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A picture of Daniel Zarick

Daniel Zarick

Developer, designer (Shortwave)

in designer, developer, mac

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Daniel Zarick and I live in Chicago. Right now I'm wandering a fair bit, trying to write more, and exploring new projects. Mostly I design+build building software and websites. That said, I don't really think of myself as a designer or a programmer, and generally try to avoid defining myself with -er words. People pay me to do those things, but I like to think my skills are in figuring out interesting and creative solutions to problems. The output for those solutions just happens to be mostly code.

What hardware do you use?

Right now I use an 11" Macbook Air from a few years ago. I've been considering upgrading to a newer MacBook Pro to get some more power and a Retina screen (it's difficult to design websites and apps these days without Retina), but I'm finding the current iteration of Apple laptops to be uninspired. Otherwise, I always have a nice pair of earbuds in my pocket. This pair is nice, but I'm not religious about any specific brand... I rotate every few years as I beat them up. I take photos with a Leica Q (new purchase, but a very good one. I love it.). I have an iPhone 6s, but am always trying to use my Punkt MP 01 more to get away from smartphones and apps.

And what software?

Mostly write code in Atom but might go back to Textmate (less stuff, simpler). I design sometimes in Sketch, and do command line things in iTerm. Chrome for my browser, for texting my friends during the workday, Google Hangouts in the browser, and Letterspace for note-taking. Unfortunately I use Spotify for music (RIP Rdio. Typical, I know. A designer who misses Rdio). Outside of those, I try to stick to simple, great-at-what-they-do tools for little tasks (Miro Video Converter, GIF Brewery, Flinto for Mac, Dropbox, CloudApp, 1Password, f.lux, etc).

What would be your dream setup?

I like my tools simple and straight-forward. That said, my dream setup would be less tools. Less software. Less computers. Less phones. It'd be nice to feel less compelled to work on software and websites all the time. Maybe a cabin somewhere to escape to regularly. Happiness and creative fulfillment. Technology is difficult and frustrating.

But here I am, so I guess a new lightweight MacBook Pro with an amazing battery.