Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done.

A picture of Rob Beschizza

Rob Beschizza

Managing editor (Boing Boing), storyteller, artificer

Posted in developer, editor, game, mac

  • writer credits: name: Heather Beschizza ---

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Rob Beschizza, a writer, artist and game developer. I love ambiguous and liminal things. My heart's always at home exploring strange places or searching for what's hidden in plain sight. I'm the managing editor of Boing Boing, where I can tell stories about secret histories and mystic technology. I made TinyHack, a nasty little roguelike in 9x9 pixels.

What hardware do you use?

A Parker 51 that was my grandfather's. Cheap unlined notebooks. 2B graphite sticks, more fun than pencils.

Together, my iPad Mini and Logitech keyboard cover form a quasi-laptop that's great for writing. I've had all sorts of terrible tiny computers - the Jornada 720, the NEC MobilePro, the Fujitsu U810, the Sony Vaio P - and the iPad's the first that isn't completely daft.

For design work and painting, I have a 27" iMac with an Intuos 4 graphics tablet. An iPhone 5S sits in my pocket, but for the longest time I held out with a Moto F3, a $15 e-ink mobile slabphone adored by tragic minimalists. I have a TRS-80 Model 100, too, but you just can't get anything done with something like that. It's just there, haunting a shelf!

My Shuttle Cube PC - a tool for playing games - lurks in a corner.

For photos, I have a Lumix GM1, a tiny interchangeable-lens camera no larger than the point-and-shoot it replaced. And yet the images are wonderful. I also have a Blackmagic Cinema Camera, an unwieldy box designed to produce more filmlike results than a similarly-priced DSLR. I've barely scratched the surface of what it can do, and look forward to continuing to imagine all the wonderful things I'll never get around to filming. I might trade it in for the Digital Bolex, similar but more ergonomic.

And what software?

Games! Games as far as the eye can see.

I'm a sucker for the latest writing and painting apps, but never seem to stick with any given one for long. Textwrangler on the desktop. Photoshop. I have an expired Corel Painter trial, and a vague determination to buy a full license. I make music in Impulse/Schism Tracker and Reason.

Game development used to involve Flash; now JavaScript. Work means PHP. To me, programming feels like trying to snake drains with licorice straws. I was never smart enough to understand the discipline, and only became marginally competent through dumb persistence - and Stack Exchange.

I've just about had it up to here with Gmail.

What would be your dream setup?

My dream setup would be a proper laptop of similar dimensions to an iPad Mini, an item of singular beauty and simplicity that I'd become as attached to as a sorcerer to a demon familiar. It would even brew tea.

I look forward to the cochlea-radio, retina-projected future we've all been waiting for, but it seems silly to imagine how work would work when all that finally comes to be. All I really want is a campfire, a well-lubricated audience, and twenty minutes. That's all you need to tell a story.