12.6.3, that is the last version of iTunes to have the iOS App Store in it.


My tertiary Mac laptop is a 2009 MacBook Pro 17", with a 1920 x 1200 pixel display.  It has a 2.8 GHz Core 2 Dual Core CPU, 4 GB of 1067 MHz RAM, a 750 GB hybrid drive, a DVD+DL drive, an Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics ship with 256 MB of VRAM, Gigabit Ethernet, and 802.11n WiFi.

This machine runs Mac OS X Mavericks Server.


My primary FreeBSD machine is a 2012 Acer E1-531 laptop, with a 2.2 GHz Pentium B960 dual core chip w/2 MB of L3 cache, 4 GB of 1333 MHz RAM, a 250 GB Samsung SSD, a DVD burner, Intel HD graphics, and a 14" 1366 x 768 display.  It has 802.11n WiFi, but I almost exclusively use its built-in Gigabit Ethernet.  A53 runs FreeBSD-11-STABLE.  I backup to a pair of Seagate 1 TB 2.5" hard drives formatted UFS, alternating between them.

I purchased this machine on 20 Nov 2012 by walking from Mühlbaurstrasse 2 to Einsteinstrasse 130 in München, and by paying €399 cash for it, and walking it home.  It has a German keyboard and I am quite sentimental about it.  The display isn't great, but FreeBSD runs nicely on it.


My primary Linux machine is a 2013 Dell Latitude E7440 with an Intel Core i5-4300U at 1.9 GHz with dual cores and Hyperthreading, 8 GB of RAM, a Samsung 512 GB mSATA SSD, a 14" 1920 x 1080 HD touch display, Intel Pro Gigabit Ethernet, and Intel 802.11ac AC7260 WiFi.  I use the WiFi mainly.

This machine runs Xubuntu 18.04, with Firefox 59.0.2 as the primary browser, and Thunderbird for email.  I have awk, curl, ffmpeg, grep, perl, wget, youtube-dl and other common tools via apt install.

iPad Air 2

I have a nice 64 GB iPad Air 2 in Space Gray that in 2015 replaced my original iPad.  I am running iOS 11.3.1 on it.  It is a great machine for browsing the web and buying things on Amazon.  It is not good for my main software development or analysis workflows, as there are no programming languages on it.

iPhone 7 Plus

I recently upgraded to an iPhone 7 Plus 128 GB in Space Gray for the bigger display and better battery life.  I abhor the lack of a 3.5 mm audio jack.  Everything else is excellent!  This runs iOS 11.3.1.

iPhone 6

My iPhone 6 128 GB in Space Gray was an exceptionally good phone.  It is now a backup device, more like an iPod Touch.  It runs iOS 11.3.1.


macOS 10.13.6

My Macs are running macOS 10.13.6.  The main bug that bothers me is that when on an APFS volume like my laptops are now using, Microsoft Office 2008 apps like Excel no longer maintain file create dates on saving a file.  This problem does not occur on HFS+ volumes that my desktops have.

I use Mail, Messages, Safari, Notes, Reminders, Calendar, and Contacts via iCloud all the time, across my Macs and iOS devices.  Occasionally I use Firefox 59.0.2.  I use Quartz 2.7.11 for X Windows occasionally.

I use Tweetbot 2.5.4 for social media.  On non-Mac platforms, I am forced to use the Twitter website via Firefox. 

I am not using iTunes 12.7.4 as much for music, as it becomes worse with each release since it peaked at version 10.7 back in 2012.  I am instead using my own command line scripts and tools more and more: play, playx.

Eddie 3.3.3 v692 is my main text editor.  I rarely use Microsoft Word.  I primarily use Apple's TextEdit for most things (such as this document).  I still love Excel over Numbers, and I never use PowerPoint or Keynote.

I use Apple's Preview probably more than any other app on my Mac, because I am always reading PDFs and cropping photos.  It is quite fast and nice.  Rarely I will downshift to my own build of mupdf if Preview chokes on a PDF.

I use Google Maps over Apple Maps most of the time, Google Earth Pro occasionally, and iBooks very rarely.  It is horrible and should be put back into iTunes.

I use Free 42 2.0.16 all the time on my Macs, as well as on Ubuntu and FreeBSD, and iOS.  It is my favorite calculator.  I also use emu48 here and there.

Oh, Terminal is probably my single most used app on the Mac, as it is the gateway to all of my command line tools.  Xcode 9.4.1 is on the system, but I only use it to pretty-print code to PDFs.  That's it.  Everything development-wise is done in Terminal using the Xcode 9.4.1 command-line tools.  This is my happy place.

I also use XRG 2.5 as my main system dashboard of how much memory is being used, what the CPUs are doing, etc.  This is an absolute must have up all the time.


My single most important piece of software is my custom rsync tool.  My version of rsync copies Macintosh resource forks (not so important any more), and file creation dates (very important to me).  I have been using a build of rsync 3.0.4 that I made in 8 Sep 2008 for nearly a decade (3504 days).  On April 13th, 2018, I finally moved forward to a new custom rsync based on rsync 3.1.3, but it continues to support Mac extended attributes.  It also is now a 64-bit executable, so it is ready for a 64-bit only world that will most likely be here soon. It was build with Xcode 9.3 tools.


I have my own 64-bit build of agrep 2.04 from March of 1992!  I had to clean up the K&R style the other day to get it to build with clang, but this tool continues to be useful.


I have my own 64-bit build of awk version 20121220, in 64-bit.  It is my most common scripting language of choice.  If things are very complicated then I move to Perl.


I have my own 64-bit build of curl 7.59.0.  I don't use it as much as wget, but occasionally it works where wget doesn't.


I use a 64-bit version of ffmpeg 3.4 that I built with Xcode 9.2 tools.  I extract MP3s from videos or convert video formats with it.


I use a 64-bit version of GNU grep 3.1 that I built with Xcode 9.4 tools.  It does not work on Mavericks due to using an API that is soft-linked.  Arggh.


I have my own 64-bit build of mupdf 1.10a.  I don't use it much but it is nice to have a 2nd PDF reader on the system.


I have my own 64-bit build of perl 5.26.2.  I rely heavily on Image-ExifTool (v 10.80) for setting create and mod dates on PDFs via its exiftool.  I built this with Xcode 9.3.


I have my own 64-bit build of qemu version 1.2.  I use this to run virtual instances of FreeBSD on the Mac, currently the FreeBSD 11.1-STABLE-20180329 snapshot, with xorg, icewm, Firefox, etc.  Occasionally I will run OpenBSD, Ubuntu, Xubuntu, or other OSes.  It is a great way to sample them without reformatting drives.  My build is from 12 Sep 2012, but there are too many new dependencies to make me want to upgrade it.


I have my own 64-bit build of SQLite version 3.23.1.


I do more and more downloading of things with wget, currently a 64-bit version of 1.19.4.  It supports openssl 1.0.2n.  I built this with Xcode 9.2.  It needs a wgetrc file with "check-certificate = quiet" in it, which is a pain.


I am downloading more and more videos via this handy tool.  It is updated often.  2018.05.01 is the current version.  (In fact it was updated while I was writing this document!)  I downloaded about 200 GB of iJustine videos in one day with this awesome tool.  I watch all YouTube content offline via this tool.  If I like it, I archive it, otherwise I delete it.  My favorite YouTube channels are iJustine and her sister Jenna, Hoovies Garage, Strange Parts, Marques Brownlee, Casey Neistat, Survival Lilly, My Self Reliance, Sailing Nova Scotia, Sailing SV Delos, and Sailing Doodles.


I wanted to mention Ewan Cunningham (ewanjohncovers on YouTube).  His covers of Pink Floyd Echoes and other pieces have been terrific to listen to in past months.  Nick Mason, the Pink Floyd drummer even Tweeted about him!

I also have really been enjoying the music of J.S. Bach (working my way through 157 CDs with 3,234 tracks of his music!), Sheryl Crow, Sarah Evans, Jewel, Jean-Luc Ponty, Ashlee Simpson, and Pink Floyd.

Back to Dan Allen's home page.
Created:  15 Apr 2018
Modified:  1 Jul 2019