Uses This

Interview

What do people use to get the job done?

Roberto Ierusalimschy

Roberto Ierusalimschy

Associate professor, lead architect (Lua)

Who are you, and what do you do?

I am an Associate Professor at the Catholic University in Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), where I work with programming languages. My claim to fame is as the leading architect of the Lua scripting language, work I have been doing since its inception in 1993. In the past I was a post-doc at the University of Waterloo, a Research Fellow at Urbana-Champaign, and a Visiting Professor at Stanford. My daily routine involves a lot of reading and writing text (both papers and emails), programming, and browsing the web (searching for papers, documentation, etc.)

What hardware do you use?

I am a very low-tech person. Until a few months ago, I was using a nine-year-old Pentium IV box with 1.5GB. Then I changed to a Intel core i7-4790 (with 8 GB), which I intend to use for the next nine years :-) I use a Microsoft Internet Keyboard, which I bought in 2005; it has a perfect click. My monitor is a plain Samsung SyncMaster S23B550 (23").

At home and when travelling I use an ASUS ZenBook UX305. It is light, it has a decent battery life, and it is powerful enough for my needs.

And what software?

I run Ubuntu on both machines, sticking with the LTS versions. I write everything with vim. I use mutt for email. Remotely, I run a ssh connection to my machine and run mutt there.

I don't use IDEs. I write programs with vim and use both gcc and clang as my main compilers. I format my papers with LuaTeX. The only place where I do not write with vim is for presentations, which I prepare with LibreOffice. (Anyway, there is very little text there.)

I browse the web with Firefox, but I am not very happy with that. Sometimes I use Opera for sites where I have problems with Firefox, but I am still reluctant to change; among other things, Firefox is the one that knows all my unimportant passwords.

What would be your dream setup?

My main dream is faster internet connection (everywhere, but mainly at home). A better Firefox would help, too.