ErgoDox EZ Users

Philipp Giese

Data Analyst and Crypto-researcher

Who are you, and what do you do? What do you like to do outside of work?

Hi! My name is Philipp Giese, and I am a data analyst and researcher with focus on Bitcoin, Blockchain technology, and cryptocurrencies. In recent years, some colleagues and I built BTC-ECHO, which grew to be the largest digital magazine about Blockchain-related topics in the German-speaking region. I love playing around with data, especially within—but not limited to—the cryptocurrency/Blockchain sphere. So think about analyzing price movements, making fundamental analysis of Bitcoin and Co. looking at large token movements, etc. Besides this, I am co-inventor of a calibration device for applanation tonometers and have a strong background regarding technology evaluation for a federal project sponsor.

Outside work I like several things: I like kettlebell- and barbell-training (the latter one is, in the time of corona, unfortunately on hold), arm wrestling, and playing with my nephew and my niece. I like to take long walks around in Berlin, love the weirdest genres of music, play Dwarf Fortress and some roguelike games… but also loooove to do what I am doing during work hours: Looking at interesting data and playing around with it! Oh, and I looove tinkering with my editors (more regarding that below).

Philipp Giese's setup
Low-fuss everyday work setup

What hardware do you use?

I love it simple. I have two laptops I use for my everyday work, a MacBook Air and a Pinebook Pro. For a third project I use a Raspberry Pi, more precisely a RaspiBlitz, as a Bitcoin & Lightning full node. In the office I used to work with two monitors, but during lockdown/home office the setup became much more minimalistic and relaxed. A laptop on my lap, sitting on my couch or my bed… not much more is needed to work.

Philipp Giese's home setup
Even lower-fuss work-from-home setup

And what software?

I am an R-maximalist, so almost everything I analyze or script is done with R. Occasionally I write stuff in Wolfram Mathematica or Python, but most of the time R does everything I need.

Regarding editors, I mostly like to keep it simple. Okay, sometimes I use RStudio on my MacBook, but more often than not I work within more terminal-oriented editors. It started with Emacs, was then Vim, and recently changed to Kakoune. Especially when we ponder about Vim and Kakoune, a good terminal integration is mandatory. Though I work only with the regular Terminal (and zsh) on my Macbook, I have a well-balanced, mostly suckless setup on my Pinebook. There I work with dwm, dmenu, st (again with zsh) and (minimalistic, but not really suckless) qutebrowser. On my Pinebook, the classic meme “I use Arch btw” can be applied, as I work there with Manjaro.

What’s your keyboard setup like? Do you use a custom layout or custom keycaps?

I am currently on the brink of conversion! Up until recently I was a big friend of QWERTZ layouts. Especially during programming, you begin to love a QWERTY setup. So currently I am tinkering on my Planck setup to make it more manageable for QWERTY. My current setups for ErgoDox EZ and Planck can be found online.

While I love my ErgoDox Shine, since the lockdown I have mostly been working with my Planck. It’s so relaxing to work with it while sitting on the couch or on the bed! However, I hope that I can one day work again a little bit more again with my nifty ErgoDox.

Philipp Giese's keyboard setup
The Shine gives Philipp's work a green light

Most of the switches I use are completely standard Cherry MX red, however, for some important Keys I use Cherry MX blue (the clicking sound when hitting enter is always a reward after a completed sentence!).

Unfortunately I don’t have any custom keycaps, but I have planned for some months to 3D print some. My father, who is quite a 3D printing nerd, made some wrist rests for my Planck EZ.

What would be your dream setup?

My dream setup would either a leaning or a walking desk with several monitors, perhaps even more than three! On this workplace I would primarily work with the ErgoDox EZ. Perhaps I would write myself some macros so that I could control the walking speed and the steepness of the walking desk or the angle of the leaning desk with my ErgoDox.

But I have to say: Working on my laptop while chilling in my bed is already quite great! However, I would love to have some better way to fix my Planck on my keyboard. That way, it would be much simpler to work with it when the laptop is not on a flat, plain surface.

Both for my Planck and my ErgoDox I would like to achieve some notification-triggered blinking, i.e. when I get a new message via Telegram that my keyboards flash blue for an instant.