The Setup


What do people use to get stuff done?

Nicole He

Nicole He

Programmer, artist

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Nicole He, a programmer and artist, currently a graduate student at ITP at NYU. I like to make things that are playful.

What hardware do you use?

I do most things on my 2015 MacBook Air, which is usually covered in food.

Many of my projects are made with microcontrollers. The two that I use the most are Arduino, for things that require physical interaction, and Raspberry Pi, for things that require the internet. We have a lot of equipment and tools at school, including a full wood shop. I'm still scared of a lot of the big, loud machines, but I'm slowly learning how to use each terrifying power tools one by one. I do frequently use the laser cutter, occasionally the CNC techno router, and other things like the drill press and band saw.

There's a lot of wiring and soldering, so two tools I use the most are my digital multimeter and my wire stripper and cutter.

And what software?

Mostly, I code in JavaScript (for web stuff) and Python (for bots and text generative stuff), with a little C# for Unity work on the side and C for Arduino. I just agreed to begin a Kinect project over the next couple months, so presumably I'll be getting all up in some C++ real soon too.

For version control and hosting code, I use git and GitHub. For server stuff to run experimental sites and secret Twitter bots, I use DigitalOcean or Heroku.

I switched recently to Atom as my text editor. I'm constantly looking for the ideal color theme that's perfectly beautiful and functional in a way that reflects my exact mood at any given moment, and I think I'll probably never be satisfied.

I use the Adobe suite for quick and janky video and GIF-making. 1Password for password management, Dropbox for storage, and Backblaze for backup. And of course TweetDeck, for terrible distraction.

What would be your dream setup?

My dream setup is an idyllic, remote cabin in a forest with a gentle creek that runs nearby. There are fruit trees outside, ripe for the picking. The cabin has an enormous kitchen with wide windows that let in the sunlight and crisp air. There's a fireplace. Also a squat rack. And flawless, lightning-fast wifi. And obviously the forest is full of friendly, magical owls and bears who can teach me ES6.

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