I recently had a chance to chat with Drew Prindle, Emerging Technology Editor for Digital Trends. Drew has been in journalism for over 5 years where he started his career at Digital Trends as a writer covering science and technology, along with writing “about booze for DT’s subsidiary website, The Manual.”
You could say he is somewhat “obsessed with electronics” and has (what I think is) one of the coolest jobs in journalism, testing emerging tech products ranging from electric skateboards to WiFi enabled coasters.
Read more about Drew, avid storyteller and legit cyborg, in this month’s edition of What’s on My Desk.
1. First thing’s first, what do you use your headphones for? Do you prefer them over using ear buds?
I mostly use them to tune out the office when I’m super busy and need to concentrate. You can’t tell from this picture, but DT’s Portland office has an open layout, and I sit smack in the middle of the “bullpen” area, which can get quite rowdy at times. I rock these over-ears when I’m at my desk, and stash my earbuds in my backpack for the bus journey home.
2. You have some pretty interesting gadgets on your desk. Can you tell us about the two in black near your glass of water?
The gizmo that’s directly in front of the glass is the Bluetooth remote for a crazy all-terrain electric longboard I’m currently testing. I test a lot of “rideable” tech this time of year, because for the other 9 months of the year, it’s rainy. The other thing you see (I think?) is just a ridiculous-looking mouse. I use a trackpad 98% of the time, but trackpads don’t work for 3D modeling/slicing software, which I need to use whenever I test a 3D printer.
3. Interesting: a zen garden on your desk and you work in Journalism. What does yours help with most? Keeping you sane from a bunch of PR pitches?
Haha! believe it or not, the zen garden was actually a gift from a PR agency. I’ve completely forgotten which one, or what it was for. Honestly, I don’t even use it all that much. It’s mostly aesthetic. When I do use it, it’s usually during phone calls, so I have something to fidget with while I talk. It’s way less annoying than clicking a pen or spinning a fidget spinner.
4. Books are a must. What is the stack of books on your desk for, and are you currently reading any of them?
Again, these are on my desk almost entirely for aesthetic purposes. I’ve read them all already — I just brought them in one day because we needed props for a photo shoot, so I grabbed some colorful and recognizable books from home. When we were done shooting, I put em on my desk and they looked so nice that I decided to leave ‘em there. Fun fact: the aqua/seafoam colored one (Thinking Machines) was written by one of the guys on my team.
5. Tell us about the green box on the left-hand side of your desk.
Ahh, the green box. Years ago, I used to write about booze for DT’s subsidiary website, The Manual. It was awesome — liquor and beer companies would send me samples all the time, and one day this company sent me a bottle of Ballantine IPA, which is apparently fancy enough to warrant being shipped in a decorative wooden box. Truth be told, the beer was okay (I’m not crazy about IPAs), but the box was just too cool to throw out. Now I use it to store benchmark prints from the 3D printers I test (like the little tugboat below my monitor). The calipers on top of the box are for measuring dimensional accuracy. 3D printing is the category of tech where I probably geek out the hardest.
6. We spy a mac keyboard, mouse and hard drive but a wireless mobile charging station. Do you have a preference of Apple vs. Android?
When it comes to mobile, I’ve been on Android for a couple years now and I don’t see myself going back to Apple anytime soon. iPhones are just too goddamn expensive. Plus, they don’t have fully unlocked NFC capabilities, which is a must for me. I have an NFC chip implanted in my hand, which I use for two-factor authentication and sharing my contact info (its WAY more memorable than handing someone a business card!). When it comes to desktop, I am a huge fan of OS X. I also use a Chromebook laptop when I’m working remotely, which is pretty sweet. Not a fan of Windows.
7. What’s the OnePitch website doing on your computer screen?
Full disclosure: I honestly just put that there to flatter you. I don’t often visit the OnePitch website. It’s not really necessary. My settings are already dialed in, and all the good stuff comes to my inbox anyway. I just wanted to give you guys a bit of a shout out because I absolutely love your platform.
8. Is there anything else on your desk that you want to share with us?
You can’t tell just from looking at it, but this is actually a height-adjustable standing desk — which I never use. A couple years ago I read a peer reviewed study that found some pretty compelling evidence that standing desks don’t actually have a measurable impact on your health. Apparently it doesn’t matter if you sit or stand, and it’s really just being sedentary and not moving around for 8 hours that’s the problem. The whole “sitting is the new smoking” mantra is just pseudoscientific marketing nonsense designed to sell more desks, so I sit down all day to protest the standing desk zeitgeist.
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