Hannah Nicklin


Hannah Nicklin

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Hannah Nicklin, I'm a freelance writer, narrative designer, producer and performer who has work in games, theatre, academia and community arts. I'm currently working as a writer and narrative designer with Die Gute Fabrik, and previous did narrative design/creative production for Twisted Tree Games (Ed Key's studio/label). Other things I do include writing critical articles in response to games and games culture, giving performance talks, producing zines, giving lectures, running workshops, putting on and hosting events, and consultancy on narrative games and the spaces where theatre, games and play cross over.

I also combine this with 10-15 hours of training and racing per week as a competitive cyclist, racing at a National level in the UK (hopefully branching out into Europe in 2018-19!). This year I also ran social media as a volunteer for the London Women's Racing league – a grassroots organisation supporting women getting into racing in the SE and London area.

What hardware do you use?

My staple is a MacBook Pro, and I also have an old iMac with a much larger screen (21" I think?) which I use a Thunderbolt connector from the MBP to use it as a second screen (cmd+f2) which allows me to run whatever I'm writing in next to a bunch of reference material, or the various spreadsheets which I'll be using to plot out plot elements and dialogue. If I need another screen I'll use my iPad mini. I tend to read on a Kindle. I also use plain or dotted A5ish size notebooks to run my day-to-day life (I like the Lamy Safari fountain pens with black ink, always black ink), and post it notes + sharpies to take notes/plan things out, as you can always move them around as your ideas constellate and crystallise.

I do a bit of recording audio (interviews for articles etc) and running small scale performance sometimes, and I rely on my Zoom H2n, plus a Sure SM58 and a QTX QR12PA Portable PA System. I've got a Canon 550D for shots of installations/recording HD trailers/promos etc. I've also got a 1080p 4000 lumen HD projector.

In terms of the bike training hardware: Garmin vívoactive HR, Garmin Edge 810 with HRM, Cadence and speed sensors, Power Tap P1 power meter, Canyon Ultimate carbon Ultegra/Di2 bike! I also have some Bluetooth Garmin body composition scales.

And what software?

I use Gdocs/Drive for collaboration – and so do all of the games projects I've worked on. I swear by using the Chrome 'People' function to separate projects out so I can keep my tabs open when not working on a particular project and keep my social/off hours Internet use separate from work. You can also then be signed into different Google identities, etc. I use TextEdit to do basically all my temporary notes, meeting agendas, thoughts, and clear-thinking. I'll usually draft in full screen TextEdit before moving it to Word to edit, and Gdocs to share. Dropbox Pro is my go-to for file storing and sharing docs I'm not collaborating on. I've used SourceTree mostly for git-based projects and thus far only ever worked on Unity-based games.

I use OmniGraffle to draft branching dialogue in (using arrow labels as potential player choices) at the moment, though I've also used Twine to sketch narrative designs, and also propriety dialogue systems made for specific games. I find it useful to write in something like OmniGraffle into boxes as the size of the canvas you're writing on changes the length of line that 'feels' acceptable on the page. If you write to A4 size line breaks you'll often write the kind of dialogue that would feel right on stage or screen, but in an animated text delivery system – like a speech bubble where text appears – will read far too long.

I edit images in Photoshop, and audio in Logic Pro, but never have to do much complicated in terms of video so will happily use iMovie for that.

More generally I run my freelance career in MailMate – which is a very no-nonsense mail client, though powerful if you want to use all the customisation – to manage my few email accounts, and keep my life in (current count) 6 separate Google Calendars (some shared), which all sync through Calendar. As soon as I have a thought for a blog post, an article, a project, a thing I should do, or remember – I put it somewhere in the calendar or my notebook. If it's more than a week away I find a bit of free time in my calendar and I put it in there. If it's less than a week away it goes in the notebook.

Each Sunday every week I sit down and I do a week plan on one page of my notebook, which takes everything out of the calendar and writes it into a week schedule I draw out — I won't reference it again but it's a process of putting it into my head. Then each day I draw up a detailed plan of the next day, hour by hour. Starting with a list of everything I will need to do on the right hand side of the page, then putting the time dependent things in, and fitting everything else around it, working back from the last bit of the day, I put in my training in, and then work back another 90 minutes and that's when I'll plan to wake up. The list on the right hand side of the page gets crossed out as I do everything, and left over items get transplanted to a later day until they're done.

My training is set by a coach using TrainingPeaks – a piece of really versatile performance management software. I'll track my sleep, weight/body composition, and general activity, plus cross training using Garmin Connect and my vívoactive HR, training performance data goes in via the Bluetooth sync of the 810, and I keep track of my nutrition using MyFitnessPal. I use FitnessSyncer to link up a couple of accounts/data sources that TrainingPeaks doesn't have native support for, so my coach has a 24/7 picture of my training, sleep, weight etc. I'll usually communicate the human stuff; RPE, etc, via Facebook messages!

Finally; admin! I keep my accounts in Excel, run my site/s through WordPress (self hosted), and promote my work through Twitter, MailChimp (very rarely), and press release.

What would be your dream setup?

I thought the MBP with the line of customisable touch buttons was silly but I've seen one now and actually I think I'd find it super useful! I don't really need anything more in terms of how I work, though. The main thing is it would be good to be able to get Fibre broadband where I am in London – at the moment it's 2-4mbps and the walls in my flat seem to be made of lead or something. My upload/download times are pretty frustrating, and my Steam Link doesn't actually work (I don't have a TV, but play games on the projector which is super nice). I'd also love a Surface Pro so I could use some Windows specific software/play Windows-specific games.

My dream set up on a bike is probably a top of the range S-Works or Canyon frameset with some decent Zipp or Dura Ace mid-section carbon clinchers, Di2, Dura Ace groupset, conti tyres, paired with some custom footbed Sidis! I can dream..


Thanks for reading! If you’re enjoying the interviews, you can help keep this nerdy lil’ site independent for as little as $1 a month!



Source link

Laura DeGroot


Laura DeGroot

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Laura DeGroot. I'm a web developer, designer, thing-maker, and poet. I work at Format as a front end developer. I like making fun art about space and nature.

What hardware do you use?

For design and web development I use a 2014 15" MacBook Pro. When I'm using that computer as a TV, I usually write or look at Twitter with my 2014 11" MacBook Air. My phone is an iPhone 6. I recently traded a stranger 6 cans of beer in exchange for a Kindle – I've been reading way more than ever as a result! I just finished reading The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick.

And what software?

For development I use Atom to edit text, Hyper for the command line, and Slack integrations for deploys.

For design I use Sketch. It's a weird choice for creating anything that's going to be printed, but I have a licence from work and I've learned it the most recently! It works for me, I usually just make sure everything is tens of thousands of pixels in size before I try to have it printed – so far so good! To edit photos I use Affinity Photo – it's a great bit of software and the price works for me as someone who only edits images once in a while.

My favourite writing app is OmmWriter. It takes over your screen to minimize distractions, and has lots of cute features like a choice of background, music, and even keypress sound effects. I love the sound effect that makes every keypress sound like a rain drop, it motivates me to keep typing! When inspiration comes randomly, the Notes app on OS X and iOS is always in use.

What would be your dream setup?

I'm pretty happy with what I have! I've been thinking about finding a scanner so I can import some drawings and handwriting into Sketch. I don't have an external monitor at home, and that's something I'd like to change. Overall though, I'd enjoy less tech in my life – especially in my free time. Unfortunately it's very useful for accomplishing my creative goals 🙂


Thanks for reading! If you’re enjoying the interviews, you can help keep this nerdy lil’ site independent for as little as $1 a month!



Source link

James Turnbull


James Turnbull

Who are you, and what do you do?

Hi! I'm James. I am an engineer and author. I love building products and teams.

I work as CTO at Empatico, a not-for-profit educational technology company. We connect elementary (primary) age students from different backgrounds and geographies with a focus on developing their curiosity about others and their communication and empathy skills.

Prior to that, I was the CTO at Kickstarter, the VP of Engineering at Venmo, and was an early employee at both Docker and Puppet. I've also built product and run teams in finance, telecommunications, biotech, gaming and technology companies.

I write technical books about topics in engineering, operations, and security. I've written ten books, including The Docker Book and The Terraform Book.

I'm originally from Melbourne in Australia but my partner and I have been living in the United States, most recently New York City, for a number of years now. I am deeply in love with the city. I love the subway, the noise, the people, and even the rats and the smell of stale garbage. 🙂

What hardware do you use?

Day-to-day I use a 2016 Macbook Pro with Touchpad and my phone is a Google Pixel XL 5.5.

I do a little bit of gaming and I have a Windows-based Puget Systems PC that basically just runs Steam.

I read a lot and I am a huge fan of the Kindle as an e-reader. I have owned one of pretty much every Kindle model released and currently use a Kindle Oasis. The battery life makes it great for travel and the lighting and crispness of the screen make reading in low light – planes, bars, cafes, badly lit hotel rooms – super easy.

And what software?

My life runs out of a combination of G Suite, Postbox, Remember The Milk, 1Password, and Evernote.

I have multiple Chrome profiles for different purposes and usually have way too many tabs open at a time.

I also use way far too many communications tools. Seemingly like everyone in tech, I belong to more Slacks than I can manage, including being one of the owners of the NYC Tech Slack. I use Signal, Skype, Trillian to consolidate GTalk and Facebook (and checking my accounts in there I still have some Jabber accounts, ICQ, and AIM too), and AirText. I was an early Twitter user – my first tweet was something like "Huh. I don't get it." – and it's a platform I both like and loath, depending on the day.

I write every day, both code and prose, and I've used a number of editors over the years. Recently, I've settled on Visual Studio Code, Microsoft's open source code editor/IDE, which I use both as a text editor (my books are Markdown with a bit of LaTeX for higher level formatting and use Pandoc to turn them into formatted artifacts) and an IDE. Code has got vim bindings and excellent Git integration which, since most of what I write lives in GitHub, works out pretty well.

I can't escape the command line though and I use iTerm2 running fish and will often jump into vim on the command line for quick edits. I also use Weechat for the handful of remaining, fairly quiet, IRC channels I am still resident in.

What would be your dream setup?

In my old house in Melbourne, I used the master bedroom as an office. I bought a huge antique dining table for the center of the room and every wall had bookshelves. That was amazing and I loved being able to move around the table, spread out books and papers, and work from different angles. I'd love to recreate that again.


Thanks for reading! If you’re enjoying the interviews, you can help keep this nerdy lil’ site independent for as little as $1 a month!



Source link

Leah Finnegan


Leah Finnegan

Who are you, and what do you do?

I am Leah Finnegan. I am the features editor at The Outline and I write a semi-regular newsletter called Leah Letter about how the media is bad.

What hardware do you use?

I use an 11-in MacBook Air, a 23-in Dell monitor, an Apple Magic Keyboard, the cheapest Logitech wireless mouse Staples had in stock which is very small and I love it, a mouse pad with wrist support, an iPhone 6s which I can't wait to get rid of because the battery life is one minute, and a 6-ft iPhone charging cord.

I have a rolling desk from CB2 and some matching filing cabinets that I store sweaters in. I don't have any actual files. I have a lot of chairs. My desk chair is a vintage green velvet cantilever chair that I got at a store called Coming Soon. It has improved my working life considerably.

For six years I lived in a shoebox studio and basically did all my work on my laptop in bed. Now I live in a shoebox one-bedroom and having space for a desk and a chair and all the things you can put on a desk has been a revelation. I also have a one-cup Keurig which is very important to me.

And what software?

Gmail, Feedly, TextEdit, Google Docs, Slack, Twitter, Kindle for iPhone, Brainium Solitaire for iPhone, and iTunes because I still buy all my music like an elderly person.

What would be your dream setup?

My apartment, but in a silent place, with a constantly replenishing supply of Diet Coke.


Thanks for reading! If you’re enjoying the interviews, you can help keep this nerdy lil’ site independent for as little as $1 a month!



Source link

Milena Popova


Milena Popova

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Milena Popova (pronouns: they/them), and I'm incapable of saying no to a shiny project, so I have many fingers in many pies. The current day job (which I love!) is PhD researcher. Depending on who I'm talking to, I'm either a porn researcher, or I research sexual consent in erotic fan fiction. I'm also a blogger and activist (on a whole bunch of issues), I'm running a couple of academic side projects, I sit on the board of the Open Rights Group, and I do some volunteering for the Organisation for Transformative Works. I think those are all the things that I do? PhD research is quite a solitary activity, but a lot of my other work involves collaborating with people, most of whom are probably not even in the same timezone as me.

What hardware do you use?

My desktop is a fairly generic Acer machine, about four years old now. I've also got a 13" Asus laptop (one of those shiny, thin, MacBook wannabe ones). I do a fair amount of work on the go, so my Samsung Galaxy tablet, and especially my phone (currently Samsung Galaxy S8) are super-important to me.

I use a couple of assistive tech pieces. I have a daylight lamp to get me through the interminable UK winter nights without losing the will to breathe and a HandShoe mouse to help me deal with occasional bouts of RSI.

I also really like pen and paper, particularly for thinking tasks and for getting organised. I have a bullet journal which is actually probably the one tool that keeps me on track and enables me to get stuff done. (For the fellow bullet journal geeks out there, I use the Leuchtturm1917 A5 dotted notebook, with Muji rollerball pens, Preppy fountain pens, and plenty of washi tape to help me find things.) I also carry around an A6 notebook with me where I draw mind maps and make notes of my word count and just stick random transactional notes in that help me think in-the-moment.

And what software?

Both my PCs run Linux Mint – I've been a big fan of Free Software since the late 90s. I was a poor student then so free-as-in-beer was a bonus, but the free-as-in-speech aspect has always been important to me. A lot of my work is writing, which to be honest happens mostly in Google Docs, though a fair chunk also happens in xed (the default Linux Mint text editor). I occasionally have to resort to LibreOffice when working with editors who like Word files and comments or tracked changes. I wouldn't recommend using any of these for actually producing a finished 80,000-word thesis though, so as I put the final touches on mine I'm about to embark on the journey of re-learning LaTeX, which is a typesetting mark-up language that produces gorgeous documents.

Reference management is another key part of academic work, and I use Mendeley for that. It's a really cool tool that can output bibliographies in lots of different formats as well as store and file your PDFs of academic papers for you. Importantly, it has a desktop app for Linux and a mobile app for Android, so I can read and manage papers on the go. The only downside of it is that it's owned by Elsevier, who are basically the supervillian of academic publishers, so one of these days I'll bite the bullet and migrate to something else. Speaking of academic publishing, while my university library is amazing, I won't have access to it for much longer. Sci-Hub is a great way of getting access to academic research without the exorbitant pricetag, so I use that a lot.

When it comes to my more collaborative projects, Slack is probably one of my main tools for working with people across continents and timezones. As long as whoever you're collaborating with also makes it part of their systems and routines, it's a really great way to meet, chat, share documents, etc. (even if I'm old enough to know that it's basically glorified IRC for hipster start-ups 😉 ). Again, that it comes with a desktop app for Linux and (more importantly) a mobile app is super-important for me: if I can use it on my phone I can integrate it into my life much more easily.

One really cool and unique piece of software I use is to do with my work for the Organization for Transformative Works (OTW). The OTW is a non-profit run by fans (in the widest sense of the word), and one of its biggest projects is the Archive of Our Own: an online archive which currently hosts over 3 million fan works. To organise that volume of stuff, you need metadata, but the OTW is really big on letting users create their own metadata in ways that make sense to them. This way, the OTW is not acting as gatekeepers or roadblocks to the evolution of fannish culture and language. That leaves us with a challenge though, which is that if one fan calls a thing an "Alternative Universe – Coffee Shop" and another calls it a "Coffe Shop AU" it's difficult to find all the fan works containing that concept. Which is where I and a few hundred other volunteers come in: we tag wrangle. While we let users put whatever tags they want on their works, we do some behind-the-scenes work to tell the Archive that "Alternative Universe – Coffee Shop" and "Coffee Shop AU" mean the same thing, so someone searching for fan works containing that concept can find all of them. And for that we use this internal tool called… The Wrangulator! 😀

In my fannish capacity I am also a podficcer: I record audio performances of other people's fan fiction works. I use the Linux Mint sound recorder for the recording, and Audacity for audio editing.

I'm also a big fan of something my friends and I term "care robots" – various apps that make our lives easier and help us look after ourselves. I have Twilight on my Android devices and f.lux on my PCs to filter blue light after sunset. I use Sleep as Android to track my sleep patterns (and make me go to bed on time) and Relax Melodies to help me clear my head and fall asleep. I also use Zombies, Run! to keep me from getting bored while running (nothing quite as motivating as being told there's twenty fast zombies coming your way!), and I'd probably also class Pokemon GO as a care robot as it gets me out of the house, at least as far as the nearest Pokestop, even on those PhD days when I just want to sit around in my pyjamas and bury myself in some reading.

What would be your dream setup?

One of the things I'd like to get into at some point is video, for which I'd probably need a better camera, a better lighting set-up, and more RAM. Also, video editing on Linux is dicey, so that's something to (reluctantly) think about. In an ideal world I'd probably also have a better mic, a screen, and maybe even a sound-proof recording space.


Thanks for reading! If you’re enjoying the interviews, you can help keep this nerdy lil’ site independent for as little as $1 a month!



Source link

Candy Chan


Candy Chan

Who are you, and what do you do?

I am Candy Chan, an NYC-based urban designer, architect, and graphic designer. I am the creator of Project Subway NYC, a project about New York City's subway system, which consists of sketches, photographs, 3-D architectural drawings, and an Instagram component. The project started by being mainly about the visuals, but it has slowly developed into a comprehensive thesis about signage, wayfinding, and infrastructure. The blog chronicles my studies, with an ongoing collection of diagrams, trivia, and more.

What hardware do you use?

My process has two parts: on-site data collection and computer graphic production.

The first part involves me physically going into subway stations and taking notes. (I refer to the physical copy of the NYC subway map on my wall to decide where to go). I usually have with me a backpack, a clipboard, a mechanical pencil, white letter size paper, and a keychain that's also a mini measuring tape. I used to use a Sony NEX-3NL camera for pictures, but have recently switched to iPhone 7 since the quality of the pictures are great and it's one less thing to carry. I read on my Kindle when I am riding the subway.

For the second part I sit at my white work desk from Overstock.com, and I use a Microsoft Surface Book and a Logitech MX-310 wireless mouse. I print things with my Canon MG6800 printer.

And what software?

For drafting, I use AutoCAD for 2D and Rhino for 3D. After I export the line work from Rhino I edit the line weights in Adobe Illustrator and add colors and texture in Adobe Photoshop. The collages on my Instagram are done with Photoshop, in which I crop and resize the pictures, and overlay my hand sketches. The filters are done in Instagram (I use the "Lark" and "Luna" filter most). My website is hosted on squarespace.com.

What would be your dream setup?

In an ideal world, I would have a giant empty studio (which is not my home) with wood floors, high ceilings, a giant desk, and multiple large monitors like these. It'd be nice to have a light box for tracing drawings as well as a large format printer for me to test out different print settings. Also my right hand has been hurting from time to time from holding the mouse for too long, so it'd be great to upgrade to an ergonomic mouse!


Thanks for reading! If you’re enjoying the interviews, you can help keep this nerdy lil’ site independent for as little as $1 a month!



Source link

Pamela Fox


Pamela Fox

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Pamela Fox. My day job is being the CTO at Woebot Labs, where we're making a chatbot that helps you track your moods and reduce your negative thinking habits, based on the techniques of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

For fun, I run a Friday Night Improv Club and the occasional Improv in the Park. Plus a quick improv every day at 2pm at work, to re-energize the troops. So, yeah, I'm pretty into improv.

For sanity, I have a daily morning practice, which consists of meditation, Tibetan Yoga stretches, compassion prayer, intention setting, and this other crazy awesome thing. More deets here.

I'm also a recovering craftaholic.

What hardware do you use?

Don't try this at home, kids: I'm using a 5-year-old MacBook Pro. Super heavy, broken webcam, broken-90%-of-time USB drive, and a trackpad that gets possessed every 3 months from the spirit of The Water Damage.

Totally works for writing code though, and hey, if ain't completely-and-utterly-broke, don't trash it.

What I actually spend my time fixing: my ergonomic setup. I was totally cool with slouching all day long for my first 10 years in the tech industry, but then I went on a Buddhist retreat for 4 months, and now I'm hyper aware of how my posture affects my mental state.

My setup now: Rain Stand, Bluetooth keyboard, Bluetooth mouse, and a lumbar pillow that I can strap onto any chair in the house.

My improv setup: a laser-cut Improv Marquee of my own creation. I can easily show our line-up for each night and rearrange games on the fly.

My meditation setup: a pillow, a belt or strap (to counter my slouching tendency), and a doorknob hanger to let my roomies know what I'm doing.

And what software?

We're coding up Woebot using JS gosh-darn-everywhere. The bot code is a Node.js AWS Lambda Function, the long-running tasks are handled by a worker tier Node Beanstalk server, and the website is another Node Beanstalk server. Our "CMS" is a Google Spreadsheet, and we use Google Apps Script (JavaScript) to lint and export the content.

We use Atom as our editor of choice, because all the cool kids use it these days, and we wanted to be cool. 😉

Besides coding, I'm an Adobe addict. I use Illustrator to make designs for the TechShop laser cutter, and Photoshop for anything else I can justify.

What would be your dream setup?

Here's what I'm envisioning:

My office is a small room with large glass windows. It overlooks a beautiful park with a garden and playground. There are little kids playing outside throughout the day, and I'm buddies with most of them. Sometimes my cats come to the office and just chill.

When I want to eat lunch, I grab some veggies from the garden, chop them into a salad, and eat at a little spot overlooking a tadpole pond.

When I want a break from coding, I go outside and swing on the all-ages swingset. I might do a quick ride down the mini zipline, too.

Instead of happy hour, we all head into the craft room that's shared by all the companies in this complex, and we work on projects that improve our office, like signs, terrariums, pots, whatever the craft of the week is.

Oh, and in this dream, my laptop would have a functioning USB drive.


Thanks for reading! If you’re enjoying the interviews, you can help keep this nerdy lil’ site independent for as little as $1 a month!



Source link

Sara Hendren


Sara Hendren

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm an artist, design researcher, and writer, and I teach design and disability studies for engineering students at Olin College. For the last few years I've been running a lab at Olin called the Adaptation and Ability Group. I also co-founded the Accessible Icon Project, designed ramps for skateboarders and wheelchair users in an ongoing project called Slope : Intercept, collected an archive called Engineering at Home, and I write and give talks. My job is actually changing as I compose this post: I'm taking a leave from teaching and will be running a 3-year initiative at Olin, funded by the Mellon Foundation, designed to bring more arts experiences to engineering faculty and students.

I'm also writing my first book and yes, that's a whimper of panic you're hearing in the middle distance. I'm feeling ridiculously lucky to be getting support for the writing as a fellow at New America and from a Public Scholar grant with the National Endowment for the Humanities.

I live with my husband and three children in Boston. I still like Twitter.

What hardware do you use?

In Jack Miles's parlance, I'm much more a hunter than a farmer, so the most important work I do is a slow-thinking and non-linear process. For hardware, like a lot of design folks, I live and die by notebooks and pens to capture immediately when I'm making connections. I'm literally never without this combination because I find my inner two-way tape is always running, especially in the grip of a big unwieldy project: formulating and synthesizing and outputting ideas at unexpected times and places.

I've been converted to the Bullet Journal for analog organizing and reminder lists, because even after using beautiful apps like TeuxDeux and OmniFocus, I've found I still remember things better when I physically write them down. I use a daily Pilot fountain pen the most, and other varieties for drawing and writing in a mix of Leuchturm and Moleskine and Rhodia notebooks, all sizes. Don't tell my students, but I can be bribed with any form of bound paper that I haven't yet met, usually over at Bob Slate Stationer in Harvard Square.

But the most important hardware for me is what carries the pen-notebook combination on walks, which is when I do my best thinking. When I sold my book, I bought myself this Kaweco Lilliput fountain pen and I use it with an XS Volant Journal, and those go together in either this Tube thing or a lightweight vest or a warmer version of the same in winter when I'm down by the Charles River. In short, I'm obsessed with pockets! Pockets, ideally on everything. The Kaweco and the tiny Volant otherwise live in this phone-case-wallet which isn't perfect but working for now. I also use a 13-inch MacBook Air and an iPhone 6S Plus.

Lastly: my husband and I figured out that having all five family members use the exact same Lunch Bots containers makes our mornings much easier. And I realized about a year ago that all three of my kids can now wear the same ankle socks that I do. Small streamlining victories! A few years back I would have listed my encyclopedic knowledge of little-kid hardware: cloth diapers, baby carriers, and strollers-for-cities. If you're in that stage, well — high five, comrade. It gets easier.

And what software?

Being good at my job — and a wiser person — depends so much on my being intellectually omnivorous, and a pre-filtered, echo-chamber internet is my enemy. My long-ago professor and forever-mentor Alan Jacobs got me onto a system for collecting what I don't want to miss and discovering things I didn't know I needed: Newsblur for RSS and the glorious Reeder for consuming that content. I have collections for news and commentary and design, but I also have one called "Daily Thinkers" — people who point me to things I'd never otherwise find on my own — and a gathering of weird little ongoing blogs and Tumblrs that I categorize as "Serendipity/Confluence." I use Pinboard to organize longer reads, and I'm in and out of Instapaper as a backlog. I also like the low-key social functions of reading.am.

I'm using Scrivener for writing my book and Zotero for organizing research sources.

Bonus question that I'm gonna add here: What systems also support your getting things done?

Glad you asked! The Writers' Room of Boston is giving me a fanatically quiet, affordable place to co-work this year. But more profound than that: my kids attend a Title I public school, where there are structures in place that anticipate and plan for full-time working parents. We have high-quality after-school programs and summer camps run through the city, extra specialists in the building, small classroom numbers, and full-day inclusion services for our child who has significant support needs. Our public library system elected to eliminate late fees for children's books(!), so that keeps us swimming in great reading material at home. There's no quantifiable metric I could place on these systems for making our life work.

What would be your dream setup?

I've been eyeing this Punkt dumb phone for years, but what I want is this phone with a mapping function. And then I'd want all that to live in a wallet that had a perfect pen-holder down the inner fold. I'd keep my iPhone for all the scanning and photos and other conveniences, but I'd use the dumb phone more often and consolidate my internet browsing in my laptop or desktop. In the meantime, my car commute is getting whittled down to 1-2 days per week, so I'll be using Stitcher less often. But what I really want is to see services like Audm or SpokenLayer go fully mainstream, so I can easily line up written content online to consume as audio instead.


Thanks for reading! If you’re enjoying the interviews, you can help keep this nerdy lil’ site independent for as little as $1 a month!



Source link

Emily Haasch


Emily Haasch

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm foremost a human, secondly an artist and finally a designer. I was born & raised in Chicago, made a stopover in San Francisco, and am now residing in NYC.

I led design at Cards Against Humanity, reimagined spaces for digital art at Electric Objects, and figured out new technologies at ustwo. I create editorial illustrations for a number of publications, including the New Yorker, Polygon, GOOD Magazine, Intercom, and Grand Circus.

I also raise marimos and do a lot of walking in my spare time.

What hardware do you use?

I tend to travel a lot, so everything has to be mobile to some extent.

I work on a 13" Apple Retina MacBook Pro, from 2015. I hate trackpads and especially hate Apple's mice, so I use a black Logitech M325 mouse instead. It's perfect for smallish hands, portable, and fairly indestructible.

I've had the same phone for the past 5 years, and just recently replaced it with.. almost the same phone. I pair it with a reliable Anker PowerCore 10000mAh external battery and Panasonic ErgoFit headphones, of which have a great sonic range for the price. Tossed in a cheap but durable backpack that I like to customize with my friends' artwork, they've traveled around the world with me in more airports than I can count.

When in the office, I sometimes work from an Apple Cinema Display, and use various devices (Apple Watch, Android phones, iPhones, Android Wear, VR headsets, etc.) to test with, depending on the project. For my collages, I scan them via a CanoScan LiDE 120. At home, I rely on a Motorola SBG6580 modem / router & TP-Link AV500 extender to extract the life-giving forces of Internet out of my apartment's Internet-Hole.

Finally, when stressed about design projects, I burn sage.

And what software?

I like to keep things basic, and don't believe in superfluous or crazy-expensive software setups unless necessary. That having said, my work setups can flex based on employer or client, but here's a general overview.

On the personal end, I use LastPass as a password manager in addition to standard best practices. I'm also a heavy Tweetbot, iMessage, and Slack user. I listen to podcasts at night via Overcast.

I create product design work primarily in Sketch, with iconography and general vector illustration in Adobe Illustrator. Animation and prototyping are variable based on context / platform, but I've used Flinto, Marvel, and others in the past and have liked them well enough. Professionally, a lot of my working files are stored and shared via Google Drive. Within a technical context, I write code in Atom, push it to repos via the command line, and QA builds via HockeyApp. Fonts are accessed through FontExplorer and certain projects are managed via Trello.

For my practice as an artist, it's all IRL / analog. Pieces are usually touched up in Photoshop afterwards to remove dust and adjust color grading for a digital screen. Work is stored via Dropbox. I host and promote most of my work via Instagram. I've been getting back into using Are.na for exploration and documenting taste. Finally, I record invoices and track cash flow via Harvest.

What would be your dream setup?

My dream setup would be to have both a quiet studio overlooking a foggy beach, and a more responsible American president.


Thanks for reading! If you’re enjoying the interviews, you can help keep this nerdy lil’ site independent for as little as $1 a month!



Source link

John Adams


John Adams

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is John Adams, and I am a security researcher, sound designer, videographer/photographer, and lover of electronics. I've been doing this since my dad showed me a working radio when I was young.

Most know me as @netik on Twitter, where I was employee 13. I spent many years building that place (security and operations) and these days I have switched over to spending my time on independent computer security research and putting more time into music production and electronics.

I spent my last year building the "Ides of DEF CON" badge with four friends. We built a videogame from scratch, including an RPG game engine, in which you could wear and fight people over the built-in packet radio. It's one of the most complex things I've ever built and our team was fantastic! We manufactured 225 of them and they were in very high demand at DEFCON, the world's largest hacker conference, this year.

In addition to all of this, I am on the advisory board of Open Technology Fund and I'm a speaker, fellow, and videographer for Odd Salon, a monthly talk series on odd things — "Expert Talks on Odd Topics. Odd Talks on everything else!"

What hardware do you use?

I've got a small recording studio at home. It consists of a large ProStation, on a desk manufactured by Omnirax. It's filled with quite a bit of audio production gear:

Computer wise, the main machine is:

There are also random office things here like an HP Officejet X476dw, the world's fastest inkjet printer.

A large A-Frame synthesizer rack from Jaspers (a German synth rack company) lives next to the desk. It currently holds five hardware synths:

..and a Samsung monitor.

Hiding under the desk is the land of the old school which doesn't get powered up much… Roland TB-303 acid bassline synthesizer. Oberheim Matrix 6R synth. Panasonic SV3200 DAT deck.

The second desk, behind me is a full electronics workstation for repair and rework. I built this desk over the last year while working with our team on the badge. That desk holds a large, grounded anti-static mat, and on that desk are large wooden shelves, custom made, holding:

  • Rigol DS1054Z digital oscilloscope
  • Weller WES51 soldering iron with many tips
  • Hakko FR-810 hot air station
  • Amscope 45X-90X stereo microscope on a boom stand
  • Fluke 179 multimeter and microscope/needle probes
  • HP Logic Analyzer
  • Tektronix 100Mhz Oscilloscope (analog)
  • A generic fume extractor
  • A generic bi-polar power supply unit
  • Various wires, chemicals, and replacement electronics parts in bins

The third area is a set of shelves which is our video department. It holds:

Then, there's a couch (actually a pull-out bed) for guests in case these sessions go too long.

My daily carry is a MacBook Pro, and sometimes if I'm traveling, I take an iPad which is mainly used for reading.

I nearly always carry the following: A pair of Ultimate Audio UE-7 headphones, a Sharpie, a roll of Board Tape (aka Artist's Tape), a Gerber Multitool, and a strong, bright flashlight. Batteries like many Eneloop AA's and a Mophie get me through my day.

And what software?

Daily software / security work:

Emacs (yes, still), gcc, OpenOCD, Burp proxy, Metasploit, Kali Linux, macOS, nmap, Wireshark, tcpdump, etc.

Music:

Video/Photo:

What would be your dream setup?

I think for the most part I'm there. There are a few more things I want but there's very little that I think I need to survive these days. The room is really, really excellent to work in. I could use some sound proofing / sound treatment in here, and I'd really like it if my HOA allows me to tear out the windows and install a roof deck, but hey, it's great in here.

If I could have anything in the world added to the studio it would be all of the early Roland x0x drum machines, a few BAE or Neve 1073 mic pres, and a collection of vintage Neumann microphones. I'll also always take more synthesizers, because you can't have enough of those.

If someone could invent the infinite storage disk drive with low-latency, I'll take one of those too.

I'd also like to get a 100MBit or better line from my house to the Internet. My current Internet connection is so slow, and I produce too much video to have a slow uplink.


Thanks for reading! If you’re enjoying the interviews, you can help keep this nerdy lil’ site independent for as little as $1 a month!



Source link