I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while, and although it is very self-centered, I hope it makes you think more about the technology that you use, and why you use it. I’ll be focusing on four main areas: my desktop setup, mobile devices, digital technology, and gadgets.
Firstly, is my desktop setup. This is currently at my school dormitory, and although it will be at the family house over the summer, I am also planning to use it in the university dormitory. To begin with the peripherals, I use the following. A simple AOC 22” 1080p monitor. It is relatively light, and easy to move around, which is perfect for the situation in which I use it. For input, I use a four year old Logitech G402 mouse. It is one of the cheapest higher tier mouses that Logitech still makes, and has a great sensor on top of unflinching buttons. As well as the mouse, I use a Corsair K55 keyboard. Although not mechanical, it has some really solid key switches, and more importantly, media controls, which was pretty much the only reason I brought it. It also came with a wrist wrest which I am a massive fan of. And finally, I also rarely use a Blue Microphones Snowball iCE. I don’t use it as much as I used to, but this is for video voice overs, as well as voice/video conferences online.
To move onto the PC itself, I like to call it a sleeper PC – above average specs sitting in a very unassuming case. It is running off an ASUS Prime B350M-A motherboard and a GD rated EVGA 550W power supply. On top of these are a quad-core octa-thread AMD Ryzen 1500X, overclocked at 3.8GHz, a Gigabyte GTX 1050 Ti LP OC, and 16GB of HyperX Fury DDR4-2400 MHz ram.. For storage I use a 250GB Samsung 850 Evo SSD, a WD Elements Caviar Blue 1TB HDD, and a Seagate Ironwolf 4TB HDD.
This setup isn’t actually as expensive as it sounds. The PC itself, which was built over time, only cost around 1400 New Zealand dollars, which totals to barely 900 US dollars. The monitor I traded to a friend for some old parts, and the mouse, keyboard, and microphone I purchased online, for no more than a total sum of 300 New Zealand dollars, around 195 US dollars. Now, what do I use this desktop setup for? Well, from an early age, I have had a fascination with the internet and the wonders that it brings – I want a fast and lag-free machine to browse it. Of course, I also use the machine for my studies, and a bit of video work and gaming on the side. I definitely get a lot of good use out of it, and I hope it will last me a fair few years more before I upgrade.
Moving onto mobile devices, there are three that I use the most. My Microsoft Surface 3, my Samsung Galaxy J5 Pro, and my Kindle Paperwhite. My Microsoft Surface 3 I only brought a while ago – I was looking for a more portable computer that I could use at school, in the dormitory, and bring home with me on the weekends. It’s a small 12” tablet, but what sets it apart, it runs a full version of Windows 10, meaning that I can run actual software on it, such as Discord, Spotify, and custom browsers. I’m really happy with how it’s functioning. I brought for only 300 New Zealand dollars, again, 193 US dollars, but in that sum were included the keyboard, which I may note, is fantastic, and a “Gumdrop” case, which not only has a screen protector, but a full body rubber casing which can protect the computer from almost anything.
My Samsung Galaxy J5 Pro, released in 2017, is the smartphone which I have had for over a year now. It has a simple and sleek design, coming in with a 5.2” display, a 3000 mAh battery, and 2GB of RAM. As well as this, it has a surprisingly decent 13MP back camera, a 5MP front camera, and a biometric sensor on the front button. I couple this with a similarly sleek Spigen case, which has protected my phone from countless drops. Now, to quickly address the topic of smartphones, they really are great. But earlier in the year I was a bit scared of how dependent I was on it. So I cut down on my online services and used a Nokia 3310 for two entire months. I coped very well without a smartphone, and only switched back because the benefits really are just amazing. But I can safely say now that I can let go of it, and my services can all be accessed from any computer, not just my phone.
And last but not least, my Kindle Paperwhite. This simple eReader has served me very well, and I have probably used it more than all my devices combined. I brought it with money I saved up when I was 11 years old, or thereabouts, and it is still going strong today. I have a black leather flip case that I use with it, and I will continue to read on it for many years to come.
Thirdly, before finishing off, I’d like to address some of the less physical aspects of this technology I use – the digital world. The services and software which I utilize with these devices. I’ll start with my operating systems and browsers. I use Windows 10 on both my computers, and my smartphone is running Android 8.1. I recently switched to using Chrome as my primary browser, and use Opera as my backup. Moving onto services, I pay for Spotify Premium, WordPress, and my friend lends me his Netflix login, which I rarely use. I also pay for a monthly phone plan which gets my unlimited texts and calls, as well as 2GB of data. Of the free services I use, I use Protonmail as my primary email account, Google (although I don’t rely on it whatsoever) for Youtube and it’s cloud services, Microsoft to have more features on my computers, Discord for online interactions, and then some other unimportant social media accounts. I try to minimize my dependency and usage of this, but if I had to pick two which I used the most, it would definitely be Spotify and YouTube.
As to the gadgets, or other technology I use, there aren’t too many. I’ll start with my headphones, seeing as those are the ones I use the most. My main pair are some Skullcandy Jib Earbuds – very good sound quality, perfect for bands like Sabaton. I also have a backup pair of earbuds, some Sony MDR-E9LPs. Now, I did have a cheap over ear Phillips headset, which I used for my desktop setup, but I think someone stole them. Moving on, I also have a Nokia 3310 3G cellphone which was reintroduced by Nokia a while back – this serves as my backup phone which I carry in my bag. I also carry with me a 10,000 mAh EasyAcc battery back, which I can use to power both my Surface and mobile devices.
That’s pretty much it. I try to keep the technology I use, and the amount of it, minimalistic. And although when you read the lists above that might not be the case, I can carry pretty much all of the above in a backpack and my arms – there isn’t that much, and I use all of it heavily. Maybe this was interesting to you. Not only was I more or less taking inventory and the time to appreciate my technology, but I hope this encourages you to take some deeper thought as to what you use, and why you use it.
P.S I’m going to add some pictures to this post once I get back to the dormitory.