Uses This

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Jae Kaplan

CEO, anti software software club

in developer, mac, windows

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is jae kaplan, I’m the co-founder and CEO of anti software software club and, by extension, 1/4 of @staff at cohost.

What hardware do you use?

I’ve been working from home since September 2019 and have spent a lot of time trying to trick my brain into understanding the difference between “work” and “home”. I have two desks with two completely different setups roughly two feet away from each other. It works better than you’d expect.

Both my desks are Fully Jarvis standing desks. I’ve got a Steelcase Gesture that I roll between them and a Topo Anti-Fatigue Mat that I allegedly use for standing; lately it’s been a surface for my cats to sleep on.

For work, I use a 14” MacBook Pro with an M1 Pro; it is without a doubt the best computer I’ve ever owned. I use a Keyboardio Model 100 and an old Kensington Turbo Mouse connected via a USB-ADB adapter. I like ultra-wide displays quite a bit and use an LG 34” ultra-wide 5k monitor so that I can get that sweet sweet retina resolution. I use a Razer Seiren Mini on a cheap desk stand and a pair of Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro headphones for voice calls and general Audio Listening. The DT 990s sound incredible for the price and, as a fun bonus, work well with my Walkman NW-A55. I will forfeit my audiophile cred by making known that I use my laptop’s built-in sound output for listening to music. It can drive high impedance headphones without difficulty and sounds great. I don’t need to spend a bunch of money for some box to plug in to a USB port; I have enough unnecessary shit to spend money on as is.

On my personal/gaming desk, I recently upgrading my gaming PC with an i9-12900k and RTX 3070. I’ve got an LG 34” ultra-wide monitor there as well, although this one’s 1440p and 180hz. I use a Massdrop CTRL keyboard that I keep meaning to replace and a Logitech G Pro Wireless Something Or Other, I can’t remember for sure; it has a wireless charging mouse pad and that’s the important part as far as I’m concerned.

I got lucky and managed to snag a decommissioned Backblaze Pod 3.0 for free a few years ago. I gave it some much needed upgrades (its specs were limited for the time but reasonable for storage-only. also the fans were optimized for a datacenter and not a house; cheap, powerful, and loud as hell) and since then it’s been happily humming away in my closet. it’s not even half full of hard drives at this point, so it’s decidedly overkill, but it was also free and has been entirely trouble-free so I’m happy there.

Assorted portables: iPhone 14 Pro, 512gb Steam Deck that I’m gonna mod to 2TB at some point, the aforementioned Walkman NW-A55 (Kingdom Hearts III limited edition, it’s like the normal one but Sora’s on the back), Playdate, Kobo Libra H2O

On the non-PC gaming / home theater front, I’ve got a 55” LG CX with the following hooked up to it:

Q. Why have a separate UHD Blu-ray player when you own two game consoles that can play UHD Blu-ray discs just fine?

A. For some reason, neither of them support Dolby Vision (the Xbox only supports it for games and streaming apps) so I am forced to have another box under my tv.

Finally, sim racing: I’m using a Thrustmaster T300RS which I mostly like, although the wheel diameter is small enough that it’s often uncomfortable for oval racing. I have it mounted on a NextLevelRacing F-GT Lite which is……… adequate. I don’t love it but I don’t hate it. Anyone buying it for the vaunted foldability should know that actually folding it is a fucking nightmare, so it sits in my house mostly unfolded.

And what software?

I have Arc and Discord open near 24/7. We use Discord for our work chat and I’ve been a heavy user in my personal life for years now, so it gets to stick around. I’ve been a Safari user for a long time but have started using Arc as part of their beta and I’ve been genuinely really impressed with it. It’s nice having a browser made by someone other than Apple that feels like it really belongs on macOS. On my Windows machine I’m using Firefox. It’s Firefox, there’s not really a lot to say here.

I use VS Code for actually writing code. I used vim for a long time in my younger days, but at some point I forgot all the shortcuts I needed for efficiency and switched off of it. VS Code does many things fairly well but is heavier than I’d like. I’ve used Nova a decent amount but eventually some minor thing will go against My Process (ugh) and send me back to VS Code.

Other “productivity” software I use: Craft (where I’m writing this!), Fantastical, Notion (for work mostly, not thrilled about some of their AI shit), Kagi, NetNewsWire (with Feedbin as my backend)

Entertainment/games: Plex, Fortnite, iRacing, Prism, MusicBee (on my gaming PC), Apple Music

Misc. software that I like and want to gas up: Flighty, Sefaria, Retrospecs, Syncthing, Soulver, Cleanshot.

What would be your dream setup?

For work and gaming it’s all little things, I’m mostly happy with where everything is at right now. I’m excited for mini LED displays to come down in price and/or for OLED monitors to become even remotely practical (don’t tell me about your 48” “monitor”. I’m very happy that it works for you but I am not interested in any of that). IPS displays are fine and continue to work well, but having an OLED TV and a mini LED display in my laptop really serves to remind me how shitty desktop monitors are for the most part.

I am fully dependent on a Logitech Harmony to make my home theater setup work. It’s not great, but it works well enough. Unfortunately since they’re discontinued and dependent on The Cloud, it’s sort of a ticking time bomb. I have heard good things about the Sofabaton X1 but since everything is still working fine for now I’m not super interested in replacing it. Would love if companies didn’t discontinue things that people use but hey that’s life I guess.

I would love to get a wider diameter wheel for my sim racing setup; I have heard the Thrustmaster Sparco add-on wheels are nice so maybe one of those. I also want to upgrade the pedals to something with a load cell; brake control on the stock pedals is kind of a nightmare. Also a more comfortable cockpit. Lot of room to grow here.

Also, if any Kobo product managers are reading this, please make an e-reader that doesn’t feel like cheap plastic. I do not like the Kindle software ecosystem at all but damn if Amazon doesn’t make a good feeling piece of hardware. I really need y'all to step it up here. Thanks.