My Sweet Hardware Setup

I like to “liberate” good ideas from other sources.  This post is inspired by a recent post I read on WinSupersite – The Hardware I Use, but also by a website I enjoy called The Sweet Setup, especially when they focus on other peoples’ setups.

In this edition I’m going to specifically talk about my day-to-day computer rig, and not about my networking setup (which is a topic for another time).

Computer:

Apple Macbook Pro (13-inch Early 2011)

  • 2.3GHz Intel Core i5
  • 8GB 1333 MHz DDR3 RAM
  • Intel HD Graphics 3000 512MB
  • Samsung SSD 840 EVO 250GB

The Macbook Pro is a workhorse, I bought mine refurbished from Apple and got AppleCare on it, which I don’t know if I’d do again.  I upgraded to 8GB RAM on my own, and added a Samsung SSD about a year ago which gave the old girl brand new life.

I prefer to buy refurbished when I can.  A refub unit has actually had a reasonable amount of “burn in”, has been inspected by smart people, and had any deficiencies fixed before shipping out the door, which means there is less of a chance it will fail for you.

While I’d love a new fancy pants retina Macbook, the truth is this one’s pretty good for me.  If I upgraded, I would likely get a Mac Mini as I find 90% of my computing is done at my desk when I’m not on my iPad.

Peripherals:

Samsung SMS27A350H

It’s a 27″ 1080p LED monitor that has great colour depth and a really good refresh rate.  It didn’t break the bank, so that was a good thing too.

Apple Keyboard With Numeric Keypad

I prefer wired peripherals where I can, just because I hate searching around for batteries at 3am.  I love the feel of the Apple keyboards.  They’re satisfying to type on, and I swear I can type faster on them than on a regular keyboard.

Wacom Intuos 3

I picked this up about 8 years ago to replace a Wacom Bamboo that I had.  My only complaint about the Intuos is that the mouse died, so rather than spend money on a new Wacom mouse, I bought an actual mouse.

Microsoft Wireless Mouse 3500

This is a smaller mouse, it has a USB dongle that fits inside of it when it’s not in use.

Belkin 7 Port USB Hub

You need something to wire all of those things into, this way I only plug in one little cable and have access to all this goodness.

Blue Yeti Microphone

I do the occasional voiceover recording, and like to have a nice microphone.  This unit has four different modes, built in headset input, and a gain knob.

Creative I-Trigue 3400 Speakers

I bought these about a decade ago on sale at Future Shop for something insane like $30.00 (regularly $150).  They are awesome speakers with a powered subwoofer.

Mobile Computing:

iPad Air 2 – 32GB

I’ve had an iPad since the iPad 2 came out. I upgraded my original iPad 2 to an iPad Mini, but I found that reading magazines and comics (which is one of my main activities on the iPad) wasn’t nearly as good as on the iPad 2. I picked up an iPad air and I don’t have a single complaint.  What I lost in form factor – the mini is an awesome size – I gained back in usability.  Drawing, reading, and writing on a larger keyboard are all awesome on the Air 2.

iPhone 5 – 16GB

I love my iPhone, it was a great upgrade from my 3Gs, and I’ll likely upgrade to a 6s when they get released later this year, but other than a small problem with the battery spontaneously draining when it gets down to 20%, I have no complaints about this little dude.

That’s my gear.  It does the things I need to do.  I’ll talk about my Sweet Network Setup, as well as my Sweet Software Setups for OSX and iOS in future columns.

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