February 9, 2020 · Software Hardware

Uses This Interview

I've always been a big fan of Daniel Bogan's Uses This, "a collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done." When I was thinking about new content for this website, I figured my own uses this style interview would be a nice place to start. Without further ado...

Neil Rooney. Berlin, Germany.
Berlin, Germany. Summer 2019

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Neil Rooney and I am a Senior IT System Administrator based out of Berlin, Germany. I currently work for Ada Health, the company behind the medical intelligence mobile app. I started my career out with a degree in Forensic Science back in 2010 and have been working together with different companies to help secure and grow their internal IT infrastructure ever since.

What hardware do you use?

I grew up using Apple hardware, learning first on a Power Macintosh 9500 and with the exception of a rough few years in between, have been sticking with Apple ever since. Right now I use a 2019 15" MacBook Pro, with the 2,3 GHz 8-Core Intel Core i9 processor, 32GB of RAM and a Radeon Pro Vega 16 4 GB graphics card. It's more than enough for running simultaneous Windows and macOS VM's for testing purposes.  

I have two mobile phones, an iPhone XS with 256GB of storage for personal use and a Google Pixel 4 64GB for all things work. These are the only two phone types I could ever imagine myself buying. I'm a minimalist at heart and love that neither device come with bloatware. If I had to use another phone, it would probably be something from OnePlus.

At work I use the Vortex Race 3 Mechanical Keyboard and Logitech Triathlon M720 Wireless Mouse. For everything else I use Apple's terrible MacBook keyboard; the ones with the butterfly switches.

And what software?

I basically live inside my terminal so I use a lot of different CLI tools. The terminal itself is iTerm2 and some of those tools include zsh as my shell with oh-my-zsh on top, homebrew for packages, VIM for editing, terraform and ansible for automating, git for version control, tmux for session control and GAM for managing our internal G Suite.

As much as I would love to switch to Firefox, I keep coming back to Chrome for security and it's integration with G Suite and other Google tools. Speaking of security, I use 1Password for all of my passwords, Signal for chatting with friends and Arq for remote backups. For time keeping I use the wonderful Tyme2, Google Drive for local sync and Parallels for my Windows VM. Any notes I take end up in either jrnl CLI or a Sublime Text document.

What would be your dream setup?

I hope to upgrade to the new 16" MacBook Pro later this year but otherwise I am pretty happy with what I have.