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Filtering by Tag: Dan Benjamin

Interview with Brett Terpstra

Danielle Moser

Host of Systematic, Brett Terpstra

Host of Systematic, Brett Terpstra

This week we got to chat it up with the host of Systematic, Brett Terpstra. Brett talked a little about how he got started doing Systematic, his culinary, animal-friendly, and musical interests, his epic summer movie list, and his plan for world domination. He may have to move out of the arctic northernly land of Minnesota, first.

Hey Brett! How’s it going?

Brett Terpstra: It's awesome.

Great! For those not already in the know, who are you?

BT: I'm Brett Terpstra. I self-identify as a "mad scientist," and no one has ever disagreed with me; at least not publicly. I code for web, Mac and iPhone, I blog, I write and occasionally sleep.

Where are you from?

Land of snow

That looks terrible.

BT: I was born in Michigan and have lived in Minnesota for most of my life. After college and a bit of travel I ended up back here in a small Minnesota city. I like the small part, but not so much the Minnesota part. Winters temperatures are mostly sub-zero, with really hot, humid summers. I want to move West. I don't care about lakes.

Tell us a little about your podcast, Systematic.

BT: On Systematic I interview people who happen to be really good at what they do, trying to find out what makes them tick. We talk about workflows and systems, but more often than not the conversation follows a more organic path.

Every week I ask my guests to talk about three things they find the coolest that week. Apps, music, movies, games... it runs the gamut and the picks are often quite revealing.

What inspired you to start a podcast?

BT: Founder of 5by5, Dan Benjamin-- He suggested that I start a podcast. I had never thought about it before, but I'd been on other people's podcasts and thought I could pull it off. Plus, it sounded like fun. Next thing you know, I'm doing Systematic.

What are your interests outside of work and podcasting?

BT: I code, I hike and lately I cook. I've really been enjoying the "Cooking for Geeks" approach and even have a "Cooks Illustrated" subscription.

Emma and Chance

I have a few animals that keep me busy. One Pit Bull, one German Shepherd, three cats (one short hair, one long hair and a Siamese), an African Grey parrot (100% my wife's) and a 75-gallon fish tank.

Yeti and Jezebel… and Bacon

My wife and I also run a Pit Bull rescue to keep things interesting.

I play guitar, but not exceptionally well. I enjoy home recording and occasionally playing acoustic shows. I used to play in bands, but the lifestyle got to be a bit hard to maintain…

Punk Rock in the 90's

What projects are you working on?

BT: I'm gearing up to release the next big version of Marked soon. A new version of nvALT is in beta stages as well. In addition to those, I have my usual slew of coding experiments going and a couple of new apps on the horizon.

I'm also starting work on a children's book along with my wife and a talented illustrator which should be a lot of fun.

Eventually I plan to take over the world.


What are you most looking forward to this summer?

BT: Temperatures above zero.


What are you reading this summer?

BT: I don't read much that would be interesting to most people. This summer I'm diving into JavaScript in new ways, studying CoffeeScript and Node.js. I'm struggling through a bunch of fiction, but I can't ever seem to get really immersed in a storyline anymore.

What movies are you most looking forward to this summer?

BT: I do better with movies than books these days, so I have a longer list:

Where can we find you on the internet?

BT: I'm @ttscoff on Twitter,, GitHub and I blog at and you can occasionally find me at TUAW and Macworld. There's my podcast, too, of course.

Thanks Brett! You're a jack of all trades! World domination may very well be in the cards for you. NEW EPISODES OF Systematic are posted weekly. Check out the full list of episodes on the 5by5 Website OR SUBSCRIBE AND DOWNLOAD EPISODES VIA ITUNES.

Interview with Katie Floyd

Danielle Moser

5by5 Host Katie Floyd, Mac Power Users

5by5 Host Katie Floyd, Mac Power Users

Happy Thursday, Jackals! This week we got a chance to interview Katie Floyd, co-host of Mac Power Users. Katie opened up to us about her Central Floridian roots, real-life job, summer vacation plans, and her take on the Star Trek Reboot.

Hi, Katie. How’s it going?

Katie Floyd: I’m good, how are you?

Great! Thanks for asking. For those that don’t know, who are you?

KF: I’m Katie Floyd. On the Internet I’m probably best known for Mac Power Users, the podcast I host with David Sparks. In "real life” I’m an attorney at a small law firm where I practice general civil and real estate related litigation.

Where are you from?

KF: I was born and raised in Central Florida. But trust me, it’s really not as bad as Dan and Merlin make it out to be.

Tell us a little about your podcast, Mac Power Users.

KF: I’m incredibly lucky that I get to do this show with David. When we started Mac Power users back in 2009 there was really nothing else like it in the podcasting space. We wanted to create a show that helped people use their technology more effectively and show people how they could get serious work done. Our first show covered email and went nearly three hours (we ended up splitting it into two parts) and the geekery just kept coming.

What inspired you to start a podcast?

KF: I did a podcast before and liked the format. What inspired us to start this particular show was the topic was something David and I were both very passionate about. When we told our friends what we were up to they all thought we were crazy for starting “another Mac podcast” in an already crowded tech space. But it worked out.

Now, I'm inspired by the show itself. Each week I learn something when prepping the show, talking to David and getting feedback from our incredibly smart listeners. The show is my outlet for this kind of stuff and I’d probably do it if no one listened.

What do you do outside of hosting Mac Power Users?

KF: The day job keeps me pretty busy. I’m the only Associate in a small firm so I have a lot of bosses to please in addition to my own clients. But I’m very fortunate that I love the people I work with and most of my clients are small businesses or individuals so I feel like I’m making a meaningful impact on their lives.

What are your interests outside of work and podcasting?

KF: I’ve gotten into a bit of a health and fitness kick in the last year. I like to Spin and I’ve been strength training with a personal trainer. I also built a house about 18 months ago so I’ve been working on various projects like painting, building a patio and installing crown molding. I’ve become quite handy!

I like to keep my brain active and learning so when I have down time I’m usually catching up on my Instapaper queue, various podcasts or watching video tutorials.

What projects are you working on?

KF: Right now I’m working on building out my personal blog and website at I re-launched the site on SquareSpace a few months back and am trying to be more active about posting interesting and informative content there. Long term, I have a few bigger projects I have my eye on.

What are you most looking forward to this summer?

KF: In late July I’m taking a 16-day trip to Alaska with my entire family! It’s a combination land/sea trip with lots of side trips including zip lining, whale watching, dog sledding, kayaking, and seaplane and helicopter excursions. It’s really a once in a lifetime trip. My parents went to Alaska several years ago for a wedding anniversary and always wanted to go back and take the entire family.

Don’t worry, David and I are going to pre-record shows so you don’t miss anything.

What are you reading this summer?

KF: I have several things on my list. I want to re-read David Allen’s Getting Things Done. If you try to follow a GTD system, I think that’s a book that you could probably benefit from re-reading every couple of years. At the recommendation of Eddie Smith I’ve picked up Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Won’t Stop Talking. I’m naturally introverted which is contrary to some of the things I do in life like the day job and the podcast so I’m curious to see what insights this book can offer. One of my law partners has suggested I read How to Argue and Win Every Time. Lastly, I still need to read Condoleezza Rice’s biography, No Higher Honor. I’m a sucker for political biographies and I especially like biographies about women in politics.

What movies are you most looking forward to this summer?

KF: I’m not a big moviegoer. (Maybe it goes back to that introvert thing.) Instead of paying an arm and a leg to sit with a bunch of people I don’t like in an uncomfortable theater I prefer to wait for movies to come to iTunes where I can download them from the comfort of my couch. However, I am a life-long Trekkie. So I saw Star Trek: Into Darkness opening weekend at the IMAX.

For the record, I’m fine with the re-launch of the series and like the new long as they fix the damage they caused to the space-time continuum and put everything back the way it was when they’re done playing with it.

We concur! Hey, where can we find you on the internet?

KF: My website is the show is (recently redesigned by John Chandler) or at and everything else is @katiefloyd.

Thanks, Katie! Have a great time in Alaska this summer. New episodes of Mac Power Users record every Sunday. Check out the full list on the 5by5 website or subscribe and download episodes via iTunes.

The Frequency - Monday, April 29th, 2013

Danielle Moser

Today on the Frequency Dan and Haddie will be joined by guest Tom Merritt. Tom is the host of Tech News Today on This Week in Tech (TWiT). Alongside Veronica Belmont, he also co-hosts and co-produces Sword and Laser, “a science fiction and fantasy-themed book club, video show and podcast,” connected to the FrogPants Studios network.

Join Dan, Haddie, and special guest Tom Merritt this afternoon on The Frequency as they discuss WWDC, the LivingSocial breach, Smartphone jeans, and more.

You can listen live and join the chat room.

You can also subscribe to and download the entire 5by5 library via iTunes.

Coming Soon: Big Week with Dan Benjamin

Dan Benjamin

Announcing Big Week, news and discussion at the intersection of culture and technology.

Premiering in June of 2012 [Update: July!], Big Week is hosted by Dan Benjamin and features the news that matters, regular segments, interviews, reporting from 5by5 Newshounds, listener feedback, and discussion with an all-star panel including your favorite 5by5 hosts and regular guests like Andy Baio, Christina Warren, Clayton Morris, Dan Frommer, Daniel Bogan, Jeff Atwood, Jeff Veen, Jim Coudal, MG Siegler, Michael Friedman, Nilay Patel, Philip Elmer-Dewitt, Rich Siegel, and more.

You can visit Big Week on 5by5 and subscribe directly to the RSS Feed with iTunes or your favorite podcatcher today.