I’d originally listed out the hardware and software I use in case anyone was interested, but realised how dry that was. So instead I’ve interviewed myself in the style of The Setup. Except for my gaming collection, which I’m assuming is of more interest to those who favour lists.
What hardware do you use?
My first major purchase when I started my business was a Samsung R540 laptop which is still going strong after two+ years of daily use (Please don’t break now), and when I’m in the home office it’s hooked up to a Samsung second monitor which makes a huge difference, along with some Logitech speakers. And after getting wrist ache, I started using a Kensington track ball and now going back to using a mouse when I’m out of the office just feels weird.
I’ve also finally picked up a Creative ChatMax HS-720 Headset for the multitude of Skype calls and conferences. Printing is a HP wireless printer/scanner, and along with an Xbox 360 and my colleague’s laptop and desktop it all connects with a Netgear N600 Wireless Dual Band ADSL2+ Router, with broadband provided by Zen Internet.
I have two mobile phones – a Nokia N900 with stylus and slide-out qwerty keyboard which is mainly a work phone, and because I enjoy getting strange looks from people with more modern handsets. And for personal use I’ve got an unlocked HTC Sensation gifted to me. And I’ve found GiffGaff to be a good value network for mainly text and data usage.
Aside from the aforementioned Xbox 360 for most of my gaming, I also have a bog standard Kindle for reading. And a Roland Micro Cube guitar amp for those times when I get a chance to play guitar.
I also have two desks. One is an Ikea Frederik which has been set up as a standing desk, while the other is a cheap Argos desk for sitting. The combination is a lot cheaper and easier to find than something adjustable.
And what software?
I tend to live in Google services for Gmail, Calendar, Drive and Youtube. We use Liquid Planner for project management, and obviously I spend a lot of time on Twitter, Facebook, G+, and Reddit, plus I upload almost all pictures to Flickr despite their new UI being worse for archiving and filing, and bookmarks go to Diigo.
Working in a home office, often alone, means constant audio is required from Spotify, and entertainment during work breaks is provided by Youtube, iPlayer and occasionally Lovefilm.
Workwise, it’s a mix of the traditional Excel, Word etc, along with Open Office and GIMP for image editing. Most sites we work on are built using WordPress, occasionally with added eCommerce from Jigoshop, or Magento.
For social media posting, it’s a mix of Tweetdeck, Hubspot, and Buffer to maintain some separation between accounts more than anything, and for SEO there are a range of tools, but the best value has probably come from Screaming Frog.
What would be your dream setup?
At some point, I definitely need a high spec gaming and video editing desktop as an indulgence I can somewhat justify for work. I’d also like a reasonably high-end netbook as it’s a bit easier to carry around London etc for meetings than the Samsung, and my frustration towards tablets as a work device is well documented.
I’d also like a much nicer office chair, considering the hours I spent sat in it, and ideally space in the office for a rowing machine to get a bit more exercise during screen breaks. Plus a really nice DLSR camera, ideally with a wifi-enabled memory card so I can automatically upload everything. And no matter how fast the internet connection currently is, I’d always like something faster.
And that gaming stuff you mentioned?
The Consoles and Gaming machines:
- Microsoft Xbox
- Microsoft Xbox 360
- Nintendo Gameboy
- Nintendo Gameboy Advance
- Nintendo NES
- Nintendo SNES
- Nintendo N64
- Nintendo Gamecube
- Sega Master System
- Sega Master System 2
- Sega Megadrive
- Sega Megadrive 2
- Sega Megadrive (HK Import)
- Sega Mega CD
- Sega Mega CD 2
- Sega Saturn
- Sega Dreamcast
- Sony Playstation
- Sony Playstation 2
- Spectrum 48K