Matt Hamilton’s OS X and iOS setup

Every week we post a new interview with someone about what software they use on their Mac, iPhone, or iPad. We do these interviews because not only are they fun, but a glimpse into what tools someone uses and how they use those tools can spark our imagination and give us an idea or insight into how we can do things better.

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Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Matt Hamilton and I am an editor based in Austin, TX. I switched over to Apple in 2007 when I got my first 24” iMac with Final Cut Express pre-installed. Before that I was editing on a constantly crashing PC, so switching to Apple and learning Final Cut was a no brainer. My brother and I are a directing duo and just finished our first feature-length film titled Wild In The Streets. The movie just premiered at the Lone Star film festival in November and should be online soon. Before that, we filmed a short film in Los Angeles with some old cast members of the Saved By The Bell TV show. The short was called Saved By The Belding and re-created a famous episode with the Belding brothers. Not to sound to fanboy, but from using our iMacs for editing or iPhones/iPads to keep us organized, using everything Apple has really saved us a lot of time since “it just works”.

What is your current setup?

Matt Hamilton's desk

My current setup is a late 2012 27” iMac. It has a 3.4 Ghz Intel Core i7 processor and a 3 TB Fusion drive. Since I work in media, having the larger hard drive helps even though I have multiple external hard drives. I always keep high-res exports on my internal drive while keeping all my raw files on the external drives. I currently only have 8 GB of RAM but plan to upgrade that soon. I also use a refurbished 24” Cinema Display for playback. It’s been great, but currently has some bleed-through problems on the right side of the screen that I hope won’t get worse.

Matt Hamilton's desk, lower angle

I also use a 64 GB Space Grey iPhone 6 which is like an extension of my right hand. I’ve had every iPhone since the 3G and use it for everything.

Matt Hamilton's iPhone 6

My wife and I have our house connected with Nest, Hue, Belkin, and Dropcam so our iPhones act as a central remote for controlling everything. I also use the iPhone camera daily for the past 1,461 days and counting. Since June 2010, I’ve taken a photo every day. I meant to only do it for a year, but couldn’t make myself stop after finishing the first year. Even if the photos I’ve taken that day aren’t great, it still gives me an idea of what I did that day which is always fun to look back on. Since my wife and I are expecting our first son in March, I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.

My 32 GB Verizon iPad Air is never far from me and is something I use daily for keeping up-to-date and organized.

Matt Hamilton's iPad Air

I use my iPad as my laptop whenever I travel, which has been great. Spending the extra money for a cellular version is something I never regret. Now I never have to worry about slow hotel WiFi. It’s usually worth it for me to stay up-to-date with the iPhone/iPad releases since I use them daily.

What software do you use and for what do you use it?

Alfred: I had always had Alfred installed, but it wasn’t until a couple months ago that I really started using it. I was helping on a movie, which means long days but a lot of down-time. I used this time to learn about the different extensions and shortcuts you can create. I set up the hot keys command as command-spacebar so I wouldn’t have to re-learn the Spotlight keyboard shortcut and it’s been great ever since.

Wunderlist: Since 2011, I always used Apple Reminders, but recently gave Wunderlist a try. So far, it’s been great. I use it for reminders, grocery lists, tracking what movies I’ve seen this year, and what I want to see eventually. I’m sure there are better todo apps out there, but for me right now this is the best.

Tweetbot: I always have Tweetbot opened the corner of my monitor keeping me up-to-date throughout the day. I use Twitter as a way to keep up with all the latest stories throughout the day and Reeder for reading my RSS at the end of the day.

Mailbox: I signed up for this app the first day I could and it’s been in my dock ever since. I’m currently using the Mac beta and love the send to desktop/mobile feature.

1Password: I was skeptical of using this at first, but now I can’t imagine not using it.

Multi Monitor Wallpaper: Since I always have multiple monitors, this is a fun app I found that helps create dual monitor wallpaper. Simple to use and works great.

Find Friends: This works great especially in larger cities with traffic. I’ve also used the 24-hour feature for friends/family visiting from out of town to help with directions.

Backblaze: After hearing about this for a while, I finally took the plunge and can’t believe I didn’t sooner. It’s great knowing everything on my iMac is backed up in a remote location and can be restored anywhere. The only downside for me was the time it took for the initial backup. This was due to having a large internal hard drive and average upload speed. Now when I go out of town I never have to worry about my data or time machine backups.

Carousel: Since I keep all my photos in Dropbox as a backup, this app has been great. I really like the new Flashback feature that was just added. I still miss Everpix, but this app is handy since I use Dropbox as a photo backup anyways.

How would your ideal setup look and function?

Hopefully it will be a while before I upgrade my iMac, but when I do it will definitely be a Retina iMac. I briefly played around with one a couple weeks ago at the Apple store and was blown away. I hope by this time the Thunderbolt displays see an upgrade to Retina also.


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