Andrew Janjigian


Andrew Janjigian

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm a Senior Editor at Cook's Illustrated Magazine, and America's Test Kitchen's resident breadhead (I develop about 2/3 of the bread and pizza recipes we do in the magazine). I'm also a bread baking instructor at King Arthur Flour in Norwich, VT, where I teach people how to make professional quality breads and pizza in a home kitchen setting. I also like to think of myself as a fairly decent photographer; when I'm not baking bread, I probably have one of my film cameras in hand.

I have two Twitter accounts, one for my food & bread-related Tweets (though these days I find myself mostly retweeting the Trumpocalypse), and another for photography-related stuff.

What hardware do you use?

In my bread baking classes, I emphasize the idea that while technique is important, the secret to success is in having the proper tools for the task at hand. And there is a handful of tools I'm always recommending people use. I love my Danish dough whisk, which is a cross between a balloon whisk and a wooden spoon that works better than either when mixing sticky doughs by hand. And since bread baking is a precise science, and many of my recipes call for minute amounts of certain ingredients, I recommend people use this surprisingly accurate $10 digital gram scale.

Good pizza has to be baked as quickly as possible, so the crust can be crisp before the interior overcooks. Since most people don't have wood-fired ovens (lucky for me, I do, the next best thing is a Baking Steel, a quarter-inch thick slab of steel you use as a baking surface instead of a stone (steel is way more conductive than ceramic, so pies cook in about half the time on one).

For my own baking, I like to use freshly-milled flour, which I mill in a tabletop Komo Mill.

My computer is a mid-2012 15" Retina MBP, which is the best laptop ever made. I'm not all that interested in the new-fangled USB-C, Touch Bar-equipped style MPB models Apple is pushing now. It's the perfect machine for my needs, and if it craps out, I'll probably end up getting another one much like it (thankfully, for the time being at least, they are still available).

As for cameras, I am mainly a medium format shooter, and use either a Mamiya RZ67 or a Mamiya 7. The great thing about shooting on film is that professional-grade cameras that would have been beyond my means when they were current are relative bargains now (though they can be expensive to repair and maintain, for sure). I recently started shooting large format on a 60-year-old Speed Graphic.

I shoot a lot of peel-apart instant film (which I can use in both the RZ and the Speed Graphic). Sadly, my favorite film, FujiFilm FP-100c, was discontinued last year, and I don't know what I'm going to do (besides cry) when the supply I have in my basement fridge runs out.

I used to be the sort of person who upgrades his iPhone every two years, but since I don't shoot digital all that much anymore, my 6S Plus is perfectly adequate for now, and I'd rather spend that money on buying film. When I do use it for photography, I often use a Moment wide angle lens.

And what software?

For keeping track of bread formulas, I use BreadStorm on Mac, and the companion iPhone app. It's designed for bakeries to use, so it's kind of expensive for the average home baker, but I couldn't live without it, especially since I might produce 50 versions of a recipe for the magazine before it's ready for publication.

For writing stories, taking notes, and for collecting recipes, I have used nvALT for years. I like working in plaintext, and I love that nvALT is just a wrapper for a folder of text files. I keep everything in Dropbox, and use 1Writer to access my nvALT files on my phone.

For keeping track of what is happening in the world and what everyone else is up to, I use Reeder and Tweetbot, both on my Mac and my iPhone.

Like most photographers, have a love/hate relationship with Instagram (chronological feed, please), but it is where I share most of my work. On the Mac, I'm a big fan of Flume, which lets you do nearly everything you can do on the Instagram app, but with a normal-sized keyboard and screen.

What would be your dream setup?

To be honest, I'm pretty happy with the setup I have now. I just hope the tools I do prefer to use don't become hard to find, difficult to repair, etc. And I'd like it for Fuji to bring back peel apart film.



Source link

Brodie Lancaster


Brodie Lancaster

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Brodie Lancaster, a writer and editor. On a good day I call myself a critic too.

I started my ~career~ at 20 as the managing editor of Portable TV, a culture website that no longer exists. I self-published and edited the zine Filmme Fatales for a few years. It was an unpretentious publication about women and film. I did interviews and ran comics and jokes and poems and short stories, but didn't do reviews. I like to think you'd get as much out of reading the first issue (written in 2012, released in 2013) now as you would've on its release. I made eight issues, and it's been a year since I put it on pause indefinitely.

As a writer I've contributed to Rolling Stone, Rookie, MTV News, Pitchfork, Elle.com, Smith Journal, Frankie, Hello Mr, Junkee, Jezebel, Vulture, The Guardian and other places I can't remember right now.

In July 2017 my first book, a pop culture memoir called No Way! Okay, Fine was published by Hachette. I guess now I can call myself an author as well.

I co-hosted and produced a podcast called Can U Not? from late 2016 through mid-2017, and I sometimes DJ.

I've been working at Single Double (a copywriting and content studio formerly called The Good Copy) since 2013. I do a lot of jigsaw puzzles and want to write a horror movie.

What hardware do you use?

I'm so bad with technology I recently went into the Telstra shop to complain that my iPhone 7 was bugging out, only to learn I had an iPhone 6S Plus. Ay carumba. I have 2 or 3 external battery packs for my phone because I play too much Blossom Blast so it always dies at lunch time. I also don't want to keep upgrading my phone because I hate those Bluetooth headphones and resent that Apple wants us all to use them!!!!

I'm using a 13-inch MacBook Air from early 2015. I got it from a guy on eBay who felt like he had to explain how laptops work to me before we did a dodgy-looking cash exchange at a café. I bought a USB disc drive for it because I still like to burn CDs when I DJ. (NEVER TRUST THAT A DECK HAS USB DRIVES AND THAT YOU'LL REMEMBER TO BRING YOURS.) I have a tiny handheld Zoom recorder for doing interviews, and use one of those SD card adapters to get the Zoom's contents onto my computer. I also recently bought a Canon PowerShot G7 X for filming videos for the YouTube channel I'm kind of embarrassed I have.

I'm pretty analogue about organisation, and have never found a list-making or calendar app that works for me as well as a physical planner and notebook do. I use a Ban.do planner, a Rollbahn grid notebook, a pad of Kikki.K to-do lists that don't have too many "inspirational" messages on them. Checking things off a list is a huge motivator for me. And I use black Pentel EnerGel pens in 0.7 width. (If I need a red pen I prefer 1.0).

At work I have an A4-sized whiteboard with a calendar on it. Using about 7 different-coloured pens I can map out all the client work I do so I can visualise everything that's coming up and (hopefully) not get too overwhelmed with surprises. When I finish a job, I erase it from the whiteboard.

I have an old iPad I bought at the Apple store at JFK while Joel Edgerton was there getting a charger. It only connects to wifi because I Know Myself Better To Have Another Thing That Goes Online On Its Own. I use it to read from when I have to give talks, and to read my saved articles on Pocket. (I have about 6 years of unread stuff in there. It's a constant source of guilt.)

Oh and I recently bought an old iPod Classic with the goal of spending more time listening to music and reading (as opposed to listening to podcasts and staring at my phone constantly), but it's just another thing to charge now.

And what software?

I write everything in iA Writer Classic. On my laptop it ends up in a mix of Dropbox, Excel, Drive and nvALT. At work I also use Airtable and Dropbox Paper because they make submitting and getting client feedback smooth. The reality of working in "content" means I spend a shitload of time inside Facebook Business Manager.

My portfolio is on Squarespace. I chat on Slack, download questionably-legal things using Snowfl with ExpressVPN turned on, and watch them on VLC. Stream stuff on Netflix, hayu and Stan.

If I need to edit audio, video or photos I use Adobe stuff. I taught myself very basic InDesign to make the first four issues of Filmme Fatales, before a designer came on board to save me from myself.

I like to own music, so always have iTunes running. I recently, finally paid for a Spotify subscription because my "End of 2017" list was so embarrassing I decided to use it more now. But ever since I started using Spotify again my data has been out on control and I remembered why I stopped years ago.

On my phone the Apps I use most often are: Inbox by Google, Facebook, Messenger, Twitter, BOM Weather, CommBank, Instagram, Podcasts (I HATE THE NEW UPDATED APP IT SUCKS PLS RECOMMEND SOMETHING BETTER FOR ME), Uber Eats, Blossom Blast.

I need Pages and Adverts for work; TimeScroller is essential if you have friends overseas or need to set up an interview/FaceTime date across time zones; ImgPlay is great for making videos and GIFs from stills; I've been relying on Sleep Cycle to wake me up and track my sleep for like 7 years now; I've just started collecting points on the PappaRich app every time I eat roti with curry sauce; Footy Live is my go-to during AFL season (Go Tiges); depending on my mood I flick through Raya and Tinder on the toilet; Pocket for reading (though I don't love reading off my phone); Clue for period stuff; Health for occasionally tracking my steps (I hate when I'm exhausted after a physically huge day and it tells me I've done like 3,000 steps fuck u man I'm aching); Tinybeans for seeing my friends' kids; K-Box for karaoke; Later for scheduling clients' 'grams (thought I'm moving to Schedugram); Voice Memos for all interviews (make sure you're on airplane mode while you record or risk losing your recording when you get an annoying call!!!!); 1SE, which I've been using for a total of 5 days so far.

What would be your dream setup?

My dream setup would be Dropbox for everything, but with all the shit on my various hard drives organised perfectly. A new laptop with an audio jack and a new laptop with USB ports. (HI APPLE R U LISTENING???) I am resistant to change but always adapt to it eventually. So honestly my "dream setup" doesn't exist but I could probably make it happen with what I have now if I just reclaimed maybe 8-14 full days and sat in a cool room with a steady supply of Coke Zero to properly categorise every single digital file I've ever stored somewhere in the depths of this machine.



Source link

Sara Mauskopf


Sara Mauskopf

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Sara Mauskopf, the CEO and Co-founder of Winnie, an app that helps parents find great places to go with their kids and get the advice and information they need to be successful. Prior to founding Winnie, I worked as the Director of Product at Postmates, was a Product Manager at Twitter for 4 years and before that worked at YouTube and Google. I graduated with a Computer Science degree from MIT.

I currently live in San Francisco with my husband Eric and my daughter Bryn and another daughter on the way! Between my company and my family I don't have time for many hobbies but I love to explore new places with my daughter and enjoy the simple pleasures in life with her like going out to brunch and playing at the playground.

What hardware do you use?

I have probably the least ergonomic setup of anyone ever. I slouch in front of my MacBook Pro without any monitor or keyboard. I know it's terrible.

My phone is an iPhone 7 Plus. I also have a collection of Android phones I use for playing with Winnie on Android because it's really important to us to have best of class apps for Winnie on both iPhone and Android.

I have the best laptop bag in the world. Okay, it's technically a diaper bag, but I removed the changing pad and instead put my laptop inside the nice cushioned section and it is really an incredibly sturdy and versatile bag.

And what software?

So much software. When it comes to company tools, we use Slack really heavily, along with the Google suite of products (Gmail, Docs, Calendar, and Drive). We use Asana to track tasks we're working on, Sketch and Zeplin for design work, and Dropbox to share large files. I use Gusto for payroll and Pilot for bookkeeping. I also spend time on Facebook during the day (for work!) since we get quite a bit of traffic to Winnie through posting great Winnie content to our Facebook page and having it shared by our users on Facebook and other social media channels.

Much of Winnie runs on AWS like DynamoDB and CloudSearch. We use SendGrid to send emails and Mixpanel and Google Analytics to track our metrics.

As far as software for personal use goes, I'm a big social media user. I am addicted to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and of course, Winnie.

What would be your dream setup?

I like to work in comfort so my dream setup would be to work from bed. That's not really possible when you're running a company (or in most jobs) so instead I'd like to get a nap pod like this for our office one day. I'd also like to have onsite childcare, an epic lactation room, and a fridge stocked with fresh fruit and healthy snacks.



Source link

Helen Rosner


Helen Rosner

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Helen Rosner. I'm a writer — mostly about the culture of food, mostly for the New Yorker. I also write about other things (gaming, business, feminism) and do a fair amount of freelance editing. Up until recently I worked at Eater, where I founded the longform and features department.

What hardware do you use?

When I left my full-time job in October I had to give back my laptop, and I decided, as a perverse experiment, to try to live without one for a while. I wrote the first drafts of a 4500-word feature for Eater and a 1600-word story for NewYorker.com on my rose gold iPhone 6S, and switched over to a 10.5-inch iPad Pro with a Bluetooth keyboard when it was time for revisions. I hated working on the iPad; last month my bizarre hardware-oulipo experiment came to an end and I now have a 13" MacBook Pro with all the add-ons, in sexy space gray, with a CharJenPro side dock so I don't have to mess with converter dongles. (I also pretty regularly commandeer my husband's 27" iMac for big editing projects, video meetings, and late-night deadline dashes — nothing beats working at a gigantic monitor.)

Even though I have a laptop now, I still do the majority of my work — emailing, writing, researching — on my slow, beat-up iPhone, and I do a ton of note-taking by way of snapping photos. I have an old unlimited data AT&T plan, and prefer to always be at max screen brightness, so I live (or die) by external batteries. After years of Mophie allegiance I finally switched to Apple's house-brand silicone charging case, which I love both for its slimmer profile and for the fact that it has its own battery indicator on the lock screen. I've been through dozens of battery blocks, but my favorite is one I picked up in a moment of desperation at the Cleveland airport: it's a myCharge AMProng+, which has a fold-down plug so the whole thing goes right into the wall.

I have two pairs of Bose QuietComfort headphones — in-ear and over-ear. I use the in-ear at home and commuting, and bring the over-ears with me on airplanes. Both pairs came from those Best Buy vending machines at JFK, a couple years apart, before six- and ten-hour flights when I forgot to bring my own noise-canceling headphones. (I used to have a pair of Sonys, but the Bose are seriously so much better.) I travel a lot, and I'm moderately disorganized, so I end up doing a lot of emergency shopping at airports.

Paper notebooks are deeply important to me; I like top-bound notebooks when I'm reporting, and side-bound ones when I'm making lists and brainstorming. Ideally I'd only use Rhodia top-bound and Behance Action Method side-bound, but I end up having a ton of Moleskines because (surprise!) they're easy to find at airports. (Also train stations!) I usually get the lined or gridded Cahier journals, which are soft-covered and come in sets of three. I buy superfine Pilot Razor Point marker pens by the case, in black and green, and keep handfuls of them in every backpack, tote bag, purse, and coat pocket.

The most important piece of hardware I currently own is my Nintendo Switch, and maybe also my Amazon Echo, with which I am codependent.

And what software?

I use Wunderlist for basic to-dos, Trello to organize my projects, and I have a pro Zoom account for video calls (especially for remote interviews when I'm reporting: it's great to have the built-in recording function). I do most of my writing either in the Notes app on my phone, or in a Gmail draft on my laptop. I can't write first drafts in word-processing software, it psychs me out. I prefer to edit (my own work and others') in Google Docs, but will use Microsoft Word if an editor or writer prefers it. I'm still trying to find a research workflow that works for me, right now I save tons and tons of things to Pocket, which isn't really what Pocket is designed for — it's a reading app, not an archive app. I record phone calls using TapeACall Pro and use the Rev integration to send the recordings on for transcription. I get obsessive about phone games, right now I do two or three crosswords a day in the New York Times Crossword app, and I have a crappy backgammon app I play pretty mindlessly all day.

What would be your dream setup?

All of the above, plus an app that lets me add notes and comments to the photos in my camera roll, plus a full-time human research assistant, who also reminds me to bring my headphones when I travel, so I don't end up dropping hundreds of dollars at an airport vending machine ever, ever again.



Source link

Emily Griffin


Emily Griffin

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Emily Griffin! I grew up in a suburb of Houston, Texas and relocated to Brooklyn about 2.5 years ago. I've been styling for Stitch Fix while balancing and growing my illustration career.

I studied marketing and minored in art, with a focus in watercolor. Though I was never encouraged to pursue art professionally, it has been a constant for me. When I moved here, I began painting more by making watercolor avatars for friends on Twitter. That side hustle grew into making couple and family portraits, and more recently, pet portraits! Art is now a consistent part of my work schedule, which I am incredibly grateful for.

You may have seen my work featured on BuzzFeed, Brooklyn Magazine, Tumblr, Amy Poehler's Smart Girls, or featured in tech presentations, like Sarah Groff-Palermo's "Adventures in the vBuffer" at 2017's Strange Loop conference. I do weekly illustrations for my column "A Wednesday Cute" on HelloGiggles! I do sky paintings and cartoon/mini-comic panel style pieces on my own time as well, which you can check out on my Instagram along with a few selfies!

Aside from art, I am a huge fan of true crime podcasts, watching basketball (go Houston), and karaoke. I enjoy makeup (I recently wrote a piece about highlighters for Women's Health online), shopping for vintage clothing, and the color pink. I love New York, but am constantly missing Sonic happy hour and good brisket.

What hardware do you use?

I work from home in my room. I have a tiny little IKEA desk, but you'll usually find me working from the floor (I have recently invested in a velvety floor cushion) or sitting on my bed. I know it's bad! I'm a real troublemaker.

My laptop is a 2010 MacBook Pro that somehow made it to 2016 before I realized that having a spinning hard drive for that long is WILD and I quickly replaced it before disaster could strike. This is where I do my styling work and answer some emails.

Most of my drawing from the past year has been done on a first generation 9.7" iPad Pro + Apple Pencil, but I recently traded that one in for the newer iPad Pro 10.5" since I needed more memory than I had initially planned for.

When I work traditionally, I depend on BIC mechanical pencils, black Micron pens (usually in size 2 or 3), mixed media paper, Copic Ciao and Winsor and Newton brushmarkers. My paints are a mix of Winsor and Newton liquid watercolors, with Turner gouache for metallic and neon accents. Then I've got my plastic palette, a collection of round tip brushes (some cheap, some sable) and a good ol' cup of water 🙂

I'll photograph traditional art with my phone, but these days I am usually working digitally.

While I work, I will listen to podcasts on my iPhone X!

And what software?

The biggest surprise here is that I don't have Adobe Creative Suite, I am still learning it! So when I purchased the iPad Pro, it was to encourage my journey into digital art since i'd only worked on paper before. It definitely helped bridge that gap – I use Procreate and love it! I've purchased some amazing brush sets from Ben Lew that I use a lot.

I browse the internet on Chrome, or Safari on my phone, and use the email app Spark to send files to clients. I will often edit art and photos with vsco before posting.

I keep long-form notes, budgeting, and daily/hourly schedule lineups in Simplenote, and smaller lists for shopping or upcoming monthly events in tick.

I also use Philips Hue bulbs for my main lighting – I turn off all my other lamps and keep the light on a dim "relax" setting before bed 🙂

What would be your dream setup?

Ideally, a way bigger room – I feel like most people in Brooklyn would say that. I'd love to have my own apartment with another bedroom to use as an office and studio space, with great natural lighting and room for a larger desk as well as storage for my paints, markers, and paper. With a larger room, I'd also have space for a printer with high-quality color to produce my own prints and easy shipping labels. Finally, I'd love to have a more lightweight MacBook Pro, since this 2010 one is pretty heavy to carry around to coffee shops!

If I could have the creative hustle and community of NYC combined with some sunshine and mountains outside my window, that would be my ultimate dream. I adore mountains. I'll have to keep exploring for a place like that!



Source link

Samantha Goldstein


Samantha Goldstein

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm a software engineer and general tinkerer. I love making things with my hands, especially things that combine organic materials like clay and wood with micro-controllers and small chips. I like making things that are like me: soft, warm, and a little ridiculous.

What hardware do you use?

A photo of Samantha's pink keyboard on her desk.

I use an Epilog Fusion laser cutter for cutting wood and acrylic for jewelry making. I really adore this little baby blue soldering iron, and my headphones that match. I just got this amazing mechanical keyboard and have some pastel keycaps on the way. I'm can't wait to get some time to watch a movie and swap in my new keycaps. My keyboard Cherry MX Blue switches which are extra clacky and have a really satisfying tactile bump. I love the way it feels to type — every keystroke a resounding clack and every line a manifesto! I have a lot of handmade work and jewelry — it's meaningful to me to know that time and care went into the tools around me, and I think it helps remind me of what I want to put into my own work.

I do, admittedly, have a bit of a zombie pit for hardware projects on pause. I once made a ceiling mounted light installation with an Arduino Uno that responded to the audio levels in the room for a party. It was SO janky and potentially a bit dangerous, to be honest, but I was really on a Halt and Catch Fire bender and I think the solder fumes were getting to my head.

When I'm not at home tinkering I ride my bike everywhere I can or I make espresso and wander around the city with my favorite to go mug.

And what software?

I have a terrible memory. When I switch panes the words from the previous page are completely lost to me in the transfer, so I use Snappy to stick things to my screen and Spectacle to manage my window sizes with keybindings. vim has given me a very dynamic way of thinking with my fingers, but left me with a taste for absolutely never lifting my hands off of the keyboard that Spectacle helps to satisfy.

I use vim at work, mostly because when I learned in college I didn't know there were other alternatives and it made me feel very 1337. In fact, I used to SSH into every single vim window because I didn't realize that vim panes existed for years; it was a dark time. These days I use tmux to persist my panes through SSH sessions. At home I use Atom for editing (with vim keybindings). Having two editors helps me separate my work-programming from my home-programming and helps me context switch between the needs of an enormous mono-repo, and my pretty humble home project space. I've been using Bear for note-taking and dramatically upping my ability to write Markdown on the fly.

I have a couple custom key remaps that I use Karabiner for. I consistently reached the wrong distance for the ESC key for vim, and the hand position of CTRL-B for tmux felt awful. To deal with that I remapped caps lock to CTRL when used with other keys and to ESC when used alone. Long gone is my vim-based pinky strain!

What would be your dream setup?

I want a nice space with lots of natural light and a pottery studio nearby. I'd love a more sophisticated espresso machine and one of those cute peg boards to display and store all of my tools for pottery, jewelry making, and hardware. I love to have my tools visible but neat (like a wall-mounted knoll). I really need a way to hide my chords and cables. Who knows, maybe if my things are well organized it will rub off on the rest of my life.

I also have my eye on a number of artisan keycaps, like this, these, and these. I'd really like a more advanced soldering station, one that will suck up solder fumes and desolder mechanism!

After seeing Claire Dane's Met Gala dress I'd love to get my hands on some fiber optic fabric and make something with it as well in order to make some more wearable electronics!



Source link

Gareth Reid


Gareth Reid

Who are you, and what do you do?

Gareth Reid, whisky distiller at Kingsbarns Distillery in Fife, Scotland.

What hardware do you use?

Making whisky is a fairly analogue process, so my interpretation of hardware would be steam for heating, water for cooling and pumps, valves, hoses and pipes for moving various liquids around. And of course the most important piece of hardware – the oak casks that the whisky matures in.

Each week we make seven batches of single malt whisky, which in around ten years will fill about 10,000 bottles.

Our daily process is to mash 1.5 tonnes of malted barley to make 7800 litres of wort. Scotch malt whisky must only be made with malted barley. We soak the malted barley in water at specified temperatures, so the barley's own enzymes (normally used for germination) convert the starches to fermentable sugars. We then ferment this to make our wash which is 8% alcohol.

We then distill this in our copper wash still to concentrate the alcohol. The vapour from the still is condensed and collected and mixed with the heads (foreshots) and tails (feints) from the spirit distillation, producing about 4500 litres of a product called low wines, which is around 23% abv.

Next, we make the new make spirit, which is the unmatured spirit which will become whisky. The low wines are distilled in the copper spirit still and the distillate from this run is cut into three parts; heads, hearts and tails. The rate of distillation and the percentage alcohol of these cut points play an important part in determining the character of both the new make spirit and the final whisky.

The heads and tails contain undesirable compounds and flavours, so they get redistilled as part of the low wines in the next day's distillation. The heart of the run is collected as new make spirit, which is diluted with water to 63.5% alcohol. We then transfer it to oak casks to be matured. Most of our casks are ex-bourbon casks from Tennessee and Kentucky, but sometimes we use port or sherry casks.

The whisky has to mature for at least three years and one day in order to legally be called Scotch Whisky, but it's generally 10 years plus.

All of our spent barley goes to a farmer for cattle feed and our liquid by-products are used for fertiliser.

And what software?

We have a degree of semi-automation in the brewhouse, which makes our lives a bit easier! We can control some of the valves and pumps using a mimic on an HMI, which saves a lot of running around. The brewhouse can also run through preset programs, meaning we can put a brew through with minimal input, allowing us to get on with other things. The best thing is that we can empty spent grain from the mash tun by pressing a few buttons on the mimic, which is an untold luxury for anyone who has ever dug out a tun by hand!

What would be your dream setup?

Air conditioning. In reality it would be too wasteful but distilleries and breweries are always too hot in the summer, too cold in the winter!



Source link

Bertrand Fan


Bertrand Fan

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Bertrand Fan, an engineer on the Platform team at Slack. I build things so that you can build things, but sometimes I also build things to verify that the things that I'm building actually help you build things.

I'm less interesting than my wife, Iris Willow. You should be reading her interview instead.

Previously, I helped Barack Obama become president, built VR at Flickr and architected its transition to a Node.js stack, and failed at building a startup.

What hardware do you use?

I have a 256 GB Jet Black iPhone 7 and my AirPods with me at all times. If you have the kind of ear canals that can tolerate in-ear monitors, you should use those instead, they sound way better. I put my phone in an ElevationDock with a NanoPad that uses thousands of tiny suction cups to secure it to my bedside table.

My favorite pen is the Pilot Hi-Tec-C Cavalier, which unfortunately has been discontinued by Pilot Japan. I've tried a lot of different notebooks but I like the Kyokuto F.O.B COOP W Ring Notebook – B5 – Dot Grid – Silver best because it has a subtle dot grid and you can lay it flat to read it.

I have two MacBook Pros, one for work (15-inch, Mid 2015) and one for personal use (15-inch with Touch Bar, Space Grey, 2016). I also have a recertified Acer Chromebook 11 that I'm experimenting with as a writing device and a desktop that I built which serves as my VR rig.

The 2016 Macbook Pro seems like a misstep to me. It has a lack of useful ports so I have to supplement it with an Arc Hub and a Belkin USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet adapter. If you want additional power chargers, you have to buy a USB-C Charge Cable and Power Adapter Extension Cable separately. A Power Adapter Extension Cable costs $19 and it doesn't even come with the laptop. The touchbar remains to be a gimmick to me and key travel distance on the keyboard isn't great.

If I'm at a desk, I use WASD v2 TKL keyboards. My work keyboard has PuLSE SA keycaps and Cherry MX brown switches and my home keyboard has 1976 SA keycaps and Cherry MX silent red switches. I recently acquired a 5×6 Macropad that runs off a Teensy that I use as an emoji keyboard.

At work, I use a Magic Mouse 2 and at home I have a discontinued Logitech V550 mouse that I love and buy new old stock of whenever I can find it. I also sometimes use a modified M0100 because I think its funny, but the lack of a right mouse button prohibits me from using it regularly.

I own a Raspberry Pi, Tessel, C.H.I.P., and a Teensy that I'm constantly wiping clean and experimenting with new hardware projects.

I recently sold my HTC Vive because my house is too small for room-scale VR but am keeping my Oculus Rift until the next generation of headsets comes out. I'll probably buy an Oculus Go when it comes out.

I have an HP 7550A pen plotter which originally cost $3900 in 1984, but I picked up one in really good condition for around $100 in 2015 on eBay. It has a ridiculous set of adapters coming out of it (parallel to serial to USB A to USB C) but it produces some impressive plots. I've modified it to also use Pilot Hi-Tec-C refills.

I dabble in cryptocurrency but am fairly paranoid so I store the majority of my funds in a Ledger Nano S hardware wallet.

I got really frustrated with the wifi situation at my last place so I went a little overboard and bought enough network equipment to run a small conference in my home. This includes an EdgeRouter PoE, three Unifi AP AC Pro hotspots, and a Motorola MB8600 cable modem.

My house has Amazon Echo and Echo Dots in every room so I spend a lot of my time yelling at it. Each light switch has been replaced with a Lutron P-PKG1W-WH Caseta Wireless Dimmer that I control with a Wink Hub 2. The Echo Dots are hooked up to 10-year old Sonic Impact Gen 2 T-Amps attached to 20-year old bookshelf speakers that I use Spotify Connect to control with my iPhone. I'm considering switching to the Sonos ecosystem.

I have a Mac Mini (Late 2014) running Plex and a Synology DS415+ with 4 WD Red 6TB drives that hold my movie collection.

I collect old videogame systems, but my favorite console is the SNES. I prefer to play on the original hardware, so I own a Super Wild Card DX which takes 3.5" floppy disks (most SNES games can fit on 1-2 1.44 MB disks) and a sd2snes which can fit the entire SNES library on a single SD card. I also own a Super NES Classic Edition and a Raspberry Pi running RetroPie with USB Super RetroPorts so that you can use the original controllers.

I rarely travel without my Fujifilm X100S, iPad Mini 2, Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader, Kindle Paperwhite, Nintendo Switch, Jackery Bolt 6000 mAh battery charger, Monoprice Noise Cancelling Headphones, and Monster MP OTG400 BK Outlets To Go Power Strip.

If there is a theme here, it's that the hardware you love will become discontinued and sometimes won't be replaced by anything better. So if you can afford to, buy two (or three) of the them and set them aside for when the first one breaks.

And what software?

OS X is my primary operating system. I had held out for ages on upgrading but the Meltdown and Spectre attacks forced me to upgrade to High Sierra.

I spend a lot of time in Slack, either in the Mac app or the iOS client. I tend to stay in all channels that I have a passing interest in, but only routinely read the channels that I have starred.

I use Sublime Text to write code. My favorite plugins are VCS Gutter, SFTP, Pretty JSON, Requester, Gist, and Package Syncing. I probably should be embarrassed to admit that I use nano to edit files on servers when I need to, but vim seems needlessly obtuse to me.

Moom is one of my favorite apps for controlling my window sizes and position. I've remapped my Caps Lock key to be my Moom trigger.

I use iTerm2 as my terminal app. My prompt is a customized powerline-shell and I use autojump to do most of my navigation between directories.

Homebrew is one of the first things I install on any OS X computer because it has so many packages that I depend on. Sometimes I'll run iftop if my network connection seems particularly slow. I've found exiftool, imagemagick, youtube-dl, and ffmpeg to be useful enough to install by default on all my computers.

I mostly use git on the command line, but I will supplement my workflow with a variety of visual tools. I use tig to navigate through my previous commits and Github Desktop to select which files I want to go into a commit and do quick visual sanity checks of what I'm committing. For diffs and merging, I use Kaleidoscope.

A lot of my job involves testing the Slack API in various ways. I use a combination of curl piping to jq, Requester in Sublime Text, and Postman depending on what I'm trying to do.

ngrok is invaluable for testing various Slack Platform features that require an externally accessible endpoint, but I'll also use the Heroku and Google Cloud CLI tools when I need a more reliable environment.

Google Chrome is the only browser I use, for both browsing and development. I spend a lot of time in the Network tab of Developer Tools, but I also rely on a bunch of different extensions: EditThisCookie, Pinboard Keyboard Shortcut, Window Resizer, uBlock Origin, and SAML Chrome Panel. I have a bunch of different profiles for being signed-in to different accounts on various 3rd-party services. Also, since I use Chrome exclusively, I will often build CLI tools using my cookie extraction library to automate workflows with different websites.

ScreenFlow is great for recording interactions, I use it for providing examples in bug reports, demonstrating how something works, or just taking the risk out of a live demo. Monosnap is like a non-Evernote-tainted Skitch and I use it all the time for taking screenshots and annotating them.

I store all my passwords in 1Password but I've had enough bad experiences with iCloud to only sync it with Dropbox. I try to store everything in Dropbox and use Selective Sync pretty carefully to avoid filling up my entire hard drive.

As far as apps that live on my menubar, Caffeine, Day-O, and Next Meeting each do a single thing well.

I use Nativefier to create SSBs for both Gmail and Google Calendar. I listen to music on Spotify, but occasionally I'll use Cog to listen to some mp3s or iTunes to stream from my iTunes Match collection.

Whenever I'm writing Markdown, like right now when I'm writing the answers to these questions, I use MacDown. I also spend a fair amount of time writing in Sublime Text in Distraction Free Mode, Google Docs, and Dropbox Paper.

I use OmniGraffle to create flowcharts, Keynote for presentations, and Photoshop for image manipulation. Highlight is useful for pasting syntax highlighted code into a Keynote slide.

What would be your dream setup?

In most places I've worked, I've slowly acquired monitors until there's no room left on my desk to add any more until I do an ergo evaluation and they convince me to get rid of them all. For this reason, I'll be happy to switch to a VR headset as my primary display when they are high resolution enough to not make me want to throw up after using them for sustained periods of time.

My dream keyboard would probably be a Rama M65-A with an entire row of Jellykey keycaps. I imagine this interfacing with something like the Logitech BRIDGE so that it would work seamlessly in VR.

I have a Jeremiah Collection laptop desk and wouldn't mind the larger version of it, but I live in SF. I guess in my dream setup, the median price per square foot of space in SF would be lower.

For my video game console collection, I wouldn't mind a grid of Sony BVM-20F1U broadcast monitors hooked up to XRGB-mini Framemeisters. I'd love to mod both my top-loading NES with a Hi-Def NES upgrade kit and my N64 with an UltraHDMI upgrade kit. I already have a 1CHIP SNES but a SNES Mini with a THS7314 RGB bypass amp would be a nice addition. For my Dreamcast, a GDEMU or USB-GDROM to replace the optical drive would help future proof it.

Now that the GameCube WaveBird, the best gaming controller of all time, is compatible with the Nintendo Switch, I wouldn't mind picking up a couple of those with and a Wii U controller adapter.

I've considered replacing my pen plotter with an AxiDraw V3 because I see it pop up all the time on #plottertwitter.

As far as software is concerned, I jumped ship from Windows to OS X around 10.6 "Snow Leopard", but with every new release of OS X, I feel like it's getting further and further away from an OS that helps me as a software developer. I think it's still better than Windows, despite the WSL, and the old joke that this year will be the year of Linux on the desktop still remains. I learned the hard way that developing for VR on OS X is an exercise in futility, so I'm hoping that something better comes around that replaces all of these – something that fulfills the original promise of UI/UX that "just works", a healthy app ecosystem, and the Linux toolchain that we expect.



Source link

Jenn Sandercock


Jenn Sandercock

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Jenn Sandercock and I'm a game designer. I've been working in games for 8 years now, mostly in digital games, but I have a passion for all kinds of experimental games, including real-world/physical games. I grew up in Melbourne, Australia, but I'm currently based in Seattle. I love the weather here (rain is awesome) and the snow-capped mountains. I also love how tech obsessed most people are.

For the past year I've been working on a variety of projects from digital to completely analog games.

The majority of my time has been working on Thimbleweed Park, a Twin Peaks-esque point-and-click adventure game. We're a small indie team that's distributed across the world and I got to put on a lot of hats on the team. I helped out with code, design, production, customer support, social media, booth creation, merch & Kickstarter rewards and more. I got to work with Fangamer to create a wide range of amazing merch for the game.

I also got to work with Sensible Object (of Beasts of Balance fame) on a new type of board game: one that uses voice-powered devices. It was part of the Amazon Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars. I worked next to other tech companies and got a real insight into the startup world. My job was to help design and produce a totally new board game that relied on the Alexa and used it in interesting ways. The game we created was called "When in Rome" and I got to talk to a lot of really interesting people from around their world about their cities.

As the new year begins, I'm ramping back up on my personal passion project: a series of edible tabletop games. That is, games where you actually eat the pieces and eating changes the gameplay somehow. I've already come up with over half a dozen edible games and my current plan is to develop more of them and then put them into a cookbook that tells people how to bake them and then how to play them!

What hardware do you use?

I mostly work from my 2015 MacBook Pro. I don't like Macs, I only use it because I used to make mobile games and you can't make iOS games without having a Mac. Note that's not entirely true, but they make it so hard that's it's just easier to get a Mac.

I have a large TV monitor that I've borrowed from the Thimbleweed Park booth set up. Anytime we show somewhere, I pull down the monitor and pack it up. It takes up a lot of deskspace, but is really pretty. For testing, I have access to an Xbox dev kit, a PS4 test kit and a Switch test kit. Each one has its own issues when trying to get the latest build of the game on it – so I generally avoided doing this if I could.

I have some large headphones from our booth as well. They've got Franklin (the ghost character) on them. I used to have better headphones that I won at some point, but I lent them and never got them back. I got my own Thimbleweed Park mousepad, which sounded silly when I got it, but I really love.

For my edible games, I use a variety of things from board game supplies to ovens to cookie cutters to ingredients. My current coworking space has an amazing board game supplies wall. They have all kinds of meeples and other tokens you could use for prototyping. They also have a laminator, so I can quickly create boards that food can go on top of and be cleaned!

When I'm doing cooking, I just use my home kitchen which isn't fantastic. There's not much counter space for everything. After having 2 hand-held beaters die on me in the middle of making gingerbread, I searched to find one with more power (UPDATE: It just died on me too, but I blame myself). The good thing about this is that it was the same brand as the underpowered ones and so my beaters fit in it too. It may not be obvious why this is so good, but the reason is about being able to beat flour-based mix and then switch to beating egg whites without having to wash beaters constantly. I love my Silpat baking mats that are easy to clean and reuse (although hard to dry in terms of finding hanging space); and my stackable cooling racks. I recently got sick of my digital scale since it kept eating up batteries and turning off in the middle of me trying to weigh things. I upgraded to this one which has an off button and a dash that pulls out when I put large bowls on top. I'm currently experimenting with a new oven thermometer and so far so good. I prefer it to the analog hanging ones since it doesn't fall down in the hot oven all the time. Disposable piping bags of various sizes are great and end up being handy for so many different things. I recently and finally learnt how to temper chocolate and now I'm doing it super frequently. The problem with tempering is you have to temper a lot more than you need and then you're stuck with a bunch of leftovers. So I bought a chocolate bar mould and then I just pour my leftovers in there and can break them into small chunks and eat – I mean reuse for tempering again.

The best thing about my kitchen set up is my partner… He'll often come into the kitchen after I've been cooking and do all the cleaning and washing for me!

And what software?

Trello is both my super power and my weakness. If something doesn't go on Trello, then it basically won't happen. I can get a bit obsessed with it… Sometimes I've done a task that wasn't on Trello and then created a Trello task just so I can mark it as "done". I've thought long and hard about how I set up my main Trello board and I have a system that goes from left to right. I have lists for the next 4 weeks of to dos, backlog, "do today", "doing", "done today", "done this week", "done this month". I use Card Counter so I can feel a sense of accomplishment, rather than having tasks just disappear. I've been keeping track of cards completed for my personal life for 2 years now and I can see when I have a big month in tasks.

I use a lot of Google Drive. Particularly Google Sheets. I love spreadsheets. I also can't remember how it was attempting to work on the same file with someone else without Google Drive. Recently I learned about "SUMIFS" and it seriously upped my spreadsheet game.

Working with remote teams and coworking spaces means I have to have Slack. Although I think I'm on too many different Slack communities now for me to keep up with all of them.

When I have to help hack together art for a quick Thimbleweed Park promotion, I use PhotoShop. I wish I was better at using it, I feel like I'm only just beginning to understand it. I'm sure it will be useful when shifting to work on images for Edible Games.

While working on Thimbleweed Park as a coder, we had custom tools called Wimpy & Compy. Wimpy helped us position items in rooms, set hot spots, trigger boxes and walk boxes. Compy helped us put together the frames from our animators and check that animations were set up right. I use BBEdit to write the code, and Slicy to break up layers from Photoshop into sprites.

For Thimbleweed Park, we use Square to run payment transactions at our booth. We used PledgeManager to help us manage Kickstarter & new backer information and pledges. We use Sprout Social to manage all the social media sites and Zendesk to manage customer support. We only started using Zendesk a few days before our launch and I can't believe we didn't start earlier – we really couldn't have survived launch without it.

Dropbox to share files is essential as well. I have so much on Dropbox, that I usually use the selective sync function. To help with this, I use DaisyDisk since my hard drive seems to always get too full. It helps me find out where the big files are. I use 1Password to help create and keep passwords and other private information.

As I start to work on my book editing and layout, I'm sure I'm going to add a whole new slew of software to my list.

What would be your dream setup?

Firstly the location: A coworking space with some likeminded people who I could have lunch with every so often, within one ride on public transport (no transfers!). Currently, it's two buses for me or a bike ride up a hill or I end up driving (and I hate commuter driving).

On the technical side of things, I don't really need much in the way of computing power. I'd love to go back to a Windows laptop, but I can't justify the cost right now, so I'm stuck with my Mac. If I did have more money, I'd get a Microsoft Surface for all my personal work and leave my Mac for professional work, so I could separate work and normal life even more.

What I'd really love is an oven in the workplace!! That's super impossible to find. Perhaps a hybrid commercial kitchen rental space with an office space next door?! Although I'm not sure how much I'd get along with professional chefs – I'd be overwhelmed by imposter syndrome. Even at home, I'd love a double oven and enough countertop space to leave out mixers and scales without having to put them away all the time.



Source link

Kate Lacour


Kate Lacour

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm a cartoonist and art therapist. I run creative arts workshops for young people with autism and other special needs here in New Orleans. About 15% of that is actual hands-on art therapy, the rest is management, supervision, grant writing, advocacy and planning, planning, planning. I recently gave a TEDx talk on inclusivity through the lens of autism and Mardi Gras. My personal work is creating comics about the body. The best ready-made category for it is "body-horror", since it involves a lot of grotesque, disturbing and sexual content. But the effect is not scary so much as sickening and funny, hopefully beautiful as well. My ongoing series, Vivisectionary, is based on biology diagrams, and The Disciple covers the metaphysical degradation of a would-be mystic.

What hardware do you use?

I draw everything in archival ink on the cheapest watercolor paper available, then paint with a blend of watercolors, colored inks and watercolor dyes. I have finally transitioned to a high-quality watercolor brush, and it's transformed my art, not so much in terms of the final product, but the ease with which I can arrive there. I use the tarot occasionally for guidance on The Disciple and anatomical references or high school biology texts for ideas for Vivisectionary.

And what software?

I use Photoshop to make minor tweaks to my scanned artwork. By far, the most useful piece of technology is Google image search on my iPad. I'm old enough to remember a time in high school when I kept books pasted full of magazine clippings that I'd use for visual reference when drawing- some gross, some beautiful, some merely useful. Nowadays, I can Google anything I need to see in order to complete a page. My search history is pretty strange and embarrassing: horse testicles, barber chair, 1970s blender, vulva, human heart, ham are some of the most recent queries.

What would be your dream setup?

I finally have my ideal physical setup – a tiny desk, an iPad, an expensive paintbrush, a quiet little room for art making. I'm also lucky enough to have a nice little suburban house, two children and a full-time job. My dream would be having a babysitter or housekeeper to cover for me while I make more art.



Source link