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 June 2019?

This update is really for the audio and video gear I added at the end there - Mic, interface and such - I usually have that as an 'outdoor' thing, but thought I'd add it here also. I also moved from MP4Tools to LosslessCut for trimming my GoPro files for storage since it runs on Windows and Linux as well as Mac, and I'm currently phasing the Mac out as it turns 8 yrs old.

Hardware

Dell XPS 13 (9360) The family computer since May 2018, and a nice and somewhat child resistant metal laptop at that. (Core i5-8250U, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, UHD 620 gfx, 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 2520M
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Graphics: AMD HD 6630M w/ 256MB
  • 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, 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, 2 4TB Western Digital Reds (September 2016 & September 2018) & 2 2TB WD Green HDD (Dates TBC)
  • 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 15.3 on the Windows desktop, and I tend to use YouTube and Vimeo for video availability. I have recently moved to LosslessCut for hacking away unneeded footage. I used to use the Mac only MP4Tools.

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. We also have a few 3DSs in the house. I play a few games through Steam/GOG on my desktop PC now and then.

The Audio and the Visual

I have an old ‘entry level’ Nikon D3200 dSLR which I bought in October 2012 for which I have 3 lenses – a 35mm prime which is my favoured lens, a 55-200mm zoom and a used 18-55mm VR kit lens I got cheap.

After years of abusing and finally selling my GoPro HeroHD 2, then a Hero 5 Black (since sold also), in December 2018 I received a GoPro 7black as a gift. I like to play with the GoPros on the snowboard, the bikes and at the beaches. I find it to be a great urban camera too and using with the family given its POV style, the kids can’t really break it. Well, they haven’t yet.

Of late I've indulged a long interest in audio recording, and have invested in a Rode NT1 mic kit, a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface and an OnStage MS7701B mic stand. I've been using this for family video voice overs and eventually for some YouTube voiceovers.

I also have a Zoom H1 audio recorder, as sometimes I just want to capture some sound when I'm out and about, and I often use it for taking memos, recording waterfalls and such if I want to make a video and have better audio.