Technology

My typical setup in my office.
My typical setup in my office.

I use a lot of technology in my classroom and as such I thought I would put together a page describing and cataloging the tech used for my work. There are obviously other solutions that will work, but this is my setup.

Computers (yes I have more than one)

  • Tablet/Ultraportable: Microsoft Surface 3: The Surface 3 is the last Atom powered Surface model produced by Microsoft.  I have the 4GB/128GB version which is more than enough power for day to day tasks and can be connected either wirelessly or through its Display Port.
  • Laptop: Lenovo Thinkpad T440s ultrabook – The school just gave me a new dedicated laptop and went with an ultrabook this time for the decreased weight and increased battery life.  This particular model has a touch screen, i5 processor (4th gen), 8 GB memory and a 256GB HDD.  The new machine weighs around three pounds and gets around 6-8 hours on a charge.  The only real loses I have are the dedicated graphics card (using 4400HD integrated graphics) and active pen.  This is the machine I use mainly for Lightroom (my preferred photo tool) and development (Visual Studio 2012).
  • Desktop: Custom i7 gaming rig with RX480 card, yes my geek machine.
  • Phone: I use a Microsoft Lumia 950.  Yep, the media says W10 Mobile is dead, but I love the system.  It has the perfect balance of versatility and security to make for a great professional device.  The camera is excellent (as have been all Lumia devices) and the Continuum ability to serve as a light desktop is very useful at times.

Peripherals

  • Monitor: Samsung SyncMaster S23B300 – The ultrabook might have a limited screen, but it can run a 23″ monitor at full HD just fine, so at my desk I have plenty of screen real estate.
  • Cables: Lenovo dedicated docking station – The new ultrabook came with a dedicated docking station so I no longer have to plug and unplug cords.
  • Printer: Brother HL-2240 Laser Printer – Come on a real laser printer for under $100 that does 27 ppm, great in-office printer.
  • Recorder: Sony ICD-UX71 with stereo lapel microphone – I don’t care how fast your phone or computer is, this little pocket recorder can record crystal clear MP3 files of lectures on one AAA battery for weeks at a time and plugs directly into my computer (through USB) for downloads.
  • Camera:  I use a variety of camera’s for the shots on the site.  I use a Nikon D5000 for the high quality images, a Nikon Coolpix p7700 premium compact is my “pocket” (it fits in a cargo pocket) camera that I carry for most shots, and my Lumia 950 for shots on the go.
  • Ereader:  2013 version Nexus 7 tablet. The Nexus is a great ereader with an awesome screen and the ability to run the entire Google Android ecosystem so it makes a great content consumption device.
  • Keyboard & Mouse: Microsoft Designer Series Keyboard and Mouse.

Software

  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 (Fast Insider Build), still the king on desktop.
  • Office Suite: Microsoft Office 365 – Again, I know people will argue, but Office is still the king for a reason. The new PowerPoint is especially effective in my field.  I know I can use Google Docs, but it still lacks a huge number of features and offline capability that Office has.  In addition, all of my students have access to Office 365 through the school.
  • Diagramming: Microsoft Visio
  • Browser: Edge (on W10), IE11 (on W8.1), and Firefox
  • Photography: Adobe Lightroom 5
  • Audio: Audacity
  • Editor: Code Writer (RT environment), Notepad++ (Win32 environment)
  • Development: Microsoft Visual Studio (prefer C# and F#)
  • Task Management:  Wunderlist
  • Music:  Groove Radio
  • Video Chat:  Skype
  • Games I am Playing Now:  Civ V: Beyond Earth, Starbound, Grim Dawn, No Man’s Sky (a lot better after recent updates), Tearaway (PS Vita), Tactics Ogre (PS Vita), and Fire Emblem: Fates (3DS).