Egg Freckles
By Thomas Brand

2nd Jul 2024 Setup

The following interview was inspired by Uses This, a collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done.

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?

My 14-inch M1 MacBook Pro is the best computer I have ever owned. I am a huge fan of the performance and whisper-quiet operation, but the all-day battery life is really what won me over.

I game on an Intel Core™ i9-12900K Processor with Radeon 7700 XT graphics running Fedora Atomic.

In my pocket I carry a Google Pixel 8 running AirMessage for iMessage compatibility. Tethering during my daily passenger rail commute means I am always running out of high-speed data.

On my wrist I wear a Omega Seamaster 2531.80 Chronometer. I used to wear a Apple Watch, but now I run carryng 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?

These days I prefer booting Fedora Atmoic over MacOS. I have not been this excited about an operating system since the release of Mac OS X Tiger in 2005. Fedora is the perfect combination of three emerging open source technologies all wrapped up in opinionated UX stylings of GNOME 3.

The only thing Fedora can't do for me is run my favorite Mac apps.

My home lab is powered by a personal license of vSphere ESXi, but I am investigating bhyve as a possible replacement. My servers run FreeBSD, but if I need greater compatibility I install Debian.

I write all of my email, code, and blog posts in Vim. Through the power of MOSH 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/Thunderbird, RSS in Miniflux, and HTML in Firefox; everything else I send to Pocket.

What would be your dream setup?

I started my career in graphic design because I fell in love with the Macintosh. Today I value the freedom to try different platforms. Choice keeps me interested in technology.