Egg Freckles
Notes from my Newton


The following interview was inspired by The Setup, a collection of nerdy interviews, asking people from all walks of life about the hardware and software they use.

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Thomas Brand. I dropped out of art school to spend time behind the Genius Bar. Today I work at MIT and run marathons for fun.

What hardware do you use?

  • I use a 21.5 inch iMac (Late 2013) at work, a 4.5 GHz i7-7700K Hackintosh at home, and a gold 1.6 GHz MacBook (2018) everywhere in between.
  • In my pocket I have a refurbished iPhone 7 connected to T-Mobile’s “legendary” $30 a month unlimited data plan.
  • On my wrist I wear an Apple Watch Series 2 when I am running, and a Omega Seamaster 2531.80 Chronometer when I am not.
  • I traded in my Apple Extended Keyboard for the Darth Vader of keyboards; a Das Ultimate S with Cherry MX Blue switches.
  • I do not own a iPad, but by Newton MessagePad 130 powered by four AA batteries rarely leaves my side.

And what software?

  • All of my computers run Mac OS, but you will also find me booting between Windows 10 and Fedora Workstation when I get bored.
  • I write all of my email, code, and prose in Vim. Through the power of MOSH and a hosted server I can take my writing environment with me everywhere I go. Vim’s undo branches are my poor man’s version control system.
  • I read email in Alpine, RSS in Fever°, and HTML in Firefox. Everything else I send to Instapaper
  • Photos are edited in Adobe Lightroom 3, graphics are created in Acorn, everything is compressed using ImageOptim, and then uploaded to the web using Fetch when I am done.

What would be your dream setup?

I started my career in graphic design because I feel in love with the Macintosh. Today I value the freedom to choose my own hardware and software. Choice keeps me interested in technology.