TagThe Setup

The Setup / Michelle Vandy

I’ve written about The Setup before. But today’s entry made me look further. It features Brand Designer Michelle Vandy. She designs with her nose.

Michelle Vandy

Here’s her setup:

The last few years my arms have largely shaped my work setup. I used to struggle with severe pains and cramps in my lower arms and couldn’t design unless I had my special equipment. Basically I assembled a device from a Manfrotto Table Top Tripod Kit 209, 492 Long, tripod adapter plate and an Apple Magic Trackpad and placed it in front of my 15 inch MacBook Pro. I then used the tip of my nose to draw and maneuver the mouse, while my arms were resting in front of me. Yes, it was pretty frustrating at times and yes, it looked ridiculous and yes, it took a long time to increase my precision and speed, but somehow I ended up becoming extremely efficient!

Check out her site with a great domain name. She has full details on the hardware, photos and video of her using the setup in action.

The Setup

I’ve read The Setup for as long as I can remember. It’s a collection of interviews with people from all walks of life. There are photographers, writers, hackers, web nerds, Mac/Windows/Linux users. They are people from everyone and anywhere.

I love the interviews because they’re so short, only 4 questions but those four questions can reveal so much about who they are and how they work.

Those questions are:
1. Who are you, and what do you do?
2. What hardware are you using?
3. And what software?
4. What would be your dream setup?

That’s all it is. From those questions, the recommendations, ideas, workflows and combinations of tools are limitless.

Every time a new interview is posted, I learn something new or find out about some cool work being done or awesome tool I never knew existed.

Every interview is a learning experience.

There are even a collection of community interviews that readers of the site have submitted answering those same four questions. There are also a large number of similar projects listed along the same idea such as My Linux Rig, Teachers Uses This, The Desk Setup (Library Stuff and The Creative Setup in addition to more than similar sites in different languages like Das Setup and El Setup. There is even a Google+ featuring interviews from various people who use Google+. 1

I know I’ve just given you a ton of information to read and digest so here’s a starting point of interviews I recommend.

From the community, I’d recommend Thomas Brand, Mac and Newton nerd and Kanen Flowers, filmmaker, hacker.

As for The Setup interviews…

Mc Frontalot, Nerdcore rapper
Marco Arment, Instapaper, Tumblr Developer
Stephen Wolfram, Mathematician
Michael Lopp, Engineering Manager
Richard Stallman, Freedom campaigner
Brad Fitzpatrick, LiveJournal developer
Cheryl Klein, Writer, Editor
R. Stevens, Cartoonist
Warren Ellis, Writer
Adam Lisigor, Video Director
Kari Love, Costumer, Puppet Artist
Paula Pell, , Actor (30 Rock, Parks and Recreation), writer (SNL)
Jakob Neilsen, Usability Specialist
Gina Trapani, Programmer, Writer
Jonathan Coulton, Musician
Gabe Newell, Co-founder of Valve

I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I have. There is the potential to fall down the rabbit hole and try to read them all. You can get started on the interviews page which has them all sorted by category and year.

I’d start with 2009. Even though they’re outdated by now, there are some great ones in that list.


  1. I am falling deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole. I may never find my way back out. 

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