Titus makes open source software. As he says himself, he’s privileged enough to be able to spend quite some time on this hobby. He told me about three rather successful projects. They’re all about processing language. He found out that success in open source land can be painful, especially when bullies disagree with your project. Which is a real shame. It took away the fun of fame that he experienced for a while. It didn’t take away the fun of working on these projects though.
He doesn’t use his ears for making. But he does listen to music all day. A while ago he started on this project to listen to all songs that ever entered the Billboard Top 100. That list started in 1958.
This is the computer that Titus writes all his code on. He doesn’t really need this particular computer, any computer would do. As long as it’s a Mac. He likes beautiful things, that’s why.
Titus uses his eyes to look at his code. And to look at the beautiful objects around him. He doesn’t have many things in his house, but the few things he has are all beautiful.
Titus uses his feet to step away from his computer every now and then to smoke a cigarette. Taking these walks helps him to place his work in perspective, it gives him time to think about what he’s doing.
Titus’s hands are for putting his thoughts into his computer. He could imagine dictating code to the computer, one day in the future. But until then he’ll use his hands.
Like with many other people who make things, Titus’ eyes and his brain are the most used parts of his head. He can’t really smell since he smokes. And talking and listening are not part of his making process. It’s not that he works alone, it’s just that the people he works with are elsewhere. They mostly communicate via all kinds of text based digital communication tools.
Titus works from home. He lives in a wonderful little house in the oldest part of Amsterdam, with an incredible view. His two cats hid themselves during my visit. I have no idea what they look like.
At first Titus worked on his projects simply because he wanted them to exist. Then, when some of them turned out to be pretty successful he worked for the success for a while. There are tools within GitHub that turn success into an instant addiction. After he got harassed by a group of bullies he had to rethink his reasons. He now works on his projects because he wants to. And we chose this image as an illustration because it’s such a beautiful object.
Titus uses all kinds of tools on his computer. He uses Github extensively. Text editors. And the terminal, of course. I was allowed to take this picture as long as I promised not to hit enter.