Currently Using - September 2023
This page covers what electronic devices, equipment and software I’m running right now.
Time since last update: 6 months
- I added a new camera lens - a 7artisans 60mm MK. II manual focus macro lens. I wanted to play with a macro lens as I’ve never had a dedicated macro lens before. It’s been a lot of fun.
- On the archive server, converted the single remaining ZFS mirror pool of disks to a btrfs mirror. Functionality for my use case there’s very little difference for the pool systems, but it’s easier to just remember one set of maintenance tools than two!
- I actually upgraded my Windows desktop GPU! After 7 years with the a Zotac GTX 1060, I went for the new RTX 4060 from nVidia via ASUS. It’s mainly to play a few older games better at 1440p (as most gaming is done on the PS5) and to add a little more pep to video editing and some other grunt work the machine is often used for - and it’s been a huge improvement there.
- After 5 valiant years, my GoPro 7 finally died - a combination of a small water leak and a broken on/off button, meaning it powers up and down as it wants. Sad to see it go. I get a lot out of my action cams, so the replacement is the DJI Osmo Action 4 since I felt like a change from GoPro, and it has a bigger sensor for low light with front and back touch screens, magnetic mounting blah blah.
- I picked up a GMKtec NucBox 5 on sale (it’s an older model) to replace the Pi 2 and 3 for Syncthing and Pi-Hole duties. I need the Pis for some other projects.
Windows Desktop PC
My Frankenstein’s monster of a Windows box is mainly for audio and video editing, encoding, gaming and some work, and generally gets updated piecemeal.
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 (December 2019) with Scythe Mugen 5 cooler (February 2020)
- RAM: 32GB Corsair Vengeance 3200 (December 2019)
- Mobo: Gigabyte B550M DS3H (February 2023)
- Graphics: ASUS Dual GTX 4060 8GB (July 2023)
- Sound: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (May 2019)
- Misc.: Antec EarthWatts 650 Green PSU (January 2013)
- Drives: OS/Apps on a 1TB Silicon Power A80 NVMe (December 2019), media on a Samsung 860 EVO 1TB SSD (December 2018), and misc. data on a 4TB Western Digital Red drive. (September 2018)
- Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (July 2013) - a heavy but quiet box.
- OS: Windows 10.
- Monitor: LG UltraWide 34WN750-B (July 2020)
- Speakers: Audio Engine A2+ (January 2015)
- Headphones: AKG K371 (January 2021)
Another self built machine with parts harking back a decade to 2013, which sometimes gets new parts, and sometimes gets parts from the Windows box. It’s mainly used for archiving files and media.
- CPU: Intel Core i5 3470 (January 2013) with a Scythe Choten cooler (December 2020)
- RAM: 16GB Corsair XMS3 (May 2013)
- Mobo: Asus B75M-PLUS (December 2013)
- Graphics: On CPU (headless)
- PSU: Antec Earthwatts 450 Platinum PSU (May 2013)
- Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (May 2013) with Scythe Flex 140 fans.
- PCIe SATA III Board - Area SD-PE4SA-6L
- Discs: Samsung 870 EVO 500GB SSD (December 2022) for OS, 2 x 6TB Seagate IronWolf (July 2021 & January 2022) for personal data & 2 x 8TB Seagate Barracudas (November & December 2019) and 2 x Seagate IronWolf for media backups ().
- OS: Debian 12
Dell XPS 13 (2018)
Running Endeavour OS. This is a model 9360 from 2018, an Intel Core i5-8250U, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, UHD 620 graphics and a 1080p screen. It’s been working really well so far with no real downsides.
GMKtec NucBox 5
A small form factor mini PC running a Celeron N5105 CPU & chipset, 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD. This runs my home ‘always on’services such as Pihole and Syncthing. Silent and small but much quicker than the old Pi’s it replaces.
Backups are handled with iDrive, using a private key for a little more security, since living in a wooden house in an earthquake zone does make me think about off-site backup quite a lot. For folder sync between machines I use Syncthing, but that’s only on LAN.
Most of the things I do are text based, so I try to keep it simple, using editors like Obsidian for most general stuff, as it helps organise things too. Photo management is mainly via digiKam and sometimes DarkTable.
BlackMagic DaVinci Resolve 18.x on Windows is great for video editing, if a little overpowered for me, and I use both YouTube and Vimeo for video availability when I do put something online. I use LosslessCut for hacking away unneeded footage from my video excursions.
The Audio and the Visual
For an action cam, I have a DJI Osmo Action 4. I like to use action cameras on the snowboard, bicycles, motorbikes and at beaches. For a long time I used GoPros (the 2, 5 and 7) but decided to give DJI a go.
Since buying a proper microphone and audio interface, I went for Reaper as a cheap but easy to understand DAW. For the small fee it’s difficult to say how much nicer, fast and easier Reaper is than other options.
- Google Pixel 5a smartphone (January 2022).
- Kindle PaperWhite 2015 (September 2015).
- Raspberry Pi’s of various generations (1-4) doing various things.
- Arduino Uno and other electronics kit (2013 onwards).
- Zoom H1 audio recorder.
- Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones (February 2020).
- Flexispot EQ5 Pro standing desk (December 2021).
- Sony Playstation 5 for gaming (February 2023).
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