Uses This


What do people use to get the job done?

Mara Altman

Mara Altman

Freelance journalist, writer (Bearded Lady)

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Mara Altman. I'm a writer. I mostly write long-form memoir. For example, I wrote a treatise on my mind battle with body (and chin) hair. I spend the other half of my time staring at my dusty computer screen. The dust only bothers me from about 2:18pm to 3:20pm when the sunlight streams through my window in a very specific way. I don't know why I haven't cleaned off the screen yet, but now that I'm telling you, I am feeling some shame about it.

What hardware do you use?

I use a MacBook Pro. I bought it in December 2013. I needed a new one, but what pushed me over the edge was that Apple was offering an online special. If I bought one, I'd get a $150 dollar gift certificate. I purchased!

I believe it has a 15-inch screen, but I don't have any more information about it than that because I don't remember. I'm only concerned with whether or not I can write on a machine and if it's light enough to carry in a backpack. Everything else - the look, the memory, the cutting-edgeness - is something I'll worry about after it's too late to return it.

Also, I hate to admit it, but my husband is a computer security consultant so I don't retain computer information because I expect him to know everything. Couples can really be lazy and annoying like that. He uses me to know where he last put his glasses, so I guess in a sense it's kind of even. But I think I should know how many RAMS and BITS and things my computer has and I think after I'm done with this interview, I'm going to learn.

And what software?

When you say software and hardware, I think, 'why soft?' and 'why hard?' and 'a dude came up with that, right?'

What would be your dream setup?

I guess I already have my dream setup. It's kind of surprising, because before you asked, I didn't think I had my dream anything. I suppose I'm low maintenance when it comes to computers. All I need is a blank screen and buttons with all of the letters on them, but if I could change anything, I might supplement my setup with a puppy.