I Use This⁠🛠️
Updated  2023-April-25

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2022-November-30  As of today, this evolving⁠[1] article has been on the web for 2 years.🎂🎂


1. Devices and operating systems

In 2023, I’m mainly using…


2. Command-line shells🐚


3. Terminal emulators

If you install Git for Windows, which includes Git Bash, before you install ConEmu, ConEmu will automatically be set up to launch Git Bash.



4. GUI apps

4.1. Miscellaneous GUI apps


4.2. Web browsers


4.3. Visual Studio Code with Extensions

My primary IDE is Visual Studio Code, which is also know as VS Code and Code. I use it with these extensions:


4.4. Kate editor

In 2023, I’m trying Kate and considering using it as my primary IDE. To learn about Kate, see kate-⁠editor.org.


4.5. IntelliJ IDEA with Plugins

I sometimes use IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition with these plugins:


5. TUI apps

6. Command-line apps

On Windows, I use Scoop to install most of the following command-⁠line apps.

  • asciidoctor v2.0.18 (requires Ruby)

  • hugo v0.111.3+extended

  • kramdoc (requires Ruby)

  • mpv — media player that’s launched from a command line

  • pandoc v3.1.2

  • procmail

  • pwdhash.py (requires Python)

  • ripgrep a.k.a. rg

  • sass (thanks to hugo as discussed here)

  • sftp

  • ssh

  • tldr pages

  • youtube-dl yt-dlp

  • and other command-line tools


7. Markup languages

I mainly write in the plain text markup languages AsciiDoc, HTML, \(\LaTeX\), and Markdown. I’m learning org-⁠mode markup.


8. Programming languages

I’m not a software developer, but I’ve installed the following development environments because I need them for apps that I use.

8.1. Ruby

I install Ruby because it is needed by Asciidoctor and Kramdoc. To learn how I install and update Ruby on Windows, see Example 5 in Infinite Ink’s Scoop: A Windows Package Manager (featuring Hugo, Figlet, and Ruby).


8.2. Python

I install Python because it is needed by pwdhash.py⁠[4] and some qutebrowser userscripts. Note that you do not need to install Python to run qutebrowser on Windows.

I haven’t figure out the best way to install and use Python because setting up a Python environment is complicated⁠🤣.



In 2023, I installed Python on Windows by following the instructions in bitecode's Installing Python: the bare minimum you can get away with.


9. Windows system administration

9.1. Miscellaneous system administration tools


9.2. Sign-in


9.2.1. Keeping an eye on the Startup folder⁠👁️

Everything in the Startup folder is launched when Windows starts up. I like to keep an eye on what’s in this folder so I put a shortcut to this folder…

  1. on my Windows desktop and

  2. in the Startup folder (since it is a shortcut, you don’t need to worry about an infinite loop).

The startup folder is usually located here:

C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

To create a shortcut to this folder, right-click on it in Windows File Explorer and choose Send to > Desktop (create shortcut).

I also keep an eye on the list of installed programs (sorted by date), what’s going on with Task Scheduler, and more.


9.3. Disable Windows Error Reporting Service

I use services.msc to set the Windows Error Reporting Service Startup type to Disabled. If this is enabled, it sends errors and other (sometimes private⁠😒) information to Microsoft. To learn about this, see wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Error_Reporting.


9.4. God Mode

To make it easy to access Windows Control Panel, I create a folder on the desktop named:



9.5. Environment variables

I set and use the following environment variables.



These environment variables make it easy to…

  • share configs and scripts on multiple devices

  • and update configs and scripts when it is a new quarter (for example 2023-Q2).

Examples of how I use the INFINITEINKROOT environment variable are in

An example of how I use the YEARQUARTER environment variable is in section 5. Variables in Infinite Ink’s qutebrowser Tips and Fragments.


9.6. Unicode and UTF-8

Whenever I have a choice about specifying a character set, I choose a character set that supports a lot of Unicode characters (e.g. a DejaVu font). And whenever I have a choice about specifying a character set encoding, I choose UTF-⁠8. For example, I do the following on my Windows devices.

  1. God Mode⁠[5] > Region > Change date, time, or number formats

  2. Click Administrative tab

  3. Click Change system locale…

  4. Check the following box:

    • Beta: Use Unicode UTF-8 for worldwide language support

  5. Restart Windows


9.7. Shutdown

I include Hibernate (in addition to the default Sleep, Shut down, and Restart) in Windows Power options. One way to access this setting is to use God Mode⁠[5] > Power Options > Change what the power buttons do.

You can do a hard shutdown by holding down the Shift key while clicking Restart, and then choose “Turn off your PC.”


10. Services


11. I use these but wish I didn’t

  • Batch files
    (Some of the batch files I wish I didn’t need to use are described in qutebrowser Userscripts on Windows.)

  • Windows File History
    (Reasons I wish I did not use File History: It silently does not backup any file whose path is longer than MAX_PATH (260) characters and it periodically stops working⁠🐞)


12. Someday maybe I will use these



1. Many Infinite Ink articles, including this one, are evergreen and regularly updated.
2. For Windows system administration (as opposed to software development), WSL 1 is better than WSL 2 — as far as I can tell.
3. It would probably make more sense if WSL were called LSW (Linux Subsystem for/of/on Windows), but it is not because, according to Rich Turner in this tweet, Microsoft “cannot name something leading with a trademark owned by someone else.” Rich’s tweet has inspired me to interpret the WSL acronym as meaning Windows’ Subsystem for Linux (notice the apostrophe (’)).
4. To learn about PwdHash, see crypto.stanford.edu/PwdHash/.
5. God Mode is an easy way to access the Windows Control Panel. It’s discussed in the God Mode section above.
6. On the Infinite Ink website, a link to DreamHost, FastMail, or Sync.com is often a referral link. I use and like these service providers.

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