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My Sweet Hardware Setup

I’ve pretty much perfected my hardware setup at this point, it does the job well, and never leaves me looking for more.

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.

By Brian Garside

Brian is a digital experience expert, and part time internet superhero. He focuses on digital first design, digital strategies, content management, website usability, and user experience. He was part of the team behind BalanceDo, the co-founder of All New Comics, and the chief strategist at NorthIQ.