Pat Dryburgh’s Sweet Mac Setup

Who are you, what do you do, etc…?

I am a freelance designer, hobbyist photographer and musician. I am also the designer behind many ads found on the Fusion Ad Network. Recently I joined the team behind QuickCal as the app’s UI designer.

What is your current setup?

Pat Dryburgh's Sweet Mac Setup

Pat Dryburgh's Sweet Mac Setup

Pat Dryburgh's Sweet Mac Setup

I’m using a 15″ Unibody MacBook Pro I bought in 2009, with a 2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB of Ram, and the 500GB 7200RPM HD. At home, the Macbook Pro is hooked up to the 27″ Apple Cinema Display. On your recommendation, I recently purchased the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 3G 115GB SSD. I’ve set up the SSD as my boot drive and use the HDD as my media/working files drive.

I’m using the short wireless Apple Keyboard for typing and the Magic Trackpad for trackpadding. I’ve tried numerous mice over the years, from the Mighty Mouse to the Magic Mouse and even a Logitech MX Revolution. The Magic Trackpad is the first input device that just feels right. For Wi-Fi and Time Machine I use the Apple Time Capsule.

I listen to music through an old Kenmore receiver I bought from a friend for $50 over 5 years ago. Listening to music through headphones for extended periods of time never felt right to me.

I take pictures with a Nikon D90 with a 50mm prime lens. My lighting setup currently consists of an Opus OPL-H250 strobe with a 48″ reflective umbrella, as well as a newly-purchased Nikon SB-600. I trigger my lights remotely using two PocketWizard Plus II transceivers.

Lastly, I can’t write about what I create without mentioning my music setup. I own two acoustic guitars: an old Cort acoustic I bought nearly 9 years ago and a Takamine Steve Wariner Limited Edition a friend gave me as a gift. For my Boss Rebel gig, I go between my white Fender Stratocaster and a custom Telecaster by “Ed’s Guitars”, both of which were purchased from Jonathan Steingard of Hawk Nelson. The signal is sent through my pedal board, consisting of the following pedals:

  • Ernie Ball Junior Volume Pedal
  • Boss TU-2 Tuner
  • Line 6 DL-4 Delay Modeler
  • Boss OD-3 Overdrive
  • Boss LS-2 Line Selector

The signal goes through the pedals to my Vox AC30CC. I use the LS-2 Line Selector to switch between the clean and dirty channels and the OD-3 Overdrive to add a little compression/crunch for solos.

Pat Dryburgh. Photo credit, Edward Platero

Pat Dryburgh. Photo credit, Edward Platero.

Why are you using this setup?

I purchased my first Mac while working at a church. When I started, I was given an old Toshiba laptop that didn’t have enough power to run PowerPoint (in fact, it had been discarded by the children’s ministry for being so terrible). About 3 months into my time there, I bought the 13″ white MacBook and instantly fell in love with the Mac ecosystem.

When I began working in design the MacBook was adequate, but surely not exceptional. I saved up and bought the 15″ Unibody MacBook Pro which was a huge leap forward.

The main reason I stick with the Mac setup is its ease of use and the quality of the software. Software from large companies like Apple and Adobe perform so well on the Mac, and obviously the Mac community boasts some of the best indie developers in the world.

What software do you use on a daily basis, and for what do you use it?

I absolutely love the Mac developer community and use a ton of different apps to make my work and play better.

Design work happens in Adobe’s Creative Suite. Development happens in Coda, though I have been flirting with both TextMate and BBEdit over the last month. Photo editing happens in Adobe Lightroom, which is the only Adobe product I have ever loved.

I write in nvALT, a fork of the brilliant Notational Velocity. This syncs with Simplenote on my iPad and iPhone. I also keep all of my notes as .txt files in a Dropbox folder. Dropbox is also where all of my work files live.

Tasks and projects are managed with Things. I’m still waiting for over-the-air sync.

I work with a great team of guys to develop an app called QuickCal, which lets you enter events and to-dos into your calendar with plain English, and then it gets out of your way so you can get back to work. The version I am working on will be out soon, but you are more than welcome to buy the current version now and receive the next version as a free upgrade.

I use Quicksilver to launch apps and trigger keyboard shortcuts. TextExpander expands common snippets of text. Droplr lets me share screenshots, images and bits of text with friends easily. Pastebot is an incredibly easy way to share text between my Mac and iPhone. Caffeine keeps my monitor awake when I’m watching video. Seamless helps me keep my musical groove when I leave my desk. Take Five pauses my music for a few minutes if I need to take a quick call. 1Password keeps track of my passwords and credit card info securely. RSS feeds are read in NetNewsWire.

How does this setup help you do your best creative work?

OS X strikes the perfect balance between giving you what you need to do your work, while also getting out of your way if you want to go a different route. The developer community that has formed around this platform is second to none and I owe much of my gratitude to them.

How would your ideal setup look and function?

Other than anticipating what the next 15″ MacBook Pro will look like, I’m pretty happy with my current setup. Oh, maybe a Gibson ES-137.

More Sweet Setups

Pat’s setup is just one in a series of sweet Mac Setups.

Pat Dryburgh’s Sweet Mac Setup