Ron Guest

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My Life Stack

I cribbed the title for this post from Jack Baty. I enjoy taking a personal inventory of what I use and like and why not share it with others too.

Computing Devices

  • iPad Pro 12.9” with SmartKeyboard & Apple Pencil (2018)
  • iMac 27″ with 32GB RAM and Radeon Pro 5500 XT (2020 model)
  • iPhone X
  • Fitness tracker++: Apple Watch 4
  • Synology ds416play for Plex server, storage, backups, security cameras and Docker
  • Synology RT2600ac – our router, WiFi and firewall/security device; it has a great UI; added a MR220ac for mesh
  • Epson Expression XP-960 – great, and reliable, all purpose printer/scanner
  • MacBook Air, 13″ (M1) - our son’s
  • Home built gaming PC with Ryzen 7 3700X and RX 5600 XT OC
  • Dell 13” Ultrabook - our daughter’s

Computing Services

  • Duck Duck Go – for your own sake, don’t use Google search which harvests every thing you do
  • iCloud – Mail, document syncing across devices, photo storage/sharing, cloud backups
  • 1Password – it does a lot more than just save passwords, I highly recommend this tool. We subscribe to the family plan so we can share passwords and other information, as appropriate, securely.
  • Feedbin– my RSS reader these days. I like that I can read Twitter posts from key people but wish it had a native iOS app
  • iTunes – we have Family sharing as well as Music match
  • ProtonVPN – from the makers of Protonmail


  • Affinity Pro – a nifty and powerful photo editor and PhotoShop alternative for iOS and macOS, also affordable
  • Apple’s Notes app & PDFs in iCloud on macOS and iOS for research and archiving info in a searchable format
  • Things3 – my favorite task manager and long term planner on iOS and macOS
  • Keyboard Maestro – macOS automation tool which for my needs is much better than TextExpander
  • Shortcuts – completely different from KM but does help automation on iOS
  • Subler – easy to use macOS tool for editing the metadata on video files, like family videos, making it easy to load them in iTunes and Plex
  • FileBot – a macOS batch file renamed to make Plex and other apps happy with files/folders for multimedia content; not easy to use but powerful
  • iMovie and SnapThread for Live Photo type videos (SnapThread is an iOS tool)
  • Safari – for web browsing; friends don’t let friends use Chrome
  • Banktivity + Numbers – financial planning, budgeting etc that works on macOS, iPads and iPhones
  • Arq backups – backs up all devices to my NAS, an offline disk as well as offsite
  • – my main social site and blogging toolset, workable across all platforms
  • RadarScope – real weather radar on iOS, AppleTV and macOS; used by professional all across the country
  • HomeKit – home automation technology
  • TabsHD – for finding and displaying guitar tabs; I don’t see the app in the App Store any more but the company still produces tabs
  • iStats 6 – for monitoring macOS locally; I think this is a lovely app
  • VS Code – editor/IDE for IoT development, JSON data edits, etc on macOS
  • Xcode – it is what it is
  • iTerm2 – a powerful macOS tool for accessing command lines both on a local Mac as well as devices across the great wide world
  • Discord – another tool for communication within a community but has a broader base, e.g. popular with gamers and because of that voice chat is featured as well as text
  • Fitzring – for circuit design on macOS

Other Devices & Services

  • Taylor Acoustic Guitar limited edition 414ce with Rosewood top
  • Fishman mini amp – portable amp for acoustic guitars
  • Rigol Oscilloscope – affordable and powerful ‘scope
  • Hakko Soldering Station – it’s worth it, this is a tool where cheap equals bad
  • Gaming consoles: Switch, PS5, Xbox 360, Wii (I have kids…)
  • “Smart TVs”: smattering of Apple TV boxes
  • HomeKit home automation with devices from Lutron, Elgato Eve, iHome and Wemo
  • A range of micro controller devices: A few Arduinos, a number of Adafruit Feathers, a couple of Raspberry Pis, etc
  • Amazon Prime
  • Entertainment: Apple TV+, YouTube TV, Viki (Asian, mostly Korean, fare), Amazon Prime Video, Plex Pass
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