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.


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John Leavitt


John Leavitt

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm John Leavitt, a writer, cartoonist and activist.

What hardware do you use?

I am embarrassingly analog. Most of my art is done on board or watercolor, using pilot pens and brushes and a child's watercolor set I got five years ago. The most importent tool I have is a Llghtbox, so I can pencil, ink, and paint things in separate sheets of paper and then recombine them digitally. I use an aging Wacom tablet and equally ancient copy of Photoshop to touch things up later. Having everything scanned separately allows for a lot more freedom to edit.

I use a Brother printer/scanner and it's the only one that hasn't crapped out on me on the regular.

For writing, I need a real keyboard, so I have a Lenovo laptop used exclusively for writing, video editing, and playing Civilization. If I get stuck on something I'll write things in longhand, on yellow legal pads, until I get some flow back.

As for activism, most of that is signs and banners, and that still requires brushes and glue and boards and maybe some glitter. The revolution requires arts and crafts, after all.

And what software?

Word/Google Docs for writing, Photoshop for editing, Avid Studio for video editing, and Inkscape for anything vector related.

What would be your dream setup?

Mostly what I have, but more of it. A standing Lightbox/desk setup would be great, as would a large format scanner and a real dedicated crafting area. A portable keyboard as real and solid as a real keyboard would be freeing (I type too fast for even the best virtual keyboards) but since I work from home, the ideal would be my own room where I can close the door and shut myself in or shut work out.


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John Romero


John Romero

Who are you, and what do you do?

Hello, I'm John Romero and I'm a game designer, programmer, level design, and audio engineer all rolled into one person. I work at my game company Romero Games Ltd. based in Galway, Ireland. I just finished a game called Gunman Taco Truck (desktop & mobile) and a game jam release named July 4, 1976. I'm currently working on a big multi-year game. I've been making games since 1979 and love what I do every day. It's the best job in the world. I work with my wife, Brenda, who has been in this industry since 1981.

What hardware do you use?

I've been using the same Mac Pro since it was released three years ago and it's still incredible. It's a 2013 Mac Pro (the black trashcan) with 8-core 3.0Ghz CPUs, 64GB 1866Mhz RAM, two FirePro D500 (3GB each), 1TB ePCI SSD, with two Thunderbolt monitors and one 4K monitor. I have 12TB RAID for huge storage, and Bose speakers.

I also use a PC with an AMD Ryzen 1800X, 64GB DDR4 3000Mhz RAM, 512GB SSD, 2TB SSHD, and Nvidia GTX 1070 (8GB) running Windows 10.

I have my 4K monitor hooked up to the PC, Mac Pro, and Switch console. I also use my iPhone 7 Plus when I'm not on my computers. I love Apple's ecosystem because iCloud keeps me updated constantly on my MacBook Air, iPhone, iPad, and Mac Pro all the time. When I change files on my desktop that's reflected on all my devices. I can even look at my desktop files from my iPhone because iCloud syncs it all. I love it.

And what software?

I use a ton of software. Here's a list: Xcode, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Sublime Text, Corona SDK, Unity, Final Cut Pro, Versions, Perforce, VMWare Fusion, Messages, REAPER, Transmit, Coda, Dropbox, Skype, Dashlane, Slack, Terminal, Assembla, Airmail, Spark Mail, Google Docs, Pixelmator, Pixen, TexturePacker, Particle Designer, Tiled, iTunes + Music + Match, Screenium, Steam, Twitter, Facebook.

When I have to use Excel, Word or PowerPoint I have an Office 365 subscription.

What would be your dream setup?

My dream setup would be a new Mac Pro, since everything else is already part of my dream setup. Apple hasn't announced a date for the new Pro, so I'm just waiting. I have no complaints, however, because my Mac Pro feels as fast as day one because macOS is so well-designed. No registry.

Office-wise, we are located in city center Galway. That means we can walk for about two minutes and be right in the middle of town where there are a hundred food options. Galway is one of the friendliest towns in the world. We moved here in 2015 and plan to stay.


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