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The Setup on Google+
What do people on Google+ use to get stuff done?
What do people on Google+ use to get stuff done?

The Setup on Google+'s posts

+Katherine Noyes
Writer, Linux User, Open Source Advocate, Animal Welfare Volunteer

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Katherine Noyes, and I write about Linux and open source technology for The Linux Foundation's ( as well as PCWorld ( and LinuxInsider (, where I write the semiweekly Linux Blog Safari column in the character of “Linux Girl.” I also write about cool new business ideas for Springwise (, as well as squeezing in as many stories for TechNewsWorld's Space ( section as time allows. Finally, I have a page on a site called Volunteer Guide dedicated to helping animals (, which is another passion of mine.

What hardware are you using?

I work at home, and my primary machine is an Asus CM5570 desktop with a 2.6GHz E5300 Pentium dual-core processor and 6GB of RAM. It's an older machine, for sure, but since I mostly just use it for word processing and the web, it's been great for me. I've also got an old laptop sitting around and am hoping to buy a netbook or ultrabook soon.

And what software?

On my desktop I've got a dual-boot setup with Ubuntu Linux 12.04 and Windows 7. I use LibreOffice for my writing, Firefox for the web, Thunderbird for email and GIMP for working with images. I'm also a Pandora junkie and listen to music pretty much all day while I'm writing.

This is probably already obvious, but I should add that I'm a huge fan of open source software. I think it's part of a larger trend toward more openness, transparency and accountability in society as a whole, and it's changing our world ( for the better.

What would be your dream setup?

My needs are pretty simple and I've been really happy with my setup for years, but I'm starting to think more portability would be nice. On my next setup I think I'm also going to skip the Windows partition and go Linux exclusively. The biggest thing I'm missing right now, however, is Pandora in my car -- need to make that happen! ;)

+Davina Haisell 
Editor, Proofreader, Writer, Blogger

Who are you and what do you do?

I am Davina Haisell, editor, proofreader, writer and blogger at

I’m also a soon-to-be published author. Yay!

I wrote a novella during the Three Day Novel Contest in 2010. After putting it aside for a year, I have spent the past year revamping the plot and redeveloping the characters to turn it into a full-length novel. The novel is a work of fiction, although some scenes have been based on actual events. Serious Undulations will be finished before the end of 2012.

My proofing services support businesses in the marketing and advertising industry. I have edited five books, which include fiction and non-fiction.

When it comes to computer hardware all I ask for is a machine I can trust. I've been operating my home-based editing business on the same unit for five years. It has been smooth sailing all the way.

As long as my machine does what I need it to do I'm not fussy about the operating system I use.

What hardware are you using?

I work on an Intel Pentium Dual CPU -- Windows XP Professional, with 2.4 GHz and 2 GB of RAM. The monitor is a 24-inch ViewSonic.

And what software?

- Microsoft Office 2010 (mostly Word) for writing and editing.
- Adobe Acrobat Professional to mark up PDFs for proofreading clients.
- Snagit to take screen captures and convert them to PDFs for proofing of websites.

What would be your dream setup?

I have my dream setup :-)

If I were to expand on it someday, I would like to add Adobe InDesign Creative Suite to my software family.

Thanks, Brett, for the opportunity to share my story on The Setup.

+Bilal Akhtar
Ubuntu Developer, Canonical Contractor, Student

Who are you and what do you do?

I am me.

More specifically, I'm an Ubuntu developer and I work on many parts of
the Ubuntu ecosystem. I'm a contributor of code as well as a bug
manager for Unity and the indicators. I also lead the Papercuts
project, do some package maintenance stuff in the Ubuntu archive (like
merges and syncs from Debian) and maintain a few Debian packages. In
the past, I've contributed code to GNOME projects like Empathy but
that's out of my scope right now. Since late 2011, I'm working for
Canonical as a contractor for DX team projects (Unity, indicators,
lenses, etc). And since I'm 16 and have to go to high school, stuffing
all of this into my schedule can often get difficult.

What hardware are you using?

I built a new desktop a month ago, and almost all of my work happens
on it.

Intel Core i7-3770 (Ivy Bridge) 3.40GHz
8 GB RAM (will upgrade to 16 in the near future)
1920x1080 (1080p) Dell 23" monitor
Intel integrated HD Graphics 4000 (powerful, and work really well with
all Linux distros)

I have a Dell XPS laptop from last year which I use when I'm out of town:
Intel Core i7 (Sandy Bridge) 2.00 GHz
650 GB HDD
1366x768 monitor
The infamous Nvidia Optimus technology (boooooo! Graphics on Linux are a mess)

I have a Galaxy Nexus which I use to respond to e-mail and catch up on
work when I'm at school. It's surprising how much I rely on it

RIM sent me a Playbook in February, but I never found any use for it,
so gave it to my brother. For that matter, I don't understand the
utility of a tablet, which is why I haven't ordered a Nexus 7. I do
reading on my Kindle Keyboard anyway. If Chromebooks were to come to
Canada, I'd buy it right away since I could use it to type up notes at
school. My Dell XPS isn't very portable and thanks to Optimus, battery
life is utter crap.

And what software?

My main desktop runs Ubuntu 12.10. I'm all in for 12.10 and have no
12.04 partition remaining on the system. I use 12.10 because the
latest revisions of Unity don't build easily on 12.04.

My laptop runs Ubuntu 12.04.

I use Ubuntu over other Linux distros because 1) It just works, 2)
Font rendering is awesome, 3) I'd like to see Ubuntu become more
mainstream, 4) Unity fits really well in my workflow, and 5) I'm an
Ubuntu developer after all :)

My phone runs Android Jelly Bean, if it matters.

What would be your dream setup?

I don't have any qualms at all about my desktop. It's barely a month
old and it has been perfect so far.

But my laptop is far from perfect. Though my current laptop has quite
some horsepower, it's not portable at all. I'd like a thin and
portable laptop running Ubuntu with great battery life which I can
carry to school (Performance isn't key). All the Windows-laden
ultrabooks so far have been "meh". A Chromebook would be inexpensive
and would do the job, but it's not available here in Canada and it
might be too restrictive. System76' Lemur Ultra seems promising, but
it might not meet my expectations on battery life. A 13" MacBook Air
would be a good choice, but it's too expensive and I won't be using
OSX anyway. Let's see how Dell's Project Sputnik laptop fares up,
otherwise I'll pull the trigger on the System76.

I'd also like a low-power server where I can run IRC bouncers and a
lightweight web server. My Raspberry Pi is on the way, and since I
don't need high performance or clock speeds, my Pi should be able to
act as a basic server :)

+Swapnil Bhartiya 
Tech Journalist at +Muktware, Fiction Writer, Free Software Advocate

Who are you and what do you do?

I am Swapnil Bhartiya, a tech journalist and fiction writer. I run I aspire to become a film-maker and have made a couple of self-funded documentaries. I am a Free Software advocate and unfortunately don't have any sympathy or respect for those companies which don't respect users' freedom.

I use GNU/Linux for ethical reasons and not just technological superiority. At the same time there are certain things which Free Software can't do - then, I do use non-free software, but then I treat such machines as appliances. One area where Free Software is not yet capable of delivering good product is film editing so I am dependent on a "coffee machine" or "microwave" to do so.

What hardware are you using?

I love gadgets. I have two main PCs (bought stuff from Newegg and built them myself). Each has an i5 processor, 8 GB RAM, nVidia cards, some 10 TB local storage, and a 27 inch and 22 inch monitor.

Main machine runs Ubuntu 12.04 with GNOME Shell (also have openSUSE and Fedora, and switch between often when I get bored).

I am a film maker and since there is no decent film editing software I use Sony Vegas Pro (cheaper compared to Adobe). But I treat my Windows 7 machine as an appliance to do just one job - film editing and nothing else. That machine is not connected to the internet and is booted only when I have to cut a film. It's more like a coffee machine to me and not a PC.

I have a Dell XPS 1330 running on Ubuntu 12.04 and Fedora 17.

I have two Dell Minis each running Debian.

I have a Cr-48 and the latest Samsung Chromebook (both running Chrome OS).

Then I have the infamous Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

I have two Nexus devices - Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus, and I just pre-ordered a Nexus 7.

I do have a MacBook and an iPod, but both are collecting dust in storage.

And what software?

Ubuntu as my main OS
- GIMP as my only image editing software with a lot of plugins
- Darktable to manage my NEF images from Nikon D7000
- Luminance HDR to create HDR images
- Xara for creating graphics
- Phatch for batch processing images
- Amarok for music

What would be your dream setup?

Where everything is ubiquitous. I have at least one computing device in each room and I always carry my Galaxy Nexus with me.

The dream setup would be that irrespective of which room or which device I am on I should be able to continue my work from there. On the entertainment side, my music/video should move with me. I mean I am in the car listening to radio, get out and it starts playing on my phone, I reach home and it should be on my home entertainment system.

I wish all my devices were touch and gesture sensitive so I could move my hands and wink my eye, like Minority Report, to control my devices.

+Georgi Karavasilev
Writer, Designer, Ubuntu User, Megadeth Fan

Who are you and what do you do?

Good morning campers, this is your Colonel speaking, welcome to P7J-989. Whoopsie, I meant, Aloha, my name is Georgi Karavasilev and I am just another crazy person that is trying to change for better. I work for a living (well ... DUUUUH), but regular grey day to day activities are not the thing I want to talk about, simply because well ... they are tedious :) Oh boy, two sentences already and I have not said anything that can grab your attention, well that ain't good, is it? ;P

You know, there are many interesting things I can write about myself here, but I think me in general goes like this - I am passionate about writing, volleyball (I used to play volleyball not only for fun, but I took an arrow to the knee ... literally, damn you knee injures!) and user interface. I love using and sometimes contributing to Ubuntu (with whatever I can). I am also some kind of a designer for Kazam and Polly Twitter client. Oh and I sometimes bite the bullet and design HD wallpapers. Regarding my taste in movies - I am a SciFi fan and a die hard Doctor Who and Stargate fanboy, and I must admit that I have a crush on Amanda Tapping, but then again, that's perfectly normal for any Stargate fan. Last, but not least music wise - I am a die hard metal fan, but I do have a thing for the Swedish pop, especially when it comes to ABBA and Roxette. My favourite band is Megadeth, by a mile and half.

What hardware are you using?

Me talking about hardware can get wibbly wobbly timey wimey. Hitherto I've never been able to run the gauntlet in a whirl of lace in the hardware ville and boy, I would SO lie if I say that I have any plans to change that. I have two PCs and a laptop. My laptop is Lenovo G550 with some dual core Intel CPU, integrated Intel video card and 3 GB of RAM. The first PC is AMD/ATI with 3 GB of RAM configuration and it won't be over exaggeration if I say I loathe ATI videos and I wish Linus Torvalds will give the middle finger o'mighty to ATI too! The second one has a Intel CPU and nVidia video card and if I'm not mistaken it has 4 GB of RAM. It is really a workhorse machine and I would cry my eyes out if it breaks somehow. I have even named if "fluffy".

And what software?

My OS of choice is Ubuntu 12.04 and I'm anxiously waiting for 12.10, I'm sure it will be a marvellous release that will go head over heels and will be the juvenile scam of the releases so far! My desktop environment of choice is Unity, though I much prefer Mutter or Kwin to Compiz as window manager. However Unity has awesome stuff like the launcher, the Dash with all the rad lenses and scopes (thanks David Calle!) and the HUD, and whilst I do hate Compiz (there, I said it!) this is just too much for me to give up!

Favourite apps go like this:
Web Browser - Google Chrome
Twitter Client - Polly Twitter Client
File Manager - Marlin
Music Player - Clementine
Video Player - Audience
IRC Client - Smuxi
Image editing utility - GIMP
Text editor (IDE) - Geany

What would be your dream setup?

I shall tell no lies - I am drooling all over when I think of +System76's Gazelle Professional laptop, it's just utterly sexy. Needless to say I would prefer having the matte screen and possibly SSD instead of optical drive.

Thank for the invitation for participating here, I hope I've done well.

+Sam Tate
Linux Enthusiast, Designer, Geek, +elementary Screencast Maker

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Sam Tate and I am part of the elementary project. I’m probably known best for the screencasts I make (I now have over 70,000 views on YouTube), but I also help with other stuff such as certain decisions and mockups. I am also in the process of making an Android/iOS app, and I like to dabble in HTML/CSS.

What hardware are you using?

I have two main machines, my trusty Core 2 Duo laptop with 4GB RAM and Intel graphics and my new build with a quad core Phenom II, 4GB of RAM and a Radeon HD 5450. I only have a 250GB HDD though. My laptop is what I use for testing software, and recording screencasts. I use my build for pretty much everything else because I need the power when I am trying to do stuff.

My display is my pride and joy: My 20” 1600x900 monitor. Despite being an LCD, the blacks are surprisingly good and the colours vivid.

I also own a Samsung Galaxy S which I am using for testing my new app (among other things)

And what software?

On my laptop I have 2 Operating Systems. I have Ubuntu 12.04, which is what I use most of the time (it’s super fast, pretty and very productive), and I also run a prerelease of elementary OS Luna, for testing and screencasting purposes. I use Eidete to record my screencasts for it seems to be the best screen recorder on Linux.

On my desktop I use Windows 7. (The drivers for my card suck on Linux). I have a whole host of tools that I use to get work done. Paint.NET is mostly used for any image editing because it’s the best free tool out there (apart from maybe GIMP). Eclipse is hugely useful, it definitely seems to be the best IDE for creating Android apps, due to Google’s plugin. I also have Notepad++ permanently open, because it is so powerful and I like to write a lot of website designs when I get bored.

What would be your dream setup?

Honestly I think I’m pretty close to it now. I’d want a larger 23” monitor with the highest resolution possible, and probably a larger Hard Drive (I’m running out of space), not to mention a sizable SSD to make everything run super quick.

I think I’d like a powerful Ultrabook too for when I’m not at home - those ThinkPads are pretty damn alluring :P

And that’s what I have to say on the matter.

+Cassidy James
Community Manager, UX Designer, Council Member +elementary

Who are you and what do you do?

I'm Cassidy James. I'm a geek in my twenties who wears a few different hats for +elementary.

First of all, I'm the Community Manager; I help organize the community and try to keep everything running smoothly. Subsequently, I'm pretty much the "PR" and press guy; I write the majority of the user-facing content on the site and maintain conversations with both users and press sites. More recently, I've adopted the hat of UX designer (which is probably my favorite). I've written much of the elementary HIG <> and joined the UX team to help keep elementary pushing forward on the design and user experience fronts. Lastly, I'm a member of the elementary Council, meaning I'm one of a handful of individuals who helps drive elementary and decide what we should do as a unit.

I've also dabbled in web development, but I'm no master. ;)

What hardware are you using?

Oh man, hardware. I'm gonna be honest, I'm a huge gadget geek; it seems like I have some new piece of hardware every few days. 

However, I primarily use my Samsung Series 5 Ultrabook (13", in case you're wondering) <> for writing, Internet browsing, chatting, and designing. I hook it up to a 22" AOC display <> (dual displays ftw) and an amp with a pair of massive speakers when at home, but am perfectly content with the 13" display and J4 earbuds <> when on the go.

I am also a pretty big fan of mobile devices. When not on my Ultrabook, I'm most likely on my Galaxy Nexus <> keeping up with things. I also own an HP TouchPad (stop laughing, it was cheap!) which I occasionally use for impromptu browsing and more often for chatting in IRC.

When at home, I use a Logitech Tablet Keyboard <> and an Apple Magic Trackpad <> with my Ultrabook; I love having a wireless setup (I mean, this is the future, right?) and both pieces of hardware are top-quality. I also use the keyboard with the TouchPad. Lastly, I have a Pebble watch <> on order, so of course that'll sync up to my phone.

It may not seem like it, but this is a trimmed down version of my gadget collection compared to just a few months ago. At that point in time, I also had two Cr-48s (one with the dev channel of Chrome OS, the other with elementary OS), a nook Tablet, a Sony Vaio laptop (like five years old, but still one of the best devices I've ever owned), and a Nexus S. I've managed to sell or trade all of them and really enjoy only carrying around one super thin Ultrabook instead of three laptops. xD

And what software?

On my Ultrabook, I'm rocking a pre-release build of elementary OS. I can also occasionally be caught using Ubuntu proper, but that's happening less and less these days. App-wise, I use Midori for web browsing, Empathy for chat, Scratch for coding and writing in Markdown, Inkscape for designing (and to a lesser extent GIMP for rendering bitmaps), and Noise for jamming out while doing all of the above. I've also been testing some apps I'd like to be able to use more when they're more stable, like Footnote for note-taking and Eidete for the occasional screencast.

On my mobile devices I'm running Android (Jelly Bean on the Nexus, ICS on the TouchPad). On both devices, I use virtually all of the Google apps: Gmail, Calendar, Maps, Google+, Drive, Play Music, Chrome, Talk, and probably some others. elementary is setup on Google Apps, so I also sync all of my stuff over (meaning I'm never away from it all... heh). I also use Tasks for ICS to keep track of both personal and elementary to-do items, and the Council occasionally has Skype conference calls which I take on my phone. Oh, and AndChat for connecting to the elementary IRC channels while mobile. The fact that everything syncs to both devices and the Google "cloud" really helps me keep connected and organized no matter which device I'm using.

In case it wasn't obvious, I'm a big fan of open source and think that--with the right focus on design and user experience--open source software has so many advantages over anything else. Of course it's often free, but there's much more to it than that; it's truly enabling. It's the fact that it enables the tens of thousands of users of elementary to all engage with a top-notch user experience, the fact that dozens of developers--most of whom have never met in person--can collaboratively create the amazing product that is elementary, the fact that anyone can easily jump in, latch onto our philosophies of great design, and help out.

What would be your dream setup?

I'm pretty content with my setup, though I'd really like to trade my TouchPad for a Nexus 7 <> (big heavy hacked tablet vs. Google-designed and supported 7" tablet).

But honestly, my dream setup would be more about who and where than the gadgets themselves. I'd really like to be working in an office with a handful of the amazing folks who really make elementary come alive. People like Daniel Foré, +Avi Romanoff, +Allen Lowe, +Fabian Thoma, Cody Garver, and others. There's just something infinitely more satisfying and productive about being with others who "get it" and are all on the same wavelength. Like, you just have so much physical bandwidth for conversing and sharing ideas when in-person versus chatting online.

Lastly, I'd love to be able to work on all the things I do from an elementary-designed and developed computer rather than relying on a third-party hardware designer. ;) Maybe someday!

Post has attachment
We have a new profile photo, courtesy of +Cassidy James (and Daniel Fore) of +elementary - thanks gentlemen!

+Emma Marshall
Press and Marketing Liaison, System76, Inc.

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Emma Marshall and I work at +System76 doing press, marketing and customer service. My passion is writing and I love social media! I love the opportunity to connect with new people and share ideas, pictures and articles I find (or create) on the web. I love the excitement I see within the open-source community and became addicted to the +Ubuntu OS when I started working for System76.

What hardware are you using?

The hardware I use during my workday is the System76 Wildebeest Desktop with a 24" Samsung monitor. It's a beast of a machine, lol. Seriously though- it is extremely fast and powerful.

And what software?

For software, I am running Ubuntu 12.04. I love +GIMP and the +LibreOffice Suite and use them for most of my tasks. I use Firefox and +Google Chrome, and have favorite qualities of each, so I always have both running.

What would be your dream setup?

My dream set up would be the Gazelle Professional Laptop with the matte screen and SSD instead of optical drive. I've never seen a display so beautiful, and I'm not just saying it because I work here :) I really want a Gazelle to call my own.

Thanks for inviting me to participate!

+Ian Hex 
Photographer, ex-Graphic Designer

Who are you and what do you do?

I am Ian Hex. It's not my real name but Google knows me better as this, and who am I to argue? In a previous life I was a graphic designer, veering towards logo and brand identity design with a soft spot for talented and game-changing open-source projects (aka +Novacut and +elementary). Life, however, has its twists and turns and, with the acquisition of my first long-awaited DSLR at the start of 2012, I began to get into photography. Like, really get into it. To the point that I have now ceased design-related activities in order to focus on improving my HDR photography, with a view towards capitalising on it in the future.

What hardware are you using?

My current setup is very much a stopgap measure. I acquired this PC as the last one finally blew up. I couldn't even be massively specific about the specs, I'm afraid. It's an HP desktop machine, running an Intel i3 processor of some sort, 4Gb RAM, 500Gb HDD, integrated Intel graphics. My display is an HP w2007v. So yeah, a pretty average system really, but it'll do. For now.

I also own a little Samsung netbook, but that might get replaced soon. I also own an original iPad.

And what software?

The machine came with Windows 7 64-bit Professional, which I haven't removed but barely use either. My main OS is +Ubuntu "Precise Pangolin" (12.04 LTS). It's insanely fast, super secure and getting better all the time. Ubuntu is my creative hub: as I'm still very much an advocate of open-source software, all my photos are imported, managed and processed with open-source tools: Digikam (sometimes +darktable), Luminance HDR, +GIMP, Gwenview (sometimes Shotwell). If I ever need to do graphic design again, that's when I break out +Inkscape for vector work and +Scribus for page design. 

What would be your dream setup?

Honestly, I am so much more out of touch with modern PC specs than I used to be that I wouldn't have a clue! I just know what I want conceptually: a super-powerful desktop rig to handle, store and process photos. That would mean a beefy CPU, lots of RAM, an excellent graphics card, an SSD for the OS with plenty of moving-part-HDD storage as well. And obviously, a kick ass monitor, calibrated with the +ColorHug, as well. I've heard Dell Ultrasharps are pretty good, but that's the extent of my knowledge. Honestly, if I came into a bootload of cash to buy a new rig with, I would consult with +Jason DeRose straight away. Obviously, this machine would run Ubuntu.

I'd also want a pretty beefy laptop as well. Those new +System76 Gazelle Professional laptops with the matte display look awfully tempting...

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