The Setup

Interview

What do people use to get stuff done?

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Rob Malda

Rob Malda

Founder, Slashdot

Posted

Who are you, and what do you do?

Rob. Slashdot. Brief Enough?

What hardware do you use?

I'm currently using a 17" 2.3 ghz Core i7 MacBook Pro laptop for pretty much all of my computational needs.

I have a Drobo plugged into an ancient Macbook in my basement with 2 TB on it. I also put a lot of miles on my iPhone 4, my PS3, my XBox 360, a Xoom, a Samsung S1, and my glorious Canon 5D Mark II. At my office I have a big 'ole Apple screen that I plug into. Sadly I'm using a 10-15 year old Microsoft mouse. Works great. I like it. But it looks pretty tacky next to an Apple keyboard and screen.

I also have a PodPro on my desk and a red Gibson SG on the wall, but I usually wear headphones because I am a conscientious person, and I fear that people on the other sides of my office walls have firearms if I cycled through all 3 power chords a couple times per day.

And what software?

Truthfully almost everything I do lives inside of Chrome. Webapps for mail, news, spreadsheets, doc writing, bug tracking, reporting, and the entire Slashdot administrative UI. etc. My work is all in a web page.

I create Fluid installs for each of my major web applications (Mail, Google Reader, Slashdot, Google Docs, we use Jira for bug tracking internally, etc). I've used a number of different chat clients - I find myself increasingly using the built-in chat and Facebook chats. The only thing that taxes this beast of a machine is the occasional video game, but besides playing the Warcraft auction house, I don't have much time for games these days. I use Aperture for organizing my photo library. I have an Apple TV that basically is used by my kids to watch Cars or Toy Story 3 whenever Mommy and Daddy need 30 seconds to boil water. Sometimes I rip a DVD. This thing transcodes videos at 3-4x the actual frame rates, although it sure does get the fans spinning up. I wouldn't recommend leaving it directly on your lap.

What would be your dream setup?

I'd really like another monitor and a VESA mount so I could suspend a second screen without eating up my desk space. Then I could keep stuff that I casually monitor throughout the day visible, but without losing screen real-estate for the core of my day, which is generally spent writing documents, emails, and of course reading stories.

I also want a Marshall Stack and a 12 string Rickenbacker but noise restrictions apply. I wouldn't mind a really big telephoto lens like a Canon EF 600mm f/4.0 IS II or a Canon EF 400mm f/2.8 IS II. Then I could take pictures of nature and children without having to run around after them. I'm more of a hard core "sitting down" kind of person. I could also use more TBs in the RAID array: The 2TB that I have now is enough for now, but in 2011, it seems like 10TB is actually fairly inexpensive these days.