CasaSugar and I share an appreciation for Apartment Therapy, a network of sites that's all about making small spaces more livable, hip and beautiful. In the past few months, I’ve fallen in love with the network’s Home Tech section, which features great tips, tricks and gizmos that will enhance your tech life without costing you a bundle or taking up too much space (we don’t all live in homes that can fit giant home theaters, right!).
Home Tech’s editor, Kate Mulinix, is just as lovable as the site. She claims she has appreciated good design in small spaces ever since the Barbie bus of her childhood. From her appreciation and understanding of good design, as well as the ability to articulate why it was so, came work in the advertising business when she was six-years-old, writing copy and designing the ads. Technology and the newest tools to increase productivity must run in her blood, as her father had one of the first portable computers that eventually became her first computer, one of the first cell phones (heavy enough to be a boat anchor), and GPS long before it became mainstream.
Kate has been the editor on Apartment Therapy's Home Tech site since it launched in March. I recently tracked her down to interview her about all things geeky. To check out the full interview,
Geeksugar: What element of Home Tech or technology in general interests you the most?
Kate: The best part about my AT:HT gig is being able to connect people with meaningful things that are well-designed and improve the quality of their lives. That's the entire premise of what we do, and though we occasionally divert from that premise to bring news like the Mobile Phone Throwing Competition to our readers, or the coolest, oddest, or most expensive prototype out there, our sweet spot is where technology, design, usefulness and home intersect.
Geeksugar: Do you use a PC or Mac?
Kate: PC, but my next one will likely be a Mac
Geeksugar: How many hours are you online everyday?
Kate: About six, spread out over the course of the day; one-half to two-thirds is for researching and writing for AT:HT. I have a full-time, non-internet-based job besides AT:HT, so I can't be as involved as I would like in all things Apartment Therapy.
Geeksugar: Your first computer was a ...
Kate: Corona PPC-440, billed as a "portable" computer…weighing in at 40 pounds!
Geeksugar: How many gadgets do you carry in your purse? What are they?
Kate: Cell, Compaq iPaq (old PDA, until I upgrade), red iPod Nano, Olympus FE-190 digital camera
Geeksugar: What's a practical home tech or computer tip you use all the time?
Kate: If you have a laptop, stash multiple wireless, laser mice in multiple locations so you don't have to worry about carting around one more thing.
Geeksugar: How many blog feeds are in your RSS reader?
Kate: I'm old-fashioned when it comes to my RSS reader and don't use it because I like the visual piece of the blogs I read that doesn't come through on the RSS reader. Instead, I use the links on AT:HT's homepage, and my other favorites are planted under the address bar and above the tabs within Firefox. I read about 10 with regularity (usually daily or every-other-day), and another 10-15 semi-regularly (once a week), though I'm also not afraid to go from site to site to site as I'm linked through.
Geeksugar: Who do you think are the top 3 sexiest male geeks in the world?
Kate: My husband, Jonathan; Jon Armstrong, husband of Dooce; and Ryan Opina, a fellow AT:HT editor.
Geeksugar: And sexiest female geeks?
Kate: Heather Armstrong, aka Dooce (her humor kills me every time), Angelina Jolie in Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Kelly Goodman, a fellow AT:HT editor.
Geeksugar: How do you feel about being called a "geek" or "techie"?
Kate: Geek=cool, in the tech blog world, so I'm all over that one! However, in the rest of the world, they still haven't picked up that geek=cool, so they don't yet know how cool I am. I'm just waiting for the inevitable throngs of fans to pick up on this.
Geeksugar: What is your main goal for Home Tech? What do you want your readers to get when they visit?
Kate: I want readers to be able to integrate technology in a way that will improve the quality of their lives, not just have a gadget for the sake of having it. Technology for the home has too much potential, especially when combined with great design, to miss out on the opportunities arriving all the time.
Geeksugar: What is one item you've featured that you had to purchase?
Kate: Haven't purchased it yet, but will when it becomes available I want the Solarjo "Power Purse". It's a handbag with the ability to recharge your gadgets via solar power (the panels are the pattern on the outside of the handbag) feeding the USB port inside. Next phone and camera will definitely have to be USB-rechargeable.
Geeksugar: What's the most useless thing you've featured?
Kate: It's probably useful to someone (see the comment on the post), but I don't want to be talking to someone through my pillow as I'm drifting off to sleep except if I were in a long-distance relationship while in college: perCushion Cell Phone Cushion.
Geeksugar: Did you buy an iPhone?
Kate: Nope. 97 percent of my calls are on the Verizon network, so I'm sticking with that, for now, because then they're "free." If someone hacks it for the Verizon network, then I'd seriously consider.