Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done.

A picture of Kate Matsudaira

Kate Matsudaira

Hacker, speaker (Decide)

Posted in developer, mac

Who are you, and what do you do?

I am Kate Matsudaira. I am a hacker - in my code and projects, at work, and in life. I work hard, but also believe strongly that innovation and great ideas stem from laziness. I work at Decide where we use data mining and machine learning to leverage "big data" to help consumers make more informed purchasing decisions. I write about being awesome on my blog, and curate content on similar topics for the Technology & Leadership Newsletter.

What hardware do you use?

I use a 13 inch MacBook Air - and pretty much everything else is in the cloud (Amazon Web Services specifically). Oh and my iPhone - I use it so much it really could be considered an appendage to my body.

Recently I also started using a Fitbit. I am a big fan of Quantified Self philosophies and I swear that writing down all my food + exercise is the only way that I was able to lose 80 (!) pounds.

Oh, and I always wear a watch - I think it is rude to look at your cellphone when you are talking to someone, but like to know the time (growing up, my mother was late to everything and somehow that resulted in me being super punctual).

And what software?

Let's see - I use a lot of applications!

  • Emacs - I have tried moving to Eclipse, vi, and several others, but since I know Lisp well (it was one of the first programming languages I learned!) I can do pretty much anything in Emacs.
  • Wordpress - I am huge Wordpress fan for any sort of site with substantial content.
  • Microsoft Office (although I also do a lot of Google Docs - but Excel is still so much better than Google spreadsheets and I love to chart things).
  • Presentations are PowerPoint or Prezi (I have been meaning to move to Keynote but haven't had as much experience with it as PowerPoint - and it seems like whenever I need to do a talk I am pressed for time and can't devote enough energy to learning something new).
  • Hootsuite for social media - I like that you can schedule updates to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn (and you don't have to pay to do so).
  • Evernote - on my laptop, my phone, my iPad - it is the best for keeping track of notes and I love that it syncs across all my devices.
  • Wunderlist - I try to do Inbox Zero + GTD and Wunderlist is super powerful in its simplicity. It keeps tasks synchronized across my devices, which is really important since I often think of things I need to remember in the most inconvenient places - like on the elliptical trainer at the gym!
  • I use Safari, Firefox and Chrome - I actually am always using 3 web browsers at a time. Some people might think this is weird but I have different contexts in each one running simultaneous (and Google Apps won't let you be logged into multiple accounts in the same browser without the overhead of authenticating each time - and that takes too darn long!). So I keep each one open - one for my work at, one for my consulting and projects, and the last one for personal stuff.
  • - I use their app on my phone since I listen to a ton of audio books. I have a 30-60 minute commute most days so it is a great way to make productive use out of the time (and I swear it makes me a better, and more patient, driver).
  • I also use a ton of other apps on my phone too - such as: Words with Friends, a bunch of flash sale apps (Gilt, Hautelook, MyHabit), MindMeister for mind maps, Foursquare, Glympse, and the list goes on.

What would be your dream setup?

Everything listed above but located in Hawaii - and maybe a pair of Bose headphones?