18 February 2013

Stephen Hackett’s writing setup

The latest edition of my writing setups series comes from Stephen Hackett, writer and founder of the tremendous 512 Pixels blog and podcast, and fellow 70 Decibels gang member. Here he is with a minimal writing machine tale that I can more than relate to.

Who are you and what do you write?

I’m Stephen Hackett. I write 512 Pixels, a weblog about Apple, technology journalism and design. I’m also a contributing editor at Tools & Toys.

Where do you write?

If I’m working at home, I’m often at my dining room table. Even though I have a home-built desk, I find the table a little quieter even in the evenings and on weekends.

However, 512 Pixels is not my full-time job, so I often find myself working on my lunch break, or on the weekends out on the porch. With an iPhone in my pocket, however, I find myself writing shorts posts just about anywhere these days.

What hardware and software do you use?

I use a current-gen, non-Retina 15-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.3 Ghz i7 and 16 GB of RAM. As both of my sites run on WordPress, I do most in MarsEdit 3 on my Mac. While on my iPad mini or iPhone 5, I use Poster for iOS.

What’s your dream writing setup?

I’ve tinkered with having a “minimal writing machine” for years. I’ve used old PowerBooks, new MacBook Airs and even an iPad as this dream machine. I like the idea of having a machine that I can turn on and just write, without any distractions.

The reality is, though, that every time I’ve tried this, I get frustrated. While my MacBook Pro may be packed to the gills with apps, hacks and notifications, I know where everything is, and all of my custom workflows are all up and running. Without these things, I might have a more “minimal” setup, but it won’t be as efficient for me.

So, to answer the question, I love my 15-inch machine, but I think I’ll move over to a 13-inch Retina when they get revved later this year.

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