Categories
Recommendations Tech

Small Tech

I love the idea of small tech: businesses run my one or two people that can take on some of the big boys of Silicon Valley and win. The idea of people working on only one thing, earning a living from it and delivering a quality product all at once really appeals to me.

Here’s a few small tech things that I’m currently fascinated with:

Sublime Text

Run by one person, maybe two. A text / code editor that is simple, beautiful and does everything you need. Has a free version with a nag, but it’s definitely worth the single payment price.

Reaper

A Digital Audio Workstation. One of the best. Developed by Justin Frankel . Does pretty much everything that the more expensive DAWs like Ableton, Logic Pro, etc can do. Is relatively cheap and you can test it indefinitely if you’re happy to put up with a timed nag screen.

Ardour

Another DAW. See above, although this one works with a variety of payment models to support development: subscription, single payment, timed demo. Alternatively you can download the source code and build it yourself. Plus, it also works on Linux.

Pinboard

Remember delicious? It was the old bookmark storage SaaS. This is what it’s become now. Run by one person who is very active on the social media using their position to make the world a better place. It now runs as a subscription service.

There are others like sqlite (hwaci), tarsnap, zig, oxbridge notes, Overcast podcast player, and there’s a great site exploring this idea as well called small-tech.org.

What I like about all of this is that you can license software as open source / free so people can build it themselves, sell the compiled version or have it subscribed to (although I’m not sure how I feel about that yet) and provide a paid service / boltons, plugins to add functionality.

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Quick Note

Open Source Evangelist

I really like using Open Source tools. I’ve created things using a combination of Blender, Inkscape, GIMP & Krita. All my computers have Libre Office installed on them. I’ve got an Ubuntu build which I use as my backup development platform for things such as WordPress, Drupal & Python / Django.

Open Source helps fuel the internet, education, software development, agriculture, office furniture, architecture, ecology and food.

So it’s important. It’s slowly changing the world. And it’s free.

Free as in libré / freedom / do what you want with it. Means you can do what you like to them. I once made a different theme for Inkscape so it looked more professional when I was using it to show client work.

And sometimes it’s free as in cashmoney free. Which is always a bonus.

There’s a great community built around each one. I’ve made friends for life by being part of the Blender community. We’re spread all over the world and once in a while we meet up and talk about our passions and life and the tool that bought us all together. We trade tips and tricks and war stories and it makes you feel a part of something.

You are being part of the Open Source community just by using the tools, philosophies and talking about it. This is why I’m going to be using WordPress’ standard yearly theme as the theme for this Notebook blog. This is why I mock up 3D concepts in Blender. This is why I use mySQL databases over proprietary databases. This is why there’s free to use stuff on my GitHub. This is why I try and use Godot Engine first when developing games.

Give it a go. It’s liberating.