Uses This

1243 interviews since 2009

A picture of Chris Wanstrath

Chris Wanstrath

CEO and co-founder, GitHub

in developer, mac

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Chris Wanstrath. I cofounded GitHub, where I work today.

I write code, answer email, listen to metal, and help make GitHub more awesome. Or try to, at least.

What hardware do you use?

Boring Apple stuff, mostly: MacBook Air, iPad, iPhone 4. The Air is great because I lug it everywhere and hardly notice it.

I also have a Logitech MX518 mouse and it's amazing. I've used the same one for five years and it still feels futuristic. It fits my hand perfectly, has buttons exactly where I want them (mapped to whatever I want with USB Overdrive), and the precision is outrageous. Every other mouse feels like I'm trying to pull the OS's cursor dingus through a pool of mud.

Kim Cuartero gave it to me back when we both worked at GameSpot. I use it atop a Ratpadz mouse pad I got for free while working at GameStop. So basically I got really lucky. Thanks Kim!

I carry my stuff in a laptop bag by Reiter8. It's water resistant, which is important because I lose every umbrella I touch. Not so lucky there.

And what software?

Right now I'm obsessed with software that transparently syncs between my devices. Kindle, Dropbox, and Simplenote bring me great joy.

I'm also in love with pretty much anything Tapbots does - Pastebot and Calcbot especially.

As for work, we spend all day in Campfire by way of Propane. I don't remember life before Campfire. I'm sure it was horrible.

Same thing with Skitch. Fantastic app that changed the way I work with other people.

I write code and prose in Aquamacs. I've even written a few plugins ("modes") for it: textmate.el and coffee-mode.

For version control I use git on the command line and through magit, which is perhaps the greatest of all Emacs modes.

My files gets backed up to S3 using Arq, my computer screen doesn't dim unless I want it to thanks to Caffeine, and I take pictures of myself all the time with Photo Booth. Not because I'm vain (though there is that), but because I proudly subscribe to Stunners of the Month and like to photograph each new pair I receive.

The very first piece of non-Apple software I bought for OS X was LaunchBar back in 2005 and I haven't stopped using it since.

For basic image manipulation I use Acorn and for basic "todo" stuff I use Things. But only the Inbox, and mainly for their superb "Quick Entry" feature.

Oh, and I play a lot of Carcassonne.

What would be your dream setup?

Thought-controlled software and a wireless internet connection in my brain, integrated right into my field of vision. I think I would give up my mouse for that.

Uses This is supported by ZSA, makers of the Moonlander, ErgoDox EZ and Planck EZ keyboards. They also publish an awesome newsletter.