Tech tools I’m using - March 2018

2 minute read

A lot of the older posts here have been about what tech tools I’ve been using, so here’s a general update.

My main home machine is running Windows 10, as are my wife and daughter’s. Mine’s still the same base machine I built back in 2012, with a few additions - new power supply, SSD boot drive, and a GTX960 video card. At this point the bottleneck in the system is definitely the old AMD A8 CPU, unfortunately to replace it also involves a new motherboard and memory, not cheap.

As far as gaming goes, I mostly play Guild Wars 2 these days, and for the past 3.5 years. There have been two paid expansions since I started playing, as well as free episodic content between. I still quite like it – sometimes I’ll get a bit bored after playing the current content and try some other MMORPGs, but I keep coming back to GW2. E and B play as well, and B is an officer in a guild. Let me know if you decide to try or are already playing!

My home router is the same one I described updating back in 2014. I also have a small used HP desktop (i5 CPU, 8gb memory, SSD) running FreeBSD as a little server - it hosts the origin for this site (behind CloudFlare), a Plex server, my RSS reader, and whatever else I’m trying out.

My phone is the Essential Phone, got it last December when the Samsung Galaxy S4 I’d been using started randomly shutting down. It was a significant upgrade, the Essential phone is really nice. I’m not going to go through all the details here, check the website, but it’s certainly the best designed and built phone I’ve used day-to-day, including the work iPhone 4 I had ages ago. My only complaint at this point is they’re supposedly rolling out Android 8.x and I haven’t gotten the update yet.

There aren’t a lot of unusual Android apps I use, but two I’ll call out are Podcast Addict and Smart AudioBook Player. They’re both great at what they do, which should be self-evident. ☺

As mentioned above, I have a local Plex server setup to stream video and music from a NAS (Synology 411j that needs replacement soon, it must be at least 8 years old now). We have a Roku on the TV to play from Plex, Netflix, YouTube, etc, and an XBox One for infrequent console gaming and playing discs. And of course we can watch Plex or Netflix on any of our PCs or mobile devices.

That’s all I can think of right now, perhaps will do another post if I think of others.