Currently Using - June 2021

This page covers what electronic devices, equipment and software I’m running right now.

What’s New?

After a year with the Fujifilm X mount camera systen, I bought a used 16-80mm f4 lens for it . It’s a good, versatile range for travel, and isn’t too large either, even on the X-T200. My Mac mini from 2011 finally stopped working but I think I got my money’s worth from over a decade of use and I’ve replaced it with an entry level Apple Macbook Air M1. At least I had time to save for it.

Hardware

Dell XPS 13 (9360)

The family laptop since May 2018 (Core i5-8250U, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, UHD 620 graphics, Windows 10 Home).

Apple MacBook Air M1

An entry level M1, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD model running MacOS 11.x Big Sur, bought in April 2021.

Windows Desktop 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 2013, which sometimes gets new parts, and sometimes gets parts from the Windows box. It’s used for archiving files and media and is running Linux.

  • CPU: Intel Core i5 3470 (January 2013) with a Scythe Choten cooler (December 2020)
  • RAM: 16GB Corsair XMS3 (May 2013)
  • Mobo: Asus B75M-PLUS (December 2013)
  • Graphics: On CPU (headless)
  • PSU: Antec Earthwatts 450 Platinum PSU (May 2013)
  • Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (May 2013) with Scythe Flex 140 fans.
  • Discs: Samsung 840 120GB SSD (May 2013) for OS, 2 x 4TB Western Digital Reds (September 2016 & September 2018) for personal data & 2 x 8TB Seagate Barracudas (November & December 2019) for media backups.
  • OS: Ubuntu Server 20.04.xx LTS.

2014 Thinkpad E440 I bought one of these in mid 2014, but it had a screen hinge failure in late 2018, so I rescued the SSD, RAM, battery and PSU, and in May 2020 bought the same model on Yahoo Auctions quite cheap as the battery didn’t work, which was great for me since I could re-use my old battery, upgraded the RAM, and it’s up and running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. (Spec is an i3-4100M, 8GB RAM, SSD)

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 editors like MS VisualStudio Code for day to day and RedNoteBook for journalling. Photo management is mainly via digiKam and sometimes DarkTable.

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

Video editing

BlackMagic DaVinci Resolve 17.x on Windows is great for video editing, if a little overpowered for me, and I use both YouTube and Vimeo for video availability. I moved to LosslessCut for hacking away unneeded footage from my GoPro excursions.

Audio Editing

Since buying a proper microphone and audio interface, I went for Reaper as a cheap but easy to understand DAW.

Hosting

This site is housed on some space at Pair Networks.

Gaming

I do a lot less gaming nowadays. We currently have a Nintendo Switch and a PS4, the latter of which is mainly used as a HTPC. I also play a few games on my desktop PC now and then.

The Audio and the Visual

I have a FujiFilm X-T200 (April 2020) with the kit 15-45mm lens, a 23mm weather sealed prime and an 16-80mm travel zoom.

Currently have a GoPro 7 Black. I like to use the GoPros on the snowboard, bicycles, motorbikes and at the beaches.

In mid-2019 I indulged a long time interest in audio recording, and invested in a Rode NT1 microphone and a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface.

Gadgets

  • Google Pixel 4a smartphone (August 2020).
  • Kindle PaperWhite 2015 (September 2015).
  • Raspberry Pi’s of various generations (1-4) running various OSs.
  • Arduino Uno and other electronics kit (2013 onwards).
  • Zoom H1 audio recorder.
  • Boling BL-P1 LED light panel, essentially so I didn’t appear as a silhouette in video conferences during a few months of working from home during the 2020 COVID19 pandemic (April 2020).
  • Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones (February 2020).