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MichD

 

About

I’m a UK-based software developer, electronics enthusiast and, occasionally, musician.

For a living, I work on the mobile apps offered by Digitally Imported: DI.FM, RadioTunes etc, with a focus on the Android ones. I’ve been doing so since about 2013; before that I worked on the websites, mainly front-end, but DI back then allowed me to learn and transition on the job, to the then 2-person mobile development team.

This mobile development has mainly been in C#, through the Xamarin framework, but we’re switching it back to nativenow, so through Kotlin.

When not getting bread on the table, I primarily focus on my hobby electronics projects, which include trying to develop my own analogue, polyphonic synthesizer. I have been building various modules for a modular synthesizer since 2016, but since summer 2018 I’ve started the polysynth project. It’s a a great deal of fun and is quite challenging, even though I’m taking it slow.

You can get a peek of those goings-on on my Instagram, Youtube, and Twitter.

My electronics background started early- my interest got piqued when, as a child, I smacked open a broken telephone and saw all the bits on the inside. I then studied electrical/electronics engineering in secondary school and college. Despite this, I ended up with a career in software development, but it remains my largest hobby.

As for programming, I started in my early teens, poking at QBASIC, later HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and also some Visual Basic. In my late teens I started building some proper websites, which got me my first few jobs. I’ve been familiarising myself with and ever-increasing number of programming languages, frameworks ever since I first got interested. Aside from a little bit of C programming for microcontrollers in school, I’m self-taught, with, of course the help of several coworkers that are much smarter than I.

Since 2008, I’ve been producing electronic music; mainly trance and ambient. You can find it via the links at the bottom.

Stepping away from computers, I also enjoy going for walks and bike rides, either wielding a camera, or doing some Geocaching.


Preferred tools

There is software and hardware that I enjoy using, and are worthy of special mention, I think.

Software / OS

  • vim: My favourite text editor. If not directly, I use vim plugins within the IDE I’m using.
  • tmux: Terminal multiplexer, particularly useful when you do a lot of things in a terminal interface. Very handy if you don’t have a graphical interface available, such as when connected to a server over SSH.
  • Intellij IDEA / Jetbrains IDEs: Jetbrains makes an excellent IDE with lots of great productivity tools.
  • Arch Linux: Despite not having used it for very long yet, this is rapidly becoming my favourite Linux distribution to work with, keeping things lightweight and customizeable.
  • Ubuntu Linux: The distribution I’ve been using the longest, and which I run on all my servers.
  • i3 Window manager: A tiling window manager (as opposed to floating, where you drag windows around) for Linux operating systems. Takes some getting used to, but I don’t want to use anything else now.
  • Mozilla Firefox: Hands down still the best web browser.
  • Mozilla Thunderbird: I’ve been using this to manage several email accounts for years, and it’s never failed me.
  • KiCad: Fantastic open source package for schematic capture and circuit board design, including 3D viewer; I’ve designed many a board in this.
  • Inkscape: Open source application for vector graphics, loaded with features. I’ve used this a lot for designing synthesizer modular front panels.
  • Image-Line FL Studio: My Digital Audio Workstation of choice, which I’ve used since 2008- the lifetime free upgrades and ever-improving featureset make this pretty fantastic.

Hardware

  • TUXEDO Book BC1510 laptop: I recently bought this one, and it’s working out excellently. Great build quality, and Arch Linux runs like a breeze on it.
  • Logitech MX Performance mouse: I’ve been enjoying this weighty wireless mouse, particularly for the toggle to scroll with momentum, and the back/forward buttons on the side.
  • Siglent SDS1104X-E Oscilloscope: Great value for money 4 channel digital oscilloscope. Invaluable for debugging my synthesizer circuitry, and even inspecting serial data like I2C.

Elsewhere on the web

You can also find me on:

This page was last updated January 2020.