The people who use our boards.281 interviews since 2018
The people who use our boards.
Martin UedingSoftware Developer
Who are you, and what do you do? What do you like to do outside of work?
Hi there, I’m Martin from Bonn, Germany! By training I’m a physicist, and I worked in the area of hadron physics simulations and gained significant experience writing high-performance code there. Now I am working at a machine learning company, where I am involved in performance tuning, software architecture, and developing new features.
The programming languages that I’m using now are Python and C++ with CUDA. I’ve also used other languages, such as R and Java, but I don’t really have a use for them at the time being.
Outside of work I like to ride my bike, either for my errands or going on longer day trips. As bike infrastructure could be better here, I’m involved with the local cyclists’ association and try to work out improvements with our municipal administration.
Besides cycling, I like to do some power training, read books, and occasionally also do some hobby programming outside of work.
What hardware do you use?
My current keyboard is, as should be little surprise, a ZSA Moonlander. I got the black version, as it matches the other black hardware and also fits better to the dark mode I use with most applications these days.
This is like my fourth mechanical keyboard. I started with a KBT Pure with Cherry MX Brown switches and liked the switches; it was a nice improvement over the rubber dome keyboard I had before. Eventually I missed the arrow keys, so I went for a Filco Majestouch Tenkeyless, which had arrow keys but no numpad on the side. Eventually I got annoyed with the staggered key layout and the pronation of the wrists. I backed the Keyboardio Model 01 on the crowdsourcing platform and received it quite a while later. It was pretty great, I loved the layout. One big downside was the Matias Quiet Click switches, as they were stiff and five of them broke and needed replacements soldered in. The other annoying thing is that although one can separate the two halves, one needs to use the very thick “octopus stands” to tilt them. This is how I got to the Moonlander: built-in tilting and Cherry MX Brown switches again, even in tool-less mounting.
The keyboard is attached to a USB 3.2 docking station that I attach to both of my Lenovo ThinkPads. One is for work, the other one is my personal one. I’ve been using business laptops for personal use for over a decade now, they seem feature-complete compared to the consumer ones and aren’t too expensive when bought refurbished.
Although I’ve spent well over 300 EUR on the keyboard, I use a Logitech B100 mouse for like 10 EUR. So far I haven’t felt the need for a fancier mouse, as I have all the necessary hotkeys on the keyboard.
Screen space is nice for working with multiple windows at the same time, so I have attached two external screens to the laptops. They are rather old screens with a resolution of 1920×1080, which is sufficient for working with text. I needed to let go of the standard stands, as I’m quite tall and need them mounted higher such that I can sit upright and don’t need to curl in like a turtle.
The visual and tactile things are complemented by the trusty Teufel C200 speaker set. During focus work I like to listen to calm piano music, and for mundane tasks I like to hear some electronic dance music. Either also helps against the endless traffic noise outside.
For video calls, which I have due to working from home, I have a Jabra Evolve2 40 headset. It has a good audio quality for both me and others. It is also okay to wear for hours. It is the first headset that I really like.
And what software?
Both laptops run Fedora with KDE. I’ve been part of the Microsoft and Apple ecosystems, but found the Linux ecosystem to suit my needs best.
For software development I mostly use the JetBrains IDEs PyCharm and CLion. For some tasks I prefer VS Code because it has plugins for virtually any programming language and feels lightweight and fast.
I like to write things down as I work. This way I don’t have to keep an endless stream of thoughts in my head, but can organize them in Obsidian. When coworkers ask me for things, I can just open the relevant notes and see what I was thinking when I worked on that thing.
What’s your keyboard setup like? Do you use a custom layout or custom keycaps?
My keyboard is set at about shoulder width, and I have it slightly tilted. This way feels natural to type on.
Since I was so used to the layout of the Keyboardio Model 01, I’ve customized the Moonlander’s layout to pretty much that layout. Since only the letter and digit keys are printed, it was pretty easy to customize the remaining function keys. The tooling with the online layout editor and the self-contained flashing utility is really nice to use!
Regarding colors, I just have steady white background lighting. I’ve played around with animated rainbow coloring when I had the Keyboardio Model 01, but I find that fun for only like five minutes. For my daily computer interactions I just prefer the simple illumination.
What would be your dream setup?
Actually I’m really happy with my setup as it is right now. I can type on the keyboard without having to think about it, and it has sufficient keys to have all the functions that I want. And the way I can tent it also feels perfect.
Also with the laptops and other peripherals, I don’t see a way that I could improve this, realistically. The one thing I’d like to see is my screens automatically adjusting their brightness as we’re used to with our phones and tablets. Perhaps some day I’ll get new displays that have this feature.