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 rock a 2016 13-inch MacBook Pro”Escape” at work, and a 4.9 GHz i7-9700 Hackintosh at home.
  • 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 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 Unix
  • 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 Fever°, and HTML in Brave. Everything else I send to Instapaper
  • Images are edited in Acorn, compressed in ImageOptim, and then published to the web with Rsync.

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 choose my own platform. Choice keeps me interested in technology.