I love reading The Setup and thought I’d do my own interview to document what I’m using these days to get things done.

Who are you, and what do you do?

I’m Brian Doll, a business and technology hacker that runs marketing at GitHub. I’ve been building things on the web professionally since 1997 and have been involved in marketing for the past few years.

What hardware are you using?

I’ve got a maxed-out 13" MacBook Air and I love it. At my desk at work, I connect it to a 27" Apple Cinema Display, but I still use the laptop keyboard and trackpad when I’m docked. I really like the touchpad and keeping it close means never having to reach far for a mouse.

At home I have a second generation Mac Mini that I use primarily as a media center serving my similarly old AppleTV. I store everything on a 2TB Western Digital My Book drive.

At one point I had a dozen or so custom-build servers running at my house, but I grew to appreciate the simplicity and quiet of hosting things at a colo and then to a VPS with SliceHost.

I have a stand-up desk from IKEA at home. I sit and stand at various desks, couches and tables at work, and find myself at coffee shops in Marin just as often.

My phone is an iPhone 4S and I love the basic kindle for reading books and articles (sent through Readability).

For sketching ideas and making countless lists of things, I love Pigma Micron pens and Field Notes notebooks. I love my Moleskines too, but Field Notes are easier to stuff into a back pocket.

I’m rarely without music, so headphones are important. For long sessions in a cone of silence, I love the Sennheiser HD-280 Pros, but I’m usually wearing my Etymotic Research ER7 “canalphones”, which are also great for phone calls and pairing over Skype or Google Hangout.

And what software?

I’ve been slowly slimming down the list of software I use on a regular basis. I use Sparrow for email on my mac and iPhone and Chrome is my browser of choice. For focused programming (mostly in Ruby), I use iTerm2 full-screen, running a tmux session with Vim and a few bash shells. I use a variety of unix tools as well for data analysis. I use git for version control and keep all my code on github, including my dotfiles.

I use MacVim for writing and programming, and use Marked to preview my Markdown documents, which we use a lot at GitHub. Propane for Campfire Textual for IRC and iChat make it easy to keep in touch with everyone. Twitter, Instagram and Pro HDR are the apps I used most on my iPhone.

I use Atmos' smeagol to set up the initial development environment on my mac. I don’t know what I would do without Dropbox, 1Password and rdio. Wunderlist keeps me on track and I use Evernote to keep all the things I’d otherwise forget. For presentations I use Keynote, and Viewfinder for finding creative-commons photos.

What would be your dream setup?

I’d like my glasses to be able to turn into a high-resolution monitor. Of course they would also need to support AirPlay. Other than that, I’d like the internet to be faster. That’ll do.



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© 2007-2015 Brian Doll