Uses This

Interview

What do people use to get the job done?

Greg Maletic

Greg Maletic

Developer (Panic), illustrator

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Greg Maletic. I work on various projects at Panic, though Status Board might be the one people know the best. I also do some illustration and design work on the side, and in the past have done work for Walt Disney Imagineering. I made a documentary about the pinball industry, and I used to co-run a Java software company called Zero G Software that made an app called InstallAnywhere. A long time ago -- in the Michael Schindler-Gil Amelio era -- I worked at Apple Computer, as a product manager on OpenDoc and Apple Guide.

What hardware do you use?

At work I use one of the new, cylindrical Mac Pros. It's more machine than I need, but I'm happy to take it.

For my Status Board work, I use somewhere between two and four iPads. The iPad 2 and 3 are the best: 30-pin iPads are perfect for Status Board because they have flawless video-out. Lightning iPads have gross artifacts, which I'll admit aren't noticeable to most folks, but still bum me out.

I just use one monitor on my Mac, an Apple Cinema Display. I have a hard time with multiple monitors: I end up spending all my time managing windows. OS X Spaces work great for me.

I use an old, wired Microsoft mouse, because I can't stand the extra weight of batteries-required wireless mice. I draw a lot with my computer, but I never learned how to use a stylus, so I use the mouse, and I think that may never change.

At home, I use an old-ish 13" MacBook Air. When necessary, I sometimes plug it into a pretty old Cinema Display. (I just discovered my MacBook's AirDrop isn't compatible with iOS AirDrop, so its days are probably numbered. I love AirDrop.)

I have a Mac Mini that runs my house: Insteon-based lighting, and iTunes-based music that connects to speakers around our house. There's an external LaCie Thunderbolt drive where I store iTunes media; a second one stores Time Machine backups. I'm about to upgrade the internal hard drive to an SSD because the Mini is just insanely slow whenever I have to actually sit down and use it. (As a server, its performance seems fine.)

And what software?

Xcode 6 for iOS programming. Dropbox: it's essential for everything I do. (I'd be happy for iCloud Drive to usurp Dropbox's usefulness, but the phrase "not holding my breath" hardly seems up to the task.) 1Password does a decent but important job. We use Slack for intra-company communication, and it's very useful, though 1) it's a firehose of information; it feels like a full-time job to keep up with it, and 2) their "native" client is a little too HTML-y for my tastes. But on the whole I like it. iMessage has a ton of flaws, but unified messaging between all my devices is so useful that I still love it. Rdio for listening to music, though I don't often do that at work.

To draw, I use Adobe Illustrator almost exclusively. (I can't stand workflows that incorporate Photoshop in tandem with Illustrator, so I try to do everything I can in Illustrator.) I'm a big fan of Creative Cloud: I think software subscriptions are the future, and we'll all be better off for it.

I do a Disney podcast with some friends; I point this out primarily to bring attention to the fact that there is no good podcast creation software. I edit ours in Adobe Premiere, and I know it's not even the best audio editing software in Creative Cloud, but it's what I know.

I run a quarterly movie club with friends, where we rent out a theater and show some cool, underrated film that no one has seen. I do our movie promos in Apple's Motion. After Effects is probably better, but for some reason I've convinced myself that Motion's behavior-based approach is superior, even though in practice I haven't found that to be true.

What would be your dream setup?

I would like a retina display on my Mac Pro. None of the current solutions for doing this seem very appealing, sadly.

Looking way-out, I'd like a 32" iPad: one that basically looks like an iMac today, but that sits on my desk at about a 30 degree angle, sort of like a drafting table. And a whole slew of pro-level, touch-based software that replaces today's Xcode, Illustrator, and others.