Kenneth Reitz

Kenneth Reitz

Minimalist, photographer, developer (Heroku)

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Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Kenneth Reitz. I'm a minimalist that loves APIs, web services, elegant design, and Python.

I'm the product owner of Python at Heroku and a member of the Python Software Foundation. I spend a large portion of my time writing code and prose while traveling.

I'm most well known for my open source software, specifically Requests, Python HTTP for Humans.

I'm also passionate about digital photography and music production.

What hardware do you use?

I spend most of my time working on a quad-core i7 15" MacBook Pro. It's the only computer I use, for both work and play. Using a single machine for everything is a bit of a pipe dream for me — I maintained a crazy cluster of computers in college.

It has 16GB of RAM and 1.25TB of storage. 250GB is provided by an Intel 520 SSD and 1TB is provided by a Western Digital HDD mounted in the optical bay with an OptiBay.

Most of the time I use my machine in a desktop configuration, hooked up to a 27" Apple Cinema display with a Happy Hacking Keyboard Pro 2 and Razer Naga. It sits atop an Ikea Galant desk while I sit atop an Ergohuman Mesh chair.

I scribble notes and mindmaps in a Moleskine Large Soft Squared notebook with the incredible Rotring 800 mechanical drafting pencil.

I need music to get work done. I'm typically listening to KRK Rokit G2 monitors sourced from the fantastic Apogee Duet 2 DAC. At night, depending on what I'm listening to, I'm either using my open Grado Labs 325i or closed Bower & Wilkins P5 headphones.

I also love to making music. My favorite piece of hardware is definitely my Teenage Engineering OP-1 portable synthesizer. I take it with me everywhere I go. It's one of the best interfaces I've ever seen. For my home studio, I use a MicroKORG as a MIDI controller and a Monome Greyscale 64. I use a Blue Yeti condenser mic for podcasts.

On the go, I use a Retina iPad with a Cosmonaut Stylus. I usually have an iPhone 4S + BookBook and a Kershaw Chive Pocket Knife in my pocket.

I travel around with an Incase Coated Canvas Shoulder Bag and Boa Squeeze backpack. If I want to have my iPad, Kindle, and Moleskine with me while leaving the laptop, I throw everything into the tremendously portable Tumi Alpha Small Leather Flap Body Bag.

I love photo-journalistic and available light photography. I shoot with the Canon 5D Mark II, paired with the 35mm f/1.4L, 50mm f/1.2L, 85mm f/1.2L, and 135mm f/2L. I also carry the fanatically small Fujifilm x100 with me everywhere I go. I use a Wacom Intuos 4 for editing photos.

This stuff take up a lot of space. I store everything on a Drobo FS NAS filled with 2TB 5-platter Hitachi Deskstar drives. I play everything on a Boxee Box, which changed my life forever.

I usually play games with a hacked PSP Go loaded with NES, SNES, and GameBoy emulators. When I'm at my desk, I can play games like Super Meat Boy with my childood NES controller, thanks to Retrolink.

I tell the time with a Mondaine Swiss Railway watch.

And what software?

I write my software with Python, store it in Git on GitHub, and test it with Jenkins. My code is backed up hourly to Amazon S3 with Arq.

My websites, services, and apps are hosted on Heroku.

I edit code in Sublime Text 2 with the fantastic Ubuntu Mono Font in Tomorrow Night colors. I use Zsh in the fantastically minimal Terminal.app.

I write articles with iA Writer, keep track of my task list with Things CloudSync, email with Sparrow, manage travel itineraries with Tripit Pro, tweet with Tweetbot and Twitter.app, launch apps with Alfred, share files with CloudApp, mindmap with MindNode, keep notes with OneNote and Evernote, save websites with Pinboard, read subscriptions with Reeder, read long-form content with Instapaper, crunch numbers with Soulver, chat with Textual, draw with Paper, and record screencasts with ScreenFlow.

I play my FLAC collection with Enqueue and everything else with Spotify while scrobbling to Last.fm.

I edit photos with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 and publish them with Flickr and 500px.

I sequence music with Ableton Suite, Renoise, and a few Native Instruments synths: mostly Razor, Massive, and FM8. I master samples and tracks with Cool Edit Pro… er, Adobe Audition via an Adobe Create Cloud subscription.

Everything else: I use GitHub's Gaug.es for web analytics. I use Cloak to keep my connections secure while on the go. I've been weaning myself off of Hacker News lately with Prismatic.

What would be your dream setup?

I wish the Microsoft Courier were real. OneNote is an incredible note-taking platform, and I'd love to see it really shine in a dedicated device.

I want Fujifilm to make a full frame version of the x100 with a 35mm lens, excellent battery life, fast AF, and insane low-light capabilities.

Otherwise: No wires. More bandwidth. More memory. More disk space. More pixels. Infinite battery life.