Back cover (about)

I’m Jonathan Beebe (pronounced bēbē): the author, programmer, designer, and mind behind—Welcome.

The goal of this website is to serve as a representation (over time) of my knowledge, digital experiences, work, and interests. It also functions as a kind of public wiki for things I want to save for later, and to be an educational resource for others.

Like strokes of a paintbrush, each post and link published here is just one piece of a larger whole that contributes to a more complete picture of my digital self (but more of a perpetual draft than a masterpiece).

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For the best viewing experience:

This website is mobile-optimized but is best experienced on a desktop or laptop computer using a modern web browser. Use your browser’s zoom functionality to adjust text size (using Cmd +/- on Mac or Ctrl +/- on other systems).

What you’ll find here:

  • Various tutorials on technical topics I’m familiar with.
    • text-based content (no video or audio)
  • Random links that appealed to my brain in some way.
    • Could be anything; not restricted to tech topics
    • Most links have some commentary written
  • Random notes, updates and other ephemera.
  • Lots of programming stuff (code snippets, config files, etc).
  • Projects and other development resources.
  • Hardware, software, and book recommendations.
  • Learnings and advice on productivity, writing, and tech.
  • Lots of personal thoughts, experiences, and opinions.

Random things about me:

  • I was born, raised, and live in California, USA.
  • I’m a full-stack software engineer with a focus on mobile and web development (but I prefer web development).
  • I have worked remotely since 2011, long before it became widely adopted during Covid.
    • I’m fortunate to have not required an adjustment period (work-wise) when the 2020 pandemic swept the world.
  • I love web and user interface design
    • I obsess way too much over pixel perfection, fonts, and things a majority of users probably don’t even notice (or care about).
    • Aesthetics (and user experience) are important to me.
  • I’m a mechanical keyboard enthusiast (and have way too many), but I’ve settled on my endgame build (really).
  • I don’t use X/Twitter, Meta/Facebook, Instagram, Tik-Tok or any other social media of this kind (I do consume Reddit and Hacker News passively – but these fall more into the “forum” category for me)
    • Not for any reason other than I don’t have the desire or need to. I (thankfully) never got addicted.
  • After initially avoiding it, I’ve come to love TypeScript and dislike working on JavaScript projects without it.
  • I’m (mostly) a “printf” (or console.log) debugger.
  • My favorite frontend web development library is React.
  • My preferred React component framework (right now) is Mantine.
  • I’m a self-taught programmer who eventually got a bachelor’s degree (online) a few years into my professional career.
  • I try to read books as widely as possible and mix things up between fiction and non-fiction. I usually have at least two or three books in progress at any given time.
    • I haven’t always been a reader and preferred movies, documentaries and TV shows for passive entertainment/information. I started reading because I ran out of new (good) things to watch, and it dawned on me that there’s more books out there than I could possibly consume in multiple lifetimes.
  • My first programming language was Cold Fusion and then PHP way back in the mid-90s and (very) early 2000s.
    • I made tons of little websites in HTML by hand (for fun), so this was a natural progression of that (being able to “include” other files in others—such as headers, sidebars, footers—was such a breath of fresh air).
  • I do have a personal life, but in my default state I basically live online.
    • Unhealthy? Maybe. But I’ve been this way since the 7th grade (1997’ish) and I think I turned out fine.
    • People prefer different environments. Some prefer wilderness, others enjoy bustling cities or small towns. The web is my comfort zone.
  • (Puts on flame suit) I love open source and free/libre software (and rely on a lot of it) but I don’t feel strongly about any of the ideologies surrounding it. I’m all for the freedom for people to choose whether they want to make their source code available (or not) to others.
    • You don’t feel entitled to the manuscript of your favorite book (of which many are produced 100% digitally these days), why should you with someone else’s source code? Leave it up to the author, I say.
  • I completely missed the glory days of classic Mac OS and wish I didn’t (I was a Windows user back then, because I didn’t pay for my own hardware as a teenager). I still think Mac OS 8/9 is more cohesive and has far more personality than any modern-day OS.
  • Although I can type over 100 words per minute, I still practice typing most days of the week (15 minute sessions on
    • Accuracy is far more important than speed in my opinion, and I still make mistakes so therefore I still practice.
  • I’m a (disabled) veteran of the United States Air Force.
    • Joined in 2004, one month after high school graduation.
    • Deployed to Iraq twice during the heat of the war (2005, 2006).
    • Honorably discharged at the rank of Senior Airman (E-4) in 2008.
  • Fun fact: I met my wife in 2008 (only 4 years out of high school), got married the same year, and have since been living happily ever after.
    • Funny how getting married so quickly was a subject I avoided for many years for fear of being judged, but after 15 years has become a point of pride.

My hardware setup:

  • Mac Studio (M2 Max, 32 GB)
  • Tofu60 2.0 Mechanical Keyboard
    • HHKB layout (customized for my needs with VIA)
    • Aluminum anodized grey case
    • MTNU keycaps (white on black)
    • Gateron Oil King switches (linear)
    • I love this keyboard so much that I bought an extra PCB for when the stock inevitably disappears, in case I ever need it.
    • The main con to the HHKB layout is using other keyboards (like on a laptop) really mess me up (especially the position of Backspace).
  • Samsung CRG9 49" Super Ultrawide Monitor
    • All the benefits of a dual 1440p setup, without any of the downsides.
  • Small portable monitor situated under my main display for notes, calendar, chats, and text messages.
  • Lamzu Thorn wireless mouse
  • Standing desk (to keep the blood flowing throughout the day).
  • Kindle Oasis for book-reading
    • Amazon discontinued this model. If I bought one today, it would be the Paperwhite.

I readily acknowledge that my setup is very privileged and is unfortunately out of reach for many people. I’m extremely grateful to be this position, but this is the (current) result of many years of incremental upgrades. Once upon a time my setup was a lot more humble.

Software, services, and features I rely on:

  • Visual Studio Code for most of my work (and writing)
  • Vim key bindings wherever I can
    • It started out as a way to retain coding muscle memory while switching between platforms for work, but it stuck because I find it far better than OS and IDE-specific key bindings.
  • Alfred for launching apps and quick access to a calculator, dictionary, and web searches.
    • Been using this since 2010 (installed on my first Mac—one of those plastic white ones from the Snow Leopard days).
  • My programming (and anything monospace) font is Codelia by Toshi Omagari.
    • Note: The body text on the linked page is not Codelia (an assumption I made when I initially saw the page)
  • Obsidian for Notes
  • Slack for work comms
    • I’m required to use it, but don’t really like Slack because it’s difficult (for me) to keep track of messages, which seems like a pretty fundamental thing for a messaging app. I’ve spent so much time trying to figure out where a message I just got notified of is, or how to get back to a previous conversation I know I had. Also, notifications on mobile seem less than reliable (although this seems to be improving).
  • Browsers: Chrome (work), Safari (personal), Firefox (image-blocking)
  • Steam for gaming
  • Excel for personal budgeting
    • I’m want to move away from this to a home-grown solution at some point in the (hopefully) near future.

Built on the shoulders of giants…