What I Use  22 January 2015 Pixabay

The hardware I use (Richard Hay)

One of the things that was mentioned in the comments on last week’s story about the changes happening on the new SuperSite for Windows was a request to continue having the authors here share what tech gear they use during their day to day activities.

Our dedicated leader, Rod Trent, has already shared part of his tech gear list as he discussed his computing setup last weekend with all of you and now it is my turn to let you see how I stay connected and do my thing each day.

As I get started with this list I just want to share my view of technology and the choices people make around the technology they use.

You see, there are some very passionate fans of certain technologies/brands and that passion can run very deep plus it is often very intense. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being passionate about anything in your life.

I am a Microsoft guy myself and therefore have embedded myself in that ecosystem and I do that because those technologies and services are what work for me.
Your technology choices are yours – you should always choose what works best for you and allows you to accomplish those things you need to accomplish each day. If you are making your tech choices based on that then who am I, or anyone else, to find fault with your choices?

Should you examine behaviors, habits and trends of the various technology companies we are involved with and reading about – absolutely – but to knock on someone because they are making choices for tech that works for them seems like a waste of energy.

So no matter what let’s agree that your tech is your tech. We can expand our knowledge of technology by sharing our experiences with these technologies and see how different services and devices can be used to help someone get their tasks done.

OK – now to dive into what I use each day.

Computer

As I mentioned in my introduction earlier in the week, I have been building my own desktop computers for at least 10 years now. My normal practice is to skip the bleeding edge gear and purchase technology that is about a year old and that will also give me at least one upgrade cycle. This saves money in the long run but also gives me a nice bump in performance each time. I am no longer a PC gamer so my configurations tend to focus on giving me the best desktop performance I can get.

My current white-box desktop system has these components:

  • Motherboard: GA-MA785GM-US2H (Gigabyte)
  • Processor: AMD Phenom II X2 555 Dual Core 3.2 GHz
  • RAM: 8GB DDR2
  • Video: AMD Radeon HD 5550 with 1GB of RAM
  • Main Drive: 240GB PNY SSD
  • Secondary Drive: 120GB OCZ Vertex3 SSD
  • Power Supply: Ultra 550W
  • Dual Monitors: I-Inc iH252 (25 inch) & HANNS-G HE225 (22 inch) HD monitors which are both mounted to a dual monitor stand on my desktop.
  • Speakers: Logitech Speaker System Z323
  • Keyboard: Microsoft Reclusa. This is one of sturdiest keyboards I have ever used and they stand up to the amount of use my keyboard typically gets. Unfortunately, they are no longer being made so they are harder to track down these days.
  • Mouse: Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse
  • OS: Windows 8.1 Professional

I just ordered new upgrades for this machine so it will soon have an ASUS M5A90FX Pro R20 ATX motherboard, an AMD FX6350 3.9 GHz six-core processor and 8GB of Radeon DDR3 RAM.

I also have a Surface 2, the 32GB model, with a 64Gb MicroSD card for additional storage that runs Windows RT 8.1. The Surface 2 has been a perfect companion device to my desktop as I use several apps to do my daily tech reading and work so with those apps and other info synching easily between my desktop and the Surface 2 I always have everything available.

Mobile

I have been using Windows Phone devices since they hit the market in 2010. Prior to that I also owned a few devices with Windows Mobile on them the last one of which was the HTC Tilt2 with Windows Mobile 6.5.

My first Windows Phone device was the LG Quantum which had the slide out keyboard as I was very unsure about moving purely to an onscreen keyboard at that time. My next Windows Phone was the Nokia Lumia 920 and marked my move to no longer having a physical keyboard and it was an easier transition then I expected. My next upgrade was to the Nokia Lumia 1520 and that is my current Windows Phone handset.

You might ask why I chose the Lumia 1520? Well, when I examined my phone usage habits it was obvious I used it for data access and apps much more than I did for actual phone calls so I opted for the large 6 inch screen and premium hardware.

By the way, I also keep a Galaxy S4 around to test Microsoft apps and services on the Android platform.

Next week I will add to this list with the other pieces of tech gear I use each day. I look forward to hearing what technology is important to you as well.

 

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