Stuff I Use – October 2010

I use quite a bit of technology for my day-to-day activities, which include school, work, play and this blog. Here’s a list of several pieces of technology that I use on a recurring basis from the type of computer I use to the type of Twitter application I have. You can check it out below, and also follow along what I use via Wakoopa!

Primary Machines

Dell XPS 400

A late 2005 model, my Dell XPS 400 includes an Intel Pentium D Processor @ 2.80GHz, 3GB DDR2 RAM, 250GB Hard Drive, nVidia Graphics Card, and a few other bells and whistles that I’ve added throughout the years. It’s an older machine, but it gets the job done.

Lenovo ThinkPad T61

An early 2008 model, my ThinkPad T61 is my primary mobile workhorse. It comes with me almost wherever I go and as such, it’s been put through quite a bit of abuse, but still looks and works as if it was brand new. It houses an Intel Core 2 Duo T8100 Processor @ 2.10GHz, 2GB DDR2 RAM, 160GB Hard Drive, and integrated Intel Graphics Chipset.

Secondary Machine

Dell Dimension 8200

This old beast is used primarily to do tedious tasks that I don’t want done on my other two computers, such as disassembling code, performing network routine tasks, etc. It houses a Pentium 4 Processor @ 2.4GHz, 512MB of RAM, and two 80GB hard drives. It does what it needs to and I couldn’t ask for more.


Operating System

I currently maintain Windows 7 with SP1 Beta on my two primary machines. I also, from time to time, test the latest Ubuntu version and have Windows XP and Vista running in a virtual machine on both of my primary machines. I use VMWare Player for most of my OS virtualization needs.

Productivity Software

I use Microsoft Office 2010 quite a bit and more specifically, Word and OneNote for a lot of my projects. I’ve started using Microsoft Visio 2010 for coding projects, but find that it works better if I just have an idea in my head versus trying to lay it all out (instead of how it’s supposed to be done).

I also use and recommend the free online version of Microsoft Office, dubbed Office Web Apps. I don’t use it primarily, instead from time to time as I need to access or edit Office documents on the fly. I also use SkyDrive to host my Office documents that I need to sync or have access to anywhere.


I use Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 for most of my coding projects. I usually code in Visual C#, Basic, or C++. However, for school, I use Eclipse to write the required Java programs for school projects. I also use HexRay’s IDA Pro (free version) for my disassembling needs.


I use a slew of multimedia programs and web clients, so I’ll probably miss a couple in this category. I use Zune for all of my music needs and have a Zune Pass which allows for unlimited music downloads, while I use Windows Media Player 12 is used for videos. I also have a Netflix subscription which allows me access to a host of movies and TV shows that I watch on a somewhat regular basis. For other TV shows that can’t be found on Netflix, I use and recommend the free TV service, Hulu.

Internet and E-mail

For general Internet purposes I use Internet Explorer 9 Beta; however, I do maintain a current version of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari on my computers for comparison or other testing purposes.

For online syncing purposes I primarily use Windows Live Mesh 2011 (formerly, Windows Live Sync) which is free. This allows me to synchronize freely to all of my PCs and 5GB worth of storage on SkyDrive.

I use Twitter to keep up with fellow Microsoft enthusiasts; however, I try to keep away from the online service and instead use a variety of Twitter clients. I haven’t found one that I’ve been able to completely enjoy; although, it seems like TweetDeck and MetroTwit are the top two contenders.

No, I don’t have a Facebook, and no I don’t know of any good programs to use for it with the exception perhaps of TweetDeck.

I used to use Microsoft Outlook exclusively for all of my e-mail interactions. However, this has changed a little of late as I’ve been slowly transitioning to the newly updated and excellent Windows Live Hotmail service (I’ve always had a Windows Live account, but am now using the online service versus Outlook). I’m not sure how long this will last, but for now, I’m very pleased with the new Hotmail. Though I’m not a big fan of Gmail for several reasons, I do have to use Gmail for my school e-mail account. I have considered forwarding this mail to a separate Live account, as I cannot stand the Gmail service. It is slow, bothersome, and just plain annoying. (Of course, I’ll probably get a lot of whiplash for that statement).

That’s all folks…

Sort of. I’ve missed a lot here and will continue to update this section as I see fit. Check back from time to time to see if anything has changed!

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