Cory's HOW I WORK interview

I did a How I Work interview for Lifehacker, where I talked about the tools I use, and how I use them:

What apps/software/tools can't you live without?

Ubuntu and the suite of GNU tools in any robust Unix system. A good text editor (currently Gedit)—I keep all of my working files at .txts. A robust, highly configurable browser (Firefox/Firefox for Android). A fast RSS reader (presently Google Reader, likely to be Newsblur next). A tetherable mobile connection—I use EasyTether for Android to circumvent tether-blocking as deployed by some of the carriers I use around the world, especially Rogers in Canada. AirDroid for moving files on/off Android devices in my life. An external USB battery (currently PowerGen 5200mAh External Battery Pack).

A rugged, roomy, weatherproof backpack (currently a Bagjack Skidcat). A moneyclip. A small, six-card credit-card wallet. LibreOffice spreadsheets for bookkeeping. GPG, cryptsetup, and TrueCrypt for information security. A high-performance mailer with functional scripting engine (currently Thunderbird with a ton of rules and a huge black-listed kill file and white-listed address book). A titanium Widgy keychain prybar (pictured at right)—useful as a pocket knife but flies (heh) under TSA/BAA radar. No-name, easy to replace earbuds with integrated mic for phone. Exeze waterproof MP3 player for swimming. AquaSphere Seal swim goggles—I swim everyday for about an hour and listen to last night's CBC's As It Happens news podcast. Exeze + Aquasphere are a reasonably priced, reliable goggles/MP3 combo. GoToob silicone bottles for shampoo/soap for the pool—these have strong, reliable suction cups that stick them perfectly to the shower wall.

A no-name, cheap mini screwdriver set—I get these confiscated about six times a year by airport security, especially the jerks at Gatwick airport, but it's worth buying a new set every time. Catering-sized sachets of Tabasco—these don't show up as liquid on airport scanners, unlike the mini bottles. I put Tabasco on everything. I'd use it for contact-lens solution if I could. Aeropress—the single most versatile and reliable way of making coffee, especially on the road. Perfect when paired with a Porlex hand-grinder.

I’m Cory Doctorow, and This Is How I Work

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  1. A rugged, roomy, weatherproof backpack (currently a Bagjack Skidcat). A moneyclip. A small, six-card credit-card wallet. LibreOffice spreadsheets for bookkeeping. GPG, cryptsetup, and TrueCrypt for information security.

    Boxers, briefs, tighty-whities or otherwise?

  2. For an alarm clock, try Sleep As Android https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.urbandroid.sleep&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImNvbS51cmJhbmRyb2lkLnNsZWVwIl0. You put it on your matress, and it wakes you at the last shallow sleep cycle before your alarm time. I used to hit snooze all the time, and often woke up feeling like a zombie, this almost never happens now.

  3. I just googled a photo of an Aeropress to figure out what it looked like. 

    There was Aeropress in a dishrack at my workplace breakroom  this morning, I had no clue what it was, 

    …..even considered it might be part of a breast pump.

    1.  I agree, but it’s just like the cola wars; both are mostly vinegar. I see you can get packets of sriracha, though, which has potential – I’d prefer more heat without making everything taste like a pickle.

  4. I think Aeropress are missing a trick here. There should be a model where the plunger also serves as a container for grounds and a small supply of filters. That would make a nice self contained coffee device for short trips. Are you still using the 3rd party metal filter? I couldn’t get on with it.

  5. Not gonna lie – I’ve been waiting for you to do this since I first started reading Lifehacker, Cory. It always seemed to me to be tailor made for professionals like yourself.

    And considering Tessa’s copy preceding the questionnaire, it looks like it kinda was! Very cool and inspiring to a beginning blogger to see your workflow. 

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