The Setup

Inspired by this site, here’s how my setup works.

Who are you, and what do you do?

E. Lower, senior in STS. Science writer, amateur naturalist, and habitual tinkerer. Jack of all trades and master of none, but I’m pretty cool with that. I have an approximate knowledge of many things.

What hardware do you use?

An ancient and highly temperamental Toshiba laptop named Jimbo. An iPad adopted from the Learning Technologies department named Jensen. An old but functional 4 GB iPod Nano named Tony. A Samsung Intensity II dumbphone named Wheatley. An external webcam, a Wacom Bamboo tablet, and an infinite number of flashdrives. Several palm-sized marble composition books that are good for tucking in pockets to take notes on the go, a cheap cork-bound sketchbook, and even cheaper ballpoint pens that are better for sketching than any fancy felt-tip.

And what software?

I am the king of online programs and the 30-day free trial: I sketch and color artwork in Pixlr, remix songs in Abledon and make my own in MusicShake, and experiment with almost every platform that is both interesting and free across the web. Most  of my writing is drafted in Wordpad and finished in MS Word. Microsoft Outlook has been perpetually open on this laptop since I purchased it six years ago. My music is played through iTunes but very little was purchased there. I spend a lot of time on various blogging sites, though WordPress isn’t usually one of them.

What would be your dream setup?

I’ve always thought multi-screen computer setups were the height of cool. In the absence of futuristic technology that lets you play with holograms, I’d settle for a faster computer that doesn’t make noises like a drowning lawnmower when I’ve got too many programs running. Good speakers and a tablet connection for digital art are a must.

As far as the rest of this environment goes, I’d like a good studio space, preferably in the attic or basement of wherever I was living — I like being separate from the rest of my living quarters while I work. I’d like a big desk as a work surface, something that looks nice but is easy to clean up when I inevitably spill paint or ink or tea on it. Bookshelves are important, stocked with good reference material and interesting things to look at for inspiration. I’d have a huge cabinet filled with art and craft supplies and various tools I might need. I’d like to have my guitar and maybe a keyboard on hand too. A few final things: a leather recliner to sit in and read or do some sketching, an electric teakettle, and Christmas lights or little lanterns hung up everywhere.

 

2 Comments

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2 Responses to The Setup

  1. Jim

    Random visitor with a random comment: it is cool that you named your laptop, and cooler that you named it jimbo!

    • Erika

      Ha, I have a habit of naming all my electronics, and tend to assign personalities to them after a while as well. Jimbo is one of my only pieces of hardware with an original name — the rest derive theirs from characters in movies and games. I don’t even remember why I named this machine Jimbo, but it sort of seems to fit. :D

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