Uses This

1213 interviews since 2009

A picture of Matthew Rayfield

Matthew Rayfield

Intern, Matthew Rayfield World.

in developer, mac

Who are you, and what do you do?

Heyyy there, I'm Matthew Rayfield and I'm an intern at Matthew Rayfield World. My job entails whatever it takes to get a project out the door. Mostly this is web development. But also design and graphics where needed. Annnd sometimes I create videos to demonstrate projects. I like doing a variety of things and I think it's beneficial in a cross-pollinating kind of way.

The types of projects I do are also varied. Could be 3D printer related, a game, Twitter bot, web-based tool or toy, etc. Whatever it is, my goal is always to make things that feel unexpected and fun.

Recently people seem to have enjoyed a few of my web experiments (in particular animated URLs with emojis and popup trombone). Which has been cool and I think is why I'm here.

What hardware do you use?

My main computer is a desktop hackintosh that I built in 2012. A few parts have changed (more storage, etc.) but it's mostly the same and has served me well. People caution against the hackintosh thing because it can be unstable, but I've had very few problems.

I often fantasize about switching to a Linux desktop, but I'd just miss too much of the software that I depend on (mostly the Adobe suite). For me macOS is the near-perfect combo of access to powerful command-line tools, plus polished GUI apps when I need them. Also, I occasionally do iOS development, which is what got me started on MacOS to begin with. But that's not about hardware is it...

Other hardware I use is:

And what software?

When I'm working I always have 4 things open:

  • MacVim. With no plugins. Though I should get some plugins.
  • Chrome. I keep trying to use Firefox. But then I crawl back to Chrome... It just seems faster for my web experimenting. But that might be in my head. I'm gonna make another effort to go back to Firefox. Really.
  • Terminal. Just the regular macOS Terminal. For git mostly. And other junking around with servers and whatnot.
  • Finder. With my project's folder open. Because I like clicking the icons.

I also use Photoshop a lot. Illustrator if I have to. Premiere for video editing. And can we just merge After Effects into Premiere? Cuz then I'd use so many visual effects it would be disgusting.

I've been using KeePassXC password manager (very cool name). It's a bit clunkier than 1Password. But it's open source and doesn't nag me about buying a new version.

I use an old version of Alfred, but I could probably just use Spotlight.

The ONLY two things I like on Android are Termux and Tasker. Both are really fun. Mostly Termux. I love that if I need to do something developery, and I don't have my computer, I have a Linux environment in my pocket.

And I often make little tools with JavaScript that run in the browser or Node.js. Often these could be done better with something else. But JavaScript is what I'm most productive with. And especially for anything visual the web offers a great way to create GUIs.

But of course I use a lot of other tools like Syncthing, Qbserve, Trello, Neopets, etc. etc.

What would be your dream setup?

Okay this is THE dream:

I pick whatever device I want to use in that moment based on where I am or what I want to do. Could be a desktop, laptop, phone, tablet, TV, car, watch, movie theatre, toothpick, or carrot. And no matter what device I decide to use, all my files are there and all the apps I had open last time (from whatever device) are still there, as I left them, ready to rock.

If I decide another device would be better for what I want to do, I switch devices. Or even use both devices at the same time! Each device would simply be a "window" into a singular computing world.

But! This computing environment isn't running on some kind of iFaceGoogleBox, it's running on a mesh network across all my devices, with maybe a server or two thrown in. Everything is synced up or distributed as needed. If something needs to run locally, it runs locally, if it needs more computing power or storage, it runs on a beefier device somewhere. But it all works without me having to think about that.

It's a dream! But it could be done right now. Someone just needs to make it. And please not the megacorps.

I'd do it, but it seems like a lot of work and I've got too many emoji and popup related experiments to get to sooooo..

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