Uses This

Interview

What do people use to get the job done?

Sam Lavigne

Sam Lavigne

Programmer, artist

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm a programmer and artist. I like to work in satire.

Some of my recent projects include a tool that transforms any literary or philosophical text into a patent application, an alternate currency called LazyCoin that you acquire by doing nothing, the "Stupid Shit No One Needs & Terrible Ideas" Hackathon where participants are asked to create projects that have no value whatsoever, and Videogrep, a program that generates video supercuts by searching through lines of dialog.

What hardware do you use?

I have a far-too-expensive 15" MacBook Pro that I do all of my work on. I also have an ailing iPhone 5 which is mostly useful as a note taking device.

And what software?

I do most of my programming in MacVim with the Janus setup. Janus is a great set of plugins and predefined Vim configuration that makes it a bit easier to transition to Vim from text editors like Sublime.

I use Homebrew for software package management, iTerm instead of the default Mac terminal, VLC for playing and recording video streams, FFmpeg for other video tasks, Calibre for dealing with ebooks, and Git and GitHub for version control. I also use DropBox a lot, although I'd prefer not to move to something self-hosted and open source. My blog is self-hosted in Wordpress with a caching plugin called WP Fastest Cache that helps deal with spikes in traffic. I take notes on Simplenote, with their client app on my phone and NVAlt on my laptop. I also use Zephyros for window management.

In terms of programming languages and libraries, I like to work in Python, JavaScript and Ruby, lately primarily Python if I can because I love using libraries like Pattern (a great, easy-to-use natural language library), MoviePy (for video compositing), and BeautifulSoup (for web scraping). I also use Processing and p5js for more visual work.

What would be your dream setup?

The exact same setup but with a version of myself that knows how to use Vim better.