Fred Hohman
/ CSE Ph.D. Student at GT

Stuff I Use

Inspired by projects like The Setup, here is the stuff I use.

What’s in my Bag

I carry a custom Timbuk2 messenger bag for just about everything. If that isn’t enough space, I wear a Jansport Classic backpack for backup.

Ever since I was 10 I’ve been writing with PaperMate Clearpoint 0.5mm mechanical pencils on blank computer paper. More recently I’ve been carrying a single Moleskin sketchbook for meeting and research notes. The size is great for an all-in-one notebook, and the paper in the sketchbook from the Art Collection is 111lb, which is much thicker than the average Moleskin notebook1.

I also never leave the apartment without a backpocket Field Notes and my REI carabiner clip to hold my keys.

Computer

I’m using an upgraded 2016 15” MacBook Pro, which replaced a 2011 15” MacBook Pro, which replaced a late 2007 20” iMac.

When I’m at my desk I connect to a LG Ultrafine 5K Monitor using a single USB-C cable for power, internet, and peripherals (Logitech G502 mouse and Code keyboard).

I built my own PC in March 2018 for gaming and deep learning side projects. It’s a high performing Intel + NVIDIA build with mesmerizing RGB fans packed into an excellent compact metal and glass case.

Part  
CPU Intel Core i7 8700K
CPU Cooler Corsair H100i v2 All in One Water Cooler
Motherboard ASRock z370 Tai Chi
Memory G.Skill Trident RGB 32GB (2x16GB) 3000Hz
Storage (M.2) Samsung 960 Evo m.2 PCIe NVMe 1TB
Storage (HDD) Seagate Barracuda 3TB 7200rpm
GPU NVIDIA Titan Xp
Power Supply EVGA 850W G3
Case Fractal Design Meshify C (Tempered Glass Edition)
Case Fans Corsair LL120mm RGB

Mobile

I’m currently carrying a 64GB black iPhone X, with an old, rarely touched fourth-gen iPad resting on its stand.

On my homescreen sits many of the mobile versions of the desktop services I use on OS X, but notable mentions include Fantastical for calendar and reminders, Dark Sky for down-to-the-minute weather predictions, Inbox by Gmail for email, the data-centric alarm clock Sleep Cycle, and Overcast for podcasts.

I also wear a gen 1 space gray Apple Watch Sport with the red sport band. Necessary? No. Stylish? Hardly. Convenient? Certainly.

Apps

At any time of day I’m probably listening to music on Spotify. I rely on Dropbox and Google Drive for file sharing. Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides are also frequently used. For getting things, I’ve tried every to-do list and task manager out there, and I haven’t really liked any, but I’ve found that Trello is useful for managing different projects; it can also export specific tasks to my calendar while preserving the task’s due date, time, and notes.

While browsing Twitter on Tweetbot or Reddit on AlienBlue, I constantly save things to my Pocket to read whenever I get a few minutes. I use 1Password for saving passwords and Mint for tracking money. Slack is always open, and IFTTT can be handy too.

I write journal entries in Day One that contain research notes, a days summary, and interesting quotes and pieces I read. I’ve used Day One off and on for a few years, but during the summer of 2015 I started writing daily entries to log every day of my time as a Ph.D. student so that upon graduation I can look back and remember the details, both big and little. I believe daily writing also helps one communicate more effectively and easily.

Software

For general programming, and specially for deep learning, I use Python often paired with Jupyter notebooks. For data visualization I program mostly for the web (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and D3). For more mathy things, I’ll default to Mathematica for continuous problems and MATLAB for discrete ones.

I typeset LaTeX in TeXShop, take notes in Markdown with Sublime, and write code in Visual Studio Code.

I use Keynote for slides, Affinity Designer for vector drawing and most digital illustration, with the occasional use of Pixelmator for image editing.

When I was working in 3D printing, I used Mathematica and OpenSCAD to generate models, Blender for renders and mesh manipulation, and Makerware for print preparation. Tinkercad is also a great, easy-to-use modeling app that runs in the browser.

Audio

On both sides of my desk sit KRK Rokit 5 studio monitors with an accompanying Rokit 10s subwoofer. I run audio from my computer through a now old Presonus Firestudio. For less serious recording, I use a Blue Yeticaster microphone for video calling and voice overs.

I carry Shure SE215 isolating headphones/earbuds with me at all times for sound quality, minor noise cancellation, and most importantly: they never fall out of my ears. I also carry a pair of the renowned Audio Technica ATH-m50x headphones for their excellent sound quality and portability.

Photography

As an amateur photographer, I’m shooting with a hand-me-down Nikon D80, but I always have my phone on me to snap a quick picture. When I was taking macro shots, I’d often set up a homemade light box.

Drums

I received a Sonor Force 2001 drum set when I was 10, and I still play it today. I play Sabian AA and AAX cymbals and coated Evans drumheads. My drumstick of choice is the Vic Firth 5A. For quieter jam sessions, I make less noise on a Roland electric drum set.

Entertainment

Aside from my gaming PC, I have the lovely Nintendo Switch and an Xbox One that doesn’t do much anymore. A Chromecast sticks out of my TV too.

When trying to relax, there is no better companion than an Eno hammock.

  1. Sometimes it irks me when ink bleeds through paper.