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 Sue Allspaw

Sue Allspaw

Poet, information security analyst

Posted in poet, security, windows

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Susan Allspaw Pomeroy, and I'm a poet and an information security analyst. I've been writing, publishing, and teaching poetry off and on since 1996, and started as a security analyst in 2005, doing security audits in Antarctica, among other places.

What hardware do you use?

For my poetry work, I mostly use old skool notebooks for journaling and drafting; I'm not picky, but if I have my druthers I use 6x9 size (better for line breaks). I get a lot of decorative journals in all shapes and sizes as gifts, so I use those but don't always prefer them. Otherwise, I use an HP G60-120US Notebook or my iPhone 3G for on-the-go poems and hard core editing.

For security audit work, I like best to work on a laptop, typically government-issued, so it can be anything from an ancient Compaq to an HP portable desktop, but have also had to work on a desktop PC, depending on the organization. Also, depending on the location, I've been known to have to use good old-fashioned pen and paper. My current favorite is this government issue notebook, which fit perfectly in the pockets of ECW gear when I headed to harder-to-reach places (and also serve double duty for the poetry side of me).

I use an older Canon Power Shot A95 to photograph observations on data center evaluations, and an encrypted MicroCenter 16GB USB drive (when allowed) to gather other artifacts for audits.

And what software?

I compose and edit poetry mostly with Microsoft Word, out of habit. I also use Microsoft Excel to track the business side of poetry - poems and manuscripts submitted on what date to which magazines/presses/agents. I will also compose using Notes on my iPhone, and have, on rare and busy times, been known to draft a poem using my kids' bath crayons on the shower wall. I have a WordPress blog for poetic ramblings and, depending on the month, actual poems (April and September have been my poem-a-day months). For security work, I will use a variety of scanning tools, including Nessus, NStalker, Grendel, WebScarab, among others-I'm too paranoid to tell you everything I use. I typically deliver reports written in Word and PowerPoint, and use Visio for diagrams. I encrypt using PGP.

What would be your dream setup?

My dream setup would include a 17-inch MacBook Pro loaded with at least a Nessus Professional Feed, WebInspect, AppDetective, and a bunch of other open source assessment tools, and Microsoft Office (old habits die hard). I'd also like a versatile app like WriteRoom on my iPhone.