I’ve been asked a few times recently what kind of equipment and software I use day to day. What better place then my┬ásparsely┬ápopulated blog!

Mobile:

T-Mobile G2X

Blackberry Torch

Viewsonic G-Tablet

Google CR-48

HP dv2000 w/ Windows 7 Ultimate & Ubuntu 10.10

HP Mini 311 – For sale! :)

 

Work Desktop:

HP dc7900 Core 2 Duo 4GB RAM

Windows 7 Enterprise

80GB internal, Maxtor External with 2x 640GB Drives

1 x 22″ Acer LCD + 1 x Acer 19″ (My awesome IT director loves Acer monitors, I’d rather use them as kindling)

Microsoft Comfort Optical Mouse – grabbed it from the hardware pile

Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard – This was my first time to use this for an extended amount of time and I love the split ergo design.

D-Link GB switch – another piece of hardware grabbed from the pile of leftovers

 

Software:

KeePass – I use this mostly for keeping track of SQL and Application passwords along with a bunch of URL’s with their auth info

LastPass – I’ve started to use this for most of the URL’s for both work and personal use, I’ve purchased the premium version for use on my phones and love it.

RD Tabs – I’ve tried just about every other RDP management tool out there but I settled into this one the best. I love the ability to use protocols other then RDP.

Office 2010 – I wouldn’t be allowed in the building if I wasn’t using this

Google Chrome/IE – I use Chrome for just about everything but IE still gets used for our corporate applications that were designed for IE7 and our Helpdesk.

ExInsight – Nice tool for taking a look at Exchange and seeing what is happening.

Synergy+/InputDirector – I’m not using this right now but it has come in handy many times.

Fireplotter – This tool is cheap (~$250) and is worth every penny. Able to connect to all of our ASA’s and break down bandwidth usage based on port and other variables.

FileZilla – Free and good, can’t beat it.

VirtualBox – I’ve come to rely on this for testing software and GPO settings out on XP and even some OSX testing in a crunch.

DameWare NT Utilities – This one group of tools has saved me countless hours of headaches over the years when managing Active Directory and users workstations.

Putty – Hands down the best free SSH/Telnet utility out there.

Solarwinds TFTP Server – Ya know, cause it works.

ImgBurn – Great lightweight utility for burning ISO files and such.

MagicDisc – Simple freeware tool for mounting ISO and IMG files

So one thing we’ve been missing since cutting the cable is news. I’m ok with using Justin.tv via Boxee to watch CNN but local news was lacking. I thought about writing a plugin to grab the videos from local news sites but it wasn’t live, and they don’t offer a live feed of weather.

So we decided to purchase tv tuners for the HTPC. Now I’m using a AMD Phenom II triple core with 8gb of ram in an Antec Sonata III so resources or space were not a concern for me. My biggest concern was cost as it is with most people. I was really set on grabbing a refurbed HDHomeRun but Newegg was out of stock for so long that I decided to skip it.

I had ordered two 2.5″ USB drive enclosures from a new to me website called meritline.com (great deal on them btw!). I decided to check their site for HD OTA tuners and found a nice small USB tuner for 24.99 or two for 44.99. Decided to pick up two of these since I figured we wouldn’t be using them more then that. Side note, thanks for putting these on sale an hour after I purchased them.

So a week later I was finishing up putting christmas lights on the house and the postman stopped by with my early present. Since the wife and kid were gone doing whatever they do when I’m not around, I decided to drop what I was doing and get these installed before they came back.

The installation went pretty quick once I decided to not read the description and just use the included CD for my Windows 7 x64 HTPC. Plugged them both in, ran the installer, scanned for new tuners in MCE and scanned for channels. Found every channel I should have been able to receive but of course as reviewers noted, the included antennas are junk. So off to Amazon to buy a new antenna Picked up a nice refurbed internal/external Phillips MANT940 for $23. Mounted it in the closet above the HTPC and fixed the quality issues I was having with ABC and PBS.

So with this setup we’ve finally rounded out our HTPC and our quest to forget about cable tv. We’re so happy with the extra $80 a month we’re saving. Even happier now that both Netflix and Hulu have dropped the price on their monthly fees.