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 Vladimir Mitrović

Vladimir Mitrović

Software engineer, computational designer

Posted in artist, developer, mac

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Vladimir Mitrović, a software engineer/computational designer/artist from Belgrade, Serbia. I'm creating abstract data visualizations and aesthetic engines. You can read more about my projects and what I'm currently up to on my website. I also tweet from time to time.

What hardware do you use?

My home studio has quite a bit of hardware in it. I've recently shelled out a bag of cash on a 2019 iMac Pro, and I have zero regrets – it's a beast. My eyes are also thankful, as I was looking at low-PPI monitors for decades.

I'm a mechanical keyboard afficionado, although I try not to geek out as much as I'd want to. My main keyboard is a tokyo60, and I have a HHKB Type-S as backup when I want to change things up a bit. Once you get accustomed to the HHKB keyboard layout (which both of them have), there's no going back. I also have an old Filco Ninja TKL and a Vortex Race 3 but I'm not using them all that much these days.

When I'm on the go, I'm still relying on my trusty 2013 MacBook Pro, which was pretty beefed up back in 2013 so it can still hold its ground. Since most of my work is GPU-heavy, I can't go for the lightweight options like the MacBook Air or Huawei Matebook X Pro, although I would certainly love to.

I also have a 50" Samsung 4K TV mounted in portrait mode behind a standing desk, which I'm using as my "art canvas" by hooking it up to the MacBook. The poor NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M in that laptop is struggling to keep up with 4K, but it's chugging along. I'll probably get a small desktop (Mac Mini or something similar from the PC world) to hook it up to that display permanently at some point.

As for audio, I have a pair of Monitor Audio Bronze 2 speakers hooked up to a Yamaha A-S301 stereo amp, and of course a subwoofer (Mission MS-Cube) to keep things well oiled. All in black, naturally. I have way too many headphones – Grado SR325e, Fostex TR-90, AIAIAI TMA-1, HiFiMAN HE-4XX, and my current go-to, the trusty Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro. I've come to realize that Beyerdynamic's sound signature suits me the most – I also have a pair of Beyerdynamic DX 120 iE earphones for when I'm on the go, which are probably still the best value for money I got on anything, ever.

And what software?

I'm a UNIX-head, coming from Slackware and Arch Linux back in my high school/uni days. Nowadays I'm mostly using OS X since it's a well-rounded UNIX that's comfortable to use day-to-day. That said, I wish I had more time to spend with Linux again, but I'm afraid that heavy computer graphics work and Linux's flaky GPU drivers won't be up to the task. I haven't checked how that scene has developed over the years, so might be wrong. (I hope I am!)

My main environment for visual work is Unity with JetBrains Rider as the IDE. For Clojure work I'm using IntelliJ IDEA with the excellent Cursive plugin. I'm keeping one eye on Rust and hoping that in the coming years a modern open-source creative coding framework (a-la openFrameworks) will be born. It's time for C++ to die a slow death.

I'm not big on text editors as I generally don't care about them (I prefer IDEs). For simple text editing I was using Atom and VS Code up until recently when Electron started rendering fonts terribly on OS X. I'm trying to stay away from Electron-based apps generally (Atom, VS Code, Slack, etc) since Electron is Flash for the desktop. A terrible trend. I switched to Sublime Text 3 since it's fast and native. I've used Emacs/Vim enough in my Linux days to know that I don't care about any of that geekery.

I use Git for all of my projects, mostly from the command line (my shell is zsh with the wonderful oh-my-zsh framework). When I need to get a better high-level overview of the repo, I use Fork which I found is the most streamlined of all Git UIs and doesn't hold your hand too much.

What would be your dream setup?

I would actually keep my current hardware/software setup as I don't need any more gadgets, but I do need more time! So my dream setup would be to have all the time in the world to work on art and open-source projects and not worry about money at all. (You did say "dream setup", so there you go.)

That said, in the coming months I would like to find a comfortable studio space where I can do undisturbed work and also have the option to invite friends or clients to come over for a show-and-tell and a drink or two. :)