Tyler Galpin is a freelance designer and student based out of Toronto, as well as a pretty stand-up guy. He can be found on the internets through his world-famous Twitter account (citation needed), business card website, or on his soon-to-be-announced blog (follow him on Twitter).
1. What does your desk look like?
2. What is your current Mac setup?
I am the owner of a unibody 15″ Macbook Pro (2.93GHz, 4gb RAM, 320gb HD) which recently replaced my aging Macbook Pro from 2006. I have it hooked up to a 24″ LED Cinema Display which was also recently purchased in June. To control all of this, I use an Apple Wired Keyboard and a Bluetooth Mighty Mouse. For my music and sound, I have a Logitech Z-5500 system which provides 5.1 Dolby Digital goodness to my MBP, my desktop PC (browser testing + gaming), and my PS3.
For my backup and storage needs, I rely on a G-Drive Q 500gb HD as well as a LaCie d2 Quadra 320gb HD – both connected over blazingly fast FireWire 800 connections.
My iPhone 3G connects to my Macbook Pro through an Apple iPhone Dock, and my Cannon MP180 printer plugs right into the Cinema Display for quick document printing.
Last but definitely not least, a constant staple on my desk: a Field Notes memo book. While my expertise lies with all things digital, there is simply no replacement for a good ol’ fashioned brainstorming session with some pen and paper. I try to carry one around with me at all times, so no inspirational idea goes unwritten.
3. Why are you using this setup?
A couple months ago, before I purchased my current Macbook Pro, I was still seriously considering purchasing a Mac Pro. What I came to realize after extensive research and comparisons, was that a faster laptop would be more practical for my current needs and lifestyle. Because I’m constantly traveling between Toronto and my school located a few hours away (not to mention the times I go to various places to do design work), it made more sense to upgrade my laptop from my old Macbook Pro (which wasn’t keeping up with my processing demands) to a new one. Paired with the improved battery life, LED screen, sturdier construction, and ability to change the selected video card on-the-fly made this purchase well worth it. Also, Windows for web design and development wasn’t even a question.
My iPhone also provides me with on-the-go life management. I use it for making calls (yes, really), checking email, Twitter, to-do management, inspiration-writing (if I don’t have my Field Notes on me), and the occasional game or two (recovering Tris addict).
4. What software do you use on a daily basis, and for what do you use it?
I use the following apps on a regular/daily basis:
Safari – My browser of choice. It is fast, lightweight, and has a UI that I fell in love with years ago.
Mail – While I use GMail for my main email accounts, Mail is still used daily to manage my school email account as well as a few other small accounts.
Photoshop CS3 – For all my design needs and website mocks – the best product available for the tasks I need to do.
Microsoft Word – Most people I receive files from use PCs, so it’s sometimes easier (shudder) to deal with external documents in Word.
AdiumX – Used for the odd-time that I need to chat with someone on MSN/AIM.
Acquisition X – For media downloading and keeping it legal.
xScope – Probably one of the niftiest tools a designer could have – it is used for automatic measurements, an overlay ruler, a color identifier, and more.
LittleSnapper – Capturing and tagging all of the inspirational bits I find on a daily basis; certainly one of my most justified purchases.
iCal – Scheduling school-time, meetings, appointments, commitments.
Things – To-Do manager which basically serves as my memory. Also syncs with my iPhone Things.app which is very handy.
Tweetie – After using countless Twitter clients, this is my go-to app for posting and reading the latest and greatest.
Espresso – For web development. I never got into Coda or Dreamweaver so this app fills this void nicely (paired with CSS Edit).
iTunes – Quite obviously, it manages my music library (6,700 songs and counting) and syncs all my iPods.
5. Do you own any other Mac gear?
In my university house I use a trusty Airport Wireless N router which makes network management a breeze.
I own 4 iPods which have their own uses: a 2nd-Gen iPod 20gb (with the 4 touchscreen buttons – it still works!), an iPod Video 60gb (used to store my music library in my car, and is hooked up to my stereo), a 2nd-Gen iPod Nano (used for some tunes while running), and a 1st-Gen iPod Touch (actually doesn’t ever get used).
As I mentioned earlier, I have an old Macbook Pro (2.15GHz, 3gb RAM, 320gb HD) which is now used as a torrent/fileserver/media hub.
6. Do you have any future upgrades planned?
I have purchased the new Macbook Pro and Cinema Display all within the past 2 months, so I think it’s safe to say that I won’t be dropping more money on a computer or display anytime soon. However, I have plans to replace the Mighty Mouse with my mouse of preference: a Razer Pro|Click v1.6.
More Sweet Setups
Tyler’s setup is just one in a series of sweet Mac Setups.