People are often curious about what another person is using in terms of day to day productivity. Whether it be what phone they use, to what car they drive, it’s just something people are interested in. Usually someone they look up to, or idolize. Which is something I hope doesn’t happen to me, because I do not want to be worshiped.
However that doesn’t mean that I’m not interested in sharing what I use. I’ve been wanting to post one these since Wakoopa. Which sadly isn’t around anymore. For those that don’t know Wakoopa was a type of social site back in the mid 2000’s that would allow you to track the software you used on your computer. You could see what someone else was using and compare that your own. This is how I began using some of the stuff I do today. Yeah, a total stalker. Loved it though, sadly the social network portion closed in 2012. Anyways, time to start this What I Use post and to begin with I think I’ll start simple.
- Mac Mini mid 2011
The Mac Mini is my main computer and as of mid 2012 is my only computer. I bought this Mac soon after my custom built PC of six years bid farewell. I had often considered switching from PC to Mac, but couldn’t really justify the switch. Although Windows Vista in my opinion was a justifiable reason.
Since June 2012 I’ve used this Mac with the following
- 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 Processor
- 2 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 RAM up’d to 16 GB on 6/15/15
- Intel HD Graphics 3000 512 MB
- OS X El Capitan
- iPhone 6s Plus with iOS 9.3.3
Yup, that’s right another Apple product. When the iPhone was released I hated it, I couldn’t believe the lack of basic functionality. I even posted an entire list of reasons why I hated it, you can read that here. Over time my views changed, and I wanted the iPhone 3GS but couldn’t get one due to bad credit and AT&T wanted $500 upfront so I said screw it. Then in 2011 to my surprise I went through the same credit check with Verizon and was approved though was still denied by AT&T. So I ended up getting the 4S and the rest is history.
*Just want to clarify my hatred for AT&T.
- Apple TV 2nd Generation
The Apple TV is the staple of my entertainment. There isn’t much it has to offer, but AirPlay is definitely the reason to own one. Right now I’m still using the 2nd Generation Apple TV which I bought in 2011. That may change as I’m hoping to hear about some Apple TV news out of Apple later this year. I use it primarily for Netflix, Hulu, Radio, and Podcast on my bedroom TV, but since most video podcast have gone to YouTube I’ve been using my Xbox One for that.
*Will update this as soon as I get the new 4th generation Apple TV….
- iPad 4th Generation with iOS 10 Public Beta 2
The iPad has been one of my favorite products from Apple. I read books, play games, and watch entertainment on it almost all the time. Alas, she has begun to show her age at the moment.
*Will probably be upgrading to 9.7” iPad Pro at a later date.
- Xbox One
Yes, I bought one of these behemoths instead of a PS4. However the Xbox One has paid off over time. I own the Day One edition, which means absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things. I use it for television, and watching Netflix and the like. Of course I play games, Halo still being one of my favorites of course. Now waiting for some more titles that I actually like. Not much of a online gamer since I sadly I have no friends on Xbox Live, at least no friends with an Xbox One.
FYI, I’m more of a recreational gamer, I don’t take the game too serious. I just play to have fun, and/troll. Depends on the group. (Gamertag: DoctorVectrex)
- Xbox Fitness
I’ve begun using Xbox Fitness for a few of my workouts during the day. It’s proven to be quite beneficial. So far my favorite is Mossa Fight, and Athlete Fit. I try to keep up with these workouts daily to stay in shape. I use my Apple Watch along side these workouts to track calories that I burn. As long as I continue to see results I will continue to use Xbox Fitness.
*It was announced early in July that Microsoft would be killing Xbox Fitness… Totally bummed, however the Mossa workouts I love may continue through Mossa themselves.
- Retro Games
I use a number of consoles to satisfy my gaming needs. Most of them are my retro consoles which I keep in my bedroom setup real nice. I’d list them all, but it would make this post unnecessarily long.
- Playstation 3
I’ve been using the Playstation 3 for some years now, since I’d say Christmas of 2011. I don’t use it now as much as I used to, but I still do use it.
For television I use SlingTV. Which is owned by Dish Network. The problem is, it’s not so reliable all the time. There are buffering issues. So while $25 a month is cheap, it’s not worth the buffer and unreliability.
*Planning on moving to Playstation Vue at a later date.
Apps I use
For all my email I do use the built in mail app, it simplifies the process instead of having to use multiple mail apps.
Safari is still my preferred web browser, not just on iOS but also on OS X. Whereas Google Chrome was my favorite on Windows, I never really needed to use a different browser for OS X because Safari met my needs.
The built in Calendar in iOS doesn’t do it for me. Fantastical on the other hand allows me to add appointments with ease. Using normal language. I just need to get this app for OS X, I really do not like Apple’s calendar app.
Pages is a great alternative to Microsoft’s Word. I like Word, but I’ve found myself using it less and less since the switch to OS X. I use it on iOS as well with my iPhone and iPad. It’s nice when everything works together using iCloud. All my documents updated anywhere and everywhere.
Notes is another app that has proven useful for quick notes, and catching thoughts as they come in. Basically anything that’s personal or that is just spur of the moment. Anything that turns long term I usually move into Evernote.
My note app of preference when it comes to serious business. Evernote allows me to keep track of business cards, receipts, and recipes. I use it a lot for planning, and work related projects.
Following social media can be a time consuming nightmare. It’s definitely not easy. Twitter has always been one social site that I’ve tried to keep up with. I’ve used many different ones over the years, but ended up really liking Tweetbot. It was also the first that I used that had a night mode. FYI night mode is a big deal!
Used for all of my passwords. I have to admit that I'm somewhat lazy when it comes to password memorization. Not that's it's hard, it's just I feel that my mind could be doing better things than memorizing passwords. I could write them down but in all truth that would be a waste because I have a habit of losing things. It's why I have the devices I do today.
Photos has proved to be very useful. I didn't expect much from the app. It's not as feature loaded as I would like, but it does get the job done. I use it by default across all of my devices.
There's a lot of Apple news that I like to follow, and rather than have multiple news apps MacHash has all the articles from sites like The Verge, 9to5Mac, iMore, and Cult of Mac. They also have podcast from AppleByte to MacBreak Weekly. Though I use YouTube and iTunes for Podcasts.
- Carrot Weather
I use Carrot Weather as my default weather app. What makes this app nice to use is Carrot's snarky attitude. She can be insulting at times and just downright psycho at others. If SkyNet ever becomes a reality I wouldn't be surprised if Carrot was the AI. I use Carrot Weather on iOS and Mac, and find it to be reliable.
- Lose It!
So for the last several years I've been trying to drop the weight and get healthy. I started back in 2011 by changing my eating habits using Lose It! I've tried using other calorie counters, but I keep coming back to this app.
Yes of course we can’t forget Instagram. I don’t upload a lot of photos but that’s only because I don’t feel my photos are all that good. When take a picture I’m happy with it goes on Instagram for the world to see.
Not much to say, it’s the Facebook app. I use it to keep up with friends and acquaintances, and to manage our church’s Facebook page.
When I’m looking to clear my head and relax I use Calm, which is a meditation app. It’s easy to use, and works great. There is a subscription for pro access, but you don’t need it in order to use the app. Though with the subscription you get a few useful features. (I haven’t paid for a subscription yet.)
I like to read, and I like to be able to read on the go and be able to pick up where I left off on any device I’m using. That’s why I like iBooks, it works for me.
- Logitech c910
The webcam I use is the Logitech c910, which works pretty well on the Mac. Only issue is the whites are too bright, and colors are off, but it does the job. I’ve seen word around the internet that the c930e does a better job, so I’ll update this post when and if I get the c930e.
- Cable Modem
I use the Arris Surfboard SB6141 as my cable modem. It’s reliable and beats what Comcast had given us. It’s speeds go up to 343mbps, which is okay since my speeds are about 75mbps (download speed that is). Will upgrade in time if I choose to get a higher tier. So far I really haven’t needed to.
My router is a Linksys E3000 which I bought back in 2010. After using Xfinity’s TECHNICOLOR TC8305C for the last four years, it’s nice to have a reliable router. Six years later, and 4 of those years being in storage it’s still a great router.
For movies and entertainment I use Netflix.
I pay for the ad free version of Hulu, which is great. Hulu comes in handy for those tv shows I like but just can’t catch them at the right time. Plus Hulu has a lot of anime.
- Amazon Instant Video
For things I can’t find on Hulu or Netflix I know I’ll probably find it here. Like Doctor Who which isn’t available on the former two anymore. Plus I’m paying $100 a year for Prime, might as well use the service.
- HBO Now
Yup, another video service. I love HBO programing and it’s nice not to have to bundle it with a cable subscription. Primary shows I like are Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and Real Time with Bill Maher. Plus movies, obviously.
Yes I know, what the hell is PureFlix? It’s a Christian video site like Netflix full of inspirational and faith based movies and shows. (Ugh, OMG your one of those guys…) hey before you judge you should try to understand people. Yes, the same could be said about Christians, but I’m not the judgmental type. Just a lovable geek, who enjoys technology and games.
- YouTube RED
That’s right I also use YouTube Red. After YouTubes ads began to become ridiculously more annoying, I just broke and started paying for it. I have to admit, it’s so much better to watch YouTube without ads.
Pandora was the first music service I signed up for back in 2008. It’s still a service I use today. More so than the others I pay for. Currently I pay for PandoraOne, which is ad free, and I get the OS X app.
- Prime Music
Another perk of my Prime account is that I get Prime Music, and just as before if I’m paying for something I might as well use it.
- Apple Music
While it’s useful, I admit I’m a little PO’d that Apple Music lost Trance Radio. I love trance music, and it was available for iTunes Radio. Which made it my preferred music choice, but oh well Apple Music is still useful.
Not going to lie, never have been a big Spotify user. I have an account, but I’ve probably used it like twice. Sorry Spotify, but you just don’t impress, I’d rather use Apple Music.
Ah, yes DI is my trance music fix. They have it all, and it’s only $7.99 a month. What more can I say? For everything Trance and EDM this is my service of choice.
*This post will be continually updated as often as I can get around to it. There are probably a few things that I’ve missed and those will be added as they are discovered!