What I Use

Updated 2013-04-07

 

PC HARDWARE

Dell Studio XPS 8500 (Primary home desktop)
  • Processor: Quad Core
  • RAM: 32GB
  • HD: Two 1TB HDs
  • OS: Windows 8 Pro (64 bit)
  • NVIDIA®GeForce GTX 660 1.5GB GDDR5

LCD MONITORS 

My desktop at work is connected to a HP ZR30W (30" 2560x1600) and at home a HP ZR2740w (27" 2560x1440). These are both the best monitors I've owned, but I think the HP ZR2040w has the best balance of size, price, pixel density, and energy consumption.

 

HOME NETWORK

All the machines in my house are managed to an Acer Aspire EasyStore Home Server filled with four 500GB drives. The sever is extremely quiet, reliable, and *just works*.  The Home Server is used for storing all my media and archiving my docs and backing up the machines in the house. 

INPUT DEVICES


KEYBOARD
I use the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Desktop 7000 keyboard for all my desktops. I would love to switch to something better,  simpler, and smaller, but can't find one.  
 
PRESSURE-SENSITIVE TABLET
For controlling the cursor I spend most (95%) of my time using a Wacom Intuos 4 Pressure-sensitive tablet (Large Size 8"x6" drawing area). I use the slightly older wired version instead of the newer wireless version.

SCREENCASTING AND PODCASTING

For recording the audio for podcasts and screencasts I use a Shure PG42-USB Vocal Micrphone. (I previously used a simpler a Samson CO1U USB Condenser Microphone which is also very good at costs much less.) It doesn't have all the fancy controls of the Yeti microphone but the sound quality is just as good. When recording audio I mount the microphones on a Heil PL2T Boom Mount.
To edit my podcast and screencast audio I use the open source Audacity tool. It works brilliantly. 
For screencasting, the only solution I endorse is Techsmith Camtasia Studio. I use Vimeo to hold all my screencasts. When performing screencasts I often use ZoomIt so that I can get magnified views of the screen.

MOBILE DEVICES


PHONES
My phone is the HTC Droid Incredible with service from Verizon. I love the phone, the apps, and the carrier. Unfortunately I cannot get Windows Phone 7 until they support Verizon. ATT coverage when I am in my home is unreliable.
 
 
PORTABLE MUSIC PLAYERS
With the discontinuation of the Zune and the desire to carry less devices, I listen music on my Droid Incredible phone.

 

GRAPHICS APPLICATIONS


Microsoft Visio 2010
To generate  charts and infographics I primarily rely on Microsoft Visio 2010
 
Vector Illustration: Xara Designer Pro X (v8)
I don't illustrate as much as I used to but when I do I use Xara Designer Pro X
 
Digital Painting: ArtRage
For bitmap work I primarily use ArtRage 3.5 Studio Pro. Occsionally I use the higher-end  Corel Painter 12.
Batch Image Conversion: XnConvert
XnConvert is a free multiplatform image converter that gets the job done with many different file formats.

SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

 
Managed Code
Most often I use Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 Ultimate to write C# code. Tools I use with Visual Studio include Jetbrains ReSharper and NDepend. For small demo projects I use the open-source SharpDevelop 4.1.
 
Scripting
When I need to script, I use IronPython 2.7 with Python Tools for Visio Studio.
For source control I've abandoned TFS and switched to Mercurial. I use the TortoiseHg mercurial client for Windows and for Visual Studio integration I rely on VisualHg.

SCREEN CAPTURE AND RECORDING

For capturing screenshots I use Hyperionics Hypersnap for video Techsmith Camtasia Studio.
 

OPTICAL MEDIA: CDs AND ISOs

ImgBurn serves all my needs to create and burn ISO files.

PICKING COLORS AND PALETTES

To extract the exact RGB values from pixels on my screen I use ColorSchemer ColorPix.

SYNCING FILES

Microsoft SkyDrive allows me to sync all my files to all my PCs at work and home.

BLOGGING

Windows Live Blogger is still the best desktop blog software that exists. I use it exclusively to create blog posts. I also use BlogJet for some posts.
 

DOWNLOADING YOUTUBE VIDEOS

I use ClipGrap, Freemake Video Downloader, for downloading FLV, MP4, etc videos from video sites such as YouTube and Vimeo.

CONVERTING FILES

FONTS

Finding free fonts. You can find cool fonts for your projects on fontsquirrel and the League of Movable Type.

 
Creating fonts. Occasionally I try to create my own typefaces with High-Logic FontCreator.

 

DATA

FINDING SONG LYRICS

FINDING VECTOR ART

DESKTOP WALLPAPERS

TEXT UTILITIES

 

INTERNET UTILITIES 

 

CONSOLE UTILITIES 

  • ConEmu - An advanced windows Console with Tabs and many configuration options