Egg Freckles
By Thomas Brand



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 up hills for fun.

What hardware do you use?

  • I built a 4.7 GHz i7-9700 Hackintosh for home with upgradable graphics and expandable storage.
  • I take a 2016 13-inch MacBook Pro "Escape" running High Sierra with me to work.
  • In my pocket I carry an iPhone 7 named "Courage" connected to T-Mobile’s “legendary” $30 a month unlimited data plan.
  • On my wrist I wear a Omega Seamaster 2531.80 Chronometer. I used to wear an Apple Watch Series 2, but I stopped caring about closing my rings and just run with my phone.
  • I traded in my Apple Extended Keyboard for a Das Ultimate S; the Darth Vader of mechanical keyboards.
  • My MessagePad 130 rarely leaves my desk these days, but remains my favorite Newton.

And what software?

  • I split my time evenly between Mac OS, Windows, and BSD.
  • I write all of my email, code, and prose in Vim
  • Through the power of MOSH and a FreeBSD server I take my Vim 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 Miniflux, and HTML in Brave; everything else I send to Instapaper
  • Images are edited in Acorn, compressed in ImageOptim, and put on the web using Fetch
  • Blog posts are in edited in Marked, and published with MarsEdit

What would be your dream setup?

I started my career in graphic design because I fell in love with the Mac.\ Today I value the freedom to choose my own platform. Choice keeps me interested in technology.