Who are you, and what do you do?
I'm full circle back to describing myself like I did when I graduated from university — namely, a writer. In between, I've been an entrepreneur, the co-founder, E-I-C, publisher, and CEO of Wired, a web pioneer (Hotwired), a chocolate maker (TCHO), a father, a contrarian, and a troublemaker (what it says on LinkedIn).
What hardware do you use?
Lots. My main computer is a sturdy Mac Pro (mid-2010, 2 x 3.46 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon) hotrodded with 64GB of memory, an OWC PCIe RAID 480 SSD that holds only the system and apps, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB graphics card, USB3 card, a PCIe RAID filled with 4TB of mSATA SSDs for all my photos, a bunch of other hard drives inside the Mac Pro for data and clones, a 27 inch Apple LED Cinema Display and a 23 inch Apple Cinema HD Display. I have ScanSnap scanner, as well as a Epson Perfection V600 photo scanner, as well as a Nikon slide scanner. I have a Dymo 4XL mailing label printer (love it), and a Brother Pro DX for PTouch labels.
I have a bunch of iPads including Minis.
I also use a MacBook Air when I'm traveling.
I have a mid 2011 iMac 3.4Ghz Core i7 with 32GB of memory in my writing office with a solid state drive holding the system and apps.
And then there are all the Mac Minis running music, backup, and mail servers. And racks of D-Link 24 port switches. And iMacs repurposed to show slideshows.
I use an iPhone 8 with 256GB memory.
For sound, I have a dozen Sonos Connects driving three AudioControl 700 10 channel amps running the whole house music sysem. I have an MSD Gold DSP and Monarchy Audio massaging the digital signal. I also have a bunch of Sonos Plays, a couple of Sonos Ones. I used to have a Crestron system, but it was slow, expensive, and inflexible. And I have Dynaudio speakers, a California Audio Labs CD player, and a Krell amp for critical listening.
For video, I have a 60 inch Samsung LED, a Denon receiver, Dynaudio speakers, Sony Blu-Ray, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, DirectTV satellite (but on the way out). All controlled by a iPad Mini running Simple Control.
For home automation, I have a dozen Alexa Echoes, a dozen Hue bulbs, Nest thermostats, TP-Link and Wemo outlet switches, Neato robot vac, August locks, a hundred Hyperikon and Philips Warm Glow LEDs. And a Vantage Controls whole house lighting system.
No 3D printing, I leave that to my son.
And what software?
In no order: Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite (of which I use Lightroom, InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Acrobat), DxO PhotoLab, TeamViewer, VMWare Fusion so I can run Windows (the Vantage whole house lighting software can only be programmed from Windows), Dropbox for storage, 1Password, Carbon Copy Cloner, FontExplorer X Pro, CrashPlan for backups, Notes, EverNote, Apple's Mail, Safari Technology Preview, Firefox, Fantastical for calendaring, Apple's Contacts, Scrivener for complex writing, Spotify, VueScan for scanning, SpamSieve for junk mail screening, Remote Desktop, Screens, DiskWarrior to fix messed up hard drives, Hue software, iConnectHue, Yonomi.
What would be your dream setup?
I suppose I'm waiting for the new Mac Pro, but Apple's been passive aggressive about their computer business that I have no faith that they understand the needs of professionals any more, nor the power of the halo of high end systems on their entire business. I don't really have a dream set up at this point. I have an ecology of equipment I use, which is in a process of constant maintenance, upgrade, or replacement. I'll probably upgrade my Synology NAS to the new RS818+, because the current model I'm running is feeling slow. I'm probably going to upgrade the screens to 4K so I can work on my photos better.