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 Martin Kool

Martin Kool

HTML5 rocket surgeon, underpants gnome

Posted in developer, windows

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Martin Kool.

Smart, charming, funny. Things I'd love to be one day. And until that moment comes I'm just Martin Kool, HTML5 adventurer, retro gamer and technology geek. I am Creative Director at the Dutch Q42, wrote (of which the iPad saga went from Cease and Desist to Activision's support), I co-founded Quplo, and initiated a few open-source projects such as BackFire.

What hardware do you use?

This is my hardware.

For the past ten years I've been travelling by train a lot. I'm able to do a quite some work on a laptop so I wanted to get the most power out of the lightest model available. I've worn out a Dell X1 which really was my preferred laptop for several years. Now I use the Dell E4200 model, which weighs under a kilo, is lighter than most netbooks and still offers a solid development environment on the go.

When working at home I hook up my E4200 up to a 22" widescreen monitor and a USB hub that has a mouse and natural keyboard attached.

My iPad 3G goes everywhere I go, and with Flipboard installed it has replaced another piece of hardware: the newspaper.

At Q42 I use a run-off-the-mill Dell OptiPlex 760 with two monitors attached. One of them is at the desired height, the other is resting on one of the many books we have lying around by "I write big books and I can not lie" Martin Fowler. I'm actually quite fond of my IO setup; a mouse on the left and a trackball on the right helps me prevent repetitive strain injury, and the fact that it frustrates anyone that needs to use my PC for a second is a nice free bonus.

And what software?

This is my software.

Apparently I still run XP. It just sortof works right now, so upgrading would only cost me downtime. I use Visual Studio 2010 for writing C# and XSLT, and Quplo is my preferred HTML and (Less)CSS editor. I'm not plugging our own product here, I just really like how it's geared towards pure front-end prototyping.

Chrome is my browser of choice, and as Quplo is web-based it means that Chrome can be regarded as part of my IDE because I have my worksheets open in different Chrome tabs, often full screen.

Tools I cannot live without are PNGOutWin to crush PNG files and AutoHotkey to quickly boot Chrome, opening IIS or check my Google Apps mail. If bookmarklets account for software then I can highly recommend ReCSS to any front-end developer and I am one of the two last men standing in our office to use Total Commander.

Oh, and I am very fond of Flipboard.

What would be your dream setup?

The end.

The new MacBook Air, 11" dual-booted with OS X and Windows 7 wants to be my precious, as I plan to do some game-related Objective-C coding soon (Update: Got one).