Uses This

Interview

What do people use to get stuff done?

joshua stein

joshua stein

Developer (Pushover, Lobsters)

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is joshua stein. I live in Chicago doing software development and consulting under the guise of Superblock. I make Pushover, a notification service and app. I also run Lobsters, a technology-focused link-aggregation website. On rare occasions I still find time to hack on OpenBSD.

When I'm not behind a keyboard, I like to be behind a steering wheel or a joystick.

What hardware do you use?

I stand at a GeekDesk and primarily type things into an 11" MacBook Air which dual-boots OS X and OpenBSD.

For mobile development I prefer to test on actual devices so I use a Nexus 5 and an iPhone 6, with two Nexus S and an iPhone 5 for testing on older OS releases. I frequently use a SideCar for keeping a development phone attached to my laptop screen.

I have a Polycom IP 500 phone on my desk for work calls, and sometimes I use my Western Electric payphone when I feel nostalgic.

I usually prefer to work in silence, but when I feel like listening to music, it's through some Klipsch speakers hooked up to an Airport Express at my desk or through Westone 4R IEMs hooked up to an iPod 5.5 gen.

I use a Kindle Paperwhite for reading long-form articles and books.

And what software?

vim is my editor of choice with a few plugins like NERDTree and sbd. mutt is my mail client.

I use ratpoison as my window manager on OS X and OpenBSD with a bunch of xterms using a mostly monochrome setup. f.lux and redshift help to work in the evenings.

I use Firefox for web browsing and development with a few extensions like Certificate Patrol, Ghostery, HTTPS-Everywhere, Self-Destructing Cookies, Tamper Data, and Vimium. Occasionally I use xombrero on OpenBSD when I want to do quick split-screen half-terminal, half-web-browser sessions.

For Android development, I do everything in vim and push builds to my phone with an adb-over-WiFi app. For iOS, I have to tether an iPhone to my laptop and I develop in Xcode.

For non-mobile development I usually write things in Ruby.

What would be your dream setup?

I'm pretty close to it with the newer MacBook Air's battery life, light weight, low heat, and silent fans. I suppose a higher-density screen would be nice, but I don't dream about it.

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