Writer, co-founder of Wired
Who are you, and what do you do?
I package ideas. Author, recently of What Technology Wants. Co-founder of Wired magazine. Editor of the Whole Earth Catalogs. Publisher of the Cool Tools blog. Avid photographer, maker, traveler, father, bicyclist, designer, philosopher, and book reader. Also I sleep very well.
What hardware do you use?
On my desk is a classic Wacom Graphire tablet for drawing, an ancient Panasonic 2-line phone, a Radio Shack headset (the only way to talk on a phone), a Transcend USB Card Reader, and a non-electric Brock Microscope.
In my travel bag I keep a pair of Bose Quite15 noise canceling earphones, which I will keep on even while I sleep on a flight. A tiny Fenix AA LED flashlight, a 3G Kindle, a Lumix pocket camera (FX37), and an old Motorolla cell phone – no smart phone yet. When I am presenting a talk I carry a Logitech Wireless Presenter for advancing slides remotely, and a Mac VGA dongle.
In my boring Toyota minivan, I have a Garmin Nuvi 1300 and an old nano iPod, filled with podcasts and audio books. That’s where I get most of my “reading” done.
When I am seriously photographing I use a Lumix FZ35, with its awesome 18x optical zoom, the equivalent of something like a 400mm lens. It’s super light and compact. I can’t be bothered with an SLR, because I carried two of those and five lenses everyday for years and it was a drag.
And what software?
For the past 20 years plus the software I have used the most often was Eudora mail on the Mac. I used it for writing, too. But in order to sync my mail to my new Mac Air while traveling, I just moved my mail off of Eudora and over to Postbox, which I am liking. It allows me to read my Google App mail where ever and keep all folders synced since I often need to do mail offline. Safari is my browser, iTunes for music. I am a really bad person and keep all of the following programs open all at once all the time: Lightroom, Photoshop, InDesign, Bridge, Word, and Powerpoint. Because I am lazy.
I use MarsEdit, a Mac blogging client to blog on my MovableType blogs, so I can blog offline. I refuse to do coding, so MarsEdit has a drag and drop option for handling images. I use EasyBatchPhoto to resize images to fit the blog, despite the fact that I always have Photoshop open.
I use Scrivener to handle text while writing a book. It uses a 3x 5 card metaphor and it works for large complex projects. I use Evernote for clipping. And I’ve long used NoteBook for keeping notes, although I will eventually migrate that function to Evernote.
What would be your dream setup?
I can’t have too many large screens. I’d like to be surrounded by large screens the size of walls, and have full gestural and voice input (think Minority Report and Iron Man set ups). Also, I hope Google makes an html5 web-based publishing platform similar to Google Draw and other Docs. Just drag and drop inside your layout, better than InDesign, then hit a button to publish your ebook.