On this page there's just a bit on what equipment we're running right now. It's all to meet requirements and geared towards value for money.

What's New in December 2018?

I replaced the 6+ yr old Crucial m4 256GB SSD in the Windows desktop with a new Samsung 860 EVO 1TB which was on sale. This means I can fit video edit projects on the SSD instead of the spinning disk, as well as some more games. Also, my cheap 4.5yr old Thinkpad died the true death. I won't be replacing that for a while unfortunately. On the software side, I dumped Premiere Elements 14 in favour of BlackMagic DaVinci Resolve 15, mainly on performance, and that I find the layout and workflow of Resolve seems to make more sense to me.

Hardware

Dell XPS 13 The family computer from May 2018, a nice and somewhat child resistant metal laptop. (8th gen Core i5, 8GB RAM, SSD, Windows 10)

2011 Apple MacMini This one harks back to September 2011, before Apple ruined the range. Since then I've bumped the memory and stuck an SSD in it. It's fine for the photo management I ask of it as it's somewhat been put out to pasture as a daily usage machine, and is mainy hooked up to the family TV.

  • CPU: Dual Core i5 2.5GHz
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Graphics: AMD HD 6630M
  • Drives: Crucial MX300 525GB SSD (Sept. 2016)
  • OS: macOS High Sierra

Windows PC My Frankenstein's monster of a Windows box is mainly for audio and video editing, encoding, gaming and some work, t and generally gets updated piecemeal.

Archive Server Another self built machine mainly harking back to May 2013, purely for archiving files and media, running the linux.

  • CPU: AMD A6-5400K, with a Scythe Shuriken B cooler (May 2015)
  • RAM: 8GB Corsair XMS3
  • Mobo: ASRock FM2A75 Pro4M
  • Graphics: On CPU (headless)
  • PSU: Antec Earthwatts 450 Platinum PSU
  • Case: Fractal Design Define R4
  • Discs: Samsung 840 120GB SSD for OS, 4TB Western Digital Red (September 2018) & 1 * 4TB WD Red HDD (September 2016)
  • OS: Xubuntu 18.04 LTS.

Software

Backups and the small amount of Sync I do are both handled with SpiderOak, one of the more security focussed online backup services, since living in a wooden house in an earthquake zone does make me think about off-site backup quite a lot. Most of the things I do are text based, so I try to keep it simple, using as editors like Atom, Notepad++ for day to day, FocusWriter and Scrivener for longer works, and RedNoteBook for journalling.

Video editing I do in BlackMagic DaVinci Resolve 15.2 on the Windows desktop, and I tend to use YouTube (and previously Vimeo) for video availability.

I keep passwords in a KeePassXC file, and sensitive documents in VeraCrypt files.

Hosting

This site is housed on some space at Pair Networks where I also keep some personal projects and experiments. All of my e-mail is run via my own domain names, using Pair again as a back-end with a side helping of GMail as a backup. There are free equivalents for email, and of course web-mail, but Pair works well, I can use alts for things easily, no ads in sight, and costs 6USD/month for the hosting and mail.

Gadgets

  • Moto G5plus 32GB Android 'smartphone' (June 2017)
  • Kindle PaperWhite 2015 (Sept. 2015)
  • Raspberry Pi's of various generations running various OSs
  • Arduino Uno and other electronics kit (2013 onwards).

Gaming

I do a lot less gaming nowadays as I get my kids to do it instead. We currently have a Nintendo Switch and a PS4 (which is mainly used as a HTPC). I think I'm one of only a few people who feel they got their moneys worth out of the old Wii U we still have. We also have a few 3DSs in the house. I play a few games through Steam/GOG on my desktop PC.