Waferbaby.com recently featured a series of interviews called The Setup, which ask the general question: “What do people use to get the job done?” Focusing on designers and developers, the interviews are short, to the point and provide an interesting mix of software, hardware and ideal interaction theories.
I thought I’d use the same format to introduce myself to you. I hope you enjoy this interview with myself!
An Interview with Jay Robinson
So who are you, and what do you do?
Before Fasturtle, I built NoPeanutButter.com, a blog that my girlfriend and I started when we were traveling around Southeast Asia. When we came back from traveling, I did some freelance work and built an extensive real estate website. Building these sites helped me learn a lot about real world design and development.
What hardware are you using to get your work done?
At Fasturtle I use a 24″ iMac with an additional Dell monitor. The extra screen real estate provides a big boost to my productivity. At home, I have a black MacBook, and my first generation iPhone is with me all the time (a gift from when I worked at Apple).
And what software?
When I sit down at a new Mac, there are certain things I have to get out of my way. Some of these are cosmetic, but for those niggly technical bits, I recommend Secrets, by Blacktree software. It’s basically a GUI for the command line, so use it with care. Blacktree makes some great software for übergeeks, including Quicksilver, which I don’t use, and Nocturne and Visor, which I do.
I spend 90% of my day in Coda and Firefox with Firebug. Of course Photoshop (although I hate the square icon), Fireworks, iWork and MAMP for local testing. I use Mail.app to keep myself organized and a Fluid app for our ActiveCollab project management. We use Harvest to do time tracking, and I think it’s fantastic software. Highly recommended.
At home, iTunes is always running, (playing something from my massive music collection), and iScrobbler is always scrobbling to Last.fm. On my iPhone, I love Byline to read RSS and Instapaper to read anything else. They’re the only iPhone apps I ever need.
To sync up my iMac, MacBook and iPhone, I need MobileMe. I am constantly jotting down To Dos, Notes, and keeping bookmarks, on all of these devices. MobileMe makes sure I always have what I want where I need it.
When it comes to working, I am very strict about what third-party software I like to use. But one app I have begun using lately is LittleSnapper, by Realmac Software. It saves screen captures in an iPhoto-like browser and has some really nice touches, but that’s a post for another time.
What would be your perfect, ultimate setup?
Hardware is getting so fast, that I really couldn’t be happier. What I love is unobtrusive software that speeds up the way you work. The iPhone is a great example of intuitive software tied to an amazing touch screen. It will be nice when Apple ships a large Multi-touch tablet that could take the place of my mousepad and mouse. Scroll with two fingers, rotate a document, or zoom in with a pinch. I could see that happening some time in the future.
That wraps it up for me. What applications do you need to work? Mac or PC? iPhone or BlackBerry? Feel free to leave your comments below.