Rogie King’s Sweet Mac Setup

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Rogie King, a designer based in Helena, Montana. I’m a self-employed designer working under the company, Komodo Media. I love designing user interfaces, websites filled with character and spirited illustrations. I’m also a front-end developer specializing in JavaScript, CSS3 and HTML5 development.

What is your current setup?

Rogie King's Sweet Mac Setup

I’ve worked on nearly everything from old school pizza box Dells, to home made machines pieced together from Newegg parts; a Quad-Core Mac Pro to my current setup of a 2010 15-inch, Quad Core i7 MacBook Pro/8GB Ram/128GB SSD/Hi-Res Matte screen with an external 24-inch Cinema Display.

For the most part, I’m pretty pleased with my MacBook Pro.

Why this rig?

I’m really mobile. Last year I traveled for 2 months, this year nearly 4 months of travel. I work a lot from the road. However, I’m known to sit on the couch or bed with my laptop as well. A 17-inch monitor has always felt crazy big and seemed like a brick to lug around. 13 inches is too small. So, I opted for the 15-inch with the high-res monitor and matte display. I LOVE the matte display. I’ll never go glossy again. High-res is a bit teensy, but I still love the details and extra screen real estate.

What software do you use and for what do you use it?

I use Coda by Panic to code up HTML, CSSEdit by MacRabbit to create CSS. Terminal is always open committing edits via git. MySQL running natively to run all of my databases locally.

I use VirtualBox for running Windows 7/XP for testing. It’s still a pain and by no means ideal, but I just don’t have the will to own a Windows box and set it all up. I’d hardly use it so it’d be a waste.

For quick small screen recording sessions to explain something or describe a bug, I use Screeny by Drew Wilson. For screencasts, Quicktime. I use Sparrow for mail — it just feels simple and that simplicity drives me to want to keep it simple, to keep my inbox empty and tidy.

I’ve tried hoards of task-managing software, to-do lists, and attempted to use calendaring apps. None of them ever stuck. Except one. Fantastical. Yeah, yeah, I designed it blah blah blah, but I’ve been known to design things I never use, like whole websites n such. The magic of Fantastical isn’t so much its aesthetic (which was my part), but in the simple intuitive, natural language parsing part of it. Now, I add events to my calendar like a boss. I actually use this thing.

For rapid CSS3 production, I use Less.app. This year, I’ve been using SASS, however the more CSS-like syntax of Less combined with Mark Otto’s bootstrap.less and Less.app makes for lightning fast CSS production.

I’ve always struggled with the speed of development with editing a file, saving, going to my browser, reloading. It takes so long. Last year, I found ReCSS and it rocked my world. ReCSS enabled me to reload my CSS only and not the underlying code. Much faster. This year I found LiveReload which essentially monitors the file system, waiting for changes to underlying code, be it ruby files, CSS, or script files. When they are changed, the browser instantly refreshes. If the change is purely CSS, only the CSS reloads. Magic. So. Much. Faster.

I design all websites and user interfaces with Adobe Fireworks CS5 and until recently, I did all illustrations in Fireworks as well. Driven by a want to grow more as an illustrator (as well as the more powerful features), I made the jump to Illustrator CS4 about 2 months ago. Just last month, I purchased the upgrade to Illustrator CS5 for the refined web features.

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

Two screens is huge. I split my cinema display with about 1/3 CSSEdit and 2/3 Coda and on the right display, my MacBook Pro on the left shows the current browser I am testing. I love not having to constantly minimize and maximize windows to reveal other programs — everything is right there.

How would your ideal setup look and function?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot and I think I’ve finally figured it out. I think.

Next year, when the new iMacs are refreshed, I’m gonna grab the highest spec’d out model. No need for a SSD. I really like SSD’s but I’m not all that impressed like others. Sure, reboots and rapid file access are lightning fast. But when it comes to speed and snappiness, say in a design program, it does little for me. So I need more power, but not all the expense.

I still love my MacBook Pro, so instead of selling it, I’m gonna rock that spec’d out iMac with this couple year old, yet fully capable MacBook Pro running at it’s side. I’ll get a 27-inch Thunderbolt display to run as a secondary 27-inch monitor. Two 27-inch screens running side by side. Bliss. I’ll use the laptop for my travels or couch jam sessions.

More Sweet Setups

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

Rogie King’s Sweet Mac Setup

Steve Offutt’s Sweet Mac Setup

Who are, what do you do, etc…?

I’m Steve Offutt. I’m a father, wedding photographer, musician, and a staff member at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, a Christian Missions organization know as IHOP-KC. I work and live in south Kansas City. By day I co-lead and manage the goings-on within the IHOP-KC Marketing Department. On the side, I often find myself traveling and photographing beautiful weddings, couples, families, and occasionally rockstars and/or food.

I can be followed on as @steve_offutt and my photography can be found at stevenmichaelphoto.com.

What is your current setup?

Steve Offutt Sweet Mac Setup

Steve Offutt Sweet Mac Setup

Steve Offutt Sweet Mac Setup

At home I run a 27-inch 3.2 GHz iMac i3 with 1TB internal storage and 8GB of RAM. At the marketing office I pair my personally-owned 2007 MacBook Pro (2.33 GHz, Intel Core 2 Duo, 15-inch) with a department-owned Apple 23-inch Aluminum Cinema Display.

Other key players:

My home set-up sits atop a Galant series desk from IKEA that’s about 5’x3′. The iMac is flanked by two Lobbo series 40w lamps (also from IKEA). I have a knack for lighting, so I cant go without saying my current lightbulb of choice is GE’s Reveal series. They neutralize the typical yellow-ish tint from standard tungsten lightbulbs. Lastly, really nice chairs are cool, but I routinely spend my fun money on coffee and photography gear, so I’ve settled for the moderately priced Moses office chair (also made by IKEA).

For the photog nerds out there…the core of my photography set-up is this:

  • Canon 5D MkII and a Canon 5D original version
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L
  • Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS
  • Canon flashes
  • Pocketwizard triggers
  • HPRC cases and ThinkTank bags
  • Orbis RingLight
  • Manfrotto mono-pod

Why this rig?

Well let me first mention how I came to this current setup. My pre-iMac setup was just the single 15-inch MBP mentioned above. It travelled to the marketing office everyday and was my main photo editing machine at home as well. I can’t believe that I used to do entire wedding edits on that 15-inch matte screen. However, as my photography has progressed so too has my post-production workflow and its demands. While processing a wedding or preparing a blog post I may have 100+ large files open at a time. Over the past few years the advancements of digital photography outgrew my MBP’s specs, storage space, and 15-inch screen. I found myself facing four challenges/requirements:

  • I needed a bigger screen
  • I needed an upgrade in processor, storage, and RAM
  • I needed to keep at least one machine permanently at home for my wife’s use
  • My budget was about $2,000

On paper it was pretty clear; I would keep using the MBP for day-to-day at IHOP-KC and add a powerful 27″ iMac on the homefront. Most of my friends stick with a laptop + cinema display set-up, so I wasn’t convinced at first, but after some initial research I realized that today’s all-in-one iMacs pack more-than-capable processors, huge internal storage potential, and ample hi-quality visual real-estate. I didn’t need another laptop and that option was mostly out of my budget range anyway. The iMac seemed to be the thriftiest choice of the entire Mac line. It met all my challenges/requirements and was within my budget.

The 2007 MBP is still in heavy use everyday. It gives me all the mobility and processing power I need in my Marketing Coordinator role. There never was any intent to retire or replace it with the newer iMac and thankfully maintenance has been minimal (one battery and both fans…thats it!).

My most recent and favorite addition to my home office set-up is a Canon MP560 wireless printer. For years I’ve hated the dust-collecting eye-sore that takes up two or three square feet of desk space and barely gets used. When my old gray box stopped working, it seemed natural to go wireless and free up some valuable desk space. My new printer now sits atop a 5′ bookshelf where it is mostly out of sight and more importantly out of the way! The biggest score is the happiness of my wife when she can now print things from anywhere in the house from our MBP without having to fire-up the iMac.

What software/apps do you use and for what do you use it?

  • Adobe Lightroom: for cataloging and culling photos
  • Adobe Photoshop: for the heavy lifting
  • Adobe Illustrator: for making shapes
  • TweetDeck Desktop: for managing twitter and facebook
  • ProPhoto3: WordPress theme customization for non-coders
  • WordPress: to make my website work and keep it current
  • CyberDuck: for FTP (I don’t know whether to be proud or ashamed)
  • iLife: all of them all the time (except iPhoto)
  • Safari: compasses guide you but foxes trick you
  • SuperDuper!: for smart back-ups
  • My Publisher: for designing wedding albums and photo books
  • CrossProcess and ShakeItPhoto: my go-to iPhone photo apps

I also really like DropBox, Skitch, Awesome Screenshot Safari plug-in, Google Notifier for Gmail, MobileMe, and Cloud App.

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

I believe that a setup should facilitate an efficient workflow. I’ve noticed most of my Mac-using friends utilize a one-machine setup and it meets their needs — especially when the choice is laptop while on-the-go with a Cinema Display parked at home. However, I’ve found that investing in a multi-machine setup meets the needs of my family as well as my differing job descriptions and their requirements. With cloud-based apps and syncing technology, multi-machine setups are now easy to keep cohesive and consistent day-to-day.

How would your ideal setup look and function?

It’d be nice to add a Solid State Drive into both my machines, however I’m going to wait until the pricing comes down a bit. It’d also be nice to bring the online experience to my living room via AppleTV. All in all, I’m very happy with my set-up, though a set of pro studio monitors would be very nice.

More Sweet Setups

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

Steve Offutt’s Sweet Mac Setup

Jorge Quinteros’ Sweet Mac Setup

Who are you, what do you do, etc…?

I’ve always found the act of introducing yourself to be very intimidating because it’s something you often wished you had practiced more before being put on the spot but either way, my name is Jorge Quinteros. I’m an avid photographer based in Brooklyn who holds a BFA in Graphic Design and is employed as a manager for a major retail company. Try crunching that title into into a business card.

I’ve always been into the Arts and enjoyed documenting life through pictures and it’s that same natural interest that’s driven me to always want to travel and explore new places. While some prefer to enjoy experiences through their own eyes, I prefer to see it through my viewfinder firmly pressed against my face.

Once you’ve established what your passion is, you’ll find it difficult not using that as a source of inspiration for everything else you accomplish, hence my humble personal photoblog. This is where I share and sell some of my favorite photographs backdropped with a narrative of what when into capturing them. Equally exciting to curate is iPad Decór which is home to photographic wallpaper for your iPad based on personal travels and random outings of mine.

If a person’s stature as a photographer is dependent upon what they can do with any camera, in making the mundane appear interesting and using their imagination, then I confidently introduce myself as a photographer despite not having an official position in the industry. It’s the drive that will get me there.

What is your current setup?

Jorge Quinteros' Setup

Jorge Quinteros' Setup

Jorge Quinteros' Setup

Jorge Quinteros' Setup

Why this rig?

The last time I owned an Apple desktop was back when they were introduced in a variety of flavors. Mine was purple by the way and since then, I’ve happily been working with different laptop versions which began with a 12″ PowerBook to what I currently own now.

Everyone loves to be part of an environment where you have options and laptops offer that choice to pack-up and relocated to a nearest coffee shop for a change of scenery. With the configuration of my setup, I often forget that my computer is a laptop but the popularity of taking your work with you is a feature I’m not willing to give up by feeling tied down to a conventional desktop.

As a a retail manager, only 15% of my role includes working with a computer which has no internet connect and that’s shared by more than 4 people. My only connection to the web in those occasions is strictly through my iPhone 4. This is more of an incentive in takin g pride and effort in sprucing up my own computer space at home.

I’m seeing more photographs of people, specifically Mac users owning more laptops than ever before and utilizing them as if they were desktops by having a keyboard and mouse. I’ve yet to see this trait in PC laptop owners but for me, it’s an arrangement that carries a feeling of sophistication and although I might have added elements to work with, it’s an arrangement that feels as if I had taken something that felt uncomfortable in the first place. It’s probably the uneasiness of using a laptop keyboard and trackpad. I’m not a fan at all although during travels, these are the working conditions I put up with.

What software do you use and for what do you use it?

Lightroom 3: The software was developed from the ground up as a tool for more serious photographers and it’s one that’s served as perfect transition when I felt that iPhoto wasn’t offering much. I think as comfortable as you’re likely to become with a camera you’ve had for a long time, the same goes with sticking with a logical workflow for managing your photographs and to not get excited when something new comes along.

Photographers have special needs when it comes to handling their images and Lightroom has been an invaluable software that’s kept me sane on those days that would have driven anyone crazy in dealing with hundreds of RAW files. As far as processing goes, it’s through experimentation that I’ve managed to generate a decent collection of custom presets that I use if it’s required.

Photoshop: Being a photographer and not owning Photoshop is comparable to a carpenter not having an assistant in that you don’t always need it but it’s at hand when you do. It’s literally used for minor touch ups on images but mostly when I’m resizing photographs to upload at iPad Decór. I almost feel like I’m cheating the software because of how rarely it’s launched. Lightroom is king for me.

NetNewsWire: Upon first learning about RSS feeds, I was entranced with the concept of having news, personal blogs, and other odds and ends instantly materialize in a standalone program and the deal was sweeten knowing that I can retrieve it all straight from my iPhone as well. Hands down a brilliant piece of software although I can’t speak highly of it’s coequal iPhone version because I prefer Reeder as a choice.

1Password: If I were held at gun point and asked to write down the passwords to all my online service accounts, I would simply fold. Who has time to memorize all of them? That’s what 1Password is for. Their slogan should be “Don’t think about it. Just buy it”.

Notational Velocity: Everything I write is written in this software. It’s widespread acceptance among Mac users could never go understated because it’s simply that good. You can’t say enough great things about it without sounding repetitive.

BBedit: I’ll admit there’s far better aesthetically pleasing coding software out there than BareBones’s BBedit. Coda, Expresso to name a few but very much like Lightroom, I’ve stayed with what I know and I haven’t found a need to retrain myself in what I’ve already grasp. I’m far from a coder but from what I recall from Introduction to Web Design in college and from pure allure, I’ve learnt the basics of what’s needed to manipulate HTML and CSS to prettify my site.

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

I wouldn’t say the setup itself induces a sporadic flow of creativeness because that type of feeling takes place when I’m out shooting, but it certainly helps translating the same comfort I have in using my camera to using my computer.

I don’t consider it something extravagant although friends would disagree but I’m finding that people who have similar configuration have one trait in common. They all have an affinity towards the arts, specifically graphic design, web design, music creation and of course photography. My response to the common question of why I use my laptop as a desktop is “It’s a creative thing.” Needless to say that among my social circle, there’s many that choose to work with what’s in front of them rather than configurate it and make it their own.

How would your ideal setup look and function?

At this point, I’ve learnt there’s no sense in believing you could have the latest of anything with regards to technology because every couple of months something smaller, sleeker and faster is released. With that in mind, I have my eye in upgrading to the newly-enhanced 13″ MacBook Air.

I’ve had my current 15″ MacBook Pro for 5 years and in the past I’ll admit that the ownership of several models of Apple’s top of the line laptop has always been driven in wanting to have the best of what they offer without necessarily having the justification to pay for all that power.

There sheer number of positive benchmark reviews from the new MacBook Air alone is what would make it an ideal setup to migrate to because it has sufficient powerful for supporting the type of work I do without having to pay extra the way I have been in the past for a MBP. I would imagine editing photographs on a 13″ screen could only be tolerated for so long so I would want to add an older generation 23″ Apple Cinema Display which I’m sure I could find for a bargain on Craigslist.

When I’m not managing my photographs in Lightroom, I’m going through NetNewsWire deciding which articles to quickly read or send to Instapaper and/or continuing to build upon the loose thoughts I began typing up on Simplenote for the iPhone to further finish in Notational Velocity while listening to some tunes.

And so, with the exception of dealing with a couple hundred RAW files, my computer usage is not that demanding that it would need a super computer. Which is why the new 13″ MacBook Air along with an external monitor would be an impeccable upgrade to what I have now.

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

Jorge Quinteros’ Sweet Mac Setup

Aaron Mahnke’s Sweet Mac Setup

Who are, what do you do, etc…?

My name is Aaron Mahnke. I’m a freelance graphic designer in the Boston area. I work under the banner of Wet Frog Studios, focusing on identity and brand design, though I do a ton of print design and even a bit of web design as well. I blog sometimes at aaronmahnke.com, and share resources for freelancers on my other site, abetterfreelancer.com.

What is your current setup?

Aaron Mahnke's Mac Setup

Aaron Mahnke's Mac Setup

Aaron Mahnke's Mac Setup

My desktop computer is a 27-inch 2.66 GHz Quad-Core i5 iMac with 4GB of RAM. I recently made the switch from the wired Apple aluminum keyboard to the bluetooth version in order to allow my Bamboo Fun (1st gen, medium size) tablet to sit closer to the center of my iMac, eliminating some unnecessary strain on my right shoulder. I’ve found that the mouse that came with the Bamboo tablet is perfect for my work style, and I can easily switch to the pen when needed.

I have a secondary work station set up beside my red reading chair that consists of a newer 2.4 GHz i5 MacBook Pro (also 4GB of RAM) and a 23-inch Apple Cinema Display. I use it mostly as a hub for three Western Digital 1TB MyBook external hard drives that contain years of video production work, as well as an external Sony DVD burner for churning out multiple copies of client work while I read in the red chair.

When I’m mobile I rely on my iPhone 4 and a 32GB 3G iPad to keep me connected and creating. The iPhone is my main device for task capture (via the Things app), RSS feeds (via Reeder) and reading (via Kindle, iBooks and Instapaper). I rarely use it as a phone, though during the work day it’s docked beside my iMac with a pair of Apple in-ear headphones connected and ready.

The iPad is a fantastic work device for me. I keep it naked at home, but it travels in a DoDoCase outside the house. It goes to every meeting with me, and I rely on a combination of SimpleNote and Penultimate for capturing the information I need. I rely heavily on the Photos app to hold my logo design portfolio and digital samples of my print design work. And the Dropbox app is the perfect tool for presenting potential clients with my logo design service information, my contract and glimpses of in-progress work.

Why this rig?

Power and flexibility are my driving motivations, honestly. I put my iMac to work every day, sometimes running Illustrator, Final Cut Pro, VMWare Fusion and a handful of smaller applications all at the same time. I am in this eternal struggle between wanting to be parked at a desk with extreme power and screen space, and being able to pick up and work from anywhere, so this setup allows me to live with a foot in each world for now.

What software do you use and for what do you use it?

The first piece of software I always tell people about is Dropbox. I have a 50GB account to hold all my design projects, which means I can work whether I’m at my desk or using my laptop away from home. The natural back-up that Dropbox brings to the table also helps me sleep easy knowing my clients’ work is always safe.

The applications I launch every day when I sit down at my desk would be Mail.app, Things, Illustrator, Numbers and Billings. On occasion I have to launch Pages, Keynote, Final Cut. Other applications are always running, though, like Notational Velocity, Yojimbo, MailActOn, 1Password, Littlesnapper and Tweetie. I have a few Fluid instances for things like Basecamp and Rdio, but prefer Propane for Campfire chats. And finally, my menu bar plays host to Droplr, which I use a few times a week at most.

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

I’ve tried my best to surround myself with tools that help me get the job done faster. I take notes in Notational Velocity, which is connected with SimpleNote, so that I never have to save, rename, or move the files again. I keep inspiration logged in Yojimbo and Littlesnapper, both of which sync across my computers. And I try my best to master hot keys to save time and effort.

Creativity is all about reducing the distance from inspiration to retention. I might not be able to react to a moment of inspiration right away, but if I can capture it properly (via screenshot, dragging into Yojimbo, or typing the idea out) I can come back to it when I’m ready. This isn’t multitasking, though. This is all about knowing your tools and having a solid system.

How would your ideal setup look and function?

Honestly, the Apple ecosystem is getting really close to perfect for my needs. I would love to upgrade the RAM in both computers someday soon, and a SSD in the MacBook Pro would be next on my list after that. I can dream about better app syncing between the Mac and iOS devices, but Dropbox really gets the job done for me. My only other “fantasy device” would be a big fat Drobo, but I think that’s because I’m an external storage junkie.

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Aaron Mahnke’s Sweet Mac Setup

Nicholas Felton’s Sweet Mac Setup

Who are you, what do you do, etc…?

Nicholas Felton. (Photo by Ellen Warfield.)

My name is Nicholas Felton. I am a graphic designer based in New York City. I focus primarily on data visualizations… making charts and graphs and maps for print and online. I also run a website called Daytum that I founded with Ryan Case to help people count the big and little things in their lives and compile these statistics into pages like my own Annual Reports.

What is your current setup?

Nicholas Felton's Setup

Nicholas Felton's Setup

My work machine is a dual quad-core Mac Pro with a 30″ Cinema Display. Away from the office, I use a 13″ aluminum Mac Book.

Why this rig?

The first Mac I owned was a Quadra 840AV and I’ve used Mac towers continually since the G3 days. I may migrate to an iMac for the next office machine, but I like having lots of internal drives in the tower. The internal drives are cheaper and seem to last longer than external backups. I also like how easy it is to upgrade the memory, and that I can hang onto the monitor when I swap the computer out.

My favorite laptop was the 12″ G4, so when Apple did the aluminum MacBook refresh, I bought the 13″, and it still holds its own for travel and home use.

What software do you use and for what do you use it?

  • Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign CS3 (with occasional excursions into CS5) for design.
  • Textmate or Coda for web work (css and html).
  • I use Processing to make little data visualization and mapping applications that I output to pdf and import into Illustrator.
  • I use Apple’s Numbers and Pages as Excel and Word clones.
  • I also use TextEdit all the time, for writing notes or answering interview questions and saving data sets. It’s remarkably useful.

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

In plain terms, it’s fast enough, doesn’t crash too often and tends to not get in the way of what I want to do. Fundamentally, it lets me do my best work because I am familiar and comfortable with the way everything is set up, so I spend very little time looking for things. If it weren’t for email, I would be a very productive person.

Nicholas Felton. (Photo by Ellen Warfield.)

Nicholas Felton. (Photo by Ellen Warfield.)

How would your ideal setup look and function?

If Adobe would kill the feature creep and focus on software that’s fast and doesn’t crash I would be most of the way to an ideal setup. Apart from that, I just need a big monitor, a CPU that can keep up and some decent speakers to be happy.

More Sweet Setups

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


The three photos of Nicholas were taken by Ellen Warfield.
Nicholas Felton’s Sweet Mac Setup

Iain Broome’s Sweet Mac Setup

Who are you, what do you do, etc…?

I’m Iain Broome and I write fiction. My first novel is called A is for Angelica and is represented by Tibor Jones Associates. They’ll be sending the novel out to publishers soon and I’ll be keeping various things crossed, especially my fingers.

By day I’m a copywriter for The Workshop, a leading UK design company. It’s a little more than writing copy though. Yes, I can give you a tasty strapline or plain English paragraph, but I also work on usability, accessibility and wireframing clients’ websites.

I have a couple of blogs. Write for Your Life offers writing advice for all types of writers. It also has snazzy illustrations provided by the marvellous Matt Pearce. Broomeshtick is my personal blog where I talk about writing, design, technology and, well, more writing.

What is your current setup?

Iain Broome's Setup

Iain Broome's Setup

Iain Broome's Setup

Iain Broome's Setup

I bought my first Mac in March 2008. It’s a 20″ iMac which gets backed up wirelessly to a 500gb Time Machine, which in turn connects to an Xbox 360 in the lounge. Or at least it did before the 360’s second bout of RROD. Microsoft, eh? *spits*

I also have a 16gb iPhone 4 and, when my piggy bank is finally full, I’ll be getting a 16gb, wifi-only iPad. I intend to use the iPad for creation as much as consumption.

The idea that you can’t use an iPad to write anything of substance seems ridiculous to me. All you need is a keyboard and a blank screen. The iPad provides both and I can (will) take it anywhere (everywhere).

Finally, I have a Sony A200 Digital SLR camera. One day I will learn how to use it properly.

Why this rig?

The iMac provides all I need and more as a novelist and blogger — let’s face it, words are pretty easy to process. But I also use it to edit images, record podcasts and put together video blog entries for Write for Your Life. The iMac has all the power and storage I could ever want for those things too.

Sometimes I think I might have been better off with a MacBook or MacBook Pro, but the extra screen size comes in handy for watching movies, viewing pictures and having multiple windows open. Truth is, it’s become the hub of our home. CDs and DVDs? Long forgotten. This is streaming central.

My iPhone 4 stays with me throughout the day. I primarily use it for email, Twitter, my todo list and reading articles through Instapaper. We also use it to play music and podcasts wherever we are in the house.

Truth is, it’s the perfect techno-companion and unless something catastrophic happens, I can’t see me using anything other than an iPhone for quite some time.

Oh. I sometimes make phone calls.

What software do you use and for what do you use it?

Okay, this is the important bit. Having a Mac has changed the way I work, that’s for sure. But really, it’s down to the software.

I explained this in a recent post, which I might as well quote:

Drawn by the bright lights and Apple’s promise of all-the-cool-things-I-could-do, I expected dazzlement and wonder with every mouse-swish and keystroke.

But something strange happened. Instead of reveling in the glitz and relative glamour of iMovie, iPhoto and the multimedia posse, I found myself enjoying quiet nights in with my new best friends, strong and silent types like Finder, TextEdit and, more recently, Simplenote.

And the reason was this. I am simply a writer. I don’t need all that other stuff. Or at least, I don’t need it to do what I do best.

So once the dazzlement wore off, what I found was a computer – a word you hear less and less these days – that gave me tools to do things quicker, more efficiently, perhaps even better.

The technology disappeared and left me alone with my words. Just me and them.

That said, my novel was written in Microsoft Word. I know. But only because I had zillions of drafts and edits left over from my pre-Mac days. I use TextEdit for most other writing and have enjoyed WriteRoom on occasion.

In other news: it’s iTunes and Spotify for Music. Safari for browsing. Transmit for transmitting. Acorn for pretty pictures. Adium for chit chat. Simplenote for todo lists and ideas. Alfred for launching. Then 1Password, my trusty online bouncer.

Finally, there is DropBox. The key to it all.

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

It’s a pretty time-consuming this writing novels, running two blogs while having a full-time job for a design agency business. It means I have to do things whenever and wherever I can. My setup is designed – well, it’s evolved, more accurately – to allow me to do that. It’s all about the sync.

With DropBox, Simplenote and an iPhone 4, I can access everything I need at all times. I can edit files on my work PC at lunch and know they’ll be there when I get home. I can approve comments, make notes or catch up on some reading on my phone while I’m waiting for the bus. And again, when I get home, my Mac is up-to-date.

Novel number one was written on no less than six different computers – a combination of desktop PCs, laptops and my iMac — in even more locations, using goodness knows how many USB drives for transferring and backing up.

Novel two will be written on just my future-iPad and my iMac. That says it all, really.

How would your ideal setup look and function?

It’s just the iPad, I think. Everything else works just as I need it to. I might be tempted, when the time comes, to replace the iMac with a MacBook, but it won’t change the way I work. And that’s the most important thing.

It takes a while to get a setup that you’re happy with, but after two years together, me, my Macs and a few third-party apps are getting on tremendously.

Frankly, we don’t need no one else.

More Sweet Setups

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

Iain Broome’s Sweet Mac Setup

Dave Caolo’s Sweet Mac Setup

Who are you, what do you do, etc…?

I’m Dave Caolo, a married father of two, a New Englander and a drummer. I work as an editor and writer at The Unofficial Apple Weblog. I also curate and publish 52Tiger.net.

What is your current setup?

Dave Caolo's Mac Setup

Dave Caolo's Mac Setup

My main computer is a well-worn, 2GHz Intel Core Duo MacBook Pro with a 15″ display. This machine has been in 5 US states and three countries; it’s missing three keys and the bottom is badly scratched. It’s also the most reliable workhorse I’ve ever owned. I’ll continue to use it until it dies or refuses to run essential software, whichever comes first.

When it’s on my desk, it rests in a Radtech Omnistand and connects to a 17″ Viewsonic display, a Mighty Mouse and an old Apple Extended Keyboard II with the help of a Griffin iMate. I back up to an external Western Digital drive via Time Machine. I also use SuperDuper! to create a bootable backup to a LaCie drive which lives in my wife’s classroom Monday – Friday, and comes home on weekends. I back it up each Saturday and send it back to the classroom each Monday. Finally, a 2nd LaCie drive holds “archive” material in cold storage.

Finally, a G5 iMac acts as a media server, storing iTunes purchases and feeding our Apple TV.

Why this rig?

It’s part nostalgia, part reliability and part being satisfied with what I have. When I bought this MacBook Pro nearly five years ago, I was darn proud of it. Just like my father with is 1989 Buick LaSabre, I feel a keen sense of pride in keeping it running. As I mentioned, it works beautifully despite the years of use and abuse, and that’s a testament to the high-quaility products that Apple produces. People balk when they see my computer, but I see an old friend.

Sure, it’d be awesome to own a 17″ MacBook Pro with an i7, but it’s not necessary.

I added the 2nd display years ago when I was spending a lot of time with Dreamweaver, and now I dislike working with one display. I typically keep Colloquy open on the left and a browser open on the right.

What software do you use and for what do you use it?

First and foremost is Safari. I’ve tried nearly every browser I could and always came back to Safari. I spend most of my day writing for TUAW, which I do directly through our CMS, Blogsmith.

Colloquy is another constant for me. My TUAW colleagues and I communicate via IRC all day, and Colloquy is my preferred client. I’ve got it running on my Mac, iPhone 4 and iPad. It’s very Mac-like in its UI and looks great on the iOS devices. Colloquy is our virtual office.

Twitter is also a necessary part of my work day. I use Tweetie on the Mac and Twitterrific on the iPad and iPhone to interact with it. It’s amazing how frequently I communicate through Twitter. It’s completely replaced instant messaging for me and nearly replaced email. When a breaking story hits that we want published right away, the fastest way for the team to communicate is IRC first and then Twitter. I’ve set things up so that direct messages are pushed to my iPhone, so I’m notified right away, even if I’m off doing something else. Email and IM offer the same “bloop” no matter how urgent or silly a message is. Conversely, when I get a push notification from Twitter, I know it’s a direct message that I ought to attend to. I certainly use Twitter for fun, but it’s also become an essential part of my professional life.

OmniFocus keeps my “stakes in the ground” as David Allen would say. I’m one of those annoying GTD guys, and OmniFocus is the project management app that best suits my interpretation of David Allen’s methods. I’ve got a hotkey combination set up to produce the quick entry window and I use it all day long. Also, the iPad and iPhone apps are stellar.

I would not want to work without David Seah’s Printable CEO forms. They’re not software, but they are absolutely essential to my daily routine. Every morning, I grab a fresh Emergent Task Planner and do three things. First, I list the tasks that must be completed by the end of the day. Next, I write “Inbox” at the top of the notes section. Any “stuff” that comes at me during the day that can’t be quickly copied and pasted into OmniFocus (like phone calls, requests from real, live people, etc.) goes there. Then I write “Support” below Inbox. This is free scratch space for me to work out problems, write down reference information (“Width on those images = 720” for example), etc.

Finally, I write my “hours of operation” in the right hand column and track exactly what I’m doing, hour by hour, in 15 minute increments. That sounds insane, but it helps me identify when I’m efficient and when I’m slacking. At the end of the day, I can see that it took me much longer to complete a certain task than it should have, and I can analyze why. Too much goofing around on Twitter, perhaps?

David’s Task Project Tracker is another essential form that I use daily. I subscribe to David Allen’s notion that a project is anything that takes more than two steps to complete. The Task Project Tracker lets me break a project down into its component steps, track how much time is spent on each, tick them off as they’re finished and monitor my progress towards completion.

I often joke that the 8 years I spent as a special needs teacher prepared me for GTD. Part of my role as a teacher was to break educational goals down into empirical, concrete tasks that could be observed, measured and built upon until a new skill was learned. For example, a shoe tying lesson might include steps like place foot inside the shoe, grasp the tongue with one hand, pull the tongue until taut, grab one lace in left hand, grab one lace in right hand and so on.

The work I do today can be broken down much the same way. For example: acquire software, install software, test x, y, and z, compile notes, outline post, write and review. David’s Task Project Tracker, and GTD, is perfectly suited to this.

I also use Simplenote as storage for reference material and Yojimbo to keep research material in one place. Finally, Billings keeps track of any client work I do.

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

I trust it. When you’ve got a trusted system in place, your mind stops bugging you about “we ought to be doing [X]” and lets you focus its resources on the task at hand. I know that OmniFocus and the Printable CEO forms will capture anything important so that I won’t miss it. With that off my mind, I can get down to writing.

How would your ideal setup look and function?

I’m less concerned with the look (as my keyboard indicates) than I am the function. What’s most important to me is to reduce friction. When I’m working on “Task A” and something new demands my attention, I want to capture it with as little disruption as possible. I needn’t attend to every little thing upon arrival once I trust that I’ll be able to retrieve it easily when the time is right.

I also enjoy a quiet, tidy room. I rarely work with music playing. If I’m writing I want quiet. If I’m doing something that requires less creative thought, I’ll listen to a movie soundtrack. Clutter distracts me and I can’t have it on my desk. This is making me sound like Felix Unger, isn’t it?

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Dave Caolo’s Sweet Mac Setup

Brett Kelly’s Sweet Mac Setup

Who are you, what do you do, etc…?

My name is Brett Kelly and I’ve got a pretty full hat rack. By day, I’m the Technical Communications Manager for Evernote Corporation where I split my time pretty evenly between doing web development and writing user documentation. The rest of my time is spent doing freelance web development and writing for my blog. My current claim to fame is being the author an ebook called Evernote Essentials, which people seem to like. I live in southern California with my first wife and our two kids. You can also find me oversharing and making awful jokes on Twitter as @inkedmn.

What is your current setup?

Brett Kelly's Setup

Brett Kelly's Setup

I work exclusively from home, so my setup is a mixture of my professional and personal equipment. My employer-issued computer is a 15″ unibody Macbook Pro and my personal computer is a very new quad-core 27″ iMac. When I’m doing day job work, the iMac pulls duty as a secondary display for the Macbook Pro. The third display on my desk is a 22″ Acer LCD that serves as a secondary to my iMac when I’m doing “evening” work. Up until very recently, the Macbook Pro sat atop a couple of large hardcover books to elevate it to something resembling eye-level, but a few days ago I purchased a laptop stand which hoists the laptop nice and high next to the iMac.

I use a standard Apple keyboard, but have been flirting with the smaller Bluetooth model for the last couple of weeks and may switch to that. When I got the iMac recently, it came with a Magic Mouse that I’ve come to like and will probably adopt as my permanent mouse, but before that was my old Microsoft two-button mouse which has served me reliably for going on six years now.

You’ll also find a smattering of backup drives littered around my desk, as well as a Fujitsu ScanSnap document scanner, which I absolutely adore (and that works with Evernote). Music is a pretty important part of my working effectively, so my gobs of music is output steadily through a set of humble-yet-reliable Altec Lansing desktop speakers that I bought at Staples about a million years ago or my trusty Sennheiser HD 202 headphones (for when my kids are sleeping or my wife just isn’t in the “speed metal mood”).

I have an iPad (the WiFi-only model) that I use around the house for reading things and maintaining my task lists. I’ve done some light writing (read: typing) on it, but it hasn’t really found any sort of imperative place in my workflow. My kids like to play games on it, so that’s cool.

Why this rig?

I’m a complete glutton for screen real estate. Both my work and personal configurations offer me ample space to do just about anything I need, and I always have sufficient room to tile different windows according to the task at hand. I’ve also found it quite awesome that I’m able to incorporate some of my personal equipment into my daytime work, which allows me to avoid having two discrete working configurations and, thus, an obscenely full desk.

What software do you use and for what do you use it?

I spend the most time writing either code or prose, so the application you’ll find me staring at the most is my text editor of choice, Vim (the MacVim build, specifically). It’s insanely powerful and is absolutely great for writing just about anything. Bonus nerd points because Vim is almost 20 years old and it’s still the finest text editor available (unless, of course, you’re talking to an Emacs user). It’s infinitely configurable and scriptable, has an active and vibrant community and is lighting fast. I’ve been using it almost exclusively for about 7 years now and I still feel like I have barely scratched the surface of what it can do.

As you probably could have guessed, I also spend a good deal of time in Evernote. It serves as my filing cabinet, digital notebook, idea log, photo album, temporary clipboard — all sorts of things.

Everything else:

I’m also a big fan of Keyboard Maestro, Concentrate, Skitch, Dropbox, TextExpander, Path Finder, iStat Menus and MarsEdit.

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

The combination of lots of display space and powerful hardware that can (most of the time) keep up with me make it easy to dig into the current endeavor. When I can comfortably view 4-6 source code files on the iMac and have my browser open on the second display, it requires me to do a lot less remembering. I don’t have to switch away from the current buffer to look up the correct parameter order for such-and-such function, I can just open it right next to where I’m working and see both side-by-side.

I liken my working style to the way my children play with toys: they don’t put away each toy as they finish playing with it (as much as I wish they would), so we have a great big cleanup party each evening where everything is organized and stowed in its right place. When I’m ready to wrap up the current day’s work, I’ll spend at least 3-4 minutes closing a dozen Safari windows, Firefox Downloads windows, Evernote notes and such. I like that I have the canvas and the horsepower to work that way without it getting bogged down or looking cluttered.

How would your ideal setup look and function?

I’m pretty happy with what I use, but I would change a few small things, particularly with respect to my current quiver of input devices.

First, I’ve grown to actively dislike the use of a mouse over the years, so I’d love to foster my own fu with tools like Keyboard Maestro to the point that I’d have to take my hands from the keyboard only occasionally, if at all. I’ve written about this in the past and I’ll admit that I’m a little militant in my position regarding “the rodent”, but the problem lies more with my ability to sharpen the metaphorical knife than with the knife itself. Mac OS X is incredibly friendly to keyboard lovers, I just need to quit whining about it and learn more.

Second, I’d really like to get my mitts on another Kinesis Advantage keyboard (which I used for several years but sold because of an obvious mental deficiency). It’s one of those absurdly ergonomic keyboards that looks like a pair of soup bowls lined with keys, but man is it nice once you get used to it. The downside is that you’re basically all thumbs whenever you sit down at a “regular” keyboard, as most of the meta keys that are normally struck using your little finger (Ctrl, Alt, Cmd) are positioned under your thumbs. That, and people seem to be unable to resist commenting on how the Starship Enterprise seems to be missing a keyboard. Oh, and they cost like $300.

More Sweet Setups

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Brett Kelly’s Sweet Mac Setup

Mike Rundle’s Sweet Mac Setup

Who are you, what do you do, etc…?

I’m Mike Rundle, a designer & developer living in Raleigh, NC. I’ve been designing for the web since before people used CSS and am currently a User Interface Architect for a marketing software company in Durham, NC. For the past 2 years I’ve been working on Mac and iPhone apps in my spare time and am the designer & developer of Digital Post, a news app for the iPad.

What is your current setup?

Mike Rundle's Mac Setup

Mike Rundle's Mac Setup

I have a 24″ aluminum iMac (bought it right when they came out), a 15″ 2.53Ghz MacBook Pro, an iPad, a first-gen iPhone and an iPhone 4. On my desk at work is a 27″ Core 2 Duo iMac which is the best computer I’ve ever owned. I’ve got a Logitech MX Revolution mouse which is fantastic, and under that is an XTracPads HAMMER mousepad which is gigantic and totally awesome. I highly recommend it. I also own a Rain Design mStand laptop stand which is built as if Apple made it. It’s the best laptop stand out there, hands down.

Why this rig?

The 24″ iMac replaced my aging PowerMac G5. The iMac is a great computer, but I just don’t use it anymore now that I have the MacBook Pro. When I work on my iPhone apps at night I’m usually on the couch so the MacBook Pro is just more versatile. I’m currently planning to sell the iMac that I don’t use and buy a new 27″ Apple LED Cinema Display for when I need extra space that a laptop can’t provide. I’m also planning to buy a new Apple Magic Trackpad to replace a mouse at home but I want to try one first.

What software do you use and for what do you use it?

I have Adobe CS4 at home and CS3 at work; I actually prefer Photoshop CS3 due to how it handles windows and its speed on Snow Leopard. For web coding my tool of choice is TextMate, the finest text editor on the Mac right now. For Cocoa development I use Xcode 3 but have recently been playing with Xcode 4 since it’s the new kid on the block. The new interface is really nice but there are still some quirks that I’ll have to get used to. I use Bjango iStat Menus 3 for putting interactive graphs into my menubar and CloudApp for sharing screenshots and shortening links to post to Twitter. For email I’m a Gmail guy and have been a Mailplane user for awhile, also I use Safari 5 for web browsing.

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

TextMate is really the key part of my workflow when working on the web. I have dozens of macros that help me write HTML, CSS, Javascript and PHP faster. I actually do something quirky with TextMate: I wrote a macro that maps the 7 key to the Escape key so I can access code completion faster without moving my hands from the main part of the keyboard. I also mapped Ctrl-7 to output the normal 7 key in case I actually have to use it. Crazy, but it’s great!

How would your ideal setup look and function?

My ideal setup would still involve my MacBook Pro but it’d have 2 fast SSD drives in a RAID-0 configuration plus maxed-out RAM. I don’t have a terribly ergonomic office chair so an Aeron would be a must. I have typography and design posters all over my walls so I’d probably just buy more and more till there’s no more paint showing.

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Mike Rundle’s Sweet Mac Setup

Justin Blanton’s Sweet Mac Setup

Justin is a patent attorney in Silicon Valley, but don’t let his job title fool you, his life isn’t all fun and games. When he’s not working on law-related stuff, he’s turning down requests to do stand-up comedy, and eating, or thinking about eating. He likes to eat.

He feels it’s his lot in life to stay abreast of the latest in tech and science, and has run a moderately popular, tech-centric site since 2002. He’s neurotic, obsessive, sarcastic to a fault and obviously great looking. He gifts the world a constant stream of wit and satire on Twitter (@jblanton), and recently started answering questions on Formspring. He’s also very serious about his photography.

What is your current setup?

Justin Blanton's Setup

Justin Blanton's Setup

These days my only machine (apart from an iPad and an iPhone 4) is the latest (mid-2010) 15″ 2.66GHz Core i7 MacBook Pro with 8GB of RAM (and the new, “hi-res,” 1680×1050 display). Internally, it’s rocking a 256GB Crucial RealSSD C300 solid-state drive. The whole thing is stupid fast. I love it.

My precious usually is plugged into a 24″ Apple LED Cinema Display, and resting comfortably in Twelve South’s BookArc (which I love). (Relatedly, if the MBP is closed, you can bet there’s a RadTech ScreenSavr wedged between the screen and the keyboard.)

I sit in an all-black Herman Miller Embody (which last year replaced a Human Scale Liberty). It’s the best chair I’ve ever owned, and I can’t recommend it highly enough, especially for sitting.

Coincidentally (or not!), my desk also is from Herman Miller. I picked it up late last year after struggling for a very long time to find exactly what I wanted; this came real close, so I decided to pull the trigger. (If money was no object, I’d probably buy BALMUDA designs’ Aero desk.)

Earlier this year, a pair of B&W MM-1s replaced my beloved, if large, Audioengine A5s. I absolutely adore the B&W’s, and feel fairly comfortable saying that they probably are the best built-for-the-desktop speakers on the market today. They’ve their own DAC, which eats up one of the two USB ports on my MacBook Pro (the other is used by the external Apple display, which has its own USB ports and thus acts as a hub).

At one point I claimed that the Griffin Powermate (the round, metal thing to the left of the iPhone in the above pictures) was my favorite computer peripheral of all time, and I still stand by that. I use it 1000x a day to globally pause, play and go to the next track in iTunes, and to control system volume. I love its design, its not insubstantial weight and the satisfying thud you hear when you “bop” it. All computer peripherals should be built with such care.

I tend to use mice that aren’t built for a particular handedness because I generally prefer them to be symmetrical. My daily driver, and the one mouse I truly love, is the Razer Diamondback 3G (I have three of them!), which runs around on a Razer Destructor pad. Despite the fact that I turn the tracking speed up so high that typically I don’t need a lot of wrist-motion space, I quite like the large surface area of the Destructor. Speaking of tracking, the Diamondback 3G has some of the best I’ve seen on the Mac. (Every time Apple comes out with a new mouse I give it a shot, but I’ve yet to come across one I enjoy using. The tracking speed is never fast enough (even with third-party software) and I feel like right mouse-clicks always require a conscious effort.)

For typing, I make a racket with the Matias Tactile Pro 3, which I very recently switched to from a Das Keyboard Ultimate. If I need to type in secret I use an Apple Bluetooth keyboard.

Other doodads on the desk include a Unite SmartBase (which I discuss here; the iPhone 4 fits it relatively well, but I’m looking for a new solution), a carbon fiber drink coaster (is there any other material?) and an IO Gear multi-card reader/USB hub (it’s nothing special, but it’s the heaviest, least ugly one I could find).

Under the desk you’ll find a Webble. No, really, it’s called a Webble — look at the site! At $150, this one may be a tough sell to some, but to a constantly-moving spazz like me, it’s an automatic buy. It’s incredibly well made, and with materials I’d have chosen myself had I designed it.

For backup, I use a pair of 640GB Seagate FreeAgent Go drives, each of which sits in its own stand located behind the external display. One is sync’d to my MacBook Pro’s internal disk using SuperDuper (every day at 3AM), and the other is sync’d to the same internal disk using Apple’s Time Machine software (every day at 4AM, thanks to TimeMachineEditor). Super-critical stuff is double-encrypted and backed up daily to one of the network-based backup services currently available. (I’ll eventually get a Drobo. I’ve been saying that for years. But I will get one.)

I currently shoot with a Canon 5D Mark II, which I rarely use without BlackRapid’s R-Strap or Canon’s E1 hand strap. I just sold my Canon S90 because the camera in the iPhone 4 is so competent.

Why are you using this setup?

Did you not understand everything I just said? Why am I using this setup?! Because I’m crippled by an unyielding desire to experience excellence.

Seriously though, I’m happily and forever wedded to Mac OS X and so my options are limited with respect to the hardware I can (legally) use. Lucky for me, Apple’s MacBook Pros are incredible machines, and for the past few years have come strapped with more than enough power for my needs. (Also, have you handled/cradled/slept with one of these unibodies? They’re freakin’ brilliant.)

I used to go the Mac Pro + MacBook Air/Pro + sync route, but it became something of a chore and certain things always seemed to break, and so I currently am a notebook-only operation (and don’t see that changing any time soon).

Overall, this setup (the room, desk, chair, peripherals, etc.) just feels very natural to me; everything has its place, and nothing is superfluous.

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

  • LaunchBar — I hate using the mouse if I don’t absolutely have to. (I know, I know, I ended a sentence with a preposition. It’s OK as long as you acknowledge it, right?) Surely this is a holdover from my early Linux days when I literally lived in a terminal, and kind of loved it. With LaunchBar there’s very little I can’t accomplish via the keyboard alone. (I used to use Quicksilver, but eventually was turned off by instability and lack of development; it just hasn’t been the same for years.)

  • OmniFocus and Things — I’ve gone back and forth with these task management apps so many times that the only tasks in each of them are, “Try Things again, you insatiable masochist” and “Try OmniFocus again, freak!” As far as I’m concerned, The Hit List was the perfect to-do app (and I really liked its design), but then its developer fell. off. the. face. of. the. earth. I gave up looking for him and grudgingly started cycling between OmniFocus and Things again. Currently I’m using OmnifocusThingsOmniFocus and for the most part I’m content. Functionally, it’s second to none, but its look definitely could stand to be updated (that said, I’m constantly theming it, so it’s not so bad). Also, its iPhone counterpart is wonderful. (If you haven’t already, now might be a good time to read Shawn’s review of Things. Well, not right now; finish reading this first.)

  • TextMate (together with MultiMarkDown (an extension to the ubiquitous Markdown) and the IR_Black theme) — Quite honestly, if I’m typing anything other than an email or a blog post on my Mac, I very likely am typing it into this app. (Actually, I hacked up a way to use it for blogging at one point too, and, truth be told, I sometimes find myself using that method because it just feels good.)

  • MarsEdit — 99% of the words found on my site were sent there using MarsEdit. (The developer of MarsEdit, Daniel Jalkut, also makes FastScripts, which I use for this and this, among other things.)

  • Lightroom — Lightroom may be my favorite application ever, on any platform. It’s just a pleasure to use. It’s a great photo organizer, and an increasingly competent post-processor. I find myself going into Photoshop much less frequently these days.

  • Default Folder X — I’m not quite sure how to even describe this software, but I can say that I never again want to be without it. I especially like that it allows me to set a default “working” folder for each application, and that it remembers recently-used folders when I go to save something, etc. Basically, it saves me time that I didn’t even realize could be saved. (Full disclosure: the developer gave me a free copy of the software.)

  • Evernote — I recently migrated to Evernote, from Yojimbo. Again. I definitely have some niggles with it, but it syncs across everything and is fairly stable.

  • LittleSnapper — I use this any time I need a screenshot or want to save an entire webpage (usually because I see in it some potential inspiration). I go back and forth between this and Skitch when I need to quickly (and usually roughly) annotate an image.

  • Mint — Is there anything better for web stats? Even if there is, I probably wouldn’t use it because I’ve long had a kind of geek-crush on Mint’s developer, Shaun Inman.

  • Soulver — Allow me to quote Jonas Wisser: “As far as I can tell, Soulver is the only real advance in calculator technology since calculators were invented. It’s a fundamentally different—and cleverer—way of doing math.” I tried to come up with a better description, but failed. As another indicator of my love for this app, it also owns a spot on my iPhone’s first and 20.

  • 1Password — Um, just buy it. You have no excuse.

  • iStat Menus — I couldn’t function without having information regarding network speed, memory usage, processor utilization and various internal temperatures available at a glance. I’ve been looking at this kind of information every day for 15 years, and at this point I have a kind of sixth sense about my system’s internal operations. What I’m trying to say is that I keep iStat Menus around just to double-check my gut.

  • Instapaper — Where to begin? I never shut up about Instapaper on Twitter, and I know real-life friends are sick of hearing about it, but it really has changed my life and I’d be remiss to not mention it here. I definitely owe Marco a few beers. (If he’d give me control over .htaccess files on Tumblr accounts, I’d probably give him a baby, at the very least.)

  • Dropbox — Blah blah blah. Who doesn’t use this?

  • Path Finder — I almost left this out because it’s become such a natural part of my workflow. I really dislike the Finder. Always have. Path Finder fills in the gaps, and then some.

  • TextExpander — I’m a whore for efficiency, and TextExpander just makes me feel good every time I use it. It’s like I’m doing myself a little favor 1000x a day.

  • Cinch — I use this to quickly maximize a window or to cause the window to take up exactly half the screen. It’s great.

  • Tweetie — Despite the fact that it’s still lacking native retweet functionality, it’s the best Mac Twitter client available. Every time a new client is announced I try it out, but it’s usually just a few minutes before I’ve switched back to Tweetie.

  • Pester — This is a fairly recent addition to my day-to-day workflow (thanks to Wolf Rentzsch, but I’ve a feeling it will forever be a staple. For more immediate reminders that I know I won’t/can’t snooze, I continue to use my LaunchBar timer script, but for everything else I now use Pester.

  • Safari/WebKit nightlies — Once Flash became relatively stable on Google Chrome’s developer channel (and there were extensions to block it) I gave up on Safari; Chrome was just too fast (and, well, new and different, so I had to use it). However, I’ve found the recent release of Safari 5 to be mind-bogglingly stable for me, super fast and I’ve been impressed with the extension community that immediately grew up around the new framework.

  • Little Snitch — This Provides me with added peace of mind.

  • iTerm — The best terminal program I’ve found for the Mac. I spend a lot of time in this app.

  • Notational Velocity — I find myself using this application more and more; in fact, I used it to draft these very words. It couldn’t be more minimal (e.g., there is no notion of “saving,” search/create are kind of the same thing, etc.), which really attracts me to it. My only real wish is that it would let me define background and foreground colors; it’s rare for me that black on white is an optimal color scheme for writing.

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

It doesn’t. My best work is done while grocery shopping. I’m just kidding, I don’t shop for groceries.

I think the biggest piece of the creativity puzzle for me (apart from being comfortable with, and having confidence in the tools I use; e.g., Mac OS X, etc.) is simply having my own space — the “bitcave” is my room. (See what I did there? Instead of “bat,” I used the word “bit,” because I’ve an affinity for computers, and zero qualities of a bat.) It’s important for me to have a familiar, comfortable place that’s mine alone, where I can blast tragic, melancholic music and just brood. Or, I guess, work.

How would your ideal setup look and function?

Is this thing on?! I just spent 2200+ words explaining why my setup was the best thing since sliced bread, and now you want me to describe something better? Impossible.

OK, fine, I’ll bite.

In a perfect world I’d like everything that’s currently in my MacBook Pro squeezed into the body of a MacBook Air. Also, I wouldn’t mind putting the external display on a floating arm so that I could move it more freely, and hell, I’ll probably swap my 24″ Apple LED display for the just-announced 27″ model. Finally, I’d kill for a minimalist desk (not unlike the one I have now) that could raise and lower itself under its own power, so that I could stand for half the day. (Yes, these exist now, but I’ve yet to see one I really like that isn’t unreasonably expensive.)

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Justin Blanton’s Sweet Mac Setup

David Chartier’s Sweet Mac Setup

Who are you, what do you do, etc…?

I am David Chartier, an Associate Editor at Macworld. I write about all things Apple, its products, and the third-party ecosystem that helps to make its products great. I also write about tech news and culture at onefps.net, and tweet at @chartier.

What is your current setup?

David Chartier's Setup

David Chartier's Setup

My primary machine is a late 2009 27-inch 2.66 GHz Core i5 iMac that could eat small family pets alive if left unchecked. I have a wireless Apple keyboard and a Magic Trackpad which is probably going to replace my Magic Mouse. My iMac’s partner in crime is a mid-2009 17-inch 2.8 GHz Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro. I have a 64GB iPad WiFi + 3G that I am increasingly using to write pieces (like this one), and an iPhone 4 that is almost never out of my arm’s reach. I also have a 2TB Time Capsule, an 802.11n AirPort Express, a 160GB Apple TV, a Logitech G9 mouse for gaming, and my wife has my old late 2008, first-gen aluminum unibody MacBook (before they went “Pro” and got an SD slot). I know, we’re the shrink-wrapped Apple family. I’ve had to find a way to live with it.

Why this rig?

I love screen real estate. I rarely full-screen apps, so when I’m writing I’ll give my browser, word processor, a chat window or two, any e-mail I need for reference, and other things as much balanced screen space as possible so I don’t need to switch between them to move information back and forth. Some techie friends consider the 17-inch MacBook Pro to be the aircraft carrier of Apple’s portables, but I love having all that space on-the-go when I need to use all those resources for pseudo-multitasking.

What software do you use and for what do you use it?

I have a ton of third-party apps, many of which I use infrequently for tasks like video transcoding or uploading photos to multiple services at once. But if I had to start with the fundamentals for writing at Macworld, I use MacJournal for almost every post, Skitch and Acorn for editing photos, and Safari. For communication I use Mail with MobileMe and Macworld Google Apps accounts, Adium for when I’m not slingshotting back to iChat (until I give in and want to use Facebook or Yahoo chat again), and Propane for the Macworld chat rooms that run on 37signals’ Campfire.

To keep track of story ideas and leads I use a mix of OmniFocus (after my nearly finished exodus from Things), Evernote, and Mail. I also have a few menubar utilities, though I’m trying to be a little more discerning about those lately. I use LaunchBar for lots of productivity stuff like launching apps and creating new e-mails and iCal events, CoverSutra for controlling iTunes, and Divvy for keeping all my windows in their places.

I’m trying to work LittleSnapper into my Macworld process so I can keep original images around for when editors need them for print. I use Time Machine to backup my Macs and my wife’s MacBook to the Time Capsule, ChronoSync to backup key files and media to a secondary external 2TB drive, and CrashPlan as a third layer of remote redundancy.

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

I love to look at the big picture whether I work at home or on-the-go, which is why I keep lots of resources available at a quick glance and why I use MacJournal. It’s the only Mac word processor I can find which lets me draft in rich text, but copy to the clipboard as the perfectly formatted, plain HTML that most CMSes want. Lots of my peers pen in HTML or Markdown, but I don’t like to look at code or URLs when I write. To me, code is code, and prose is prose. I want to draft, re-read, and continue drafting a piece as the reader will see it, watching for things like the visual flow of text and too many concurrent links that can weigh a paragraph down.

With a desktop, a notebook, and now a tablet, I have a good array of choices between power and portability. I can bang out work and pseudo-multitask at home with my iMac and on-the-go with my MacBook Pro. Or I can bring my iPad out for the day and weekend getaways and focus on one task at a time while lying on the couch or in the middle of Millennium Park.

How would your ideal setup look and function?

I hope this doesn’t mean that I fail the Shawn Blanc Geek Test, but excluding my desire for the latest and fastest hardware, I’m not itching to make major changes. However, now that the 15-inch MacBook Pro has a higher resolution display and can switch graphics cards on the fly, I’m going to downsize and save some weight. I had a Mac Pro with dual Samsung displays for a couple years (22-inch and 24-inch), and while that was a sweet setup, I find that I like having one large, high-res workspace better.

As for the iPad, OS 4.0 and multitasking cannot arrive soon enough, but it really needs at least 512MB of RAM, if not more. I’ll probably upgrade immediately when (but only if) Apple revs the RAM (though possibly at a smaller storage capacity; I’m barely pushing 32GB on this one), because I’m not that desperate for a camera.

Speaking as a reformed mobile phone junkie, the iPhone 4 is the first phone I’ve been thoroughly happy with in years. The antenna thing doesn’t really bug me because I don’t hold it that way. The iPhone 5 will have to have some serious unicorn tear polish to get me to upgrade.

The only other changes to my setup would be more gear mostly for pleasure, not business. Mobile is exploding right now, so I’d love to pick up some Androids and Pres so I could learn a lot more about what they’re up to, but mostly for curiosity and work purposes. I’m also a frequent PC gamer, so I hope to build a dedicated PC again in the next few months. Boot Camp is wearing on me, and Steam for Mac seems like it’s going to need some time to pick up… momentum.

More Sweet Setups

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

David Chartier’s Sweet Mac Setup

Jonathan Christopher’s Sweet Mac Setup

Who are you, what do you do, etc…?

My name is Jonathan Christopher, and I’m a Web developer/designer from Albany, NY. I currently spend my days filling the role of Development Director, surrounding myself with writing code, discussing design, site evaluations, and a bit of managerial material along the way.

Perhaps you’ve found yourself at some point reading Monday By Noon, my weekly publication focusing on Web design and development? If not, we’ll need to have a talk.

I try to take photos as much as possible and I’ve got an obsessively long wish list full of gear I’ll never be able to afford, but enjoy thinking and talking about.

I’m recently married and loving every minute of it so far. I’m completely thrilled to be stepping into the next phase of life with my wife. I still get a kick out of saying ‘my wife’ — you can understand.

I also watch at least one episode of Seinfeld per day. Almost.

What is your current setup?

Jonathan Christopher Mac Cetup

I’m currently using a 15″ unibody 2.66 GHz Intel Core i7 MacBook Pro with 4GB RAM. At home I’m externally connected to a Samsung SyncMaster 205BW, but I wouldn’t mind a 27″ Apple Cinema Display.

  • I key with a full-sized wired Apple aluminum keyboard
  • I mouse with a Logitech MX Revolution
  • I back up to a series of 2TB Western Digital My Book Elites (photos and videos) and 640GB Western Digital Elements (Time Machine)
  • I shoot with a Canon 7D (50mm f/1.4, 35mm f/2, 17-85mm f/4-5.6)

Why this rig?

My first Mac was a black MacBook sometime around 2006, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I’ve chosen strictly notebooks since then simply because I work in an office and I truly prefer to be in the same environment both at work and at home. I use external peripherals at both desks which I prefer, but having the ability to go mobile has come in handy on more than one occasion.

What software do you use and for what do you use it?

  • Mail.app for all things email.
  • iTunes all day every day.
  • OmniFocus (and on iPhone) for task management and getting things done.
  • 1Password for password management.
  • TextMate for every bit of text, code, markup, style, and script I write. I’m even writing this very content in it. I’ve tried everything and always come back to TextMate.
  • Fireworks CS5 when designing my own stuff, Photoshop when cutting up everyone else’s. Acorn when I don’t want to wait for Photoshop to start up.
  • Yummy FTP when moving sites and assets. Seriously great app; fastest FTP available. Promise.
  • ExpanDrive for wonderful network mounted TextMate projects.
  • Safari
  • Versions for SVN (source control)
  • XAMPP for my local development environment.
  • Skitch for taking and annotating screenshots. There are lots of apps but Skitch fits my workflow the best.
  • Aperture for photo management and post processing. FlickrExport for publishing straight to Flickr.

There’s a bit more but I’m honestly shuffling through these applications every day of my life.

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

With the combination of mobile hardware along with a tried and tested arsenal of chosen applications, I’m able to focus on the work itself instead of figuring out how I’m going to do it. Not having to worry about software or hardware problems alone helps me get things done, and that can be attributed to being on a Mac running OS X and the software built for it.

The software environment itself also caters to a creative mind. The attention to detail Apple puts forth (as well as software developers) is truly inspirational and sets the bar quite high out of the box. When you’re staring at that in everything you do, you’re inspired subconsciously all day long.

I also try to keep my work environment inspirational as much as I know how. The referenced photo includes a shot of my home office, which I try to keep organized and a bit private. There’s always music playing and it’s always better when heard over speakers instead of headphones. There are two book cases flanking the desk full of not only Web related books but also other books great for leafing through from time to time. Banksy’s Wall and Piece for example is a great piece to revisit from time to time for me. The posters in the background are prints from Joshua Davis, an artist I’ve followed and looked up to for quite some time.

I hope to spend more time on the home office, specifically with my wife as she also has her workstation on the other side of the room. It’ll be a great project for the both of us as time goes on.

How would your ideal setup look and function?

My ideal setup would definitely be in my current home office space, but include a few more details I haven’t had the time (or finances) to pull off quite yet. My wife and I moved into the house (our first home) about a year ago and the office is the last to get attention. It was recently painted Elephant Skin gray and I really like the color, but if I were to change one thing about it I would have to start with the lighting. Lighting is a big deal in an office environment and I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for a set of lamps to replace the extras I’m currently using.

On a technical level, my ideal setup would include a 27″ LED Apple Cinema Display, completely wireless connections for everything, and wireless electricity. I don’t like wires. I’m supremely happy with my current MacBook Pro and wouldn’t trade that in, but I’d love to see it house a speedy SSD drive should the option come up.

Last, I’d love to have a new series of applications in which to work. Don’t get me wrong, aside from all the quirks here and there I totally love working in Fireworks and TextMate. If I absolutely had to choose two applications to use while stranded on a desert island, they would be it. The issue though, is that the industry has outpaced their development.

TextMate is an open and shut case. The application is truly fantastic but it’s now the job of another publisher to take the torch and continue on. So far, no one has stepped up to the plate as a major player; I’m anxiously awaiting that.

Design software, though, is a different story altogether. Beyond the heated battles surrounding which existing app is better than another, the truth is that no application in existence has been designed to meet the needs of modern Web design. Without getting too philosophical, I’m hoping over the next number of years we see a change in the thought process behind facilitating Web design from the ground up.

More Sweet Setups

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

Jonathan Christopher’s Sweet Mac Setup

Leo Babauta’s Sweet Mac Setup

Who are you, what do you do, and etc…?

I’m Leo Babauta, author of Zen Habits, mnmlist.com, and The Power of Less. I write about simplicity.

What is your current setup?

Leo Babauta's Desk

For a couple years, I’ve been using a combination of a 20″ iMac and a first-generation MacBook Air (yes, the ones with heat problems). Since our move to S.F. last month, I’ve been going with just the MacBook Air — I gave the iMac to my wife Eva.

I love using the MacBook Air as my full-time machine — it’s light, simple, and meets all my needs.

I don’t have an iPhone or an iPad, though both are drool-worthy.

Why this rig?

I’m a bit of a minimalist. I like to keep things as simple as possible, without sacrificing the essential functions.

I’m a writer, and all I really need is a browser and a text editor. The MacBook Air does those two things perfectly.

I don’t need a big monitor, as cool as they are. I don’t need a powerful CPU. I like lightness and simplicity and portability and focus.

What software do you use and for what do you use it?

I’m currently using Chrome and Notational Velocity, but sometimes I switch to TextMate or TextEdit or Omm Writer, depending on my mood or need.

Notational Velocity is lightweight, simple, fast. I’ve been doing all my writing in it — from todo lists to notes to full articles and blog posts. This way everything I have is instantly findable, it’s all stored in text (simple and accessible), and backed up via DropBox.

Chrome is lightning fast with a minimalist interface. I’ve tried all the other browsers but they just seem slow and clunky next to Chrome.

Other things I use regularly: LaunchBar for everything, 1Password, Transmit for FTP. Sometimes I also use WriteRoom, Scrivener, and MarsEdit for different writing needs.

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

I like focus — simple software that doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles helps me find that focus. I like things that do very little, very well. I try to cut out distractions — Tweetdeck or Tweetie, iChat or Skype, these things distract me.

Notational Velocity is the perfect writing app. All it does is write text, and it stores everything in text files, and you can find them instantly. You don’t need to file, and you don’t need to look for things.

How would your ideal setup look and function?

I’m content with what I have. I love the simplicity of the MacBook Air — when I have to use someone else’s MacBook Pro, it feels heavy and clunky. Don’t get me started on how it feels to use someone else’s Window machine. It would be nice if my Air lasted for 20 years.

My only improvement would be to have the perfection of Mac OS combined with the openness of Linux.

More Sweet Setups

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

Leo Babauta’s Sweet Mac Setup

John Carey’s Sweet Mac Setup

Who are you, what do you do, and etc…?

My name is John Carey. I am a photographer moonlighting as a live audio engineer or the other way around depending on what day you ask me. I also run the website fiftyfootshadows.net on which I provide many images from my photographic work as wallpaper imagery for my readers. I have done this for somewhere around seven or eight years now and I feel it is just starting to pick up momentum. There is a significant update to the site currently under construction which I hope will help it grow beyond where I have taken it to this point, but more on that when the time comes…

I started out with drive to become a designer, but over time my desires shifted toward photography. I love the honest nature of it, the compromises within it, and the fact that I can bridge a very tangible art form using traditional film cameras with a highly digital one using digital cameras and computers to create images and share the world as I see it with others. I have grown very passionate for the art of photography and the places it takes me, and I am anxious to see where I end up with it next.

My secret double life as a live audio engineer is equally fulfilling and rewards me with the same sort of satisfaction photography does in the way that I am using both analog tools as well as digital ones to get the job done. I love my work and often wonder if I could live without either of these sides of my professional life because they fulfill my lust for adventure in such unique ways.

What is your current setup?

John Carey's Setup

John Carey's Setup

I have been a Mac user my entire life. Honestly, I have been using them since the Apple II days and every iteration they have come out with along the way. I remember shooting with an old Apple Quicktake digital camera along side an old film Canon when I was just starting to get into photography and design. I followed the digital photography revolution very closely as it crept into the minds of skeptical photographers.

My current set up is simple and built from a combination of necessity, luck, and (like any self-respecting geek) an unhealthy desire for new tech.

That said I currently have an old black MacBook which at home is paired with a Cinema Display, bluetooth keyboard, Magic Mouse, Griffin laptop stand, 8 or more hard drives, and a pair of powered studio monitors because I simply need a nice pair of speakers around for my sanity. I also use a 64GB Wi-Fi iPad, and a 32GB iPhone 4.

If anyone is interested in what I shoot with, I use a Canon 5D paired simply with a 35mm f/1.4L lens, a Hasselblad 501cm with its standard 80mm lens, and a Voigtlander R3M 35mm rangefinder with a 40mm f/1.4 Nokton Lens.

Why this rig?

The core of what I use revolves around the MacBook, the last generation of the black plastic bodied ones. At the time it was the top of the line and it has proven itself to be more than capable through its years of use and certainly the most stable and dependable Mac I have ever owned. I will admit that it’s probably seeing its last good year in use and may need to be replaced sooner or later simply to keep up with newer tech and the demands of the work I do.

But the question is WHY. Yes… well, the true nature of my life is pretty nomadic as I am constantly on the move either traveling for work or traveling for pleasure around the world whenever possible. My office is anywhere and everywhere it needs to be so my portable tools are as important to me as the modest space I have at home for computing. My real office is carried in bags with me wherever I go, at times two or three even. I always have my cameras with me, if not all of them at least one, and I usually carry my laptop for work but also simply out of necessity because much of my blogging and internet life I squeeze into down time at work or while traveling and so I often need to have these key things with me wherever I go.

Also I have a small bunch of tools that I always carry for work, as well as a blank notebook or two and a couple nice pens (because nothing beats pen and paper for sketching out ideas, no matter how many apps you have for it) and other sorts of little things depending on what I need on any given day.

My bags of choice are made by an amazing bag company called Spire. I swear by them and their amazing customer service — you really can’t go wrong with those guys. I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with next, their bags have traveled the world with me.

John Carey's Sketchbook and iPad

When I do set up office away from home I have my iPad to handle more and more of my day-to-day internet shuffle, and I will have to admit at this point the 3G option sure would have been nice at times. It has allowed me to leave the laptop at home more often which is nice. I use a wonderful little stand, the Compass, and it has been more than helpful in giving my iPad a home while out on the job or in a coffee shop working on ideas.

To protect the iPad while out I use a simple fabric sleeve I had a friend make for me to my specifications including a thin piece of wood to protect the screen which was sewn into the fabric and padding. (I actually do this to my laptop bag as well, a worthwhile customization for anyone wanting to really protect their screen.) I also have a Speck candyshell case for it which I use while I am on job sites to keep it safe.

The last piece of the puzzle is my iPhone 4 which I admit I bought into because of the camera and display. Its a wonderful device and the controversy surrounding is just way out of control. It’s a brilliant phone plain and simple, and it holds all the little things in my life together.

What software do you use and for what do you use it?

My favorite applications on the Mac which I use most often are:

  • Aperture: I love Adobe’s take on raw photo management as well as Lightroom being faster overall in its performance, but I greatly prefer the workflow of Aperture — both in file management and editing. I find it is easily worth the compromise.
  • Photoshop: It’s just unavoidable in my photo and occasional design work really. I have been using it since version 3, just before layers came on board and changed everything. My use of the program is admittedly very minimal as I have long since moved beyond my days of over manipulating images (it just got old after a while).
  • Illustrator: I have been using Illustrator for what seems like forever as well. I remember messing about with it when I was very young, making overly complex blends between objects that the poor old computer running it at the time took forever to render. I use it for layout mostly — this and many other design needs. It’s just as relevant to me as Photoshop really.
  • CSSEdit: I love working with websites. I have been making them since the late ’90s to share my design and photography, but the problem is I never REALLY learned how to do it. My knowledge of making websites has been pieced together out of necessity. And I learn as I go, so an application like CSSEdit that helps me simplify editing style sheets is a wonderful thing indeed.
  • Espresso: Any HTML or PHP editing I have to do I reach for Espresso simply because I love its approach to interface design. Simply brilliant.
  • Things: Again with the interface design. I looked for years to find an elegant solution to handle my task list and notes, and this hit the nail on the head. It’s the glue that holds my ideas and projects and jobs together. Now if they would just hurry up and get cloud syncing in there!
  • MarsEdit: The newest member of the family. MacJournal was my go-to, local blogging tool for a long time, but it started to get frustrating with its half-way support for uploading. So I made the switch that was a long time coming.
  • The rest: Then there are all the other in-betweens. iTunes, CoverSutra, DropBox, DeskShade, Safari, Mail, Transmit, and not to mention the iPad and iPhone apps that have made their way into key parts of my workflow. I also create electronic-fueled music with a good friend of mine and have for years. And for that I use Reason and Ableton Live, whereas he uses countless other applications as he is more the musician that lives and breathes electronic music.

John Carey's Music Mixing

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

Well, as I mentioned, my life is always on the move and these tools allow me to easily and elegantly glide between tools needed to accomplish the many projects I juggle at any given moment. It can be stressful trying to do so much at once and being able to quickly and confidently jump between tasks allows me to focus less on messing about with my computer and focus more on simply getting things done. For me the tech I use should actually make my life easier to manage, not get in the way of the process. I am not a super geek by any stretch of the imagination, I just learn the tools I need to know to accomplish what I want to.

It’s amazing the amount of mileage I have gotten out of this simple old MacBook over the years. It’s not always necessary to constantly have the latest and greatest unless you really have a need to. I do my best to stay relevant in this unbelievably demanding world we live in, but most of the time less is defiantly more.

How would your ideal setup look and function?

My money-is-no-object, ideal setup would be a large 27″ iMac at home for all my heavy lifting and data management, then a MacBook Air for travel. Only I want one that Apple has yet to make — one slightly more capable, and who knows if that will ever see the light of day. This paired with an iPad for presentations and casual use and my iPhone simply because it easily syncs information together with the rest of Apple’s universe.

The last addition would be a hefty RAID Server for hard drive/data management. It’s exhausting having to juggle all of these hard drives!

Also, an oversized desk with plenty of workspace would be nice. One that I could build a light table into. I like the idea of having a lot of extra space… breathing room for my mind.

More Sweet Setups

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

John Carey’s Sweet Mac Setup