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Setup (Sep 2015)

Who are you, and what do you do?

I’m Dan! I live and work relatively close to the dreaming spires of Oxford in the UK. Currently I’m a senior development editor for Manning Publications, although I’ve written and edited for many publishers over the years. For two years until June 2015, I also curated The Sixalot Show for more than a dozen internet radio stations across the globe.

What hardware do you use?

I’ve had various combinations of computers over the years, but I’m currently working with a Dell XPS One 2710 (Core i7, 8GB RAM, 2TB HD) on my desktop at home for the screen size and compactness, backed up with a Surface 3 Pro for coffee shop mornings. The Surface’s type cover is OK but I miss the rigidity of a proper laptop. I have a 32GB USB3 stick on my keychain to move work between the two.

I find it hard to work in silence so nearly everything else is audio related. A 2TB NAS Drive for backups, a Blue Yeti microphone for Skype and recording, a pair of B&W MM-1 active speakers, and a paid of Denon AH-D600 headphones.

It seems almost impossible to buy a dumbphone these days - I miss my Nokia 6210 - so I have a Lumia 1020 with camera grip. It’s more of an awesome camera with some phone functionality anyway and it does all the photo backup automatically which is a wonderful thing. I also have an ancient Kindle for offline reading.

And what software?

Various authors work with various file formats so I have Word 365, Oxygen, Adobe Reader and Atom installed for the four main ones - doc, xml, pdf and asciidoc. I’ve also used Notepad++ for years for temporary note taking and basic HTML editing. Outlook looks after my many email accounts and Slickrun gives me quick access to apps and websites I’m constantly going back to. I’m still learning Windows 10 but it’s obviously far better than Windows 8.1 - thank god it has gone.

Manning is completely decentralized so Skype, Trello, Google docs and WebEx are a necessity and I would not be without a large Moleskine notebook and four colour pen to keep track of all the book projects I have on the go at the same time. I’ve tried OneNote, EverNote, SimpleNote, and even todoList but pen and paper trumps them every time. I guess it’s because I like working with books :-)

My music collection is pretty vast at this point (>1TB) but I’ve always found Foobar2000 reliable and as customizable as I need it to be. The Old Reader, Spotify and Bandcamp also help me keep in touch with music news and the latest releases - a habit I’ve had for many years. I use Audacity for any audio creation I need.

What would be your dream setup?

On the desktop would be a triple 4:3 monitor setup powered by a silent PC. The One 27 provides lots of pixels but the bezels provide a better separation of concerns. I’d also love to try a Keyboardio Model 01. Out and about I’d love a Dell Precision M6400 Covet rather than the Surface. It’s old but would more than suffice for CPU speed. And also, it’s bright orange :-)

Posted on April 25, 2018   #Nothing in Particular  

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