My Setup

I'm a fan of The Setup, a website containing interviews with people about the tools they use to do their jobs. It is just "productivity porn", but I find it interesting.

As a tribute, here is my own "interview" for The Setup, using the standard four questions. I don't expect anyone to find this interesting, but writing it up helps me think about what I'm using and why, and it will come in handy the next time I have to set up a new computer.

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Kris Johnson. I develop software for Windows, UNIX, iOS, and Android. I currently work as an independent contractor. I work from home most of the time, but travel to clients' facilities as needed.

What hardware are you using?

I have a late-2011 15-inch MacBook Pro, with 16 GB RAM and a 750 GB hard drive. I use a Magic Trackpad. In my home office, I have a 24-inch monitor and a Das Keyboard for Mac. On the road, I carry an Apple Wireless Keyboard.

I have an iPhone 4S and a third-generation wi-fi-only iPad. I sometimes use an Adonit Jot stylus with the iPad. I tether my iPad to the phone when necessary, but it is rare that I am using my iPad somewhere that doesn't have wi-fi.

For testing iOS apps, I have my old iPhone 3G, iPhone 4, 4th-generation iPod Touch, and original iPad. For testing Android apps, I have a Samsung Galaxy S Captivate phone and a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0.

I find external conversations and music to be very distracting, so when I'm working I usually wear some Hearos earplugs or sound-isolating earphones playing pink noise.

In bed at night, I read on a Kindle Fire.

I have a Targus computer bag that I lug everything around in.

We have a Saeco super-automatic espresso machine. I try to limit myself to ten shots of espresso per day.

And what software?

These are my most-useful Mac OS X applications:

  • Xcode for iOS development
  • Eclipse and the ADT Plugin for Android development
  • Sublime Text 2 for web development and general text editing
  • Parallels Desktop for running Windows
  • Dash for developer reference documentation
  • SourceTree for git (but I tend to use the git command-line tools more often than this app)
  • Alfred for quick launching
  • Adium for chat
  • Safari for web browsing
  • Soulver for calculations
  • Pages for word processing
  • Microsoft Office for documents that I have to share with non-Mac people
  • nvALT for personal notes
  • Moom for window management
  • TextExpander
  • Hazel for automatically clearing out my Downloads folder once in a while

These are my most-used Windows applications:

  • Visual Studio 2010 Professional
  • Sublime Text (yes, it's cross-platform)
  • PuTTY for Telnet/SSH
  • Wireshark for network-related code debugging
  • AutoHotKey to remap Windows keys and mouse gestures to work more like Mac OS X

I use the Zenburn color scheme and DejaVu Sans Mono font in all my source-code editors and terminal windows.

I have Dropbox and 1Password installed everywhere I can install them.

I write everything in Markdown format when I can, because so many of the tools I use support it.

This blog and other webby things are hosted on an Amazon EC2 micro instance running Ubuntu. I put as much of my code as I can on GitHub and BitBucket so that I don't have to worry about getting to it.

What would be your dream setup?

I'd love to have one of the new MacBook Pros with Retina display, but I need to wait until I can afford to buy an SSD that is large enough to hold Mac OS X and all my Windows virtual machines.

I'd like to have a desk that can automatically move between standing and sitting height.

I'd like to have my own helicopter for commuting between my home and clients' facilities.

I wish I still had my Macintosh SE.

© 2003-2023 Kristopher Johnson