Uses This

Interview

What do people use to get the job done?

Fritz van Deventer

Fritz van Deventer

Developer, musician (Cheeses of Mexico)

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm fritzvd, I make music, software. I have worked at Nelen & Schuurmans for the last 4 years on flood simulation and maps. I'm about to make a bit of a switch and teach about making software at a technical college, I already also teach informatics at a high school. In my off time I make games, or bread. I also give talks at times. Besides that I co-founded and run a JavaScript meetup in Utrecht. Lately I've been getting into old computers and started working on creating my own game for the Famicom/NES.

What hardware do you use?

I used to use my 2010 Mac Mini for most things, games, making music and editing videos. Even writing the occasional line of Obj-C or some Android stuff. But it's become quite old and slow. I stuck an SSD in it, and it ran way smoother. I gave it to my mom, though. At the moment I use a run-of-the-mill Lenovo L430 (Core i5, 2013 model) that belongs to my employer. With some extra RAM (16GB) for the flood modeling and an SSD, because it just makes sense.

For making music I have a USB recording interface to which I hook up a classic: the Shure SM58. It's indestructable and sounds a lot better than its similarly priced counterparts. Often I steal my wife's MacBook Air to run GarageBand or play with GarageBand on my iPad.

For developing on the NES I bought a Kazzo and an empty NROM cartridge and a plastic case. But in hindsight I might have been better off with an EverDrive. The Kazzo only runs on Windows (at least I'm not feeling the vibe to recreate a libusb to support it on Linux).

Most of the time I play my Fender Sonaran, but I'm saving up for something similar to a Larrivee OM-03.

I have a Sony Xperia Z2 which I have used intensively over the last 2 years, and it's still working fine. So I'll stick with that for another year (or 2).

I ride a Jan Janssen Vuelta from the mid 90s.

And what software?

I've been running Ubuntu since about 2005 and I haven't really felt the need to switch. If I do it might be an Arch-like, or to Mac OS X, just because Logic / Garageband and iOS development can only run on OS X.

You will see me browsing the internet alternating Chrome and Firefox (in alphabetical order). These 2 browsers are ALWAYS running.

For editing I use vim and Atom when I feel like using a mouse or for its Markdown previews. I use GIMP for image manipulation.

For developing for the NES I run Gulp to watch the files and start the compilation if something changed. It then opens both Nestopia and FCEUX to checkout the build.

I use JavaScript, node.js, Python and Haxe and sometimes do a little of C, C#, Rust, and 6502 assembly. When I make games I default to HaxePunk or use Blender and sometimes Unity.

Spotify is always running. And I'm always looking for sourdough recipes on websites like The Perfect Loaf or Breadtopia

When I make music I just use my guitar and a pen and paper. Or as mentioned I fiddle with GarageBand on my iPad or on my wife's MacBook Air.

When I cycle I sometimes use Strava to log my speed and distance.

What would be your dream setup?

Imagine a little cottage in lush valley next to a body of water or the ocean. In the shed next to the cottage there are a bunch of retro consoles / computers (SNES, SMD/SG, C64, MSX) and cartridges (originals, and programmable). Turn the corner you see my desk, a Fender Rhodes, and a collection of vintage Fender Stratocasters with a Fender Vibro-King. Next to that you find my Martin and Guild acoustic guitars. A Neumann D-01 on a stand for recording.

In this scenario I have a Mac Pro on which I also do Blender renders and a lightweight laptop I can do all the things I need. Possibly a Macbook but I hope by then Linux will also be able to run Logic Pro.

Outside there's a rack of bicycles that look like they could enter L'Eroica. Next to that a big surfboard and a big stone oven. A fire's burning, and on it there's a Potjie brewing. The chicken are in the coop frolicking and clucking. My son is playing in the grass. My wife and I sit by the fire and watch the sunset with a glass of delicious Malbec.